US VWP membership imminent for Brazil?

  How soon will the US grant visa waiver status to Brazilian travellers?

Tourists from Brazil may soon forgo applying for a visa before travelling to the United States if plans to have the country included among Visa Waiver Program (VWP) nations are realised.

In order to qualify for VWP status, US Congress requires that at least 97 percent of visa applications are approved – and last year, the Brazilian rate was 96 percent, local media reported.

“Right now, Brazil is something like 95 percent. Soon, we will get there,” U.S. ambassador in
Brazil, Thomas Shannon told Globo News.

According to Globo, Mr Shannon said the elimination of the visa requirement for Brazilians travelling to the US was “obviously a goal of both governments of Brazil and the United States”.

“But it is a process, a series of agreements that we have to negotiate to get to this point,” he added.

Meanwhile, in Rio de Janeiro, new US Consulate General John Creamer said there had been a dramatic increase – around 40 percent – in staff numbers at the US Consulate in Rio, resulting in a reduction in wait times for Brazilians “from 140 days to a low of two days in some cases, and 10-12 days at the most”.

Speaking to the Rio Times, Mr Creamer said numbers at the consulate were expected to grow to 300 by the end of the year, with around 100 employees slated to work in visa processing.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H
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