The United States Travel Association has praised the State Department for reducing visa interview wait times significantly in Brazil. Wait times for visa interviews now average two weeks or less in Brasilia, Recife and Rio de Janeiro.
“Deputy secretary of state Tom Nides and the entire US State Department deserve enormous credit for working diligently to reduce the wait times for a visa in Brazil,” said Roger Dow, president and chief executive of the US Travel Association.
“America is open for business, and Brazil is a key travel market with great economic potential for the US.
“If wait times continue along this course, the US should start to see tangible economic benefits that a strong travel industry can deliver.
“This means more American jobs and more revenue for our cities and destinations,” he added.
In 2010, 1.2 million Brazilians spent an average of $4,940 per visitor in the US.
Their total spending was $5.9 billion, which supported 42,000 US jobs.
However, Europe currently captures a much larger share of outbound travel from Brazil. In 2010, 52 percent of long-haul travel from Brazil went to Western Europe, with only 29 percent coming to the U.S.
In January 2012, 86,000 visa applications were processed by the U.S. Mission in Brazil, an increase of 60 percent over January 2011.
Additionally, similar progress has recently been announced concerning wait times in China, another key travel market for the US.