Nonimmigrant Visas

Last updated: November 8, 2021

Most travel to the United States from the Schengen zone (including Portugal) HAS RESUMED.  However, new vaccination requirements, outlined below, have gone into effect.


Starting November 8, 2021, non-vaccinated travelers ARE PROHIBITED from flying to the United States, with few exceptions:

  • U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents
  • Travelers under 18
  • Official and Diplomatic visa holders
  • Crew members
  • Travelers with an exception from the CDC (information on how to request an exception will be available at this link soon)
  • Travelers from countries with low access to vaccines, as designated by the CDC

Only fully vaccinated travelers (defined as those traveling 14 days after the second dose in a two-dose series or 14 days after a single dose in a one-dose series) and inoculated with vaccines approved by the FDA or on WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL) will be permitted to travel, provided they present a negative COVID test conducted within three calendar days of boarding.

For the latest information on vaccine and travel requirements please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:

Find out what is required before traveling to the United States by air:

If you have further questions, please contact your air carrier.


All airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel under the following Testing Requirement (PDF 543 KB).

Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.  Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

Unvaccinated U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within ONE day of travel.

If you need to apply for a visa to travel to the United States, appointments are now available for most visa types at the following link:

Vaccination status does not prevent applicants from applying for and being issued a U.S. visa, if they qualify.

To reduce the sizeable backlog for host country nationals (Portuguese passport holders) and lawful foreign residents of Portugal, we are currently only scheduling interviews for those applicants. When you schedule your interview, you will be asked to confirm that you are either a Portuguese passport holder or a lawful permanent resident of Portugal. 

Please note that non-Portuguese passport holders who appear for a scheduled interview without evidence of lawful residency in Portugal (e.g. residency card or certificate) will not be permitted to interview with a consular officer, and will have to reschedule for another date in 2022.

MRV Fee – Visa Application Processing Fee

The U.S. Embassy Lisbon Consular Section understands that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee, known as the MRV fee, and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment or have seen their visa appointment be canceled due to suspension of non-immigrant visa services due to COVID-19 situation in Portugal.

Please rest assured that the consular section will recognize the extension of the validity of your MRV fee until September 30, 2022 (or one year from date of payment, whichever date comes last) to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule/reschedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of non-immigrant visa services, an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.

Please note that the MRV fee is non-refundable and non-transferable as per the terms and conditions that you agreed to at the time of payment and can only be used in the country where the payment was made.

Return Courier Services by the Local Post Office CTT

Passport and document courier services are no longer available through the visa application website for visa applicants in Portugal.

In order to return your documents, applicants must submit a local post office CTT “Correio Verde” pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope that will be used by the consular section to return your passport to you.

For visa applicants with an in-person visa interview, please visit the following link for detailed instructions:

For visa applicants who qualify to waive their in-person appearance for a visa interview, please visit the following link for detailed instructions:

For more information visit our frequently asked questions section HERE.

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon is responsible for providing visa services to those seeking to enter the United States for a temporary period and for those wishing to take up indefinite or permanent residence in the United States.

Please visit our Global Support Services (GSS) website for complete information on applying for a nonimmigrant U.S. visa, including a directory of nonimmigrant visa categories.


To contact a customer service representative, please visit the GSS Contact Us page for full information or use contact information below:

  • Email: To reach a customer service representative via email, please write to
  • Telephone: Please contact a customer service representative using one of these telephone numbers:
    • Callers in Portugal: +351 308 803 811
    • Callers in the United States: Call 1 703-831-3424.
    • Skype : usvisaportugal

All visitors to the Consular Section are screened by security personnel prior to entry. Electronics are not allowed inside the U.S. Embassy, so please bring hard copies of all documents with you to your interview.

DO NOT bring large backpacks, laptop computers, or large cameras. There is no storage available for large items, and you will be required to store them offsite. You may deposit small tourist cameras and cellular phones with the security guards until your departure.

Only applicants with a scheduled appointment are permitted into the Consular Section. Parents or Guardians of minors, caregivers of disabled applicants, and translators may be allowed to accompany the applicant if needed. Applicants will only be admitted to the Embassy 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment time.

 F-1 and M-1



You must have a student visa to study in the United States. Your course of study and the type of school you plan to attend determine whether you need an F-1 visa or an M-1 visa.

For short periods of recreational study, a Visitor (B) visa may be appropriate

Your school will determine your duration of study and will send you Form I-20. You must bring the original to your visa interview.


Your spouse and/or minor children may accompany you during your studies.

They must apply for an F-2 or M-2 visa.

Derivatives require their own I-20 form, but do not need to pay the SEVIS fee.

Your minor children are permitted to attend school in the United States while accompanying you.


  • You must pay a SEVIS fee before your interview. The SEVIS fee is in addition to the visa application fee.
  • Employment on F or M visa is very restricted. See our website for more information.
  • Students cannot study on the Visa Waiver Program or on a Visitor Visa.
  • There are restrictions on student F-1 visa holders attending public school in the United States. See our website for more information.
  • You may hold more than one valid type of U.S. visa, depending on your purposes of travel.

See our Directory of Visa Categories on to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.