Nonimmigrant Visas

As of 16 July, the United States Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal is resuming certain nonimmigrant visa services, including but not limited to student and academic exchange visitors. While the Embassy aims to process cases as soon as practicable, there is likely to be increased wait times for completing such services due to substantial backlogs. The MRV fee is valid and may be used to schedule an interview appointment in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided and email us to request an emergency appointment.

Please note that all requests for tourism and personal travel that is not for an urgent humanitarian purpose will be denied.

Applicants for H1B, H2B, H4, L and certain J categories covered by Presidential Proclamation 10052 should request an appointment only if you have reason to believe you may qualify for one of the exceptions listed in the Proclamation here:

NATIONAL INTEREST EXCEPTIONS FOR CERTAIN TRAVELERS FROM THE SCHENGEN AREA, UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND: Students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 and M-1 visas, do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel. Students from those areas who are traveling on a J-1 may contact the nearest embassy or consulate to initiate an exception request.
For more information visit:

FOR ALL NEW STUDENT VISA APPLICANTS EXCEPT J VISAS: You may apply, pay and schedule your visa interview appointment here. An exception to the Proclamation will be considered at the time of your interview. There is no need to submit a separate exception inquiry for students.

FOR ALL OTHER VISA APPLICANTS: If you believe you meet one of the limited exceptions under the Presidential Proclamations – which may also apply to holders of valid visas, qualified applicants for new visas, or travel under the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) – please answer the questions listed in the EXCEPTION INQUIRY link and email your responses to

PLEASE NOTE: Your EXCEPTION INQUIRY cannot be processed without the information requested.  – This inquiry MUST be attached to your email.
For all J Visa applicants, please attach copies of DS- 2019 and SEVIS. Additional documentation may be required to process your request. If approved, the traveler will be allowed a one-time travel exception to be used within 30 days of approval. If applying for a new visa, the exception request will be processed prior to the application for a new visa. Subsequent travel to the U.S. will require another request.

FOR NEW, NON-STUDENT VISA APPLICANTS: PLEASE DO NOT PAY FOR OR APPLY FOR A VISA UNTIL YOU HAVE RECEIVED APPROVAL OF YOUR REQUEST. All normal visa requirements apply. The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

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

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.