A record numbers of applicants from Brazil and China have applied for visas to travel to the United States in 2011, the US State Department has reported.
The State Department said it had deployed extra staff to its embassy and consulates in Brazil in order to process some of the 820,000 visa applications received in 2011, a 42 percent increase over 2010.
More than 1.2 million Brazilians visited the United States in 2010, contributing some $6 billion to the economy, according to the US government, which said the number of visitors could reach 2.8 million by 2016.
The State Department has also seen surging demand from China, where more than one million visa applications were submitted in 2011, a 34 percent increase over the previous year.
The deployment of extra staff has reduced the average wait time for a US visa appointment in Brazil to less than 50 days and in China to less than 10 days, the State Department said.