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Travelling to the USA

See the conditions for travel to and from the USA. See how you can get authorisation 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 which was issued after 2001, you must use the Electronic System for Travel Authorization to apply for an electronic authorisation whenever you travel to the United States of America.

To obtain it just go the website and complete the form. This process must be carried out at least three days prior to travel. However, and to prevent any setbacks, you can request this authorisation before booking the trip.

Since 20 March 2010, airlines that allow passengers to travel to the USA without authorisation are also penalised.

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


  1. Go to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization website and enter the basic identification.
  2. When your travel has been authorised, print the document and keep it with your passport. You must show it on request when leaving Portugal or at US border control.
  3. If the system replies “Travel not authorised”, 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 authorisation" you must return to the website 72 hours later to get the final answer.
  5. These authorisations 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 authorisation.

More information available at:

U.S. Embassy in Portugal - Visas to the USA.

U.S. Government - Visa Waiver Program

Visa waiver programme

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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