Portuguese American Journal

United States no longer processing immigration visas in Portugal

The Embassy of the United States in Lisbon announced Wednesday that, effective March 1, 2012, the U. S. Embassy in Lisbon and U.S. Consulate General in Ponta Delgada will no longer process immigrant visa (IV) or diversity visa (DV) applications.

According to the announcement, these offices will neither schedule nor conduct IV or DV interviews after March 1, 2012; all immigrant and diversity visa interviews and adjudications for residents of Portugal and France will take place at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France.

The Embassy Lisbon and Consulate Ponta Delgada will continue to process all pending cases in which the interview has already taken place until May 30, 2012. After May 30, all pending immigrant and diversity visa cases will be transferred to Embassy Paris, the announcement said.

The change will only affect the immigrant visa processing. The U.S. Embassy in Lisbon and the U.S. Consulate General in Ponta Delgada will continue to process nonimmigrant visas for business, tourism, education, and other purposes.

The change reflects the relatively low demand for immigrant visa services in Portugal and will consolidate those services in Paris to make more efficient use of U.S. Department of State resources.

According to Portuguese government sources, annual requests for immigrant visas to the United States have decreased to about 150, while annual nonimmigrant visas requests have increased to about 160 thousand.

The U.S. Embassy in Lisbon and the U.S. Consulate General in Ponta Delgada will continue to provide the full range of services to American citizens, including the issuance of U.S. passports, issuance of reports of birth abroad for children born in Portugal to American citizen parents, provision of emergency services to American citizens, performance of notarial services, and assistance in voting by absentee ballot in U.S. elections.

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