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There is no quota for visas issued by the embassy

Wednesday, August 27, 2014    

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Q: I heard that there is a quota for visas and the United States Embassy has to refuse and issue a certain amount. If I got denied, do I have a better chance on another day if the quota starts over again?

A: We are very glad you asked this question, as it appears to be a popular misconception of our visa process. It cannot be overstated. NO, there is no quota of visas that have to be refused or issued each day.

You may have got this idea from our averages, which we've made public to try to demystify the visa process. Our research shows that on average, seven out of 10 people who apply for nonimmigrant visas are approved. This statistic includes the visitor's visa as well as other nonimmigrant categories such as visas for crewmen, students, seasonal workers and performers. This average approval rate of around 70 per cent doesn't necessarily happen every day -- variations in the daily approval rate average out to around 70 per cent of our total nonimmigrant applicants over time.

Regardless of what day you apply or what visa you are applying for, the consular officer looks at your personal situation and assesses if you qualify for the visa at this time. There are no approval/refusal rates that need to be met, it is an entirely individual assessment and each case is decided on its own circumstances.

If you've been denied a visa and you believe your situation deserves another look, you are welcome to apply again at any time. In most cases, applicants are refused because they were unable to demonstrate to the consular officer that they were planning on coming back to Jamaica. In order for you to have the best chance, we typically advise that applicants wait to apply again until their circumstances have chang%d. After all, if your situation has been recently assessed, it is unlikely that you will get a different result if you quickly reapply. And even if your circumstances have recently changed -- for example, you get a new job -- often the consular officer would like to see some time elapse after the change to verify that your situation is stable.

In many cases, applicants who were previously denied a visa for having weak ties to Jamaica are able to show stronger ties after a period of time, for example, a student who has now held a job for several years, or a small business owner whose business has grown over time. Each time a person applies, their individual circumstances are evaluated. There is no quota for visas!

You can find more information about how to travel to the US

on our website, www.kingston.usembassy.gov. Keep on top of Embassy news on

%our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/US-Embassy-Jamaica and by following @USEmbassyJA on Twitter. We also answer general visa questions %on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Embassy staff in Kingston will answer questions you may have regarding the US Mission, including consular law, regulations and/or practice. In order to respect privacy, staff will not answer questions about specific visa applications. The embassy employs a visa appointment system, so it is only necessary for visa applicants to arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment.

Send your questions to: editorial@jamaicaobserver.com and we will send them to the embassy.

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