The Brazil Visa Application Centre (BVAC) situated at IOM ‘s office in Port-au-Prince celebrates its 2 years!
The Brazil Visa Application Centre (BVAC) is a centre in Port-au-Prince exclusively dedicated to Haitian citizens applying for special humanitarian permanent visas (VIPER), which aims to ensure a safe, dignified and legal migration channel to Brazil. The BVAC centre was created in 2015 as a mean to increase the processing of humanitarian permanent visas in response to the concern of the growing number of people travelling to Brazil irregularly.
IOM Haiti’s BVAC is the first and currently only Visa Application Center of its kind in the world.
Up to 200 people come each day to drop or review their files and take their documents. Since September 2015, more than 34,000 applications have been received by IOM in Port-au-Prince. The majority of them have between 20 and 39 years old. They come here seeking a permanent visa giving them access to new opportunities in the Brazilian territory.
IOM BVAC staff assist the applicants to complete the online application form or verify that this form has been correctly completed and signed, that all required supporting documentation is attached and that all related fees have been paid. IOM provides proconsular administrative support to visa applicants by ensuring the accuracy of the information and the completeness of each file. This helps to minimize delays in visa application processing due to incomplete applications.
"We support the migrant throughout the process"
IOM focuses on all the administrative tasks associated with the visa application process including, but not limited to, accurate form filling assistance, verification of supporting documentation and the safe transfer of client documentation to and from the Section responsible for issuing visa decisions at Embassy of Brazil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. . This allows the Consulate to place greater focus on the decision making process. IOM provides only administrative support, and plays no role in the decision making process. IOM Haiti's BVAC is the first and currently only Visa Application Center of its kind in the world which provides proconsular support to Haitian nationals applying for humanitarian visas support.
"It's a structured and well-organized way to regulate migration. At the Centre, we accompany the prospective migrant throughout the process. Since 2016, we have realized that many of our beneficiaries lack information. Some want to leave Haiti without necessarily knowing Brazil. We have therefore created various tools to inform and facilitate the integration of migrants into the country of destination - Brazil, "says Shauna Martin, manager of the BVAC project at IOM Haiti.
With BVAC, IOM Haiti is actively involved in the migration dialogue between Brazil and Haiti, with the aim to strengthen regular migration channels, improve information flows and provide the greatest possible protection for migrants.