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-   -   Kudos - Brazilian Visa service = FAST (https://www.fodors.com/community/south-america/kudos-brazilian-visa-service-fast-1132247/)

DebitNM Sep 24th, 2016 05:01 AM

Kudos - Brazilian Visa service = FAST
 
My husband is going to be in Rio for a few days in December.

We used the following expediter and had great service:

BCV Visa and Passport Service in Houston.

They were the least expensive company that I found for both expediter fees - $69 which was for 8-10 business days - and return postage - $25 Fed Ex. It was submitted to consulate on Sept 20 and was sent back on Sept 23!! (They offer 3-5 business days for $139. Glad we didn't pay for that service!)

We mailed the forms and passport in {USPS Expedited Mail} and exactly a week later we got email that the Visa had been obtained and was being returned to him.

www.bcvisa.com/

(I am a long time poster here; this is not an ad but a highly recommended reference for those needing a visa)

DebitNM Sep 28th, 2016 08:22 AM

Final update: Passport and Visa were returned yesterday by FedEx. Very pleased with this business.

dwdvagamundo Sep 28th, 2016 11:00 AM

Thanks for the info, Debit, but given that much lead time, you should be able to get a visa without using a service.

I had mine within a week of when I submitted my application--granted that I live a few blocks from the local Brazilian Consulate--but still. . .

DebitNM Sep 28th, 2016 05:15 PM

I was nder the impression you had to hand deliver it. We live very far from Houston, it would have cost more to fly there and back. Can you mail it to them?

dwdvagamundo Sep 29th, 2016 07:23 AM

If you live a long way from the Consulate, it makes sense to use an expeditor, because you do have to appear in person. In Atlanta,you fill out the application on-line and then appear for an interview with payment and the backup (evidence of return flight and money in the bank).

Keep in mind that the Brazilians are giving the US tit-for-tat as this is what we require of Brazilians wanting to come to the US. Argentina and the US recently dropped similar reciprocal hassles.

SambaChula Sep 29th, 2016 08:00 AM

..." the Brazilians are giving the US tit-for-tat as this is what we require of Brazilians wanting to come to the US..."

No, it's not. It's FAR, FAR easier than what the US requires of Brazilians.
-----
Also, a personal appearance is not required by all Brazilian Consulates. Some still allow submission of documents by mail. Read carefully and thoroughly the visa pages on the site for the one with jurisdiction over your residence.

hpeabody Sep 29th, 2016 06:21 PM

I recently went through the visa process in person with the Los Angeles Consulate. I struggled with the form and their strange upload file size requirements quite a bit. The form is intended for a multitude of personal scenarios, so much of it did not pertain to me, and there are no detailed instructions related to filling out the form itself. That being said, I was quite impressed with efficiency of the procedure at the Consulate. Quick check in kiosk and called to window within a few minutes. My passport with new visa was complete in 1 week (5 business days). In Los Angeles it is pick-up only on a specific date with limited hours of 9AM - Noon (It does not have to you, as long as the person has the receipt) NO MAIL SERVICE at all. I am very glad that is taken care of.

dwdvagamundo Sep 30th, 2016 05:48 AM

h: Atlanta is sort of the reverse: an on-line application followed by an in-person interview, to which you have to bring, among other things your passport, a PO or bank money order for the fee (no cash, and a US postal service envelope with tracking (no fedex or the like). My interview was on a Monday and my passport with visa arrived in Wednesday's mail. And that's despite being told in my interview that "labor troubles" might delay the receipt of my visa.

I would have liked to have the option to pick up the passport in person to save the anxiety of trusting it to US mail but in retrospect everything went very well.

The best is that now I've got a "proper visa" in my passport and not just a rubber stamp received at the airport!

scdreamer Oct 8th, 2016 01:25 PM

We are in the San Francisco consulate area - have been hearing horror stories about people not even being able to make appointments for up to 90 days. SF is supposed to be one of the consulates with particularly long delays due to the labor issues. I think it may have eased up now, as I looked on the consulate website and saw that there are a few appointments in the next few weeks. But I have no idea how long they are taking to issue the visas after the first appointment takes place.

