(CMR) People applying for a tourist visa to the United States at the Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica, may not get an interview anytime soon as the next available tourist visa appointment is in the fall of 2024.
According to the US Embassy in its Ask the Embassy feature in the Jamaica Observer, the long wait time for appointments is due to the two-year pandemic that disrupted consular operations worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic created global backlogs; however, embassies are prioritizing work and student visas and immigrant visas.
The Embassy said, “It will take some time to address the backlogs and ultimately reduce the wait times for tourist visa appointments. In the meantime, those with emergency travel needs, such as for a critical medical appointment or to attend the funeral of a direct family member, can request an emergency appointment via the online appointment system. A consular manager will review the request to determine if it meets our criteria for an earlier appointment.”
People seeking to renew a tourist visa can do so without attending an in-person interview; however, their visa should have expired within the last four years. The Embassy explained that when applicants register for an appointment, they are prompted to respond to several questions that will determine whether they qualify for the interview waiver process. Those who qualify will be informed to await receipt of an e-mail instructing them on when to submit their passports.
For persons doing new applications or renewals that only require an application and passport to be sent to Kingston, the Jamaica Consulate on island said it can assist individuals in doing the online application.
Due to a large backlog, the Embassy is not accepting immediate submission of passports for renewal cases but hopes to resume intake in the next few months.
The US Embassy in Kingston has been scheduling over one thousand immigrant visa appointments per month since January 2022 to accommodate as many people as possible.