New Restrictions for Third-Country National Visa Applicants in Jamaica

A foreign national in the United States who needs to apply for a new U.S. visa “stamp” may wish to do so without the inconvenience of a trip to the person’s home county. Rather, the U.S. embassy in Kingston, Jamaica may seem like an appealing alternative, as it is located relatively close to the United States and offers the added benefit of being a popular vacation site. However, as of October 31, 2014, the policy on eligibility for third country national (TCN) visa applicants in Jamaica is far more restrictive than was previously the case.

No TCN Applications for New Visa Categories

The U.S. embassy in Kingston is now limiting the types of visa applications accepted from TCN applicants. TCNs are persons who, as it relates to the embassy in Kingston, are neither Jamaican citizens nor residents of Jamaica or the Cayman Islands. The most significant change prohibits a TCN from applying for a visa in a particular category for the first time. For instance, if a foreign national has never been issued an H1B visa, s/he would not be eligible to apply for such a visa in Kingston.

More Restrictions on Embassy’s Website

In addition, the following types of TCN applicants are no longer eligible to apply for visas at the embassy in Kingston:

  • Applicants who changed status while in the United States and now wish to obtain a visa in the new status, or who entered the U.S. in one status and now wish to return in a different status
  • Applicants who have been out of status in the United States
  • Applicants who obtained their current visas from somewhere other than their respective countries of legal residence
  • B-1/B-2 visa applicants

Details and additional restrictions are posted on the embassy’s website. Applicants are reminded to check embassy and consular websites for updated information prior to making travel plans.


The option of processing visa applications in Jamaica was quite convenient, and it is unfortunate that the embassy is seeking to restrict access to TCNs. Updates will be posted on MurthyDotCom, if more information becomes available.

Copyright © 2014, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.