Sam Cowie at IRIN discusses Brazil’s use of humanitarian visas —
Until recently, Haitians escaping their homeland after the utter devastation of the 2010 earthquake took hazardous overland routes through South America in the hope of finding a better life in Brazil, often putting their lives in the hands of unscrupulous smugglers. Now, it’s simple: they walk into an office in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince and apply for a humanitarian visa. No need for smugglers or sneaking across borders.
Brazil has introduced a similar system for Syrian refugees who can apply for special visas at Brazilian consulates in the Middle East. The visas facilitate their travel to Brazil. After arriving, they can register asylum claims. So far, 8,000 Syrians have been granted the visas.