Q: I heard that the US Embassy is closed. I urgently need to travel to the US. Is it possible to get an emergency appointment?
A: The US Department of State has suspended routine visa and citizenship services worldwide, including here in Jamaica. As a result, the United States Embassy in Kingston has cancelled all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments.
We are doing everything we can to keep our staff and the Jamaican public safe from COVID-19. In some very limited cases, it is still possible to obtain an expedited emergency appointment.
Circumstances that may be considered for expedited appointments at this time include:
a. An immediate relative’s death, grave illness, or life-threatening accident taking place in the United States;
b. Urgent medical treatment for the applicant or their minor child;
c. Urgent need to transit the United States in order to return to an applicant’s home country, when no other itinerary is possible.
Examples of applicants who might have a legitimate need for an expedited appointment at this time include third-country nationals whose only available option to repatriate to their country will be to transit the United States; a J-1 alien physician (medical graduate) whose start date is earlier than the first available visa appointment; H-2 applicants in support of food production in the United States; and seafarers who are working on cargo vessels and whose C1/D will expire before the first available visa appointment.
If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-jm/niv/information/faqs#need_earlier_appt, or contact by e-mail email@example.com, or by phone 1-876-656-8535 or 1-876-630-2040 from Jamaica, or from the US 1-703-988-7005 to request an emergency appointment.
As resources allow, the embassy will continue to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services for applicants. We will resume routine visa services as soon as it is possible to do so, but we cannot provide a specific date at this time.
Any plans to reopen for routine consular services will be made in a manner to ensure that appropriate public health safeguards are in place for our visitors and staff. Please note that if you had an existing appointment, the MRV (machine-readable visa) fee that you paid is valid and may be used for a visa application in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment.
Those wishing to make routine visa appointments should continue to monitor the website for when routine services resume, and book their appointment online at that time. In the meantime, we appreciate everyone’s patience and encourage each of you to join us and do your part to #flattenthecurve!
Keep on top of Embassy news on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/US-Embassy-Jamaica and by following @USEmbassyJA on Twitter. We also answer general visa questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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