Puerto Rico Visa Information
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Who requires a visa?
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands. Visa requirements for entering Puerto Rico are the same as for entering the USA. See Passport/Visa in the USA section for additional information.
Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (introduced 23 January 2007), US citizens returning directly from a US territory do not need to present a passport to re-enter the USA.
Persons intending to take courses of study of less than 18 hours a week may do so with a tourist visa; otherwise a student (either an “M-1” or “F-1” class) visa will be required
There are no passports or visas necessary for United States citizens, which mean that US citizens can travel freely in and out of the island without going through immigration or customs. US citizens only need to have some form of official government issued picture identification to enter Puerto Rico such as a current driver’s license or a photo-identification card issued to non-drivers by a state’s motor vehicles department.
Citizens of other countries have the same requirements as for entering the USA. Potential visitors must first obtain a visa, either a non-immigrant visa for temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. The 90-day “visitor” visa is a non-immigrant visa to enter the United States temporarily. Those planning to travel to Puerto Rico for a different purpose, such as study or temporary work, must apply for specialized visas (either an M-1 or F-1 class). A visa is not a guarantee of entry into Puerto Rico.
Currently, 35 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, as shown below:
Visa Waiver Program – Participating Countries:
Denmark, including Greenland and Faroe Islands
Finland (including Aland Islands)
Netherlands including Aruba and Netherlands Antilles
Norway(including Azores and Madeira)
United Kingdom (full British citizens only)
Note: To qualify for visa-free travel under the Visa Waiver Pilot Program, one must travel on an unexpired passport for holiday, transit or business purposes only and for a stay not exceeding 90 days; hold a return or onward ticket, a completed form I-94W and enter aboard an air or sea carrier participating in the Visa Waiver Pilot Program if entering by air or sea (lists of participating air or sea carriers are available from most travel agents);
All travelers must have individual passports. It is not acceptable (for the visa waiver scheme) for children to be included on a parent’s passport. Passport requirements (for citizens of VWP pre-2008 members only) depend on the date the passport was issued or renewed: Passports issued or renewed before 26 October 2005 must be machine readable. Passports issued or renewed after 26 October 2005 must be machine readable and contain a digitized photograph, or must be biometric passports. Passports issued or renewed after 26 October 2006 must be biometric (citizens of VWP post-2008 members must present a biometric passport).
What documents will be required?
Enforced compliance of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) requirement for VWP travelers is in place. Therefore, VWP travelers who have not obtained approval through ESTA should expect to be denied boarding on any air carrier bound for the United States.
A valid ESTA approval is required for all Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to travel to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a free, automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the VWP. It collects the same information as the paper I-94W form that VWP travelers fill out en route to the United States. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel. An ESTA authorization generally will be valid for up to two years. Authorizations will be valid for multiple entries into the United States. DHS recommends that travelers submit an ESTA application as soon as they begin making travel plans.
2 completed application forms
A passport valid for travel to Puerto Rico, with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay
1 photograph (1in x 1.5in)
Evidence of sufficient funds
Postal or drop-box applications:
(a) Completed visa application form DS-156.
(b) Passport (valid through 6 months after entry).
(c) 1 passport-size colour photo (5×5 cm, head size 2,5 – 3,5 cm, front view, light background, max. 6 months old).
(d) Copy of Embassy’s red paying-in slip.
(e) Supporting documents: DS-158 (male between 16 and 45 also need a DS-157).
(f) Stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Applications through travel agent:
In addition to mentioned above applicants should contact the travel agent for details on paying the visa fee.
Further documentation may be required to substantiate details such as the purpose of visit plus proof of intention to return to country of residence.
(a) For nationals of countries under the Visa Waiver Pilot Program, passports must be valid for at least 90 days from date of entry (except for nationals of Andorra, Brunei, San Marino and Slovenia, who must hold passports valid for 6 months from date of departure).
(b) For all other nationals, passports must be valid for 6 months from date of entry.
Interns: When doing an internship in Puerto Rico, a J1 visa is required. For the application you need the DS-2016 form (former IAP66). Usually the company or the organization arranges that. Male applicants aged 16-45 need to fill in the DS-157 form additionally. All persons who apply for F, J and M Visa have to fill in DS-158 (Information on contact persons and the business background) additional.
How do I apply?
Contact your nearest Puerto Rico Embassy or consulate.
What is the cost of a visa?
Each applicant for a visa must pay a non-refundable US$100 application fee, regardless of whether the visa is denied or issued and regardless of the duration of the visa or entries required.The fee will not fall away should the application be denied.
Nationals of Mexico will not be charged the application fee.
The embassy will provide a paying-in slip.
The fee must be paid in cash at a bank prior to submitting a visa application to the Puerto Rico Embassy.
How long is the visa valid for?
10 years. Some visas are valid for multiple entries.
The length of stay in the Puerto Rico is determined by immigration officials at the time of entry, but is generally 6 months.
When you enter the United States on a student visa, you will usually be admitted for the duration of your student status. That means you may stay as long as you are a full time student, even if the F-1 visa in your passport expires while you are in America. For a student who has completed the course of studies shown on the I-20, and any authorized practical training, the student is allowed the following additional time in Puerto Rico before departure:
F-1 student – An additional 60 days, to prepare for departure from the Puerto Rico or to transfer to another school.
M-1 student – An additional 30 days to depart Puerto Rico (Fixed time period, in total not to exceed one year). The 30 days to prepare for departure is permitted as long as the student maintained a full course of study and maintained status. An M student may receive extensions up to three years for the total program.
The following will be refused entry to Puerto Rico unless a ‘waiver of ineligibility’ has first been obtained:
(a) people afflicted with certain serious communicable diseases;
(b) anyone with a criminal record;
(c) narcotics addicts or abusers and drug traffickers;
(d) anyone who has been deported from or denied admission to Puerto Rico within the previous 5 years.
Embassy contact information:
Please contact the nearest Embassy of Puerto Rico for information on what documentation you may require to enter Puerto Rico.
Disclaimer: The contents of these pages are provided as an information guide only, in good faith. The use of this website is at the viewer/user’s sole risk. While every effort is made in presenting up-to-date and accurate information, no responsibility or liability is accepted by the owners to this website for any errors, omissions, outdated or misleading information on these pages or any site to which these pages connect or are linked.
Source & Copyright: The source of the above visa and immigration information and copyright owner/s is the:
– Gobierno de Puerto Rico – URL: www2.pr.gov
– The U.S. Department of State – URL: www.travel.state.gov
– Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration – URL: www.prfaa.com
The viewer/user of this web page should use the above information as a guideline only, and should always contact the above sources or the user’s own government representatives for the most up-to-date information at that moment in time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.