Brazilian Tourists in the US

The 43 edition of Pow Wow, largest event of the tourism industry in the USA, ended last week with large protests for Brazil to be included in the program “ Visa Waiver.”  Brazilians attending the event were wearing bottons with the American and Brazilian flags and the words “Visa Waiver Now!”

Today, Brazilians tourists need to apply and wait up to 141 days before getting a tourist visa to visit the USA. There is no exact way to quantify how many Brazilians decide not to go to the US because of the struggle it is to get a visa.  However, it is possible to quantify that:

–       1,2 million Brazilians visited the USA in 2010 (5th in the ranking)

–       Brazilian tourists are third in the spending per person ranking (only behind UK and Japan)

The American government forecasts that, for the next three years at least, there will be 12% increase in the annual number of tourists from Brazil, China, and South Korea.

Do you believe the US will change its policy towards Brazil any time soon? American citizens also need a visa to go to Brazil. Would it be a good strategy for Brasilia to change this policy?

Published by Ricardo Geromel

Ricardo was born and raised in Brazil but also has Italian citizenship. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Fairleigh Dickinson University. This erratic blogger is a master candidate in Paris at ESCP-Europe, but presently in a gap semester. He speaks five languages and has worked as project manager for Bolloré Group in Guinea Conakry, West Africa and as agricultural commodities trader for Noble Group in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil.

4 thoughts on “Brazilian Tourists in the US

  1. Ricardo,

    The whole thing is very technical, there is a law in the US that requires that a country shows more than 97% of the requested VISAS are aproved, Brazil is at 94% right now and going up fast.
    The US has already started preparations to include Brazil in the VISA waiver program as soon as it reaches 97% approval rate.
    Long story short, if it reaches 97%, it will happen, it for any reason the approval ratings go down or stops at 94%, protest or no protest, it’s not going to happen.
    On the other token, Brazil has a “reciprocity” clause, so the minute their VISA requests achieve 97% approval and Brazil is included in the VISA WAIVER program, BRAZIL will automatically WAIVE the VISA for Americans.
    This situation is not unchangeable, Argentina was in the VISA WAIVER program when their VISA requests went over 97%, but with the crisis in Argentina, many Argentineans started to immigrate and stay ilegally in the US, so they were excluded from the list again.
    It looks like Brazil will be included in the VISA WAIVER program soon, let’s just hope it doesn’t cause a sudden waive of illegal Brazilian immigrants pouring into the US because they would be excluded from the VISA WAIVER program faster than they could say VISA.



  2. Ricardo,
    Everyone should be able to travel, whether they’re coming or going, without the approval of a state. As I’m sure you’re aware, it was only a hundred years ago that almost anybody, from almost anywhere, could go almost anywhere else, without a passport. We are at 21st century, it’s incumbent upon a free person to go anywhere he or she wants. It serves no useful purpose whatsoever to try to limit people’s access to travel almost anywhere.



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