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Traveling to the USA

See the conditions for travel to and from the USA. See how you can get authorization and all the necessary documents.

Passengers travelling to the United States who are exempt from visa requirements need to apply for a travel authorisation.

Find out how the exemption programme works, how to proceed and where you can request exemption.

We warn you that without this authorisation (or visa), entry to the country is not permitted.

Important information

Due to the change in the travel requirements to enter the United States, ESTA’s, under the United Stated VISA Waive program, may have been cancelled by the CDC. Please check that the status of your ESTA is still valid or if you will have to Create a New Application to travel. Confirm or request ESTA here and see full entry requirements here.

In order to comply with the safety requirements of the authorities of the United States of America, TAP informs that, all passengers travelling to any destination in the USA will be subjected to a “safety interview”, conducted with PSP (Portuguese Public Security Police).

If you have a passport from one of these countries that was issued after 2001, you must use the Electronic System for Travel Authorization to apply for an electronic authorization whenever you travel to the United States of America.

To obtain the authorization, just go the website and complete the form. This process must be carried out at least three days prior to traveling. However, to prevent any possible setbacks, you can request this authorization before you make your flight reservation.

Since 20 March 2010, airlines that allow passengers to travel to the USA without authorization have also been penalized.

TAP reserves the right, as of that date, to refuse to allow passengers to board unless they have completed the necessary formalities.


  1. Enter the site of the electronic travel Authorization System and fill in the basic form of identification.
  2. You must show it on request when  leaving Portugal and at US border control.
  3. If the system replies “Travel not authorized”, you will have to apply for a non-immigrant visa at the nearest US consulate or the US Embassy in Lisbon.
  4. If the system replies "Pending authorization" you must return to the website 72 hours later to get the final answer.
  5. These authorizations are valid for 2 years from the date they are obtained and for multiple entries into the USA. If your passport expires, you must request a new authorization.

More information at:

United States Embassy in Portugal-visas for the U.S.

Government of the U.S. visa waiver program

Visa waiver program

Passengers traveling to the United States for tourism or business purposes for 90 days or less do not need a visa if they are nationals of one of the following countries:
  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Holland
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania<
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Korea
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom*

*British citizens only without permanent residence restrictions in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

For more information on Visa Exemption visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

Simplify your trip to the US with the Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app

Mobile Passport Control (MPC)

MPC is a free app that allows U.S. and Canadian citizens to use their cell phones to complete the information typically required on a customs declaration form and expedite entry into the United States. Main benefits:

  • Avoids long queues at immigration counters;
  • Reduces waiting times during passport checks;
  • Provides priority access at some points of entry;
  • Offers real-time updates on immigration queue waiting times.

Find out more

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Electronic passports

Learn here how to use electronic passports and avoid queues.

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Medical assistance

TAP offers appropriate solutions for cases in which passengers require medical assistance.

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Check-in Times

Browse the check-in times of the various airports.

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