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Visa and Passport

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Necessary Documentation for Travelling to the USA

The Department of Homeland Security of the United States of America requires all passengers travelling to/from the United States to have a machine-readable passport or, failing this, a conventional passport with a machine-readable visa. 

What is a Machine-Readable Passport (MRP)?

It is a passport that contains personal information: name, date of birth, nationality and passport number, which can be read optically.

Minors Included in their Parents’ Passport?

New legislation requires each passenger to have his or her own machine-readable passport (MRP), including children. Children who are included in their parents’ passport, i.e. do not have their own passport, must obtain a machine-readable passport.  As with other airline companies, SATA is obliged to exhaustively examine the documentation of all passengers and deny them access to the flight should they fail to comply with this new requirement. Our personnel are all available should you require any assistance.

What is the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?

This program allows citizens from the following countries to travel to the USA without having to obtain a visa beforehand.  Under this program, after 12 January 2009, is mandatory to have an approved electronic travel authorization from ESTA <- more information.

Countries included in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

Andorra*, Australia, Austria, Belgium*, Brunei*, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein*, Luxembourg*, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia*, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
*The citizens of these countries must currently have a Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) in order to travel under the VWP. Anyone who does not possess this new passport must obtain a machine-readable visa before travelling to the USA.

Documentation for Entering the United States

In addition to the already obligatory information appearing on the passport, the passenger’s destination address during his or her stay in the United States (street, city, state, postal code), along with his or her residence information must now also be provided. If the passenger’s destination is a hotel or a cruise ship, he or she must indicate the name of the hotel and its full address. For cruise ships, the name of the ship and/or company, port of departure and postal code must be indicated. This information must be provided when the reservation is made. If you do not have all the necessary information, you may complete it at the airport. This is why we recommend that passengers travelling to the United States be at the airport two hours before departure.

The following persons are exempted from providing their place of destination, but not from providing passport data:

  • American citizens with a fixed place of residence in the United States;
  • Legal residents of the United States;
  • Passengers returning to the United States;
  • Passengers in transit to a third country, with a maximum of 8 hours between connecting flights in the United States.

If you have any questions concerning documentation requirements for travelling to/from the USA, please contact the United States Embassy in your country.
In Portugal you can visit the website portugal.usembassy.gov.
To consult other embassies click here.