Emergency travel, visa and COVID requirements

Emergency travel, visa and COVID requirements

Ask the Embassy

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

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Q: I have an emergency need to travel, but do not have a visa. What should I do?

A: The US Embassy Kingston is currently only providing limited visa services at this time due to COVID-19; however, we do offer emergency/expedited appointments for individuals who qualify under very specific conditions.

The following conditions are being considered for emergency/expedited cases:

• An immediate relative's death, grave illness or life-threatening accident in the United States

• Urgent medical treatment for the applicant or their minor child

Consular visitors are reminded that individuals who have recently entered Jamaica must complete a 14-day home quarantine. Any individual who has not completed this 14-day quarantine requirement will not be allowed into the embassy, and will need to reschedule their appointment.

Q: Is the embassy still processing visa applications that qualify for an interview waiver?

A: Yes. Individuals who were previously issued a full-validity B1/B2 visa, which is either still valid or expired less than 24 months ago, qualify for visa renewal with an interview waiver. Individuals age 80 or over or younger than 14 years may also qualify for a waiver of the interview. Eligibility for an interview waiver will be determined as an applicant goes through the process of scheduling an appointment online. Please note: If after reviewing your case an officer determines that your case requires an interview, your passport will be returned and you will be instructed to schedule an appointment.

Q: I was issued an immigrant visa and it is about to expire, can I travel to the US?

A: Yes, you can enter the US until midnight of the date of expiration on your immigrant visa. We understand that some people are at risk of not being able to travel before the expiration of their immigrant visas due to COVID-19-related concerns. In these circumstances, the embassy will consider requests to reissue visas on a case-by-case basis. If this situation applies to you and your visa has expired, please contact the Immigrant Visa Unit at KingstonIV@state.gov.

Q: Do I need a COVID-19 test to travel to the United States?

A: Yes. As of January 26, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is requiring that all passengers over two years of age present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days. The test requirement is for all travellers, including US citizens and visa holders. Airlines must confirm the negative test result or proof of recent recovery for all passengers prior to boarding. Airlines must deny boarding of passengers who do not provide documentation. Additional information about this requirement can be found on the CDC's website at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

The latest information on our operating status can be found on our website at www.jm.usembassy.gov or by visiting www.travel.state.gov. Keep on top of embassy news on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/USEmbassyJamaica/ and by following @USEmbassyJA on Twitter. We also answer general consular questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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