Ask The US Embassy

Jamaicans not eligible to apply under the Diversity Visa Programme

Q. I received an e-mail recently asking me to make a payment and apply to the embassy under the Diversity Visa Programme. Is this a legitimate programme, and how do I apply? A. Thanks for your query about the Diversity Visa Programme. I must, however, inform you that the Department of State, Office ... Read More

Ask The US Embassy: My passport is expiring this year
Q: My passport is expiring this year. Do I need to get a new passport before my visa appointment? Al ... Read More

Persons wait to be seen by a consular officer inside the US Embassy in Kingston.                                What happens once I enter the US embassy for a visa?
Q. I have a visa appointment for next Tuesday at 10:00 am. When should I arrive and what actually ha ... Read More

Applying for a study visa
Q : I applied to my dream school in the United States and I got in! Now I need to get my visa; how d ... Read More

Legal protection for farm workers working in the US

Wednesday, February 10, 2016    

Q: I travel on the farm work programme every year and I know that this year I will need to go to the United States Embassy in Kingston to apply for an H-2A visa before I can travel. Assuming all goes well, I would then be a foreigner living and working in the United States. As such, I wonder if there are laws in place to protect my rights there even though I am not a citizen or resident. If so, what are they? A. Good question! The United States Government is committed to combating human traff ... Read More

New farm worker rule not only for Jamaicans

Wednesday, February 03, 2016    

The visa will address border security issues, a major concern of the United States.

Q. Why is the United States changing the rule for Jamaican farm workers travelling to the US this year and requiring them to get a visa? Is Jamaica being singled out for this new treatment? A: Not at all. The rule change applies to any nationality previously exempt from the visa requirement. They are citizens of British, French, or Netherlands territory in the Caribbean and Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. In fact, the Department of State changed this rule in order to sta ... Read More

Renewing a child’s US passport requires parental consent

Wednesday, January 06, 2016    

Q: How do I renew my child’s United States passport? Do both parents need to be present at the interview? A: With the dawn of the new year, it is a great time to clean out your to-do list, including renewing passports that might expire in 2016. Applying for your child’s US passport is a simple process that requires the appropriate documentation along with the consent of both parents for children under the age of sixteen. A DS-11 passport application form needs to be submitted at ... Read More

Business travel to the US

Wednesday, November 11, 2015    

travel to
the US

Q. I currently have a B-1/B-2 visa that I have used for tourist travel on several occasions. Now I need to travel for a short business trip. Do I need to apply for a different visa? Can you clarify the rules surrounding business travel to the United States? A: Thank you for your interest in conducting business in the United States! We want to make your business travel and investment in the United States as easy as possible. To answer your question, the vast majority of business travel is poss ... Read More

Getting ready to study in the US

Wednesday, November 04, 2015    

Local students arrive at Hillel, St Andrew, for a college fair featuring institutions from the United
States, last month. (PHOTO: BRYAN CUMMINGS)

QHow early may I arrive in the United States before I begin my studies? Am I allowed to travel on my B1/B2 visa if I will be studying on an F-1 visa? A: When you come to the United States on your F-1 student visa for the first time, you may not arrive earlier than 30 days before you begin your studies. So if you want to arrive in the United States earlier than that (for vacation or shopping or visiting relatives) you will have to apply and qualify for a separate visitor visa (B1/B2) in addition ... Read More

How can I work in the US?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015    

How can I work in the US?

Q. I want to work in the United States, but of course I know you can't do that on a regular visitor's visa. My friend did go up last year and was allowed to work legally for several months. How can I work in the US? A. This is a timely question as the season for temporary worker visas is coming up! First, a bit of background: Unlike a regular visitor's visa, the temporary worker visa permits travellers to work in the United States. This limited working visa allows people to travel to the ... Read More

You are better off being clear and honest about your life situation, travel plans

Wednesday, September 16, 2015    

You are better off
being clear and
honest about your life
situation, travel plans.

Q. I am concerned because I have a close family member who migrated to the United States and I heard that having relatives in the United States will make it difficult to qualify for a visitor's visa. Since I also plan to visit friends and distant relatives while in the US, is it better to put the immediate relative on my application or is it better to put down my friends and distant relatives? A. It is always best to be open and honest about your purpose of travel. The consular officer who int ... Read More

The best advice about visas is on the US Government's website

Thursday, September 10, 2015    

The best advice about visas is on
the US Government’s website

Q. I have been reading advice posted online about going to the US Embassy for a visa. There are many personal stories that reassure me about my interview, but it can be confusing because often the advice one person posts conflicts with another person's advice. How do I know what to believe? What websites can I trust? A. You are wise to question what you read online. The best advice about online advice is "no need to worry". If you want the best information, go to the source and get your facts a ... Read More

Can I add my child to my immigrant visa petition?

Wednesday, July 08, 2015    

Q: My husband filed a petition for me to immigrate back in 2013. I have not had my interview yet and recently had a baby. Can I add the baby to my filing? A: Congratulations on the birth of your child! The answer to your question is "it depends". There are two groups of family-based immigrant visa categories -- IR and F. IR stands for immediate relative and these cases are filed by US citizens on behalf of their spouses, children under 21 and their parents. The F visa category is for family p ... Read More

Becoming a US citizen has benefits

Wednesday, March 04, 2015    

Naturalisation may
hold more privileges
and protections than
holding a green card.

Q: I've been a green card holder for the past several years and I think I now have the option to become a United States Citizen. What are the differences? Should I stay in my status as a permanent resident, or should I become a citizen? A: We're glad to hear that you are considering US citizenship. The United States has a long history of welcoming immigrants from all parts of the world. America values the contributions of immigrants who continue to enrich our country and preserve its legacy as ... Read More



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