No end in sight for Brazil and United States visa waiver agreement

A lot has been said in the last two years about United States and Brazil working to extinguish visa for citizens of both countries to visit each other, but recently these talks have halted. At the time, Brazil was well quoted at the international media as a giant waking up with jobs for everybody and its citizen making more and more money. The reality was different.

In August 2013, the State Secretary of the U.S., John Kerry, and Brazil Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota, ruled out the agreement of visas for Brazilians wishing to enter the United States and Americans who wish to enter Brazil. The postponement of the official visit of President Dilma Rousseff to the United States on account of the recent scandals about American espionage in Brazil also ended up leaving the debate of visas to a later date.

immigration queue brazil

The meeting between Barack Obama and Dilma would serve for the official announcement of an agreement on the “Global Entry”, a system currently offered to “trusted” visitors, which allows entry into U.S. territory without passing through immigration queues. The deal is seen as a first step towards ending the requirement for prior approval.

If the visa was no longer required, there would be a large and sudden increase in the number of Brazilian immigrants living illegally in the United States, according to the American teacher Maxine Margolis.

Author of the book “Goodbye, Brazil – Brazilian immigrants in the world”, which has just been released simultaneously in English and Portuguese, Margolis explained in an interview with UOL, that there is a link between increased international travel by Brazilians and increased emigration. According to her, it is very common that a tourist visa is used as a tool for potential immigrants to enter the United States. Once they are in the country, Brazilians stay permanently and live in the country illegally.

The visas for Brazilians entering the United States repeated the mark of 2012 and surpassed one million requests last year, according to a statement released by the U.S. Diplomatic Mission. The Embassy and consulates processed 1,057,854 documents between January and December 2013.

Even Chile is better quoted than Brazil in that aspect, but among the seven measures for Brazilians traveling to the United States without a visa, Brazil has agreed to only two, which relate to reciprocal and regular reviews of procedures.

Including Brazil in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) would secure Brazilian reciprocity for U.S. citizens travelling to Brazil. For now, citizens from Brazil and the United States will have to get in line to get the permit.

For more information on how to get a visa to Brazil, go to the Brazilian Consulate Websites.

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Joe Cloud
Dutch, American, Brazilian... lived there for 5 years and owns property in Brazil. Out of the country for a few years now and would like to go back, however current circumstances tell me it's not the right time.