Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Country Information > Jamaica International Travel Information
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
Appointments are made by phone or email
U.S. citizens are generally required to present a valid U.S. passport when traveling to Jamaica, as well as proof of anticipated departure from Jamaica. If you are traveling to Jamaica on a cruise, you may use another Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document. However, we strongly recommend you obtain a passport before travel in case an emergency requires you to disembark and return by air. You do not need a visa for tourist travel up to 90 days. All other travelers will need a visa and/or work permit.
Visit the Jamaican Passport, Immigration, & Citizenship Agency of Jamaica or the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington D.C. websites for the most current visa information.
Exit Information: Your departure tax is regularly included in the airfare. You won’t be charged an exit tax on your way out.
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.
Crime: Violent crime, including sexual assault, is a serious problem throughout Jamaica, particularly in Kingston and Montego Bay. Jamaica’s police force is understaffed and has limited resources. Gated resorts are not immune to violent crime.
Sexual Assault: Rape and sexual assault are serious problems throughout Jamaica, including at resorts and hotels. Date rape drugs may be used at private parties and resorts.
If you are victim of a sexual assault, contact the police and the U.S. Embassy in Kingston as soon as possible. In a hotel, management should assist you with these communications.
Victims of sexual assault in Jamaica should not expect the same assistance routinely offered in the United States. Rape kits are not always available, and victims must often ask for medication to avoid STD transmission and reduce the chances of pregnancy. Counseling is unlikely to be offered. Law enforcement shortcomings exist in collection of evidence. Prosecution of rape cases moves very slowly, and victims may need to return to Jamaica during the legal process.
Drugs: Any attempt to take marijuana in or out of the country may lead to a serious charge of drug trafficking. Possession of two ounces or less of marijuana may result in a fine. Possession of larger amounts of marijuana, or possession of other illegal drugs, may lead to arrest and prosecution. Foreign visitors to Jamaica may use marijuana for medicinal purposes with a prescription from a physician in the United States or a local doctor.
International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information. Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Jamaica. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or by unsolicited emails and letters. Scammers almost always pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help. Common scams include:
The most notorious Jamaican scam is the Lotto Scam, a kind of advance-fee fraud. The victim is led to believe that a Jamaican lottery prize will be released after the payment of “fees.”
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes to the local police at 119 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +1 (876) 702-6000.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. 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.
Firearms: Jamaica strictly forbids importing or possessing firearms in Jamaica without prior authorization of the Firearms Licensing Authority of Jamaica. A U.S. concealed carry permit does not allow you to bring a firearm or ammunition into Jamaica.
If you bring a firearm, firearm components, firearm parts, or ammunition (even a single bullet) to Jamaica, you will be arrested and prosecuted. This will result in a large fine and/or incarceration for an unspecified amount of time. Bringing mace, pepper spray, or knives into Jamaica without authorization will also lead to arrest.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: 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 a law that specifically prohibits even consensual same-sex sexual conduct between men.
Negative attitudes towards LGBTI issues are widespread in Jamaica. There are continued reports of serious discrimination and abuse against LGBTI individuals, including:
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: While some of the country’s all-inclusive resorts meet U.S. standards, most transportation, entertainment, and medical facilities are not designed to accommodate travelers with disabilities.
Women Travelers: See the above Safety and Security section for information on sexual assault in Jamaica. See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Hurricanes: Hurricane season generally runs from June through November, although hurricanes can occur outside that period. Monitor weather reports closely.
Quality medical care is limited in Jamaica and public health facilities do not meet U.S. standards. Private facilities require large up-front payments even in emergencies. Emergency medical services are located only in Kingston and Montego Bay. Smaller public hospitals are located in each parish.
Prescription Drugs: Availability is very limited in outlying parishes. EpiPens are not sold anywhere on the island.
Ambulances and Emergency Care: Ambulance availability and care provision is limited, especially in rural areas. Traffic congestion and road conditions may slow response times.
See our website for information on medical services and air-ambulance companies. Please inform the embassy of medical emergencies.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that 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 supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Government of Jamaica to ensure the medication is legal in Jamaica. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
The following diseases are prevalent:
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Road Conditions and Safety: Jamaicans drive on the left side of the road. Here are some notes for your safety:
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.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Jamaica should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) broadcast warnings.