What is the change? Beginning Jan. 19, the Brazilian Consulate in New York will no longer require scheduled appointments. The consulate will switch to a first-come, first-served system for accepting visa applications.

What does the change mean? The consulate has said that it will be able to guarantee visa appointments for anyone who arrives before 10 a.m. on any given day. Officials have also said existing appointments will be honored, even after the new system goes into effect.

  • Implementation time frame: Jan. 19.
  • Visas/permits affected: Business and tourism visas.
  • Who is affected: Anyone applying for business or tourism visas at the Brazilian Consulate in New York.
  • Impact on processing times: The consulate says business visas will be processed within five days, while tourism visas will be processed within 10 days. In practice, processing may take longer. Applicants should also note that applications filed by travel agencies or other third parties take an additional five days to process.
  • Business impact: The change may help some business travelers who make last-minute travel plans because they will not have to schedule appointments ahead of time in order to obtain a visa.

Background: The Brazilian Consulate in New York plans to switch to the new system Jan. 19. The consulate opens to the public at 9 a.m., and officials say they can guarantee appointments to applicants who arrive before 10 a.m. Officials also say they reserve the right to ask applicants to return the following day if there is heavy demand for visas. For the time being, the new visa application system will be implemented in New York, but not at other Brazilian consulates.

BAL Analysis: The switch may help some last-minute travelers obtain visas, but those planning on traveling to Brazil should still leave as much time as possible when applying for a visa. Processing may take longer than the posted times. Furthermore, the first-come, first-served system means that those who arrive at the consulate after 10 a.m. may be asked to return on another day if the consulate is faced with heavy visa demand.

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