Applying for a UK visa in Jamaica
This page explains how you can apply for a visa to come to the UK if you are currently in Jamaica, Cayman Islands or the Turks and Caicos.
If you currently have temporary permission to stay in Jamaica, Cayman Islands or the Turks and Caicos (for example, as a student or a visitor), you can only apply for some types of UK visa - see 'More information' below.
When to apply
You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK. We strongly advise you not to confirm your travel arrangements until you have received your visa. To find out how long we usually take to process your type of visa, see the Visa processing times page.
Before you apply
Before you apply, you must:
- prepare the supporting documents that you will need;
- be ready to enrol your fingerprints and photograph (known as biometric information) at the British High Commission; and
- be able to pay the visa application fee. The Visa application fees and guides page explains how much your visa application will cost.
If you do not know which supporting documents to provide, the Visa application fees and guides page will help you to find guidance for your visa category.
If you are applying under the points-based system, you should provide all the documents specified in the guidance for your visa category. For each document, you should also provide any information or explanation that may help us to make our decision.
If you are applying for any other type of visa, you should provide documents that:
- support the statements that you make in your visa application; and
- show that the information in your application is true.
We will only consider documents submitted with your application. You cannot submit documents after you have completed your application at the visa application centre, unless our staff ask you for them.
For every document that you provide, you must include the original document and a photocopy. This includes a copy of your passport bio-data page (the page containing your photograph). Please ensure that the photocopies are of good quality and can be read easily. If you do not provide a photocopy of each document, we might not return your original documents to you.
If you do not have a document, or your documents are not written in English or Welsh, or you are not paying for your trip, you can find out what to do under 'More information' below.
How to apply
To apply for a visa, you must:
- complete, submit a visa application form online;
- book an appointment to submit the application and your biometric information at the visa application centre at the British High Commission in Kingston; and
- be ready to enrol your fingerprints and photograph (known as biometric information) at the visa application centre at the British High Commission.
All applications and payments must be made online.
If you are applying from the Turks and Caicos or the Cayman Islands, you can submit your biometric information at our mobile biometric clinic in the Cayman Islands (fee payable) and then send your documents to the visa application centre at the British High Commission in Kingston. You can find more information about this service on the UK Border Agency in the Cayman Islands section.
When applying online, you will need to print out and sign your completed form. If you do not have access to a printer when you apply, you will be able to log in and print out the form later.
As part of your online application, you can use the appointment calendar to book an appointment at a visa application centre.
Your appointment must be no more than 90 days after the date when you completed and submitted your online visa application form.
You must enrol your fingerprints and facial photograph (known as biometric information) when you attend your appointment. You cannot enrol your fingerprints if your fingertips are cut or damaged, or if you have put any form of temporary decoration (such as henna or mehendi) on them. You must wait until the injury has healed or the decoration has faded before making your appointment.
If you are part of a family or group, each member of the family or group must make an individual appointment. For example, if you are a family of 4 with 2 adults and 2 children you must make 4 individual appointments.
You must also provide a valid email address as part of the online application process. If you do not, you will not receive updates on the progress of you application or be told when we have made a decision on your application.
When you have completed your online application, you will receive an email message containing your application number (also known as a 'GWF reference'). Please make a note of this number.
You can find the online application form under 'Do it online' on the right side of this page.
Priority visa service
You can use our priority visa service to have your visa application processed ahead of others. This service is only available to applicants who apply in Jamaica. This service is optional and in addition to your visa application fee it costs:
- USD150 (plus taxes) for a non-settlement priority visa application; and
- USD300 (plus taxes) for a settlement priority visa application.
Your dependents can also apply for this service at the same time as you and they will also have to pay the priority service fee. You must pay for this service online through Worldbridge in Jamaica and include a receipt with your UK visa application.
This service is available for all visa categories for entry to the United Kingdom except EEA family permit and overseas and Commonwealth applications. EEA family permit applications are always given priority, at no extra charge.
Priority service does not imply or guarantee in any way that your visa application will be successful. You must meet the requirements of the UK Immigration Rules. We will not refund the fee for the priority service, or your visa application fee, if we refuse your visa application. We do not guarantee to process your visa within a particular time but will consider it before other applications.
