Many stranded without passports after Brazilian consulate closes so staff can watch World Cup

NEW YORK (PIX11) — All they want to do is go to Brazil to watch the World Cup.

That was the sentiment we heard over and over again outside the Brazilian consulate Thursday afternoon, as dozens of hopeful travelers waited in vain, while the consulate staff shut down the office in order to watch the Brazilian soccer team play on opening day of the World Cup.

Everyone who waited outside –- including some people who had departing flights scheduled for Thursday evening — showed PIX11 printed slips issued by the consulate, that told them to be there anytime between 2 and 4:30 p.m. in order to pick up their passports.

But there is good news to this story. After hours of waiting, and pleading from PIX11’s Jay Dow for an explanation, about a dozen travelers who were still waiting around after a few hours were quietly handed their passports.

Everyone else who left in despair, are unfortunately, out of luck.

1 Comment

  • K

    I was at the consulate that day to pick up my friends’ visas because they could not travel to NYC to get them. I was absolutely shocked at the way the people in the consulate treated us. Three of us were there an hour and a half early in order to queue and avoid the big line that was coming during the hours to pick up visas. I just feel really bad for the two guys who were there with me. One had a flight that same night and the other was leaving the next day. I hope they ended up getting their visas.

    We were standing outside the consulate confused why the door was locked. There was NO SIGN even on the front door to say that they were closed. The man who came to the door was letting someone out of the building. At least he stopped to talk to us. We explained that we need to pick up the visas and that the hours were listed on our receipts and they hadn’t told anyone of the plan to shut the office that day. Understandably, the two guys that had to travel quickly were frustrated, but at no point did they attack the people at the consulate nor curse at them or anything out of line. The man at the door said they were closed and there was nothing to do about it and when we explained about flights and itineraries and match tickets, he nonchalantly said to just buy new flights. The two guys reasoned with them as kindly as possible about it although understandably frustrated. What we were then met with was a VERY angry tirade from the consulate worker who jerked the glass door so hard I thought it would break while yelling loudly and swearing at us and threatening to call the police. All the while, one of the guys was so calm and was simply holding up his receipt and saying please, please, please. But they didn’t care at all.

    Luckily for my friends who I was picking up for, they could try again today to get it as they don’t travel until Monday. I just feel bad for those who had their plans interrupted and needed to fly right away. Well, I hope that both of those guys waited it out and got their visas.

    That was deceiving and beyond stupid. You know people have flights and lots of money invested in this and have limited time. Furthermore, you’ve TOLD people to come on that date at that time window. All because you were in the conference room watching the game?? Can you just put the game on in the office and resume the visas as you know they have to be done there and there is no other way. Really amazing the level of disorganization and complete disregard for others.

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