There is no quota for US visitors' visas

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

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Q: On a recent radio programme, I heard that the US Embassy has quotas on visas for tourists, and that once they run out, there are no more visas until they receive an additional allotment. Is this true?

A: We are very glad you asked this question, as it is a common misconception of our visa process.

There is no quota for visitors' visas to the United States — the type of visa used for tourism, family visits, shopping, and business trips. All applicants who meet the requirements for this category of visa are issued, and the US Embassy in Kingston works hard to provide timely service for all individuals who are applying for these visas. At present, applicants for visitors' visas are able to book interview appointments with no delays.

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. This is an individual assessment, and each case is decided based on its own circumstances. There is no “quota” that figures into the officers' decisions regarding each applicant's qualifications.

If you've been found ineligible for a visa and you believe your situation deserves another look, you are welcome to apply again in the future when your circumstances have changed. In most cases, applicants are refused because they were unable to demonstrate to the consular officer that they have sufficient ties to Jamaica, which is explained on the “green sheet” given to applicants at the conclusion of their interview.

For certain immigrant visa and temporary worker visa categories, there are limits to the number of visas which can be issued each year, but again, each case is evaluated on its own merits. These visa cases only get to the interview stage after a determination has been made that there are adequate available numbers to permit us to issue the visa if the applicant is found to be qualified. Even for immigrant visas, some categories are not subject to any annual numerical limits at all. These include immigrant visas for the spouses, minor children, and parents of US citizens.

In sum, there are no quotas for visitors' visas, but there are limits for certain other types of visas. For more information, please go to www.travel.state.gov!

You can find more information on our website, www.jm.usembassy.gov and the Department of State's travel website www.travel.state.gov. Keep on top of Embassy news on our Facebook page, https:// www.facebook.com/USEmbassyJamaica/ and by following @USEmbassyJA on Twitter. We also answer general visa questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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