Jamaicans invest heavily in quest to reach U.S.

Jamaicans paid over $5 billion in non-immigrant visa fees to the United States Government last year, based upon a calculation of data provided by the US Embassy in Kingston.

This comes at a time when newly sworn-in US President Donald J Trump has said that he will review immigration laws in that North American country with a view to clamping down on illegal immigrants, many of whom gain entry by using non-immigrant visas and then overstay their time.

Last year, Counselor for Public Affairs at the US Embassy Joshua Polacheck said that the Embassy had been swamped with an excessive number of applications for non-immigrant visas that was putting a strain on its system.

The US diplomat revealed that the Embassy was processing an “unprecedented number of non-immigrant visas”, and was handling up to 1,000 a day in some instances.

The cost that goes with a non-immigrant visa application is US$160 (about $20,480), meaning that if 1,000 such visas are processed per day, it would amount to $20.5 million daily.

For a week at the same rate, the overall cost would be nearly $102.4 million.

Based upon what Polacheck described as the rapid growth in demand for US visas, which he said had zipped from 85,000 applications in the fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) of 2013, to 185,000 up to the middle of last year, the annual overall spend on trying to procure US non-immigrant visas would jump significantly. Over 52 weeks, the total cost would be $5.3 billion.

That sum does not include fees for student visas, crew members, or temporary workers.

It would represent around one per cent of Jamaica’s annual budget. (Jamaica Observer)

6 Responses to Jamaicans invest heavily in quest to reach U.S.

  1. Jennifer January 22, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Oh dear, seems like every one looking for a “better life”. Mr Trump let the draining begin.

    • Peter January 22, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      Jennifer, What do you mean by “Better Life?” Like England, fifteen adults living in one small room? dodging immigration, get caught and deported, and work as a professional waste matter coordinator? Zebras don’t change their stripes to polka dots. Do you have any idea how much of a difference USD $ 5 BILLION can make to the Jamaican economy? Think of healthy, clean, drug free and productive areas. Better health care, police protection, education and transportation to name a few. Who gets that money? America. and most of them gets turned back or are refused entry at the points of entry while the other half gets deported. Money wasted. If the Jamaican govt. implement a fixed US $200. dollar departure tax per person not visitors, just Jamaicans. Believe me they will find the money just like they find it to pay the US embassy.

      • Jabari January 23, 2017 at 8:38 am

        Note it’s 5 bil JMD = 38 mil USD

  2. Alex Alleyne January 22, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    It will be nice if the Powers that be in Jamaica (central bank) even out this article by publishing the “REMITTANCE” that flow back into the country.

  3. Jennifer January 22, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    @Peter – exactly. this is why i bracketed the better life. THERE IS NONE. Just like there is none in the UK either. The thing is that the world as we know it is multifaceted with things that our little pepe pepe brains cannot understand. It is also sad that we won’t understand until it is too late. Mr Trump said lets drain the dirty water from the swamp – well last time I checked anything dirty was black. But I can assure you the clean water will also be drained.

  4. Kevin January 23, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Yes, many folks go and live in substandard living arrangements in the UK n US but thy save enough and come back to the islands and live in palaces.


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