Queue to obtain a US visa in São Paulo grows and exceeds 500 days

Queue to obtain a US visa in São Paulo grows and exceeds 500 days

The waiting time to schedule an interview for the first issue of the American tourist or business visa in São Paulo reached 511 days this Friday (20). Those who need to renew the document — that is, have a visa that has expired for less than four years — must join a 43-day queue.

The numbers represent a small variation, upwards, in relation to what was observed at the end of December, when Brazilians in São Paulo needed to wait 491 days to issue the papers for the first time and one month to renew them.

You can check waiting times for various types of visas at different US consulates in the country on the Department of State website. The tourism ones are the B1/B2.

The office in São Paulo currently has the longest queues in Brazil. In Brasilia, those who want to obtain a visa for the first time must wait 434 days and those who need renewal, 20 days. In Rio de Janeiro, they are 429 and 20 days, respectively; in Recife, 361 and 3. The consulate in Porto Alegre has the shortest waiting time for the first issue: 301 days; for renewal, 22.

This scheduling time began to increase more sharply as a direct effect of Covid-19, which impacted the functioning of diplomatic missions. In the period of more severe restrictions, the US stopped issuing non-emergency entry permits to foreigners.

“Since the post-pandemic resumption of regular visa processing, the embassy and consulates in Brazil have been actively working to hire and train additional staff,” the State Department said in a statement.

The agency increased the number of hours and days of assistance to handle the dammed demand, in addition to extending the renewal period to 48 months. In these cases, the applicant who has a visa expired for less than four years does not need to do a new interview.

Therefore, the deadline for renewal is faster, with an appointment scheduled for the delivery of documents at the Visa Applicant Service Center (Casv). The return of the passport with the document after the procedure, however, can take a few weeks – so, you need to plan before booking the trip.

“As a result, in November 2022, the US embassy and consulates nationwide issued 66% more tourist and business visas than in the same pre-pandemic period. The embassy and consulates in Brazil are ranked second among the countries that received the most visa applications in the world in 2022.”

Despite the long waiting time, the organization says that these numbers are dynamic and that many tourists are able to advance the date of the interviews, at no additional cost, due to cancellations by other applicants and the opening of new opening hours.

In addition, it is possible to request an anticipation of the interview in emergency cases, such as the death of immediate relatives and medical treatment. To make this type of request, schedule for the earliest available date, click “Continue” and then “Request Expedite”.

From the moment the fees are paid, the citizen has up to 365 days to schedule an interview – which does not have to take place within that one year period. Once scheduled, payment will remain valid until the date of the interview.

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