What Documentation Do You Need to Travel to Jamaica?

By Michael Baker
What Documentation, You, Jamaica

The island of Jamaica welcomes millions of visitors from around the world annually, and tourism brings the country more than a billion dollars each year. Entry from many countries requires little more than a passport, while other visitors will need to get visas to meet entry requirements. The rules detailed here do not apply to cruise ship passengers, however. When visitors arrive at and depart from Jamaica on a cruise vessel, they do not need a passport or a visa regardless of their nationality.

U.S. Visitors

United States residents need only a passport and proof of a return-trip ticket to enter Jamaica. The passport must either be unexpired or have expired within a year with the guarantee that the United States will allow reentry. Visitors by sea--including ferry service but not including closed-loop cruises--also must have passports to enter as of June 1, 2009. Jamaica will admit travelers under 18 with an identification card, but a copy of a birth certificate is not accepted as travel documentation. In addition, Jamaica grants entry to foreign nationals who are permanent residents of the United States if they show their green cards, U.S. reentry permits and proof of a return ticket. Stays generally are limited to six months, though that period is at the discretion of the immigration authorities.

Canadian Visitors

Jamaica's documentation requirements for Canadian visitors is similar to its U.S. visitor requirements except that Canadian visitors can gain admittance with proof of citizenship in lieu of a passport. Canadians who are 16 or older are admitted with a birth certificate and any other documents that can establish Canadian nationality. Canadians younger than 16 need a certificate of Canadian citizenship that includes a photograph and an official birth certificate. Foreign nationals living in Canada may enter with a passport and a Canadian immigration record and visa form.

U.K., Europe and Japan

Citizens of both the United Kingdom and any country that is a member of the European Union may enter Jamaica with passports and do not require a visa. In addition, citizens of Japan may enter with a passport, but Jamaica will require a visa for Japanese citizens staying longer than 30 days.

Commonwealths

Residents of commonwealths do not need a visa. These include: Antigua/Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Cyprus, Dominica, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, the Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, the Seychelles, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, South Africa, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent/the Grenadines, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu and Zambia.

Visas

Residents of countries not mentioned in the above sections will need to acquire visas in order to visit Jamaica. They may apply for visas through a Jamaican embassy, consulate or high commission. Visa fees vary from country to country, ranging from free to more than $100.

About the Author

Michael Baker has worked as a full-time journalist since 2002 and currently serves as editor for several travel-industry trade publications in New York. He previously was a business reporter for "The Press of Atlantic City" in New Jersey and "The [Brazoria County] Facts" in Freeport, Texas. Baker holds a Master of Science in journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.