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Things to take to your US immigrant visa interview

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Q: I’m expecting to interview at the US Embassy for my immigrant visa soon. What should I bring to my interview?

 

A: Congratulations! You are nearing the end of the immigrant visa process. At the interview, your immigration petition, visa application and supporting information will be reviewed for compliance with immigration laws, verification of the facts and potential visa ineligibilities.

While your case file already contains extensive documentation, we do require you to bring several additional documents to your interview appointment. Without these final submissions, your case will be delayed until we receive them. This can make the difference between receiving your visa a week or two after the interview and delays of additional weeks or months. If you ensure that you have everything you need prior to the interview, you will enjoy a much quicker and smoother process.

When you are notified that it is time for you to interview at the embassy, you will receive a complete list of instructions. Here are some of the items you will need to bring to your interview – you may print the list and check them off as you obtain them:

1. Birth and marriage certificates and other civil documents: Bring the original and at least one good quality copy of your birth certificate and each of your civil documents that are relevant to your case (marriage and death certificates, divorce decrees, etc). If, for example, the person who filed for you (your “petitioner”) is your child, you need to bring both yours and your child’s birth certificates. If your child changed his/her name through marriage, the consular officer will need to see your child’s marriage certificate.

In Jamaica, the Registrar General’s Department generates certified copies of civil documents on forms slightly longer than standard letter-size paper. Those documents bear serial numbers at the very top and bottom. This means that the copy size must be reduced to 92 per cent to avoid cutting off the serial numbers. Copies missing serial numbers cannot be accepted.

2. Name-change documents: If you or your petitioner changed your names, you must bring an original deed poll. If your name changed through marriage or divorce, bring your marriage certificate or divorce decree with you.

3. Passport and passport photos: Bring the passport and four colour passport-size photographs of each person applying for a visa. Please review our online specifications for the photos to ensure that they meet those requirements or your case will be suspended until you provide compliant photographs.

4. Other photos: Bring any photographic evidence that would help you demonstrate to the consular officer the authenticity of your relationship with the petitioner, such as wedding photos. Photographs of life events like these can be helpful. You cannot bring your phone into the embassy, so please print out any photos beforehand and bring them to your appointment.

If your petitioner is your spouse, it is often helpful to provide the consular officer with chat records between you and the petitioner. They can be downloaded from applications like WhatsApp, Facebook and Messenger.

5. Police certificates: These are required for all applicants 16 years of age and over.

Here are the steps for residents of Jamaica to obtain a police certificate:

Step 1: Visit any Inland Revenue Department offices (tax office) – to pay the fee for your police certificate. The purchase receipt must be in the name of the applicant.

Step 2: Submit your application to the Criminal Records Office or if you are in St James or St Mary, the police station.

When applying the following documents must be presented:

• Purchase receipt;

• Taxpayer Registration Number;

• Two (2) passport-size photographs;

• A valid passport.

Applicants who have lived in any other country for more than a year must obtain police certificates from those jurisdictions.

6. Affidavits of support (I-864): Please bring copies of the appropriate affidavits of support from your petitioner and joint sponsor (if applicable), along with their tax returns and W-2’s (wage statements) and/or their tax-return transcripts. Joint sponsors also need to provide copies of documents showing that they legally reside in the US, such as a copy of a naturalisation certificate, US birth certificate, or permanent resident card. Generally speaking, a US driver’s licence is insufficient to confirm immigration or citizenship status.

7. Petitioners: Your Petitioner may accompany you to your interview and is encouraged to do so when a marital or fiancé(e) relationship forms the basis for the petition.

8. Your honesty: All applicants will be placed under oath and must answer the consular officer’s questions clearly and honestly. If you do not answer the consular officer’s questions truthfully and completely, you may be found permanently ineligible for both immigrant and non-immigrant visas.

In addition to the items listed above, immigrant visa applicants, regardless of age, require a medical examination prior to the issuance of an immigrant visa. In Jamaica, there is only one facility accredited by the US Embassy to perform this exam: Andrews Memorial Hospital in Kingston.

Results from medical examinations performed by other physicians will not be accepted. It is your responsibility to schedule a medical exam at the hospital using the telephone numbers provided in your appointment letter. We strongly urge you to call the hospital to make your appointment immediately after you register your appointment for your visa interview online in order for the results of the exam to reach the embassy in time for your interview.

