The number of foreigners entering Brazil has increased, according to data released by the Ministry of Labor, making Brazil an international tourist center as well as a possible future cluster of jobs.

In the first half of 2011, according to the semiannual assessment of the Ministry of Labor and Employment, the number of foreigners who entered Brazil with a work visa increased 20 percent over the same period of 2010. The sector that attracted the most foreigners was oil and gas, which attracted more than 8,000 foreign professionals, according to recent surveys by the Ministry.

This increase in work visa issuance is due to a lack of skilled workers in various sectors of Brazil, especially in the oil and gas industry. Despite the fact that Brazilian professionals are trained to perform these functions, they do not have expertise in some activities whose needs are met by foreign labor.

According to the latest data released by the Ministry, the United States is the biggest exporter of skilled labor to Brazil. About 7,550 U.S. professionals went to Brazil in 2010.

Judging by the growing number of foreign professional visa holders working in Brazil, it appears that the country is gaining more visibility in the international job market. Brazilian companies specializing in immigration and relocation services seek to increase their scope of work to meet the rising demand.