Jamaicans who overstayed their time in the US because of coronavirus won’t be penalized

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kamina Johnson-Smith

Jamaicans who visited the United States and overstayed their time because of coronavirus travel restrictions will not be penalized. This is according to the United States Immigration Department.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith made the announcement during a virtual town hall meeting with Jamaicans in the United States.

“From the date your visa expires, you are granted an extra six months to stay in the US,” she said.

“If you applied and did not get through with an extension, just keep the proof of that you applied, as you will be flagged in the system so that when you come home and apply again, it won’t be viewed that you overstayed.

You will be noted in the system as someone who tried to comply and the fact that you were out of status due to travel restrictions will not be held against you in your next application,” she said.

The Minister extended her gratitude to Jamaica’s Ambassador to US Audrey Marks and the Embassy and Consulate team for their assistance.

Johnson Smith said there were 9,000 thousand Jamaicans who are registered on the COVID-19 web-site to return home to Jamaica.

She said those who have registered on JAM-COVID19 site and have not received any further responses other than ‘pending’ would shortly be getting updates on their status as the government was “moving to a protocol that allows us to balance our testing with both home quarantine and state quarantine.”

She said those whose flights were cancelled after booking their tickets, shoud be able to do so again in a week. Airlines such as Jet Blue, American, South West and Caribbean Airlines have indicated that they will be ready to resume flights in June.