In the last 3 months visa appointment wait times in Brazil have been reduced from 50 days to 15 days in Rio de Jaeiro and to 6 days in Brasilia. In China 30 day+ waiting times have been reduced to 2-5 days. The dramatic reductions are due to a concerted effort by the State Department that included temporary staff, processing changes and increased use of technology. In Brazil, the staffing increases will be made permanent with the addition of 50 consular staff positions, thereby doubling the visa workforce.
Wait times in Brazil and China, two of the world’s fastest growing economies, have been slowly creeping up as demand for visas to enter the United States has increased. In Fiscal Year 2011, the US Mission to Brazil processed over 820,000 visa applications, almost one and a half times the number of visas processed the previous year. The US is also experiencing record demand for visas in China, as consular officers processed a record one million visa applications there, an increase from 2010 by over thirty percent. The Department of State plans to continue reducing wait times and other processing impediments so that nationals of China, Brazil, and other countries can be interviewed and issued visas in a timely manner.
When planning for a visa appointment at any U.S. consulate, it is best to start early, allow plenty of time for the process, and be prepared for the worst. Detailed information on the application process, fees, and documentation required is available from the State Department website by clicking on the US Embassy site where the application will be lodged. Visit the site for the Non-Immigrant Visa Unit in Rio de Janiero for Brazil information and the Non Immigrant Visa Unit in Beijing for China information. Safe travels!