To be eligible for the priority visa service, you must provide evidence that you have travelled to the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand in the past 5 years and complied with the conditions of your visa.
You may experience longer processing times if you have:
- previously been refused a visa for the UK;
- previously been refused permission to enter the UK;
- previously been deported, removed, or otherwise required to leave the UK;
- overstayed a period of permission to stay (known as 'leave to remain' in the UK;
- been refused leave to permission to stay in the UK by the UK Border Agency; or
- any unspent criminal convictions in any country.
You can find out more information about this service at Worldbridge additional services.
The visa application centre
To complete the application process, you must attend your appointment at the visa application centre.
Applying for a UK visa if you have temporary permission to stay
If you have temporary permission to stay (for example, as a visitor) in the country where you are currently living, you cannot apply for most types of UK visa in that country. You can only apply for:
- a visitor visa
- a Tier 5 (Temporary worker - creative and sporting) visa
- an EEA family permit
Your application may be referred back to your country of residence, which may cause delays.
To apply for any other type of UK visa, you must apply under the procedure for your country of residence. You can find this procedure by selecting your country of residence in our country finder .
Will you need to be interviewed?
In most cases, our staff will make a decision based on the documents you submit with your visa application. Therefore it is essential that you submit all relevant documents with your application.
In a small number of cases, you may be asked to attend an interview or take part in a telephone interview. If asked to attend an interview we will offer you the first available interview date.
We will not interview child applicants under 10 years old. If a child is travelling alone, we may interview a responsible adult (such as their parent or guardian). We may interview children aged between 10 and 14, but only in the presence of a responsible adult. Children aged over 14 may be interviewed alone.
It is a serious crime to make false statements, or submit false information or documents, when applying to enter or remain in the UK.
Before you sign your application form, you must ensure that the information on the form is correct and your supporting documents are genuine and unaltered. Our officers in the UK and overseas are highly trained to detect fraud.
If you provide false information, documents or passports, or if you lie or withhold information in support of your application, we will refuse the application and you will face serious consequences. You could:
- be banned from entering the UK for 10 years;
- be removed from the UK, if you are already here;
- be charged with a crime, which could lead to a prison sentence or a fine; and
- receive a permanent record of fraud on the UK Border Agency database.
It is better to explain why you do not have a document than to submit a false document.
Assistance from friends, travel agents, immigration agents or consultants
You may decide to submit your visa application using an independent travel agent, immigration agent or consultant, or with the help of a friend. They can only help you complete the form and advise you which supporting documents to include. They cannot make the application for you or attend the visa application centre.
Remember that the visa application is your application. You are responsible for the information given and any supporting documents. You must check that the information is correct and sign the application.
A genuine agent should only charge you a small and reasonable fee for their services. If an agent makes unrealistic claims or charges high fees for their services, they may be overcharging you or supplying you with false documents and statements.
If you are approached by someone who claims that they can guarantee you success with your application in return for a fee, please inform staff at the visa application centre immediately.
If you do not have a document
You should check that you have all the relevant documents that you want the visa officer to see before you apply for a visa. It is your responsibility to satisfy the visa officer that you qualify for the visa that you have applied for.
If you do not have a document that is listed in the guidance, or that you think might be relevant to your application, you should explain why you do not have it. You must not provide a false document.
If you provide a false document, we will automatically refuse your application, and you could be banned from coming to the UK for 10 years.
If you cannot provide an original supporting document, such as your original birth certificate, you should provide a copy from the organisation that issued the document (known as the 'issuing authority').
If you do not provide original documents, it might be difficult for our officers to assess your application accurately, and your application might be delayed or refused.
If your documents are not in English or Welsh - translated documents
If you send us a document that is not in English or Welsh, it must be accompanied by a full translation that can be independently verified by us. Each translated document must contain:
- confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document;
- the date of the translation;
- the translator's full name and signature; and
- the translator's contact details.
If you do not submit translations of all supporting documents, this may result in your application being delayed or refused.
If you send us a translation of an overseas qualification or award certificate, we will not consider it as a direct translation of the academic level of that award. We will always use UK NARIC to assess the equivalency of overseas qualifications.
If you are not working or paying for your trip
If you are not working, you should include the original financial documents of the person who supports you.
If someone else is paying for your trip, you should explain why they are paying and include their original financial documents.