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.
142 Old Hope Road
Jamaica, West Indies
Telephone: +(876) 702-6000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(876) 702-6000
Fax: +(876) 702-6018
U.S. Consular Agent - Montego Bay
Whitter Village, Ironshore
Unit EU-1 (across from Burger King)
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Telephone: +(876) 953-0620
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica: +(876) 702-6000
Fax: +(876) 953-3898
Public Hours are M-F, from 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet for Jamaica for information on U.S. - Jamaica relations.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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For information concerning travel to Jamaica, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Jamaica.
The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA). The report is located here.
On 24 February 2017 Jamaica became a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention). The treaty entered into force for Jamaica on May 1, 2017. The U.S. and Jamaica are not partners under the Hague Abduction Convention nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Jamaica and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.
Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. The government of Jamaica maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law on the Internet at: Child Development Agency and the Ministry of Justice’s site.
Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Jamaica and who can provide legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.
The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction. For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child. The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court. Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information.
Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Jamaica and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.
The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States. Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Jamaica for information and possible assistance.
Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Jamaica are authorized to provide legal advice.
The U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica posts list of attorneys,including those who specialize in family law.
This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.
The Jamaica family court system provides government-sponsored mediation at no cost with all matters relating to divorce and child custody. Mediation services may be available privately through the Dispute Resolution Foundation, for a fee paid for by the parties involved in the dispute.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION FOUNDATION
Peace Centre & Corporate Head Office
5 Camp Road
Kingston 4 Jamaica
Telephone: (876) 906-2456; 908-3657
Fax: (876) 754-9769
This information is provided as a courtesy and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual or organization. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the mediators and/or their organizations.
Jamaica is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).
There are two types of adoptions in Jamaica - Adoption Licenses and Adoption Orders. An Adoption License allows a Jamaican citizen child to be taken to a "scheduled country" (in this case, the United States) and to be adopted in that country (in this case, the United States). Under Jamaican law, U.S. citizens residing in the United States who are not adopting a relative will only qualify for an Adoption License. An Adoption Order signifies the full and final adoption under Jamaican law and is only available to prospective adoptive parents who are Jamaican citizens or who reside in Jamaica. An Order legally replaces an original birth certificate, as it shows date of birth, (new) parentage, and (new) name. The child's Jamaican passport information may also be changed based on the new parentage and name.
U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Jamaica, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.
Additionally, a child must meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States on an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.
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In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, you must also meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Jamaica:
In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, Jamaica has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. In all cases, the CDA will assess the child’s suitability for adoption by conducting visits to the child’s place of residence, as well as interviews and counseling with the child, the birth parents, if applicable, and the prospective adoptive parents.
Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are adoptable. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.
Jamaica’s Adoption Authority
The CDA is the only entity legally authorized to provide adoption services in Jamaica and prospective parents must work with this Jamaican government agency when seeking to adopt a child in Jamaica.
The process for adopting a child from Jamaica generally includes the following steps:
In order to adopt a child from Jamaica, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Jamaica and U.S. immigration law. You must first submit a pre-adoption application with the CDA to be found eligible to adopt in Jamaica. The pre-adoption application asks for detailed information on the prospective adoptive parents, which the CDA uses to assess the parents’ suitability to adopt under Jamaican law.
Prospective adoptive parents residing in the United States must also submit a home study report from an approved home study provider in the United States. The CDA verifies the contents of the prospective adoptive parents’ home study by writing to the home study agency. This verifies home study authorship and obtains the home study agency's agreement to supervise the placement in the future.
Some prospective adoptive parents may choose to use a licensed adoption service provider in the United States to help with the adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. The Department of State provides information on selecting an adoption service provider on its website. However, in Jamaica, the CDA is the only agency legally authorized to provide adoption services.
To contact the CDA, obtain a downloadable pre-adoption application, and view the CDA’s guidance on adoptions in Jamaica, please visit their website.
To meet U.S. immigration requirements, you may also file an I-600A Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be found eligible and suitable to adopt.
Once a prospective adoptive parent is found eligible to adopt from Jamaica, the CDA and the Adoption Board will assist in locating a child suitable for adoption. There are currently eight government child care facilities which the CDA directly manages and supports on behalf of the Government of Jamaica. The CDA also provides oversight and financial assistance to over 40 private homes. The CDA can assist in matching a prospective adoptive parent with a child from either a public or private home.
If the prospective adoptive parent has already identified a child they would like to adopt, the CDA will assess the child’s suitability for adoption. In all cases, the child must be eligible to be adopted according to Jamaica’s requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of orphanunder U.S. immigration law.
The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Jamaica generally includes the following:
The following documents are required to obtain an Adoption Order:
Note: Additional documents may be requested.
After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in Jamaica, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must determine whether the child meets the definition oforphan under U.S. immigration law. You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.