In order for the doctor to complete the medical form during the exam you will need to bring your visa-interview appointment letter, your passport, four passport-size colour photographs taken recently (these are in addition to the ones you will bring to your visa interview), reading glasses (if used), a copy of your immunisation records, and all medication containers and/or most recent prescriptions. The doctor will complete the medical form and send it directly to the US Embassy.

In general, it’s a good idea to bring as much information as possible to the visa interview. Having photos, original civil documents, and documentation, if relevant, of property titles, life insurance, tax, or other financial activities on hand will make the process faster and easier.

Avoid unnecessary delays – follow instructions and come prepared with everything you need!

 

You can find more information about how to travel to the US on our website, www.kingston.usembassy.gov Keep on top of embassy news on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/US-Embassy-Jamaica and by following @USEmbassyJA on Twitter. We also answer general visa questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages. For safety and security reasons, the US Embassy asks that all individuals arrive at the embassy no more than 15 minutes before their designated appointment time.

 

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This Day in History — November 13

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This Day in History — November 13

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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Today is the 317th day of 2019. There are 48 days left in the year.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT

1789: American inventor Benjamin Franklin writes a letter to a friend in which he says, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

 

OTHER EVENTS

1511: Britain’s King Henry VIII joins Holy League and enters European politics.

1553: Lady Jane Grey goes on trial for treason in England. She had been queen of England for nine days.

1832: The first streetcar — a horse-drawn vehicle called the John Mason — goes into operation in New York City.

1881: Charles J Guiteau goes on trial for assassinating US President James A Garfield.

1913: Greece and Turkey sign peace treaty.

1918: Republic of Austria is proclaimed; Pro-independence Wafd party is formed in Egypt.

1935: US President Franklin Roosevelt proclaims the Philippine Islands a free commonwealth.

1940: German planes destroy most of the English town of Coventry during World War II.

1941: Britain’s finest aircraft carrier, the Ark Royal, is torpedoed by a German submarine and sinks off Strait of Gibraltar the next day.

1942: British forces retake Tobruk, Libya, in World War II.

1945: Sukarno becomes president of Indonesia.

1950: Tibet appeals to the United Nations against Chinese aggression.

1961: Congo Government asks United Nations to assist in restoring law and order in Katanga Province.

1968: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Zulkifar Ali Bhutto is arrested on charges of inciting student demonstrations against the Government of President Mohammed Ayub Khan.

1970: Hafez Assad seizes power in a bloodless coup in Syria.

1974: Yasser Arafat, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, tells United Nations General Assembly that the organisation’s goal is a Palestinian State that would include Muslims, Christians and Jews.

1975: World Health Organization announces that Asia is free of smallpox for first time in history.

1985: The Nevado de Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts, sending an avalanche of mud and rock slamming into the town of Armero. About 25,000 people die.

1991: Scottish authorities issue arrest warrants for two Libyan men in connection with 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

1994: Swedish voters approve European Union membership in a referendum.

1995: A bomb rips through a building filled with American and Saudi military personnel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killing six.

1999: Peru signs an agreement with Chile to end a 120-year territorial dispute.

2001: A German court convicts four defendants in the 1986 bombing of a West Berlin discotheque that killed two US soldiers and a Turkish woman. The Libyan secret service was accused of planning the attack.

2006: Voters in South Ossetia overwhelmingly approve a referendum calling for independence from Georgia.

2009: Europe may send 5,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan, Britain’s prime minister says — affirming support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization mission as the Barack Obama Administration nears a decision on increasing American troop levels.

2010: Pro-democracy hero Aung San Suu Kyi walks free after more than seven years under house arrest in Myanmar, and is welcomed by thousands of cheering supporters outside the decaying lakefront villa that had been her prison.

2011: More than 3,000 police and soldiers backed by armoured personnel carriers race into Brazil’s biggest slum before dawn, quickly gaining control of a Rio shanty town ruled for decades by a heavily armed drug gang.

2013: Ultra-traditionalist Roman Catholics in Argentina openly challenge Pope Francis by disrupting one of his favourite events, an interfaith ceremony in the Metropolitan Cathedral meant to promote religious harmony on the anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust.

