The NEW American Dream

Por: Rodrigo Lins*

In three years, the number of Brazilians approved to live in the United States has skyrocketed. In 2018, there were 4,300 immigration visas issued for Brazilian citizens – an increase of 74% compared to 2015, where there were only 2,478 visas granted, according to the American Department of State. Many of these visas are granted for people who want to invest or open a business in the United States.

The actual reason why Brazilians are immigrating to the United States has greatly changed.  With the majority being planted in their idea of continuing their lives and professional careers in America. This great change has given a different guise to the Brazilian immigrant who just over 10 years ago came to the United States to work in more manual labor jobs, but today, betting on their intellectual capacities to establish a new life in a new country.

In 2011, the Brazilian IRS recorded the permanent departure of 8,170 people. In 2017, at least 21,701 permanent departures were recorded – an increase of 165%. Already in 2018, there were 22,538. More than just living in another country, in their suitcases, emigrants bring entrepreneurship and work projects, as well as their professional careers and established experience in Brazil.

The most recent discovery of visa possibilities rewarding highly qualified foreign professionals with permanent residency has contributed to a mass escape of brains from Brazil to the US. These new Brazilian immigrants are looking for a new kind of American dream: to expand and grow, without borders in their professional careers.

Engineers, health professionals, teachers, writers, athletes, scientists, musicians, managers, and others form a veritable wave of new Brazilian professionals who are quietly absorbed into the American job market through the front door, far from the controversial illegal immigration. across the US border with Mexico.

What we see in the United States is a significant portion of Brazilians who are truly making a difference. Brazil was the second largest job-creating country in the US, behind Mexico only. A survey developed by Apex-Brasil, released this year, shows that Brazilian companies employed 74,200 employees in the United States.

Other data from the 2019 Brazil / USA Bilateral Investment Map shows that the Brazilian FDI stock in the United States grew 356% between 2008, when it was US $ 9.3 billion to US $ 42.8 billion in 2017. The value added by Brazilian subsidiaries to US gross product in 2015 was US $ 48.3 billion, a figure that has already been surpassed.

This data reveals the face of this new American dream believed and desired by so many Brazilians. Another study by researchers Alvaro de Castro and Lima and Alanni Barbosa released in 2017 showed that households headed by Brazilian immigrants had an average household income of $ 55,463. This annual income was higher than households headed by other immigrants ($ 49,484) and even higher than households headed by Americans ($ 54,455).

Research based on data from the US government and Itamaraty revealed that the Brazilian community in the United States is more integrated than the average other immigrants in the country, is more qualified and even better off than the Americans themselves. According to the survey, Brazilians in the United States have a higher educational level than the average of all immigrants, with 46% having completed high school and incomplete higher education and 30% graduating from higher education, compared to 35% and 23% from the other immigrants.

A promising scenario for the new immigrant Brazilians, but one that warns the Brazilian Government of an increasingly severe loss of skilled labor, as young Brazilian professionals who internationalize their career rarely return to Brazil. This is a moment that requires reflection on the part of the government so that policies to retain this youth work force are formulated and implemented.

*Rodrigo Lins, masters in Communication, specialization in Audiovisual Language, University Professor, journalist and writer, resides in the United States and is the author of the book “ Internacionalize-se: Parâmetros para levar a carreira profissional aos EUA legalmente”. He is CEO of the multinational Communication, Marketing and Press company Onevox Creative Solutions.

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