Best way to get a visa to Brazil in time?
March 29, 2013 9:33 AM   Subscribe

Question about how to get a visa to Brazil in time for a trip.

In late April I am traveling to Brazil. I thought I'd have plenty of time to visit the San Francisco consulate and get the ball rolling on a visa. But there was a two-week delay before I could even make an appointment, and now I am worried I won't be granted a visa on time. (Online, the San Francisco office is described as being especially slow to grant visas.)

Does anyone know the best thing to do in this situation? Will they be sympathetic to my trip being about 8 days after the appointment? Have you ever hired an outside agency to do this? Or gone to the consulate in L.A. which is rumored to be faster?

Any help much appreciated.
posted by steinsaltz to Travel & Transportation around Brazil (6 answers total)
Best answer: I paid through the nose to get a last-minute visa to Brazil around this time last year—I used VisaHQ, which worked smoothly and perfectly (despite my concerns about nonchalantly fedexing my passport off to a bunch of strangers), but it was not cheap, especially since I needed a 3-day turnaround. Not sure how your experience would differ, since I'm in NYC, and VisaHQ is in DC.
posted by firstbest at 9:56 AM on March 29, 2013

I think 8 days is a stretch... I would go through a private service...
posted by itsovernow at 10:16 AM on March 29, 2013

Everything government-wise is Very. Slow. in South America, and they probably won't be sympathetic to your pleas at all that you're leaving in 8 days. Better to go through a private service.
posted by zug at 11:06 AM on March 29, 2013

Response by poster: Much appreciated. So, VisaHQ. Anyone have any tips on what services to avoid and which are the best?
posted by steinsaltz at 11:07 AM on March 29, 2013

Best answer: The advantage the expediting services have over doing it yourself is that they are automatically given a set number of appointments at the place it's taking you 2 weeks to get an appointment at. They take your application and documents to the bureau for you, and deliver your visa back to you when it's ready.

I'm actually disallowed from recommending a particular service because of my position as a Passport Application Acceptance Agent, but you should evaluate your options based on how much they're charging and how close their description of what they do is to what I wrote above.
posted by carsonb at 12:46 PM on March 29, 2013

I recently got a Brazilian visa through the San Francisco consulate with about a month's notice. I used a processing agency called Travisa

The visa processing agency told me on the phone what schedule to expect. "The consulate is currently giving out appointments on the 19th and they will take 7 days to process your visa so it should be ready on the 26th". They had the appointment date right but the consulate ended up taking 10 days.

It was easy to get through to a knowledgeable and helpful person at Travisa. I suggest calling them and a couple of other agencies to see when they think your visa can be ready.
posted by metadave at 6:32 AM on March 30, 2013

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