2014: Details emerge of an agreement between militant leaders from the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda at a meeting in northern Syria to stop fighting each other and work together against common opponents.

 

TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish writer (1850-1894); Oskar Werner, Austrian actor-director (1922-1984); Whoopi Goldberg, US actress (1955- ); Garry Marshall, US director/producer (1934- 2016); Joe Mantegna, US actor (1947- )

— AP

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Children aged 5 to 14 hardest hit by dengue

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MINISTER of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton has disclosed that children between the ages of five and 14 account for the age group with the largest number of suspected and confirmed dengue-related deaths.

The revelation was made during Tufton’s statement to Parliament yesterday, where he stated that as at November 7, there were 61 suspected/confirmed deaths, of which 17 occurred in 2018 and 44 since the start of the year.

The minister noted, too, that the highest rate of dengue cases was also among that age group, followed by children one to four years.

As at November 7, the National Surveillance Unit received a total of 12,794 notifications for dengue between January 1, 2018, and November 7, 2019 — 2,235 in 2018 and 10,559 since 2019.

Of the 12,794 notifications for the period 7,179 cases, with dates of onset in the period under review, have been classified as suspected, presumed or confirmed.

The majority of the suspected/presumed/confirmed cases were females, with the burden of the number of cases greatest among the 25 to 59-year-old cohort, followed by the five to 14-year old cohort.

Last week, the Jamaica Observer interviewed a St Catherine woman, whose daughter reportedly died shortly after being infected with what doctors believed to be dengue.

The woman, 30-year-old Simone Lewis, recalled that on October 20 her daughter, eight-year-old Karrisa Downer, began complaining about having a headache.

Lewis said shortly after, Karrisa developed a fever which worsened throughout the night into the following day.

She said the child spent the morning vomiting and complained regularly about having a stomach ache.

“Mi bring her to the private doctor here in Portmore where we live. Him examine her and seh she have an infection in her throat. So he gave me antibiotics for her, not Cataflam (Diclofenac), something for the fever and something for the pain. So I was giving it to her now, that was the Monday. Couple days later I realise that she not getting better. Mi naah see nuh progress or nothing like that. I give her the medication and she keep bringing it up back,” Lewis explained.

She said, by this time, the child’s appetite had decreased and she had become increasingly weak, sleeping through most of the days.

Frustrated, Lewis said she returned to the doctor with Karrisa on Friday of that week. After an examination, the doctor theorised that Karrisa had contracted the dengue virus.

The mother said a referral was written for the Bustamante Hospital for Children, where the child was admitted hours later.

“Them seh the same thing to. Seh she have the symptoms fi dengue. So them seh them affi confirm it through a blood test, but it was it. So they did it and I was supposed to take it up the lab to confirm it but they said they know it was it,” Lewis stated.

“Once she go in the Friday everything start go downhill, downhill, downhill. It just start get worse. Them seh she even developed pneumonia while she was in the hospital. The Saturday night they realised she wasn’t breathing properly. They did an X-ray and seh fluid in her lungs and that’s why she can’t breathe properly. Early Sunday morning she start vomiting blood and stop breathe. Mi couldn’t manage it. Mi affi come out the room. Mi father was there and come tell mi froth a come out her nose and mouth. Them deh deh about 15 minutes a try get back her heart rate. When them get it back them seh them need her fi go ICU (Intensive Care Unit),” Lewis told the Observer.

She said no space was available in the ICU and so it was suggested that Karrisa be transferred to the University Hospital of the West Indies but it was later communicated that there was also no space available there.

On Sunday, the child was placed in a medically induced coma and was only transferred to the ICU on Monday when space became available.

“So she was still on the machine and she wasn’t making any progress then they said with all of the fluid her lungs got damaged. Then the kidney now stop work. All of this just happen in a short space of time but them seh a suh it work. She never did a pass out nothing, no urine. The following day she just pass off. She end up never make it,” Lewis said, confirming that Karrisa, a Naggo Head Primary School student, died on November 1.

“It’s heartbreaking for me. To sit down a watch your only child in pain and can’t breathe nuh easy. It did just rough. It break mi heart, mi a tell you. It’s hard. I can’t even stay home alone. I think about her so much,” Lewis said.

