Announcement about U. S. Embassy Lisbon and U.S. Consulate General Ponta
Effective March 1, 2012, U. S. Embassy Lisbon and U.S. Consulate General Ponta Delgada will no longer process immigrant visa (IV) or diversity visa (DV) applications. 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.
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.
Embassy Lisbon and Consulate Ponta Delgada will continue to offer some immigration-related services. For more complete information, please visit the Embassy Paris website.
Please note this change only affects immigrant visa processing. The U.S. Embassy in Lisbon and the U.S. Consulate in Ponta Delgada will continue to process nonimmigrant visas for business, tourism, education, and other purposes.
The U.S. Embassy in Lisbon and the U.S. Consulate inGeneral 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.
Below are the answers to frequently asked questions regarding this change.
Q: How many times will I have to travel to Paris to complete my immigrant or diversity visa processing?
A: Most cases will only require one trip to Embassy Paris. This trip will be for the visa interview.
Q: I don’t speak French or English. Will the Embassy provide Portuguese translation?
A: The Embassy in Paris will provide Portuguese-speaking staff to help with the visa interview.
Q: I know I need to visit an approved Panel Physician as part of my immigrant or diversity visa application. Must I visit the physician in Paris?
A: Residents of Portugal may visit the panel physicians located in Portugal. The U.S. Embassy in Paris will accept results from these visits. Residents of France will continue to visit the physicians in France.
Q: I have already interviewed for my immigrant or diversity visa at Embassy Lisbon or Consulate Ponta Delgada, but my visa was not issued because I need to submit additional documents or my case was in administrative processing. What happens to my case now?
A: Embassy Lisbon and Consulate Ponta Delgada will continue processing cases already interviewed at the respective post until May 30, 2012. Cases not completed by May 30 will be transferred to the U.S. Embassy in Paris for completion. If you need to submit additional documents, we recommend you do so as soon as possible as to avoid having your case transferred to Paris. If your case is pending administrative processing, we will make every effort to have the processing completed before May 30.
Q: How do I schedule my appointment for Embassy Paris if I live in Portugal?
A: As part of the standard immigrant visa process, the National Visa Center will schedule your interview appointment upon receiving your immigrant visa application and supporting paperwork. Similarly for diversity visa applicants, the Kentucky Consular Center will schedule your case interview as part of the standard diversity visa process. If you wish to interview for your immigrant or diversity visa at another immigrant visa processing post besides Paris, you may make the request to the National Visa Center or the Kentucky Consular Center, respectively, prior to the time your appointment is scheduled in Paris. You must provide proof that you can process at the requested post.
Q: How will I get my passport and visa back from Embassy Paris after my visa is issued?
A: Passports and documents will be returned to applicants via registered mail. Each applicant is required to provide a Chronopost international envelope (2 kg) for the delivery of his or her visa by mail.
Q: I’d like to apply for a nonimmigrant visa, file an application for returning resident status, obtain a travel letter because I lost my green card, apply for parole into the United States, apply as a follow-to-join refugees or asylee, or renounce my U.S. lawful permanent residence status. Must I travel to Paris for these services?
A: No, these services will continue to be carried out by Embassy Lisbon and Consulate Ponta Delgada.
Q: Whom should I contact if I have questions about how this change affects my case?
A: Applicants who have already interviewed for their immigrant or diversity visa should contact the post at which they interviewed until May 30, 2012, or the Visa Office’s Public Inquiries Division at 202-663-1225. After May 30, all questions should be directed to Embassy Paris at ParisConIV@state.gov. Applicants whose appointments have not yet been scheduled or who are requesting information about applying for an immigrant visa should contact the National Visa Center by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at 603-334-0700.
Applicants whose cases are to be transferred to Paris will be notified by Embassy Lisbon or Consulate Ponta Delgada with more instructions.
After March 1, 2012, all inquiries regarding new cases should be directed to Embassy Paris at ParisConIV@state.gov.
Q: How do I contact the National Visa Center (NVC)?
A: The National Visa Center can be reached by email at email@example.com and by phone at 603-334-0700.
Q: How do I contact the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC)?
A: The Kentucky Consular Center can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at 606-526-7500.
Q: Why is the Department of State making this change to Embassy services?
A: Given the relatively low demand for immigrant visa services in Portugal, we are consolidating services in Paris to make more efficient use of our resources.