All visitors are required to be in possession of a national passport or other acceptable travel document establishing nationality and identity, and bearing a photograph. The passport or other travel document must be valid for the period of intended stay in the island.
Visitors are also required (not always, but sometimes) to show evidence of sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay and be in possession of a return or round trip ticket to another country to which they are admissible.
Visa Policy Map
There’s visa-free entrance to Jamaica for many countries, but for some, a visa is required. Please check the PICA website before your travels to make sure if you need a visa or not.
Things you might be asked
The immigration officer will ask you a few questions about your trip and it’s always good to be prepaired for that. Here are the most common questions you might have to answer.
1) Where are you staying?
Especially for backpackers this can be tricky, because you’re not staying in one location, but traveling the island and visiting multiple places. Telling the officer that you’ll be backpacking is fine, but we highly recommend to have your first night(s) booked. Presenting the booking confirmation to the officer can make things a lot smoother when entering the country. If you’ve decided to stay in only one accommodation for your whole vacation, then this won’t be a problem.
2) What’s the purpose of your stay?
Usually it’s vacation. If you’re visiting friends, you might be asked for your friends’ name and address. Make sure to have these information on hand.
When you’re visiting your boyfriend or spouse, be prepaired to go through a lot of questions. We know of one case where a woman was shown photos of Jamaica’s most wanted criminals, while being asked if her spouse is one of them.
3) How long are you staying?
This is where the booking confirmation of your return flight comes to play, which should be within your allowed visa time. In most cases you’ll be asked for your ticket out of the country, wether that’s back home or to another country. Although this doesn’t happen always, we highly recommend you to have one and ready to present to the officer. In the worst case, if you don’t have one, you will have to book one right at the spot.
4) How do you get around the island?
When you’re backpacking, you’re most likely to use route taxis and coaster buses. We got some feedback from female travelers in our community who told us that the officer gave them a hard time, because they said they would travel with route taxis. It’s up to you what you’re telling them, but we heard that saying you’re traveling with JUTA won’t cause any problems.
Don’t wear camouflage when entering the country! We got feedback from a woman in our community who told us that she was forced to change clothes at the airport, just because she was wearing camouflage shorts.
Extending your stay
There are two ways to do this: Either in advance through the Jamaican embassy in your country or while you’re in Jamaica at the Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency in Kingston. The process includes a fee of usually not more than $100.
1) At the Jamaican Embassy in your country
Taking care of the extension of your stay upfront, will safe you time and stress later on. Please get in touch with the Jamaican embassy in your home country to request further information.
2) At the PICA in Kingston
If you plan to request an extension of your stay while in Jamaica, you have to bear in mind that you can’t book your initial return flight for the end of your extended stay. When entering the country, the immigration officer won’t know if you will be granted the visa, therefore he or she wants to see a valid return flight within the visa-free period. This means you will have to change the reservation for your return flight accordingly, after the extension got granted.
You can request an extension of your stay at the Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency (PICA) in Kingston.