The last day of August, we booked a trip to the Amazon, leaving the end of November, thinking that would give us plenty of time, and then found out about the strike.

Glad to say - we hired an expediter - and now after five weeks, our passports with completed visas are on their way to us via UPS. Supposed to arrive two days from today, according to tracking.

SambaChula Oct 8th, 2016 11:32 PM

Expedite is defined as "Make (an action or process) happen sooner or be accomplished more quickly."
If a Brazilian Consulate's site specifically states that they do not do that, what magic tricks is an agency doing to make clients think they are getting a visa more quickly than the client might on his/her own?

scdreamer Oct 9th, 2016 04:36 PM

Well, Samba, another couple who were scheduled to be on the same trip as we are, and who had booked it a week earlier than we did, was unable to even get an appointment with the SF Brazilian consulate until October 28. No guarantees from the consulate that the visa would be approved and received in time for their pre-paid trip on Nov 29.

Because of the uncertainty the couple was able to convince the tour operator to refund their full fee ... even though it was supposed to be "no refund within 90 days of the tour."

I know you are not a fan of expediters, and in other instances neither would I be. In fact, I have never before hired a third party to obtain a visa for me; I have done it myself with other countries.

But in this instance, I was happy to pay an expediter the additional fee. And yes, my visa was "expedited," because I could not have even arranged an initial appointment with the Brazilian consulate before the end of this month on my own - but with the expediter working for me, I will have my visa in hand tomorrow.

Most expediters have multiple ongoing appointments set up, which they can use as soon as a client comes along. They don't have to wait for a new appointment to be made.

So in answer to your question, THAT'S what makes "clients think they are getting a visa more quickly than the client might on his/her own."

SambaChula Oct 10th, 2016 04:42 AM

First, for anyone reading:
The strike is over, as of a few days before this writing.

And for you, water under the bridge. Have a great trip.

However:
The San Francisco Brazilian Consulate's site states:
"The use of services offered by visa agencies does not result in the issuance of visas in a period shorter than the usual time."
If they go out of their way to state this, they themselves must think their clients are being scammed to some extent.
Visa processing is stated on the site to be 5 days.
In the run up to Carnaval, an overload of last minute visas sometimes has an effect on this. But since you must plan for Carnaval lodging and tickets in about July, waiting to the last minute is apply for a visa is also not wise.

One piece of information on the consulate's site that is often not clearly understood is the "itinerary" required. A potential traveler does not need a paid ticket, just a reservation from a travel agency. As soon as the traveler is sure they are going to Brazil, get a head start on the process by booking a RT flight and getting a printout on travel agency letterhead. Use this to apply for a visa, and any hotel address that is suitable. This information is never checked. Your "plans" can of course change to accommodate your "real" travel plans, but you would have gotten some lead time on the visa process. Very Brazilian. It's called "jeitinho".

You might well have gotten your visa back in a couple of days after an end of the month appointment on your own, making the timing nearly equal to the extra-fee visa agency.
Since you have the resources to pay extra, and chose to do so, no issue. My problem with reports of using visa agencies is that in most cases (unless you cannot appear in person at a consulate which requires that), it is simply a nerve assuaging luxury or a luxury convenience for those with resources, not a necessity.

As for the other couple, some tourists are more risk averse than others. For those who like to play it safe, are nervous about having everything nailed down, I would suggest that, in general, Brazil would not be a destination that would make them feel confident about their travels. The culture and way of doing business often simply does not lend itself to this. (And IMO, one month would have been plenty of time to get a visa. There were reports on the various travel forums of people who received visas in a timely manner, despite the strike, and not all consular employees were on strike anyway.)

Rumors of problems with visas for Brazil are like crime reports, vastly overblown.


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