Once your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are several documents your child will require before you can apply for a U.S. immigrant visa to bring your child home to the United States:
If you have received a full Adoption Order from a Jamaican court, you can obtain the actual order on security paper from the Jamaican Register General’s Department (RGD). Once an Adoption Order is issued, the child’s previous birth record is sealed and the Adoption Order issued by RGD replaces the original birth certificate.
If you have been granted an Adoption License, the birth certificate will not be amended to include your child’s new name or your name. Instead, you should obtain from the RGD the child’s original birth certificate, which lists the child’s birth parents. The Adoption License will list the same name as that on the child’s original birth certificate, as will the child’s Jamaican passport.
To obtain a Jamaican birth certificate, prospective adoptive parents apply with the Jamaican Registrar General's Department (RGD). Parents may apply in person at any RGD office in Jamaica or by mail, including from the United States, although this is more expensive. Prices also differ based on whether the applicant can provide the RGD with a birth record number and whether the applicant requests express service. For the full current fee schedule, please visit the RGD website. The main page has general contact and other information. Questions about applying for a birth certificate should be directed to the RGD.
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Jamaica.
The child must appear in person at the Jamaican Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) unless he or she is less than three years old. The cost of applying for a passport is $2700 Jamaican (about $30 USD) for children up to the age of 18, and $4500 Jamaican (about $50 USD) for those over 18. Two passport photos must be presented along with the Adoption Order or License.
If the adoptive parents have received a full Adoption Order, they must appear with the child for the passport application. If the adoptive parents have received an Adoption License, representatives from the CDA will assist in obtaining the child’s passport and, in most cases, will appear with the child for the passport application without the presence of the adoptive parents.
Passports generally take seven business days to be issued, though, for additional fees, passports can be issued in three business days, or the following business day. For additional information, please visit the PICA website.
There are two Passport Offices able to accept applications in Jamaica:
25 Constant Spring Road,
49 Union Street,
U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain your child’s new birth certificate and passport and you have filed Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, you then need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy Jamaica. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child.
Once the U.S. Embassy Jamaica receives the approved Form I-600 from USCIS, the embassy will contact the prospective adoptive parent via phone or email to schedule the immigrant visa interview and provide instructions on obtaining the immigrant visa medical exam. The cost of the immigrant visa medical examination is $55 USD for children under 15 years and $110 USD for applicants 15 years and older, not including the cost of any vaccine the child may need.
Prospective adoptive parents are encouraged to email the embassy with any questions. The email addresses for the Immigrant Visa section are KingstonIV@state.gov and KingstonIVappointment@state.gov. You can also find instructions for applying for an immigrant visa on the U.S. Embassy Jamaica’s website.
Note: After the final interview visa issuance generally takes at least 24 hours, and it will not normally be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview. Please plan your travel accordingly.
For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.
*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.
Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.
Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.
Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Jamaica
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Jamaica, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.
Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.
Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Jamaica, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.
Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
The CDA may, on a case-by-case basis, require the agency that conducted the home study to submit reports to the CDA on a regular basis for up to two years after an Adoption License is issued. Post-adoption reporting is not mandated in cases that receive Adoption Orders.
We strongly urge you to comply with Jamaica’s post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s positive experiences with U.S. citizen parents.
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some places to start your support group search:
Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
Jamaica’s Adoption Authority
Child Development Agency (CDA)
48 Duke Street
Embassy of Jamaica
1520 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
Jamaica also has Consulates and Consulate-Generals in Chicago, Miami, and New York City.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
For questions about filing a Form I-600A or I-600 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
|A-3 1||None||Multiple||24 Months|
|CW-1 11||None||Multiple||12 Months|
|CW-2 11||None||Multiple||12 Months|
|E-1 2||No Treaty||N/A||N/A|
|E-2 2||None||Multiple||60 Months|
|E-2C 12||None||Multiple||24 Months|
|G-5 1||None||Multiple||24 Months|
|H-1B||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|H-1C||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|H-2A||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|H-2B||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|H-2R||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|H-3||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|H-4||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|J-1 4||None||Multiple||60 Months|
|J-2 4||None||Multiple||60 Months|
|O-1||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|O-2||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|O-3||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|P-1||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|P-2||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|P-3||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|P-4||None||Multiple||60 Months 3|
|Q-1 6||None||Multiple||15 Months 3|
|S-5 7||None||One||1 Month|
|S-6 7||None||One||1 Month|
|S-7 7||None||One||1 Month|
|V-2||None||Multiple||120 Months 8|
|V-3||None||Multiple||120 Months 8|
Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.
The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:
An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.
Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.
The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.
Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.
Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.
There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.
Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.
In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).
However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.
Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.
Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.
Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.
Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.
No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.
V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.
Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:
The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.
The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.
The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.
