Online applications only for US visa

| 25/02/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman local news, US visa application(CNS): Anyone in the Cayman Islands needing a US visa will first need access to the internet as of Wednesday, 24 March 2010, when the US Embassy in Kingston switches to online only visa applications, doing away with the paper-based forms currently used. However, applicants will still be required to travel to Jamaica for an interview at the Embassy, taking with them a visa application receipt from National Commercial Bank Jamaica and the necessary documents.

On 24 March, use of the new form becomes mandatory and the US Embassy said in a press release that it will no longer accept printed DS-156 nonimmigrant visa applications. Form DS-160, the new electronic form, will be available on the embassy’s website ( beginning Thursday, 4 March, for optional use by applicants. The Embassy is encouraging applicants to begin using the new DS-160 form as soon as it becomes available.

The new DS-160 form, which will replace the current paper-based DS-156 non-immigrant visa application, must be completed and sent online and the information on the application will be electronically transmitted to the U.S. Embassy. The new system is expected to improve efficiency, accuracy, and security for all visa applicants.

Beginning March 24, 2010, non-immigrant visa applicants need only present at their interviews a printed DS-160 confirmation sheet issued at the time of the electronic filing, their passport, and a visa application fee-paid receipt from any National Commercial Bank Jamaica (NCB) branch. The transition to the DS-160 online form will not change any other portion of the current nonimmigrant visa application process. Specifically, the processes for making an appointment and paying the visa application fee will not change and all applicants will still be interviewed by a consular officer to determine their qualifications.

Prospective nonimmigrant visa applicants should visit the embassy’s website for instructions on the complete visa application process.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I have notice for that the people of the cayman Island love to look down on Jamaica, stop I say , one day you all will be running there to live. Mother nature has her way of dealing with us.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes you can get ur US Visa in Honduras.I was married to a honduran for 16 yrs and while we were
    Visiting his family in the capital we decided to get our visa there.back then u didn’t need to make appointment
    U would just show very very early and wait. It was our first visa.

    • swaby says:

      How long ago was that????

      I tried last year and they told me i had to go to Jamaica because i have a Cayman Passport.


  3. Anonymous says:

    While I understand and appreciate that we are too small for a US embassy, I believe that visits to Cayman by their staff to process visa applications could be lucrative for them. Personally, I would pay US$1000 to have it done in Cayman, which is still less than it will cost me to go to Jamaica when all expenses, including lost earnings (I’m self employed) are taken into consideration.

  4. Around & Around We Go..... says:

    "you can always visit another country with a US embassy to get your US visa.  Jamaica isn’t Caymanians only option.  Besides Caymanians are entitled to a British passport, thereby eliminating the need for a US visa on commercial flights"

    Yes you can but could you do the math for the average cost to go to another country? And also having a UK passport does let you travel on private aircraft or air ambulance. And when visiting the USA with this passport you could run in to some hurdles. I have had ppl with this passport wait 3 hrs to get sorted.. And since 911 a boarder control agent can if they want detain you to knowyou flight plans and believe me in the most recent yrs they have been using that right because of all the mix up going on in the world…i am not saying you cat get this when using a US visa but the chance of it happen when you have Actual visa and not some UK passport with a Wavier Program attached is a lot less.. Remember it has been said that a lot of terrorist are using the UK to pass thru to the USA and the news in most recent moth will attests to that..

    So don’t be so quick to say grab a UK passport.. Sure it can come in handy but look be fore you jump.

    This is just my views of it.. Most cost effect way to go about your visa is JAM

    Ticket cost $269.00 round Trip (JAM)

    Jamaica Visa-$80.00-

    Hotel $79 Per night 2 nights stay $158.00

    Cost of food and taxi for the trip $100.00

    Cost without Visa as this varies depending on the Visa being acquired—–CI$686.00


  5. Anonymous says:

    Is there any truth that we can no longer obtain US Visa via the BAHAMAS? And if so, why not? Just wondering. Can CAYMANIANS married to Hondurans obtain their visa in Honduras as there is an embassy there as well.Just weighing my options as I travel to Honduras but not to Jamaica so it would be more feasable for me to renew there.

    • Janet T says:

      Only if you have a  Honduras Passport. Otherwise it will have to be Jamaica.

  6. 2 cents says:

    Anon 12:00 – where have you been hiding? Under a rock?  Cayman is well on its way to having one of the highest crime rates per capita in the caribbean.  Just read the police reports – we are crime-filled.

    I agree that it would be less expensive and more convenient to have an office here but in the absence of one, get over it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I havent heard of one Caymanian who applied for a US visa that did not get one. That tells me something. Although the US EMBASSY is in Jamaica the majority of applicants are refused.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe your are not talking to the enough Caymanains; last year my neighbors of 4 born Caymanians, went to Jamaica and all were denied visa – the agent told them because the husband had recently became redundant they were not sure that the family would return to Cayman if given a renewal at that time. My neighbors also told me that this is notthe first time they have heard of Caymanians getting denied as they knew of a couple that went to the Bahamas and were denied also. I also know of a young Caymanian man that was refused – he was told that it was not in the best interest of the US Govt to grant him a visa at this time, his brother went the following week and got his.  The brother that was denied thinks it is because he went to Cuba 3 times prior to going to the embassy; as the agent pressed him about his trips – which were all medical. He now can’t get a waiver from passport office, because he was denied a visa in Kingston.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I would like to ask my Caymanian folks, who do we really think we are? do we think that everybody should bow down to so?  Why can’t we get it in our thick skull that our size and population limit us from many many things, one of which is having a US Embassy here.  Why when our beloved Queen of England announce her or her family’s many visits to "crime-filled Jamaica" who by the way has been an independant nation since 1962 we have to shut our mouth and wonder to ourselves why is she going there and not here.  For those with smart persons who want an embassy here, tell me what sort of income can the US generate for our population.

