Last updated: August 25, 2021
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Limited crew (C1/D), student (F&M), exchange (J-1), are available for online scheduling by clicking HERE.
All other categories must submit and receive an approved National Interest Exception (NIE) waiver and will then be scheduled on a case-by-case basis.
We are only scheduling appointments for Portuguese citizens and lawful permanent residents of Portugal.
IMPORTANT NIE Waiver Update – Effective immediately, all future National Interest Exception waivers (NIEs) to Presidential Proclamations are valid for 12 months and multiple entries. This change is retroactive for past NIE waivers approved since August 2020. For example, if you were approved for an NIE on August 15, 2020, that approval will remain valid until August 14, 2021). However, please note that the purpose of travel is still limited to the exceptions for support to critical infrastructure and other limited categories. For more information, please visit Travel.State.Gov
For more information on current travel restrictions and U.S. travel, please visit our frequently asked questions section HERE.
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 Lisbon.
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 Visa Services to return your passport to you.
For visa applicants who are applying for an in-person visa interview, please visit the following link for detailed instructions: https://pt.usembassy.gov/visas/return-courier-services-by-the-local-post-office-ctt-in-person-interview/.
For visa applicants who qualify to waive their in-person appearance for a visa interview, please visit the following link for detailed instructions: https://pt.usembassy.gov/visas/return-courier-services-by-the-local-post-office-ctt-interview-waiver/.
Travel to the United States requires COVID-19 Testing for all Passengers
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.
National Interest Exception (NIE) Waiver Requests to Presidential Proclamations
Even travelers with a valid visa or approved ESTA are required to qualify for a National Interest Exception (NIE) waiver before traveling from Portugal to the United States. New visa applicants who are not applying for student (F or M), crew (C1/D), or are exceptions to the Proclamation must first be approved for an NIE waiver prior to being scheduled for an appointment.
To apply for an NIE waiver, travelers must email us at Lisbonwaivers@state.gov with the following subject line “Initial Request for National Interest Exception Waiver.” You will then receive an auto-response with a link, and very specific instructions on next steps.
Read and follow these instructions carefully. Your request will not be considered until all required documents are received. Due to the increased number of requests, NIE waiver requests require up to 20 business days for processing.
Please note that you must be physically present in Portugal at the time of your waiver request and have a valid Portuguese passport or be a foreign national with lawful residency in Portugal in order for your request to be considered.
IMPORTANT NIE Waiver Update – Effective immediately, all future National Interest Exception waivers (NIEs) to Presidential Proclamations are valid for 12 months and multiple entries. This change is retroactive for past NIE waivers approved since August 2020. For example, if you were approved for an NIE on August 15, 2020, that approval will remain valid until August 14, 2021). However, please note that the purpose of travel is still limited to the exceptions for support to critical infrastructure and other limited categories. For more information please visit travel.state.gov.
Applicants with lawful residency will be required to show proof of residency, such as a valid residency card or other document issued by the Government of Portugal.
Again, you are not permitted to apply for an NIE waiver if you are not physically present in Portugal. If you plan to leave the United States to return to Portugal for any reason, you must apply for the NIE waiver only after you are physically present in Portugal.
We strongly encourage all travelers not already excepted from the travel restrictions to remain in the United States. Those who do decide to travel to the Schengen Zone and intend to return to the United States, should be prepared to remain abroad for up to one month, or indefinitely for those who do not qualify for NIE waivers.
NOTE: U.S. Embassy Lisbon does not accept NIE waiver requests for professional sporting events. Professional athletes and their support personnel must contact DHS/CBP directly to apply for an NIE waiver.
Requests for tourism, non-emergency, non-humanitarian personal travel will be denied.
Excepted Travel – Certain travelers, such as spouses of U.S. citizens and parents of documented U.S. citizen minors (under 18 years of age), may qualify for an exception to the current Presidential Proclamation without requesting a waiver.
Please review the full Proclamation at the link below to determine if you or your family member qualifies.
Presidential Proclamation on COVID (Updated on January 26, 2021): https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/presidential-proclamation-coronavirus.html
If you already have a valid travel document, you must work with your airline to determine the documents required (e.g. marriage and/or birth documents) to meet these exceptions and facilitate boarding and travel.
MRV Fee – Visa Application Processing Fee
The U.S. Consulate in Lisbon 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 U.S. Consulate in Lisbon will extend the validity of your MRV fee until September 30, 2022, 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, once we resume visa services.
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.
Please continue to monitor the U.S. Embassy Lisbon website for information on when we will return to routine visa operations.
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.
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 email@example.com.
- 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
Visiting the Embassy or Consulate
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.