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Available. A certified, computer generated copy of a birth certificate, officially called a Birth Registration Form, may be obtained from any branch of the Registrar General's Department (RGD), which is headquartered in Twickenham Park, Spanish Town. Requests may also be made through the RGD's website. The full name of the subject, the exact date of birth, the name of the father (if it appears on the birth certificate) and the full name of the mother should be furnished. The current format is computer generated and printed on A4 size security paper. Older, handwritten documents, which are typically produced on paper measuring 8 x 6.5 inches or 3 x 14 inches, are no longer accepted at post.
Available. Called a Death Registration Form, it is obtainable in the same manner as birth and marriage certificates.
Available. A certified copy of a marriage certificate, officially called a Marriage Register, may be obtained from the RGD in the same manner as described for the birth certificate. Post only accepts marriage certificates printed on security paper of the type described for a birth certificate. Post no longer accepts the older, handwritten version, which typically appeared on paper measuring 3.5 x 14 inches.
While Jamaican law accords some rights to cohabitants, cohabitation does not create a marital relationship that is valid for purposes of immigration.
Same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in Jamaica.
Available. This document is required by post for all Jamaica-resident immigrant visa applicants over age 18 in categories requiring them to be unmarried. The certificate may be obtained from the RGD in the same manner as described for a birth certificate. The document appears on security paper of a different type than that for the marriage, birth, death and adoption certificates. The security paper for the Certificate of No-Impediment to Marriage is 8.5 x 11 inches in size. Post no longer accepts the older, typed version, which appeared on RGD letterhead.
Available. A true copy of a divorce decree may be obtained from the Registrar of the Supreme Court, Kingston. The name of the petitioner and the name of the respondent should be furnished, as well as the date of the divorce. The form of this document may vary in accordance with the type of decree given. To be valid, it must bear the stamps "Supreme Court of Judicature of Jamaica" and "True Copy."
Available. A certified copy of an Adoption Children Register, which indicates that the child has been adopted pursuant to an Adoption Order issued by a Jamaican court may be obtained from the RGD in the same manner as a birth certificate. An Adoption Order is available from the Family Court or Resident Magistrate's Court where the adoption took place. Post no longer accepts only the Adoption Order to demonstrate adoptions which have already taken place, but requires the Adopted Children Register.
A certified copy of an Adoption License, issued by a Family Court or Resident's Magistrate's Court is available from the court where the adoption took place or from the Child Development Agency, 2-4 King Street, Kingston 5. The Adoption License allows allows adoptive parents to take the prospective adoptive child to a "scheduled country" (the United States is one such scheduled country) for finalization of the adoption. Note that certain close relatives (such as brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and grandparents) need not obtain an Adoption License in order to take the child to a scheduled country for finalization of the adoption.
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Available. Residents of Jamaica should first pay for a police certificate at any Tax Office in Jamaica. They must present a passport, two passport-sized photographs, Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN), and evidence, such as a form letter of instructions to visa applicants, that the Embassy requires them to obtain police certificates for immigration purposes. There is both express and a 21-day service.
After the fee is paid, the applicant should take the receipt and documents to 34 Duke Street in downtown Kingston, where the applicant is fingerprinted. At the end of the specified period, applicants should return to 34 Duke Street to collect the police certificate.
Jamaicans living abroad and former residents of Jamaica may also obtain police certificates, but will need someone in Jamaica to act on their behalf. The applicant should furnish the person applying for the record on their behalf with fingerprints (notarized), two passport size photographs, a copy of the biographic page of their passport and a letter of consent authorizing application. If the applicant has a TRN number, then the fee can be paid at any Tax Office in Jamaica as above. If the applicant does not have a TRN number, then the fee should be paid at the Ministry of National Security, 2 Oxford Rd., Kingston 5. After the fee is paid, the documents are to be taken to 34 Duke Street in downtown Kingston for processing.
The issued certificate measures 11 x 8.5 inches with a heading of "The Jamaican Constabulary Force." A photograph of the applicant is digitally printed on the left-hand side of the document and a hologram is located on the right-hand side of the document.
Available. Persons may obtain copies of the indictment and information related to the individual concerned from the court before which he or she was convicted. Police certificates will reflect any time an individual has spent in prison.
Available. Applicants may obtain copies of their court records from the court where they were sentenced.
Available. Persons who served in the Jamaica Defense Force may obtain a copy of their Military Service Record from the Records Office, Headquarters, Camp Area, Up Park Camp, Kingston 5.
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A Deed Poll provides the legal documentary evidence that a person has changed his or her name. the Island Record Office, a division of RGD, stores Deed Polls. Certified copies may be obtained by application to the RGD. Requests may also be made through the RGD's website. A certified copy of the deed poll includes a red seal. The paper is not security paper and is approximately legal size.
Kingston, Jamaica (Embassy)
142 Old Hope Road
Kingston 6, Jamaica
All visa categories for Jamaica and the Cayman Islands