US Embassy still unable to resume routine visa operations
Ask the EmbassyWednesday, March 31, 2021
Q. What is the operational status of the Consular Section at the US Embassy in Kingston?
Like many US embassies and consulates around the world, Embassy Kingston's Consular Section is open, but currently providing significantly lower levels of services to mitigate health risks. The Consular Section understands the importance of our work to Jamaican and US citizens in Jamaica and has strived to continue to provide services over the past year, taking into consideration the situation here in Jamaica. Unfortunately, the many challenges presented by the pandemic mean that we expect to have extended wait times for many of our services for the foreseeable future.
Q. What is the status of the Non-Immigrant Visa Unit, can I get a visiting visa?
Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the United States Embassy in Kingston remains unable to resume routine visa operations. Due to the prioritisation of American Citizen and Immigrant Visa services, the embassy has a significantly reduced capacity to process nonimmigrant visas, and wait times for visa appointments are extensive: currently 12 months. We continue to take emergency appointments for individuals who qualify under very specific conditions and who face the most dire circumstances, for example:
• The documented death, grave/terminal illness or life-threatening accident of immediate relative (parent, direct sibling, spouse or child) in the United States.
• An urgent and thoroughly documented need for life-saving medical treatment by the applicant or their minor child.
There is also good news to share. The Department of State has expanded the eligibility for visa renewal without an interview for people whose visas have expired in the last 48 months and are applying for the same visa class. These individuals are now eligible to renew via interview waiver. The appointment website is designed to make it easy to apply this way and will direct you to apply via interview waiver if you are eligible. That address is: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-jm/niv. Unfortunately, the many challenges presented by the pandemic mean that we expect to have extended wait times for the foreseeable future. Because of this we caution people against paying visa fees for routine appointments that may be later than their planned travel dates.
Q. What about my immigrant visa application, when can I expect to be rescheduled?
The Immigrant Visa (IV) Unit is scheduling a limited number of in-person interviews each day, prioritising mission-critical cases and petitions for the spouses and children of US citizens. As you may have heard, Presidential Proclamation (PP) 10014 was rescinded on February 24, 2021. Embassy Kingston's Immigrant Visa Unit is working to reschedule cancelled appointments, and schedule new appointments as circumstances and resources permit. We will be in touch with applicants with instructions about appointment dates and times. For cases affected by PP 10014 in which the visa interview was completed and we only need additional or updated documents, we will also be in contact to make necessary arrangements.
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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