Cablegate: Embassy Brasilia Cy 2006 Class B Referral Validation Study

DE RUEHBR #1485/01 2151520
R 031520Z AUG 07





E.O. 12958: N/A
REF: (A) 04 STATE 172283, (B) 00 STATE 63463, (C) CA/FPP WEB PAGE

1. Summary: In July 2007, the consular section of Embassy Brasilia
conducted a validation study of 475 class B Referral visas issued
between January 1st, 2006 and December 31st, 2006. Results from
this random sample showed that 71% returned, 2% did not return, 23%
never traveled; 4% were inconclusive. We also conducted a second
study of all Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) class B Referrals.
Within this smaller group, we found that 71% returned, 10% never
traveled and no overstays were detected; 19% were inconclusive
compared to 4% inconclusive cases in the first random sample. While
we estimated a 5% overstay rate for the overall B referral survey,
we only found a 2% rate. We initially believed that FAS cases were
more likely to overstay, but the study proved that this assumption
was incorrect as there were no confirmed overstay FAS cases. We
will follow up with FAS and DHS to determine the status of the
unconfirmed cases. End Summary.

2. Post classified the study results into four categories:
confirmed return or current legal stay; confirmed overstay; never
traveled and inconclusive - applicants unable to contact. We
followed CA/FPP guidance in developing the study. Our target range
was between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2006 and included all
475 Class B referral visas issued during this period. Our maximum
estimate of overstays was 5% and our proposed sample size was 48
with a sample interval of 10. More details on statistical
methodology paragraphs 6 & 7.

Data Analysis General Observations

3. After conducting the study through telephone calls, we
determined that 71% of Embassy Brasilia Class B visa Referrals used
their visas appropriately leaving within six months of arrival and
23% never traveled (90% had to cancel and 10% had no intention of
traveling when they applied for their visas). We confirmed that
only one person overstayed, 2% and could not reach 4%. This overstay
rate of 2% is less than we had estimated with our 95% confidence
level (Para 6)

4. The overstay was a male born in 1968 who received a class B
referral from FAS after previous refusals. He is a farmer who was
previously refused before being referred. At both his first
interview and his referred interview he claimed to be going to a The
World Agriculture Expo in Tulane California. FAS confirmed that he
attended the conference. We gave FAS the applicant's contact
information to follow-up on his exact reason for overstay.

The second study: FAS cases

5. After analyzing the confirmed overstay in greater detail, post
decided to conduct an investigation of all FAS referrals using the
same statistical methodology. The assumption that FAS referrals
might be associated with more overstays was incorrect. Post
concluded that 71% of all FAS Class B visa Referrals who were
interviewed by Embassy Brasilia in 2006 left the United States
within 6 months (the same percentage as the 1st random sample). We
found no confirmed overstays, though we had many more inconclusive
cases. There were 19% inconclusive cases in the FAS pool and only
4% in the regular class B referrals. This could be because rural
phone numbers are less reliable, but we plan to work with DHS and
FAS to better determine the status of these cases.


6. Post followed CA/FPP guidance for validation surveys per
reftels. We organized a spreadsheet according to the following
categories: Random Number, Sample Frequency, Gender, DOB,
Nationality, phone number, alternate phone number, date to call,
first call date, second call date (if missed on the first), third
and final call date (if missed on first two) and four result
columns: confirmed overstay, confirmed return, inconclusive, and
never traveled. The sample size of all Class B referrals was 48.
This was calculated using a 95% confidence level (95% certain) and
the worst case scenario percentage of 50% per referral.

7. For the second study of the FAS referrals, post calculated the
random sample using a 99% confidence level with 76 referrals. After
omitting cases from the original random sample and applicants under
ten, 58 cases remained. Post contacted 70% of these cases to
conduct the second analysis. Overall, we called 100% of the Class B
visa referral holders in both random samples and reached 90% of the


8. The point of this validation study was to test Embassy
Brasilia's assumptions regarding potential overstay rates with Class

BRASILIA 00001485 002 OF 002

B referrals. We estimated a 5% overstay rate with the initial
random sample of 475 Class B referral visas, but there was only a 2%
overstay rate. We also believed that FAS cases would show a higher
overstay rate but found no conclusive overstays. With both
validation studies, 71% of the visa applicants returned, thus
proving that the majority of Class B referrals are good cases.

9. After examining this validation study in greater detail, consular
officers at post noted the following: (a) although most referrals
are good cases, they should never be guaranteed a visa; the same
adjudication procedures for non-referrals should be implemented
during the interview process; (b) when receiving FAS referrals,
officers should ask detailed case-specific questions (i.e. number of
employees on farm, precise occupation, land ownership) and obtain
better contact information; (c) if referred cases were previously
denied, new evidence provided in follow up interviews should be
given very close attention. Post sees many farmers in our district
and we will continue to work with FAS as the agricultural economy in
Brazil continues to expand.


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