The US Travel Association is urging the United States and Brazil to reconsider their relationship with regards to international visas, Travel and Tour World reports. Currently, Brazil is not part of the United States’ Visa Waiver Program (VWP) or the Global Entry Program, and the US Travel Association thinks that should change.
US Travel feels strongly that by expanding both the VWP and Global Entry Program to include Brazil, both countries could benefit substantially. It’s estimated that adding Brazil to be VWP would bring about 650,000 new visitors to the United States every year. That would bring the total visitation to the US to more than 3 million people in 2015.
Along with all that additional travel, there could also be significant financial benefits to the US economy. US Travel estimates that adding Brazil to the Visa Waiver Program would add about $7.6 billion to the US economy in 2015. That boost could support about 176,000 additional American jobs in the tourism sector.
Because Brazil is not currently part of the Visa Waiver Program, Brazilian citizens currently must go through a screening process in order to obtain permission to visit the United States. Eliminating that barrier would allow a lot more people to visit Brazil and encourage tourism in the United States. US Travel president Roger Dow stated that there is a strong demand from Brazilians who have the financial means to get here. Adding Brazil to the VWP could potentially have a very positive impact on both countries.
Likewise, including Brazil in the Global Entry Program would allow frequent Brazilian travelers, such as business people, to get through US customs much more easily. This move could help facilitate more business between our two countries, which is in everyone’s best interest.
US Travel points to South Korea as a strong example of the benefits of adding countries that we trust to the VWP. After South Korea was admitted to the program, visitation to the US by South Koreans went up by 52%, increasing the impact of South Korean tourism on our economy from $2.7 billion in 2008 to $4.2 billion in 2012. It also resulted in a 31% increase in direct flights from South Korea to the US. As time goes on, South Korea visitation to the United States is expected to increase at an average rate of 6% every year.
It’s hard to say if and when Brazil will be admitted to the VWP. In the meantime, you can turn to us to obtain your Brazil travel visa. Currently, there are not expedited options for a visa to Brazil, and processing times vary by jurisdiction.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.