A Jamaican visitor to the United States
must obtain a non-immigrant visa before entering the country. Also, for permanent residence, an immigrant visa has to be issued to the Jamaican citizen before entry into the United States will be granted. Temporary visas include those for study, work and visiting. Visas are obtained by going to the United States embassy in Kingston, and a personal interview must be arranged to determine eligibility. The Kingston embassy also serves as the location for obtaining visas from the Cayman Islands.
Obtain a Jamaican passport, which is a prerequisite for obtaining a visa, by either going to the passport office in Kingston or getting an application online and mailing it along with the fee, two color photographs one of which is certified by a notary public, and an original birth certificate or adoption register. If you were not born in Jamaica, you must show a Certificate of Naturalization. All first-time applicants for Jamaican passports must also show either a Jamaican driver's license, a National Voter's Identification Card, a work permit or other official identification that shows an expiration date.
Print out forms DS-156 and DS-157 and fill out all the questions (see Resources). Sign both forms. You will take this with you to your appointment at the United States embassy.
Pay the visa application fee at any branch of the National Commercial Bank. If you are a foreign resident of Jamaica, you can pay your fee at the United States embassy on the day of your appointment.
Make an appointment with the Consular Section of the United States Embassy at 142 Old Hope Road in Kingston, Jamaica, by calling (876) 621-0252. Visa applicants can call the embassy to make appointments between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday except on Jamaican or United States holidays.
Plan your interview answers ahead of time and be able to explain your travel plans in detail.
Arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. Bring a valid passport, previous expired United State's visas stamped in old passports, one current passport photo and a fee-paid receipt.
Peggy Epstein is a freelance writer specializing in education and parenting. She has authored two books, "Great Ideas for Grandkids" and "Family Writes," and published more than 100 articles for various print and online publications. Epstein is also a former public school teacher with 25 years' experience. She received a Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction from the University of Missouri.