Yesterday, the minister announced that Cabinet had approved a $1-billion expenditure over three months to combat the spread of the virus.

He said this will see to the establishment of a National Dengue Coordination Committee to include a multisectoral/agency response.

Tufton said the key ministries, agencies and departments that will be called into action include: Ministry of Local Government and Community Development; Social Development Commission; National Solid Waste Management Authority; Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries; and the National Works Agency.

But Opposition spokesman on health Dr Morais Guy, while expressing appreciation for the move, said the announcement was a “little too late”, noting that the minister had “fiddled while Rome burned”.

Guy rapped the minister, arguing that there were too many reported deaths, including those of young children.

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‘New beginning’ for Ja’s faith-based tourism

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‘New beginning’ for Ja’s faith-based tourism

Bartlett says visit of TD Jakes pivotal for country

BY HORACE HINES
Observer staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny — Faith-based tourism in Jamaica got a major boost yesterday with the arrival of 1,800 visitors as part of Bishop TD Jakes’s 2019 Faith and Family Cruise on the MS Nieuw Amsterdam, which called at the Falmouth Cruise Port.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett met the iconic, international clergyman and his entourage at the Falmouth Port, after which they headed for a brunch, hosted by Jamaica Vacations Limited, at Royalton White Sands Resort in Trelawny.
“This truly is a momentous day for Jamaica and for faith-based tourism. Since 2010, this is the largest, single grouping of Christian visitors who have come to Jamaica. Today, 1,800 visitors came from all walks of life, from several countries across the world,” Bartlett noted.
“They came because of one man, who is today the leading Christian leader, arguably, in the world. And Bishop TD Jakes, his presence in Jamaica signals a new beginning for us in a long effort to bring faith-based tourism to a position where we can begin to structure and make something positive of it,” he continued.
The senior pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, who is also a best-selling author and award-winning film-maker, announced that he has already had discussions with Bartlett about collaborating with Jamaica in several ventures.
“Back home I am doing things in real estate development and there is a great deal of synergy — films and television, and so forth — that are possibilities for Jamaica. So we look forward to continuing our dialogue and see what can come out of it,” Jakes said.
He added: “I want to make a special cry out to all of the artistic people, producers, developers…and so on, we stand on the verge of perhaps creating opportunities for your expertise to be used and I look forward to discussing it further. Artistes, ministers, business leaders…executives, we cover the wide range of subjects that I think you would find interesting, not just faith, but faith and business because Jesus says, if you see a man naked he doesn’t need the word, he needs a coat; if he is barefoot, he doesn’t need God bless you, he needs shoes. And so we are talking about practicalising our faith in ways which could have a possible impact, and I believe it’s possible.”
Bartlett disclosed that, among the plans discussed, was the staging of one of the bishop’s signature events, Caribbean Summit, at Montego Bay Convention Centre between late 2020 and early 2021, which he predicted will bring 20,000 visitors to the island.
He argued that with Jakes’ social media following, Jamaica could be positioned as “a place for meetings and for conventions from religious groups”.
“Just a single posting about Jamaica on his page is going to be seen by 16 million people. The invitation, therefore, is huge, and the implications are equally huge for growth and development for our industry to begin with,” Bartlett added.
“But beyond that, we are talking about practical investments. We are talking about investments in hotels, we are talking about investments in real estate…also investments in community development, and The Potter’s House and the community around it represents an opportunity for us to look at what is possible because of modelling, and how we could create such a facility that will enrich our people and give a balance between spiritual values and temporal realities,” the tourism minister said.
For more than 40 years, Bishop Jakes has helped millions of people realise their purpose through his ministry. He has been recognised as “America’s Best Preacher” by the Times Magazine, as well as “one of the nation’s most influential and mesmerising preachers” by the New York Times. In 1996 Jakes founded The Potter’s House, a non-denominational, multicultural church in Dallas, Texas, which has grown to more than 30,000 members.
Jakes expressed his enthusiasm over his one-day visit to the island.
“I want to thank you, Minister [Bartlett], for this hospitality and the prime minister also for bringing us and making this possible for us to engage and have a conversation. We brought the people here because we love Jamaica, we love the Jamaican people, we love the culture, and, yes, we’ll admit, we love the food,” Jakes said.

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