Common Mistakes Portuguese Travelers Make When Applying for a USA Visa

Travel to the United States is a dream for many, including those hailing from the picturesque lands of Portugal. The sheer diversity of landscapes, culture, and experiences that await in the US is enough to stir excitement in any traveler. Whether it’s the bustling streets of New York City, the sun-kissed beaches of California, or the magical world of Disney in Florida, the US offers countless destinations to explore. But before you dive into the vibrant American tapestry, there’s a crucial process to navigate: obtaining the necessary travel authorization to enter the country.

For Portuguese citizens, this often implies applying for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Our goal at eVisaUS is to ensure your application process is as smooth as possible. Let’s delve into some common US visa application mistakes you should avoid to ensure your plans to the US aren’t hindered by avoidable errors.

Not Checking Eligibility for the VWP

Before proceeding with the ESTA application, you should verify if you’re eligible for the VWP. Portuguese citizens usually qualify, but the criteria extend beyond nationality. To avoid pitfalls, check the latest VWP eligibility, which includes possession of a valid e-passport and the purpose of your visit.

Filling Out Incorrect Details on the Application Form

Entering incorrect information on your application form can lead to delays or even denial. Double-check all personal details, passport information, and travel plans before submission. A common mistake to watch out for is transposing letters or numbers from your passport data. Keep your document on hand while filling out the online application form to prevent this issue.

Waiting Until the Last Minute to Apply

Even though an ESTA can be obtained relatively quickly, it’s wise not to procrastinate. We recommend applying at least 72 hours before your departure, but it’s advantageous to apply as soon as your travel plans are confirmed. Should there be any issues with your application, this will afford you enough time to address them.

Overlooking the Processing Time

While we aim to process your ESTA within 72 hours, you should plan for any contingencies. If you need your ESTA sooner, eVisaUS offers two expedited processing options. Just select the appropriate add-on during checkout and we’ll take care of the rest.

Mistakes with Payment Information

Ensuring your payment details are entered correctly is vital. We accept a variety of payment methods, including PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Credit Cards. Before completing your application, confirm that all payment details are accurate to avoid any processing delays.

Insufficient Knowledge About ESTA Validity and Entries

It’s essential to understand that an ESTA is valid for two years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. Within this period, you’re permitted to visit the US multiple times, with stays of up to 90 days per visit. Misconceptions about the validity and allowed number of entries can lead to travel complications.

Failure to Keep a Record of Your ESTA Number

After your application is approved, you’ll receive your ESTA via email. It’s crucial to keep a record of your ESTA number, as you may need to retrieve your travel authorization status or update your information in the future. A quick tip: print a copy or ensure you have electronic access to your ESTA while traveling.

Assuming ESTA Guarantees Entry

It’s important to remember that while an ESTA is a mandatory pre-approval for travel, it doesn’t guarantee entry into the US. Admissibility is determined by Customs and Border Protection officers upon arrival. Always travel with all required documents and answer questions honestly at the border.


What is the difference between an ESTA and a visa?
An ESTA is an authorization for citizens of VWP countries to travel to the US for tourism, business, or transit, while a visa is required for other purposes and longer stays.

Can I renew my ESTA?
ESTAs cannot be renewed. You must reapply for a new authorization if your ESTA expires or if your passport details change.

What if my ESTA application is denied?
If your ESTA application is denied, you will need to apply for a visa through the US Embassy or Consulate.

Can I apply for an ESTA if I have dual citizenship?
Yes, but you must use your VWP-eligible passport to apply for and enter the US with an ESTA.


Navigating the ESTA application process can be seamless when you’re aware of common mistakes and how to avoid them. By being proactive and informed, you can look forward to a hassle-free journey to the diverse and exciting horizons of the United States. Rest assured that at eVisaUS, we are committed to assisting you every step of the way, ensuring that the start of your American dream is just a few clicks away. For a smooth and compliant application process, apply here.

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