Joshua Goodman – Bloomberg, 11/08/2011
The U.S. is struggling to keep up with surging demand for visas in China and Brazil, as the growing middle class in the world’s two biggest emerging markets flock to American shopping malls and tourist meccas.
The U.S. plans to boost by 100 people this year its staff dedicated to processing visas in the two countries after it issued 35 percent more travel permits in China this year and 44 percent more in Brazil, Ed Ramotowski, managing director for U.S. visas, said in a conference call with reporters yesterday.
“It’s a function of the robust economy in Brazil,” Donald Jacobson, who oversees visa operations at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, said in the same conference call. “Their currency is very strong against the dollar and Brazilians are coming to America to visit Disney World and do lots of shopping.”