Research by AG Immigration – an immigration law firm based in Washington – shows that Brazilians ranked third in the ranking of those who received the most US visas in 2022. In all, there were 815,842 issues of 80 different types of permits, an increase of 618.8% compared to the registered in the previous year (113,505). Compared to 2018 (640,998), at levels before the covid-19 pandemic, the increase was 26.4%.
Brazil was only behind Mexico (1.9 million) and China (1 million), and well ahead of Argentina, in fourth place, with 259,000 visas received.
The survey was based on official data from the US Department of State, from January to December 2022. Also according to the report by AG Immigration, the US Consulate in São Paulo was the third diplomatic post that issued the most visas across the country. the world, second only to Monterrey and the embassy in Mexico City.
The consulate in Rio de Janeiro was the tenth. O ranking of diplomatic posts refers to the US fiscal year, which comprises the period between October 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022.
Another data that draws attention in the study refers to the B1/B2 visitor visa – used for business and tourism trips in the US, which totaled more than 748,500 issues last year, representing 91.76% of the total. This is a 944% increase over 2021, the year in which consulates and the embassy were closed or with limited services due to the pandemic.
This is the largest number of B1/B2 visas issued to Brazilians since 2015, when more than 873,000 entry permits of this type were issued by consular bodies. “It is, without a doubt, the visa most sought after by Brazilians, who have the B1/B2 as their most accessible gateway to the USA, being able to stay up to six months in the country to discover tourist attractions and carry out various activities”, he said, in a note, immigration lawyer Felipe Alexandre, founding partner of AG Immigration.
study and exchange
In the list of American visas most granted to Brazilians, the second and third positions are occupied by two study and exchange visas: the J-1 (13,100 issues) and the F-1 (8,800), respectively. . While the first registered an increase of 96% over the previous year, the second, in turn, fell 10% in the same period.
According to the CEO of AG Immigration, Rodrigo Costa, the Brazilian who is going to study or do an exchange program in the US is, in general, a recent graduate of high school or graduation. He pointed out that the exchange visa is very broad, with categories including doctors and university professors who are going to teach in the United States. Brazil is now the eighth foreign country with the most students enrolled in American universities.
According to Costa, the growing popularity of student visas is due to two main reasons. “On the one hand, there is a global shortage of skilled labor and, as a result, the US has become more open to international students, especially those in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They go to study in the US and eventually end up staying in the country to contribute to local development”.
Rodrigo Costa recalled that there has been a very strong expansion in access to higher education in Brazil over the last 20 years. “As a result, a greater number of undergraduates and graduates sought to complete or complement their studies abroad. The USA, due to cultural similarities, ease with the language and quality of the schools, ends up being the main destination of these Brazilians”.
Research by AG Immigration also revealed that the most authorized visas for Brazilians in 2022 are those that grant the bearer the green card – document guaranteeing the right to live, work and travel freely in the USA. The visa in this category most attributed to Brazilians was the EB-2, with 1,499 issues – an increase of 284% over the 390 authorizations in 2021. The EB-2 is intended for outstanding professionals, usually with a master’s, doctorate or some type of specialization only.
“We are talking about engineers, IT professionals, programmers, HR managers, marketing and other corporate areas, airline pilots, journalists, nurses, physiotherapists, hairdressers and so on. The list is quite extensive. If the person has an above-average career, they may be eligible for the EB-2”, said Felipe Alexandre.
For the lawyer, the increase in demand for the EB-2 by Brazilians indicates a movement of brain drain from Brazil. “It is a record number. Let’s see how emissions will behave this year”.