Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.
Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.
Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.
Must be valid at the time of entry and exit.
One page required for a Jamaican entry stamp.
Only for a stay exceeding 90 days.
Generally, all U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport when traveling to Jamaica, as well as proof of anticipated departure from Jamaica. Those traveling to Jamaica on a cruise may use another Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document. However, we strongly recommend visitors obtain a passport before travel in case of an unforeseen emergency that requires a cruise passenger to disembark and return by air. U.S. travelers coming for tourism will not need a visa for travel up to 90 days. All other travelers will need a visa and/or work permit.
Your departure tax is regularly included in the airfare. You won’t be charged an exit tax on your way out.
Up-to-date information on Jamaican visas: Visit the Passport, Immigration, & Citizenship Agency of Jamaica website or the Embassy of Jamaica website.
HIV/AIDS restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Jamaica.
Customs Information: See link on our website, Customs Information page.
CRIME: Violent crime is a serious problem throughout Jamaica, particularly in Kingston and Montego Bay. Violence and shootings occur regularly in certain areas of Kingston and Montego Bay. The Regional Security Office of the U.S. Embassy restricts travel by U.S. government personnel to certain urban areas of Jamaica, including but not limited to:
Notes for your safety:
Sexual Assault: The U.S. Embassy received more than a dozen reports of sexual assaults against American visitors to Jamaica in a twelve-month period. Most of these took place at all-inclusive resorts; most were allegedly perpetrated by resort staff.
Notes for your safety:
Drugs: Marijuana use is widespread in Jamaica. Recent legislation has made its possession a civil offense rather than a criminal one.
Financial Scams: Serious financial scams originate in Jamaica, often targeting U.S. citizens. The State Department and the FBI maintain webpages with details about the extent of the problem – connect to Department of State and the FBI pages for more information.
The most notorious Jamaican scam is referred to as the “Lotto Scam,” sometimes called “Advance Fee Fraud.” The victim is led to believe that a Jamaican lottery prize will be released after payment of “fees.”
Notes for your safety:
If you are being targeted for financial scams, you will need to file a report with your local police department.
General notes for victims of crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault and violent crime should first contact the police and then the U.S. Embassy for assistance.
Report crimes to the local police at 119 (the local equivalent of “911” in the U.S.) and contact the U.S. Embassy at +1-876-702-6000.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and rosecuting the crime. The Embassy can assist you in the following ways:
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
Quality medical care is limited in Jamaica and neither public nor private facilities offer the health standards maintained in the United States. Comprehensive but basic emergency medical services are located only in Kingston and Montego Bay, and smaller public hospitals are located in each parish.
Prescription Drugs: The availability of prescription drugs is very limited in outlying parishes. Epi-Pens are not sold anywhere on the island.
Ambulances and Emergency Care: Ambulance service is limited both in the provision of emergency care and in the availability of vehicles. Ambulance services in the cities can be slow due to traffic congestion and the general state of roads, and ambulance services are rare in rural areas.
Public Health Facilities: Public health facilities do not meet United States standards. They are required by law to provide medical assistance in emergency situations, but specialized tests and treatment are offered only on a fee-for-service basis. Hospitals are not equipped to handle multiple patients with ventilators.
Private Health Facilities: Private hospitals generally appear more modern than public facilities. They are also far more expensive and U.S. citizens have reported that they have been subject to the following practices:
The Embassy’s website contains information on medical services and air-ambulance companies. Please alert the American Citizen Services Unit to such cases by calling (876) 702-6000.
The Embassy cannot and will not pay your medical bills. As noted above, U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We STRONGLY recommend travelers insurance (see our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.
You should carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
The following are health concerns in Jamaica:
Zika Virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
For information on suggested immunizations for Jamaica, please refer to the CDC’s website for travelers to Jamaica.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to Jamaican laws while you are here. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Common reasons for arrest include:
Prison conditions in Jamaica differ greatly from prison conditions in the United States.
Firearms: You are strictly forbidden to import or possess firearms in Jamaica without the prior authorization of the Firearms Licensing Authority of Jamaica.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: Negative attitudes towards LGBTI issues are widespread in Jamaica. Many Jamaicans see homosexuality as contrary to their religious beliefs. Although there is increasing public discourse about LGBTI rights, there are continuous reports of serious human rights abuses against LGBTI individuals, including the following:
Jamaican law contains specific prohibitions on “acts of gross indecency” – generally interpreted as any kind of physical intimacy – between persons of the same sex, in public or in private, and provides punishment of up to 10 years in prison. There is also an “anti-buggery” law that specifically prohibits even consensual same-sex sexual conduct between men.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: While some of the country’s all-inclusive resorts meet U.S. standards, most transportation, entertainment, and even medical facility options are not designed to accommodate visitors who are physically challenged. You may wish to consult websites and blogs that focus on accessible travel for practical information and first-hand accounts of traveling in Jamaica.
Travelers: As noted elsewhere, sexual assaults against female tourists occur with alarming frequency at resorts in Jamaica. See our “Best Practices” on ways to avoid sexual assault in the Safety and Security section of this publication. You should also see the State Department’s travel tips for Women Travelers.
Special Circumstances: You cannot bring fresh fruits, vegetables, or uncooked meats into or out of Jamaica. Such items may be confiscated by customs officials. You may not bring a pet into Jamaica from the United States, regardless of its inoculation history.
Jamaica, like all Caribbean countries, can be affected by hurricanes. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. General information on hurricane preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Road Conditions and Safety: Cars are driven on the left side of the road in Jamaica. Here are some notes for your safety:
Public Transportation: U.S. government personnel are prohibited from using public buses.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Jamaica’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of air carrier operations in Jamaica. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.