Ask The US Embassy

New farm worker rule not only for Jamaicans

The visa will address border security issues, a major concern of the United States.

Q. Why is the United States changing the rule for Jamaican farm workers travelling to the US this year and requiring them to get a visa? Is Jamaica being singled out for this new treatment? A: Not at all. The rule change applies to any nationality previously exempt from the visa requirement. They ... Read More

Renewing a child’s US passport requires parental consent
Q: How do I renew my child’s United States passport? Do both parents need to be present at the ... Read More

travel to
the US Business travel to the US
Q. I currently have a B-1/B-2 visa that I have used for tourist travel on several occasions. Now I ... Read More

Local students arrive at Hillel, St Andrew, for a college fair featuring institutions from the United
States, last month. (PHOTO: BRYAN CUMMINGS) Getting ready to study in the US
QHow early may I arrive in the United States before I begin my studies? Am I allowed to travel on my ... Read More

How can I work in the US?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015    

How can I work in the US?

Q. I want to work in the United States, but of course I know you can't do that on a regular visitor's visa. My friend did go up last year and was allowed to work legally for several months. How can I work in the US? A. This is a timely question as the season for temporary worker visas is coming up! First, a bit of background: Unlike a regular visitor's visa, the temporary worker visa permits travellers to work in the United States. This limited working visa allows people to travel to the ... Read More

You are better off being clear and honest about your life situation, travel plans

Wednesday, September 16, 2015    

You are better off
being clear and
honest about your life
situation, travel plans.

Q. I am concerned because I have a close family member who migrated to the United States and I heard that having relatives in the United States will make it difficult to qualify for a visitor's visa. Since I also plan to visit friends and distant relatives while in the US, is it better to put the immediate relative on my application or is it better to put down my friends and distant relatives? A. It is always best to be open and honest about your purpose of travel. The consular officer who int ... Read More

The best advice about visas is on the US Government's website

Thursday, September 10, 2015    

The best advice about visas is on
the US Government’s website

Q. I have been reading advice posted online about going to the US Embassy for a visa. There are many personal stories that reassure me about my interview, but it can be confusing because often the advice one person posts conflicts with another person's advice. How do I know what to believe? What websites can I trust? A. You are wise to question what you read online. The best advice about online advice is "no need to worry". If you want the best information, go to the source and get your facts a ... Read More

Can I add my child to my immigrant visa petition?

Wednesday, July 08, 2015    

Q: My husband filed a petition for me to immigrate back in 2013. I have not had my interview yet and recently had a baby. Can I add the baby to my filing? A: Congratulations on the birth of your child! The answer to your question is "it depends". There are two groups of family-based immigrant visa categories -- IR and F. IR stands for immediate relative and these cases are filed by US citizens on behalf of their spouses, children under 21 and their parents. The F visa category is for family p ... Read More

Becoming a US citizen has benefits

Wednesday, March 04, 2015    

Naturalisation may
hold more privileges
and protections than
holding a green card.

Q: I've been a green card holder for the past several years and I think I now have the option to become a United States Citizen. What are the differences? Should I stay in my status as a permanent resident, or should I become a citizen? A: We're glad to hear that you are considering US citizenship. The United States has a long history of welcoming immigrants from all parts of the world. America values the contributions of immigrants who continue to enrich our country and preserve its legacy as ... Read More

Pending petition doesn't bar you from obtaining a visitor's visa

Wednesday, December 31, 2014    

The immigrant visa process can
involve a lengthy wait, depending
on your visa category.

A: Certainly! The Embassy is committed to facilitating legitimate travel by issuing visas to qualified applicants. Consular officers understand that many Jamaicans have relatives in the United States and frequently travel to visit family there. Some applicants may think that having family members in the US looks bad for their visitor's visa application, but visiting family is common and certainly one of many reasons for legitimate travel. If you have an active immigrant petition awaiting proc ... Read More

A word about our new-look website

Wednesday, September 17, 2014    

Q: I tried to apply for a United States visa and the website looks different. What's new and how should I use it? A: We changed our system for accepting visa appointments as of September 2, 2014. We hope the new programme will be easier for everyone! Our new system starts at this website: The new website works best with Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers. When you access the site for the first time, you will be asked to create a user account. You must have an ... Read More

You are allowed to have multiple visas

Wednesday, July 30, 2014    

The US Embassy in Kingston. (OBSERVER FILE PHOTO)

Q: Can a person hold multiple visas? For example, if one is the holder of a B1/B2 visitor's visa and that person gets married to a US citizen and starts the filing process, would the US Embassy then cancel the visitor's visa during the immigration process? Or if someone has a visitor's visa and then applies for a student visa, will the visitor's visa be cancelled? A: It is possible to hold multiple visas, but it largely depends on the type of visas you are seeking. A person starting the filin ... Read More

No need to be nervous about your interview

Wednesday, June 18, 2014    

The interview itself usually lasts only a few minutes.

Q: I'm being interviewed for a visa for the first time next week. I'm a bit nervous. What can I expect on my interview date? And what time should I appear at the building entrance? A: First of all, there's no need to be nervous! Of the thousands of applicants we see every month, more than 70 per cent qualify for visas. That means only three of every 10 applicants are denied. The time of your arrival is the time you have been assigned by the appointment system. Let us repeat that: The time you ... Read More

No limit on how many times you can apply for a visa, but...

Wednesday, June 11, 2014    


Q: I recently applied for a visa, and was denied. How soon can I reapply? A: The answer depends on why the visa was refused. Only around three in 10 applicants are refused a visa when they apply. In most cases, this is because they were unable to demonstrate to the consular officer that they were planning on coming back to Jamaica. In these cases, it is best to wait until your circumstances have changed before you reapply. There is no limit on how many times an applicant can apply, however, co ... Read More



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