Traveling to the USA
Find out how the visa waiver program works, how to proceed and where you can request exemption.
We warn you that without this authorization (or a visa), you will not be allowed to enter the country.
To comply with the safety requirements established by the United States authorities, from October 26, all TAP passengers traveling to any U.S. destination will be subject to a “safety interview” conducted by the PSP (Portuguese Public Security Police).
Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
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.
- Enter the site of the electronic travel Authorization System and fill in the basic form of identification.
- You must show it on request when leaving Portugal and at US border control.
- 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.
- If the system replies "Pending authorization" you must return to the website 72 hours later to get the final answer.
- 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:
Visa waiver program
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*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.