Ask The US Embassy

A word about our new-look website

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: https:// ... Read More

The US Embassy in Kingston. (OBSERVER FILE PHOTO) You are allowed to have multiple visas
Q: Can a person hold multiple visas? For example, if one is the holder of a B1/B2 visitor's visa and ... Read More

The interview itself usually lasts only a few minutes.
(OBSERVER FILE PHOTO) No need to be nervous about your interview
Q: I'm being interviewed for a visa for the first time next week. I'm a bit nervous. What can I expe ... Read More

Visa No limit on how many times you can apply for a visa, but...
Q: I recently applied for a visa, and was denied. How soon can I reapply? A: The answer depends on ... 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

Is it possible for a student to get a visa?

Wednesday, April 02, 2014    

The Summer Work and Travel
programme allows students
enrolled in accredited
universities and colleges to
travel to the United States.

Q: I'm currently a student at university and want to travel to visit my aunt in Florida during the semester break. I've heard students often don't get visas because they are not working. Is it possible for a student to get a visa? A: Yes, we approve visas for many students every day. In fact, there are certain visa categories, like the J-1 for summer work and travel, which are primarily used by students. One of the most important factors in adjudicating a visa is determining your ties to Jamaic ... Read More

Be wary of 'visa fixers'

Wednesday, March 05, 2014    

Even if you obtain the visa initially by misrepresenting the facts, the Embassy actively reviews visa issuances for past years, and you may have your visa revoked later.

Q: I've heard of people who say they can increase my odds of getting a visa, for example, by providing me with additional employment documents, or making small changes to my application to make my employment history seem more impressive. Is it okay to use these services? A: Most people who apply for US visas do obtain them. Unfortunately, some individuals believe that by using the services of a "visa fixer" they may improve their chances. In fact, this is almost never the case, and your associa ... Read More

Visa validity

Wednesday, February 26, 2014    

If a visa is valid, it means that you can travel to the US and present yourself to Customs and Border Protection at the port of entry.

Q: Can someone enter the United States of America in February 2014 and spend two weeks if their visitor's visa expires in April 2014?' A: Yes! If your visa is valid on the day that you travel, and your passport is still valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay, you are good to go. So, if you plan to travel on February 28, 2014 and leave March 14, 2014, your visa must be valid at least until February 28th, and your passport must be valid at least until September 14, 2014. A commo ... Read More

Pink MRV receipts not valid after March 12

Wednesday, February 19, 2014    

The United States Embassy in Kingston. (OBSERVER FILE PHOTO)

Q: I filled out a visa application and paid the application fee last year at the National Commercial Bank, but I haven't had time to schedule an appointment yet. Is the receipt still valid, or do I have to pay the fee again?" A: If you paid the Machine Readable Visas (MRV) fee before March 14, 2013 at the National Commercial Bank, you need to schedule an interview before March 12, 2014. After this date, we will no longer be accepting the pink MRV receipts from National Commercial Bank. If you p ... Read More

Reapplying for a visa after deportation

Wednesday, February 12, 2014    

According to the US Embassy, some visa ineligibilities are related to past criminal activity.

Q: I met and fell in love with this Christian man. We eventually got married. He told me that he once lived in the United States, got into some problems and was imprisoned for about two years. He was deported in 1991. However, he refused to tell me the reason he was imprisoned. He said that immigration told him when he was departing the USA that he can reapply in five years time. I travel to the US regularly and would want him to accompany me. Is it possible for him to be granted a visa to re-e ... Read More

Obtaining a Returning Resident Visa

Wednesday, January 22, 2014    

Proof that you have continued to file US tax returns and
maintained economic or social ties to the country can help you
obtain a Returning Resident Visa.

 This is the second of a twopart feature on maintaining your Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status in the United States. IF you did not apply for a re-entry permit before you left the United States, and you have now been away for more than one continuous year, you can apply for a Returning Resident (SB-1) visa. To qualify to receive a returning resident visa, you must provide evidence that you:   • Were lawfully admitted to the US as a permanent resident;   • Departed ... Read More

How do I cancel my dead mom's visa?

Wednesday, January 08, 2014    

A Jamaican passport

Q: My mother recently passed away, and there is a valid United States B1/B2 visitor's visa in her passport. We have contacted Jamaica's Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) to have the passport cancelled. What must I do about her US visa? A: Please accept our condolence on the death of your mother. Taking care of things like cancelling your mother's passport and visa is a huge help in preventing visa and passport fraud, and will keep someone from stealing her identity to travel ... Read More

Travelling while waiting on an immigrant visa

Wednesday, December 04, 2013    

Due to high demand for immigrant visas and limits on the number of immigrant visas that may be
issued each year, most immigrant visa applications take months or even years to be processed.

A: Yes, your mother is allowed to travel abroad while she is awaiting her US immigrant visa. Due to high demand for immigrant visas and limits on the number of immigrant visas that may be issued each year, most immigrant visa applications take months or even years to be processed. Your mother should keep the following information in mind, however, if she chooses to travel. If your mother spends one year or longer in Canada caring for her father, she will have to obtain a Canadian police certifi ... Read More



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