Essential Evisa Guide for Portuguese Nationals Transiting Through the USA

Ah, the allure of travel coupled with the thrill of discovering new cultures – it’s no wonder exploring the United States appears on many a bucket list. Whether it’s the vibrant city life of New York, the historical richness of Washington, D.C., or the stunning natural beauty of the Grand Canyon, the US offers something for everyone. For Portuguese travelers transiting through the US to reach another destination, understanding the visa requirements is crucial for a smooth journey. In this context, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) becomes an essential component of your travel planning.

Often, transit passengers overlook the necessary paperwork, assuming a short layover doesn’t require a visa. However, Portuguese citizens, just like other travelers under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), are required to obtain travel authorization – even for a brief transit. There’s good news, though: instead of a visa, you can get an ESTA, which is a simpler, quicker alternative. Let’s delve into what you need to know to ensure compliance with US regulations, making your stopover hassle-free.

The Basics of ESTA for Portuguese Transit Passengers

The ESTA is a mandatory travel authorization for nationals of VWP Countries, including those from Portugal, who intend to enter the United States, whether it’s for transit, tourism, or brief business visits. This system streamlines the process of entering the US by allowing eligible individuals to complete an online application form without visiting a consulate or embassy.

How to Apply for an ESTA as a Portuguese Transit Visitor

The application procedure for an ESTA is notable for its ease and efficiency. If you’re a Portuguese citizen planning to transit through the US, you can secure your travel authorization by following these steps:

  1. Fill out our easy-to-use online application form. The application takes about 10 minutes. Make sure to have your passport handy.
  2. Submit & Pay for your application. We accept all payment types. PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay & Credit Card.
  3. Get your ESTA emailed to you within 72hrs. We’ll email you your approved travel authorisation and that’s it, you’re ready to go!

If you need your ESTA in a hurry, you can choose from our two expedited processing options. Simply select your add-on at checkout.

Understanding the ESTA Transit Visa Requirements for Portuguese Nationals

While the ESTA is not technically a visa, it carries similar weight for entry into the US for Portuguese citizens. The requirements are straightforward:

  • You must have a valid e-passport with an embedded electronic chip.
  • The purpose of your transit should be to reach a destination outside of the US.
  • Your stay in the US must not exceed 90 days.
  • You should not have a visitor’s visa for this travel.

Remember, an approved ESTA does not guarantee entry; this decision rests with the Customs and Border Protection officer at the port of entry.

Validity and Duration

An approved ESTA is valid for two years from the date of authorization, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. During this period, you can make multiple trips to the United States without having to reapply, provided each stay is less than 90 days.

Quick Tips for Portuguese ESTA Applicants

Here are a few pointers to smooth out the application process and your transit through the US:

  • Apply for your ESTA well in advance of your trip, preferably as soon as you plan your travel.
  • Keep a printed or digital copy of your ESTA approval with your travel documents.
  • Ensure that your information is accurate to avoid any issues during the application process or at the border.

Transiting the USA: FAQs

Do I Still Need an ESTA If I’m Only Passing Through the USA?

Yes, all transit passengers from VWP countries, including Portugal, must have an approved ESTA to pass through the US en route to another country.

What If My ESTA Application Is Declined?

Should your ESTA application be denied, you’ll need to apply for a traditional transit visa at a US Embassy or Consulate.

Can I Extend My Stay in the US With an ESTA?

No, the ESTA does not permit extensions. All stays must be under 90 days, and if you wish to stay longer, you must obtain an appropriate visa.


With the ESTA, Portuguese travelers can enjoy seamless transit through the United States. This efficient system not only simplifies your layover but also opens up the opportunity to experience American culture, even if for a short while. For stress-free travel, always be prepared and apply for your ESTA prior to your journey. Should you have further questions or if you’re ready to start your application, you can apply here. A brief stopover in the US doesn’t have to be complicated — with an approved ESTA, you can focus on the excitement of your travels.

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