WASHINGTON, April 18 (UPI) -- The State Department says its increase in visa processing in Brazil and China is bringing more tourists to the United States.
In a statement Wednesday, it announced that consular offices in Brazil issued 550,000 visas in the first half of fiscal year 2012, compared to 350,000 in the comparable time in 2011. Wait times have been reduced and new consulates have been opened.
The situation is similar in China, the statement said, where consulates issued 453,000 visas in 2012 compared to 310,000 a year ago.
Additionally, processes have been streamlined, it said, with the addition of new personnel, called consular adjudicators, already fluent in Portuguese and Mandarin.