  8. A REALIST says:

    Because of ecomonics and strategic positioning you fool. An embassy provides more than simply visa services. Many of those services simply cannot be adequately provided in 100 square miles and for/by 57,000 persons.

    And whether you like it or not Jamaica is a strategic country for many reasons beyond your limited thinking and America didn’t become great by making desisons based on "beloved" feelings.

    The Queen and Pope have both visited that "crime -filled" Jamaica more than your "beloved" Cayman yet Jamaica has been independent while we (yes I am a born Caymanian) are still breastfeeding from her. Seems she would owe us more trips. Some of us and our inflated unjustifiable self worth. Get out and see the world. You’ll be amazed.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You can always visit another country with a US embassy to get your US visa.  Jamaica isn’t Caymanians onlyoption.  Besides Caymanians are entitled to a British passport, thereby eliminating the need for a US visa on commercial flights.

    CNS note: British passport holders still need a visa for charter flights to the US, including air ambulance.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wrong! You have to go to the embassy that is responsible/assigned to the jurisdiction you live in. A lot of people go to the Bahamas to get their US visa, but they have become much more uptight about this and have been saying that they will only re-issue visas and not process first time applicants if you are living in Cayman (hence you have to go to Jamaica).

      Also, you most likely will need a visa if you need to go by air ambulance and you may not want to waste time then going through the red tape when time is of essence.

      • Anonymous says:


        I am Caymanian and I got my US visa in Honduras when I was living there. When my US Visa expired I was living in Canada and got it renewed at the US embassy there. I moved to Bahamas and got it renewed there…So all this talk about getting your US visa only in one place is hogwash. Even the initial application, can anyone convince me that a Caymanian who moves to another country to Hong Kong or India, Australian, Chile or any other country in the world outside of the Caribbean etc, has to really fly to Jamaica to get their initial US visa? I think not. That is impractical. You can get the US visa wherever you feel like. The US can’t deny an individual a US visa because one has decided to move to another country or visit another country and wanted to kill two birds with one stone. The interview is the key. If they think you have intentions to move to the US then you will get denied.  Historically Caymanians have not had intentions to move to the US in droves. If individuals are getting denied now, then maybe times have changed.
        • Anonymous says:

          You got your visa in Honduras when you were living there. You renewed it in Canada when you were living there, then renewed it again in the Bahamas when you were living there. Key words: when you were living there.

          If you are domiciled in the Cayman Islands you are supposed to go to Jamaica, the Bahamas only recently opened up and is getting stricter and only doing renewals now, as the poster above said.

          Cayman is fairly unique because we don’t have our own US embassy, forcing us to travel to another country. Everywhere else you go to the embassy in the country where you live.

          • Anonymous says:

            Back and forth conflicting information…get confirmation from the US embassy yourselves! Once you go online, post your application and make your appointment. You are only denied if the interviewer decides.

        • Anonymous says:

          Please re-read your opening statements -which is self-explanatory; you had legitiamte reasons to be in those countries – you were living there.  Therefore it was not expected of you to fly from were you lived to Jamaica.  For example an Indian living and working in Cayman can visit the Embassy in Kingston for his/her visa; whilst an Indian living in India could not fly to Jamaica just for a visa – as that is out of jurisdiction. 

          We need to exercise common sense – the US Embassy has location throughout the world – however there are set jurisdiction for each location i.e. Bahamas covers the Bahamas (all 700 islands) and the Turks and Caicos; Jamaica has jurisdiction for Cayman.  I know several Cayman islands resident will say they went to Bahamas and got their visas; however that was because Homeland Security was revamping the appointment system in Jamaica and it was impossible to get a visa – that has now change and all US Embassy worldwide use the same appointment system.

          Unless you want to one can go to Jamaica on the early morning flight and get to the embassy for their appointment and return the same night without the need for hotel – passport can be returned to the embassy via DHL. I  am a Caymanian and believe me using the embassy in Kingston is hasslefree, you get better service from you enter the compound until you leave, than what we get at our Immigration Dept locally, those people are very courteous and knowledgeable.  Last year I took my son for his student visa and forgot a document, they assisted me in getting the document faxed from Cayman without any hassle.  My cellphone and camera was left at the gate with someone who charges for safekeeping – I had no worries.  Some of us Caymanians just love to look down on others and their countries.

  10. Around & Around We Go..... says:

    Why is that they can’t open an office on island???

    And they do the process even once a month for a week that way we don’t have to spend so much money just to renew a visa or apply for one. Am sure the Gov could work out something where by they use a space in the Gov building and this is operated by appoint only. This would save and help a lot of ppl that need to renew their Visa or trying to get visa for school or what ever kind of visa they are look about a lot easier. Also this could create one or two jobs as am sure they would need a clerk and other recourses…..

    Just never really seen why we could never get this going.

     I don’t know how this stuff work but I am just asking why not?????


    • Absolutely says:

      Yes!  Everything must be arranged at our convenience at their expense.  Do they not know how important we are in our own minds?

  11. Anonymous says:

    i still cant understand why there is a US embassy in that crime-filled jamaica and not in our beloved island Grand Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      I cant understand why you need a visa to that crime-filled United States of America.

      • Anonymous says:

        Pot calling the kettle black, eh!! LOL The world is crime-filled you fool.

    • Anonymous says:

      That answer is quite simple. 1 Operational cost in Cayman is ludicrous 2. Jamaica is a larger hub for inter-Caribbean flights.