Puerto Rico Visa Policy

Check the visa policy of Puerto Rico to discover if you need a travel authorization for this archipelago in the Caribbean.

Visa policy for Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico visa policy determines who may enter the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico without a visa and which foreign citizens need a visa to travel to this archipelago in the northeast Caribbean Sea.

As Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, it shares the US visa policy and imposes the same immigration rules and regulations on foreign citizens. As Puerto Ricans have been US citizens since 1917, they are granted freedom of movement between the island and mainland USA.

At present, there are currently 40 nationalities who do not need a visa for Puerto Rico, including citizens of Canada who may enter the archipelago simply by presenting a valid Canadian passport at border checkpoints.

Under the terms of the US visa waiver program, all other visa-exempt nationalities are required to have an approved US ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) visa waiver to travel to Puerto Rico. This electronic travel authorization is available through a simple online application.

An approved ESTA for Puerto Rico allows a stay of 90 days with each entry for tourism, transit, or business purposes, and is valid for a total of 2 years from issue, meaning there is no need to re-apply for every trip to US territories.

To visit Puerto Rico for other purposes or longer periods of stay, visa waiver citizens are required to apply for a Puerto Rican embassy visa from a US diplomatic government office.

Additionally, over 190 nationalities need to apply for a visa from an embassy no matter the intended duration of stay or travel purpose.

At present, there is a Puerto Rican visa ban in place for roughly 5 nationalities worldwide.

Discover further information about the different entry types for Puerto Rico below.

Tourist Visa Policy for Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico immigration policy for tourism currently states that visitors from over 230 countries worldwide need a Puerto Rican tourist visa or travel authorization to enjoy a vacation in the territory regardless of the period of intended stay.

If a foreign national is a passport holder of a country included in the US visa waiver program, then they are required to have an approved ESTA for Puerto Rico to visit for tourism.

To obtain this electronic tourist visa waiver, eligible citizens need to fill in an online form with personal and passport information and basic travel details, which can be completed in a matter of minutes. It is also necessary to answer a few questions related to health and security matters before a Puerto Rican ESTA for tourism can be approved.

Foreign nationalities who are not eligible to submit a tourist ESTA application are required to apply for a visa for Puerto Rico for tourism from the nearest US consulate or embassy.

This process should be initiated well in advance of the intended travel dates, as it may take several weeks for a tourist embassy visa to be processed and approved.

Further information about these different types of visa for Puerto Rico can be found below.

ESTA for Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico immigration requirements according to US visa law state that citizens of approximately 40 countries worldwide are required to have an approved ESTA to visit the country for short stays.

The ESTA was introduced in 2009 for all nationalities included in the US visa waiver program and it is a travel authorization system that allows those who register multiple entries to Puerto Rico, mainland USA, and all incorporated territories of the United States including the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands during its validity.

Once approved, an ESTA for Puerto Rico allows a stay of 90 days within every 180-day period with each entry to US territory, and it is valid for a total of 2 years from the date of issue.

In order to register for a US visa waiver for Puerto Rico, applicants need only complete an electronic form with some personal data, passport information, and basic travel plans. After answering a few health and security questions, uploading supporting documents, and paying a small processing fee, they can then submit their application online.

A Puerto Rico ESTA is usually processed within a few business days and is electronically linked to the traveler’s passport once approved, removing the need to present additional documents upon arrival at US border control.

Check the nationalities eligible for an ESTA for Puerto Rico in the list below.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required

Travel visa restrictions for Puerto Rico identify approximately 190 nationalities who need a visa from an embassy or consulate to visit the territory, no matter the intended duration of stay or the purpose of travel.

This is a mandatory requirement for these foreign citizens regardless of whether they require a tourist visa, business visa, student visa, work visa, transit visa, resident visa, or other visa option.

To obtain an embassy visa for Puerto Rico, it is first necessary to make an appointment at the nearest US government diplomatic office and complete a consular visa application form to bring along to the in-person interview alongside varying supporting documents depending on the visa type required.

At the embassy appointment, it will be necessary for the applicant to supply a consular official with these documents as well as to pay a mandatory visa fee before the request can be processed.

As it may take several weeks for a consular visa to be approved, the traveler is advised to initiate the application protocol well in advance of the intended arrival date in Puerto Rico.

Applicants should note that the stay permitted and total validity of a visa for Puerto Rico from an embassy will vary depending on the selected purpose of their visit.

Find a full list of countries that need an embassy visa for Puerto Rico below.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required: Country list

  • Afghanistan
  • Aland Islands
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • American Samoa
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antarctica
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bonaire
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos Islands
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Curacao
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Guernsey
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jamaica
  • Jersey
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Macau
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Martinique
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • New Caledonia
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norfolk Island
  • North Korea
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palestinian Territory
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Qatar
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Reunion
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sint Maarten
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen
  • Swaziland
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Visa Not Required

At present, the visa laws of Puerto Rico and the US identify up to 10 countries and territories whose citizens are not required to have either a visa or travel authorization in order to visit, the majority of which are neighboring jurisdictions.

This includes nationals of Canada, who are also able to obtain authorization to work in Puerto Rico and the US through a simplified procedure under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

British Overseas Territories citizens of Bermuda also do not need a visa for Puerto Rico for stays up to 180 days under most circumstances.

Citizens of other neighboring jurisdictions, such as the Bahamas, and British Overseas Territories citizens of the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, are also permitted visa-free entry to Puerto Rico under certain conditions.

The majority of these citizens are simply required to present a valid passport at border checkpoints to gain entry to Puerto Rico, although in some circumstances additional supporting documents such as a police certificate indicating no criminal record must also be presented.

Discover the full list of visa-exempt nationalities of Puerto Rico below.

Visa Not Required: Country list

  • Bahamas
  • Bermuda
  • Canada
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Marshall Islands
  • Palau
  • United States
  • United States Virgin Islands

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