Ask The US Embassy

Business travel to the US

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 need to travel for a short business trip. Do I need to apply for a different visa? Can you clarify the rules surrounding business travel to the United States? A: Thank you for your interest in conduc ... 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? 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 ... Read More

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

Can I add my child to my
immigrant visa petition?

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

It’s important to answer all questions truthfully

Wednesday, June 04, 2014    

Answer all questions truthfully

Question: I was arrested when I was very young but the charges were dropped. Question 38 of the visa application form asks if I have ever been arrested or convicted of any offence or crime. Do I have to answer yes to this question, even though the charges were dropped? A: Yes. Even if the charges were dropped and your record was expunged, it is important that you answer the question truthfully. The consular officer can then discuss with you the nature of the offence and whether itaffects your e ... Read More

Here's what you should know about 'Obamacare'

Wednesday, April 09, 2014    

Q: I'm an American citizen living in Jamaica. I have heard about the new health care law in the United States, sometimes called 'Obamacare' or 'The Affordable Care Act'. Does this new law mean that I need to buy an American health insurance policy even if I live here in Jamaica? A: Whether you need to buy American health insurance when you are living in Jamaica is complicated and it is important to make sure you are making the right decision. To answer your question, we'll cover the basics and ... Read More



Should the Government implement a tax to finance the health sector?

View Results »


Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon