US preserves queue for visa renewal, even if it is closed – travel

Assine Estadão

In February 2020, I organized a trip to Florida America, Which seemed like a dream. It will be the 20 days of the month of June that travel east and west of one of the most vibrant regions of the American state. Universal epidemic Arrived in March, and then you already know the outcome of the story: no trip.

Now, at a time when the United States is in a great race for vaccination, the hope of traveling again is born. However, I cannot reactivate the plans: I have no visa for the United States, except for Brazil at a critical moment. My document expired last August and needs to be renewed. While researching the topic, I came to know that I and possibly more than 1 million Brazilians have Expired And, as a result, without authorization to enter the country. And we have no idea when we will get the documents again.

Currently, spaces are available for appointments End of october And in early November at the consulate of Porto Alegre. Those looking for more crowded cities, such as Sao Paulo And Rio de Janeiro, maybe I can Vacancy only at the end of the year Or only in 2022.

This number of people with expired visas suggests that there is a benefit that the United States gave to Brazilians until 2010. Since May of that year, travelers here have applied for a visa for tourism and business (B1 / B2). Get a ten-year document, which will expire by 2020.

In 2010, the United States issued a total of 505,717 visas in the categories B1, B2 and B1 / B2. According to data from the US State Department, the number was higher in 2011 and reached 746,341 visas in the same categories.

With the advent of the fateful 2020, we are left without expired visas and the possibility of renewing them, as the consulate in Brazil closes with. According to a statement by United States Embassy spokesman Tobias Bradford, there is still no forecast for the return of activities. However, it is possible that the scenario will change as soon as the staff is vaccinated.

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“We are working with the State Department to make possible a vaccination plan for embassy and consulate officials, as we believe that the vaccination epidemic, as well as a comprehensive strategy for the use of social detachments and masks Part “, Bradford explained, in an email interview Estado.

Until the office is open, regular interviews and distribution of documents required for renewal are suspended. Only those who require an emergency visa have an application under evaluation.

It is worth coming in line for the visa anyway

Nevertheless, the tip has to be brought in line to renew the document. Even with borders and consulates having no possibility of closure and opening, it is worthwhile to fulfill the renewal request early, as the waiting list is long.

Anyone who has their visa expired within a maximum of 12 months can perform the process without the need for a face-to-face interview, but needs to be programmed to determine the delivery of documents. At this time, in cases of renewal up to 12 months, you will have to complete the DS-160 form, pay a fee of US $ 160 to US $ 240 (according to the visa category) and set a date for the delivery of documents. .

Monica Spotto, a partner at Top Vistos Agency, an expert in assisting travelers in issuing visas, says that since the onset of the epidemic, appointments have been canceled and delivery of documents has not been allowed, because Consulates are closed. “It is important to guarantee space in the queue when the office opens. During all these months of the epidemic, cancellations are made up to 15 days before the scheduling date, so it is possible to determine, ”says Monica, who claims to be a client who already cancels eight interviews .

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Alternative

With the doors closed at United States consulates in Brazil, some Brazilians are searching for alternative solutions to obtain authorization to enter American soil. Monica’s company based in Porto Alegre has sent customers to apply for visas in countries such as Panama, Paraguay and Ecuador. At the onset of the epidemic, he was able to direct travelers to Uruguay, with the borders currently closed.

“They are the ones who usually travel to study, because they have won scholarships from American universities or they are football players. In these cases, they leave the visa-issuing country and from there, they already go directly to the United States ”, the businessman explains.

Dual citizenship

Another solution is the acquisition of dual citizenship. Specialized in expatriate solutions, Rotuno Immigration Solution & Business provides advice for all types of visas in the United States. The company, based in São Paulo, saw an increase in consultation requests for dual citizenship during the epidemic and primarily from countries such as Portugal and Italy. In addition to being a facilitator to travel the world and live in various countries, certain types of citizenship eliminates the need for a visa to enter the United States.

“Customers holding European passports do not have to worry about obtaining a trade and tourism consular visa at the currently closed US consulate. He enters the United States with only an electronic travel announcement (ASTA). Nevertheless, it has to be kept in mind that the process of obtaining citizenship takes time. With a special counsel, which usually speeds up the process, it takes at least two to three years.

Key questions about Rainwell

Who is eligible for visa renewal?

– Citizens of Brazil and Argentina whose last visa was issued in Brazil;

– Applicants whose non-immigrant visas are still valid or expired within a 12-month period and who wish to renew the same visa category;

– Previous requests out of which ten fingerprints were caught;

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– Applicants who have not reported loss or theft of passports with a US visa recently;

– Recent visa applications that have not been rejected.

Who can renew without an interview?

– Brazilians who live in Brazil and have a valid or expired visa up to 12 months. However, it is necessary to determine the delivery of documents at the Visa Applicant Service Center (CASV). In Porto Alegre, the document is scheduled at the Distribution Center (CED).

– This rule is valid for the following categories of US visas: B1 / B2 (trade, tourism and / or medical treatment), C1 / D (transit / crew), F / J (student) and M (vocational course) student of).

What to do

– Complete the DS-160 form in English, available on the United States Embassy website, and pay the visa fee (which varies between US $ 160 and US $ 240). Then schedule the delivery of the documents. Due to the epidemic, there is no provision of assistance at the consulate for the time being, but it is possible to get in line.

– If you are able to schedule and the office is open, attend in person or send a representative to deliver the documents: valid passport, previous passport with current visa, DS-160 form confirmation page with barcode and confirmation page . Schedule, 5×5 or 5×7 photo.

– If approved, a new visa is likely issued within ten working days.

– In some cases, applicants will have to send additional information or participate in an interview with the consular officer.

– Information: bit.ly/vejaovisto

Deadline extended

According to the United States Embassy website, applicants who have already paid the visa application processing fee and will have the validity to pay the interview schedule (known as MRV fee) will be extended until September 30, 2022 . This is a measure that ensures that all applicants have the opportunity to set a time to receive the document.

Sarah Gracie

About the author: Sarah Gracie

Sarahis a reporter covering Amazon. She previously covered tech and transportation, and she broke stories on Uber's finances, self-driving car program, and cultural crisis. Before that, she covered cybersecurity in finance. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.

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