Mon | May 22, 2017

Is a return ticket necessary?

Published:Wednesday | September 23, 2015 | 9:00 AM

Q I am an Australian national about to go to Jamaica to conduct research for my master's degree. I have a ticket for my visit, but I do not have a return ticket. I read that a return ticket is necessary to enter, but I am not sure of my exact departure. I may be there for four months, or it could be five months. I won't really know, for sure, until I am on the ground and doing my research. Could you confirm if I will need a return ticket. Is there some way to get around it?

Kind regards.

A Thanks for your query. Yes, it is true you will need a return ticket in order to travel to Jamaica. On entering the island, you will need to present this to immigration before being landed on the island. It is advisable that you also present documentation to confirm your research work while in Jamaica.

Other requirements for travelling to Jamaica include a passport, the validity of which must extend beyond your intended length of stay on the island; a visa and sufficient funds for duration of stay in Jamaica. Note, however, that travellers from Commonwealth countries such as Australia do not need visas.

Our airport immigration will determine the length of time you are permitted to stay on the island. However, you are at liberty to seek an extension beyond the time given at the port of entry. This must be done within the time given by the immigration officer at the port of entry. To do so, you must complete an extension-of-stay form obtainable at the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency in St Andrew or Montego Bay.

The processing time for extension of stay is three business days for applications submitted in St Andrew and 10 for those submitted at the Montego Bay office.

Note that a non-refundable processing fee of J$10,000 is applicable.

Q I and a party of four other Austrian citizens will arrive at the Montego Bay airport on November 12 and leave Jamaica by November 30 the latest, by yacht. For this reason, we do not hold onward/outbound air tickets. Is this a problem? If so, what can we do? Also, do we need a visa?

A Thanks for your question. The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) is responsible for the processing of persons travelling to and from the island, whether through our air or seaports.

Note that Austrian nationals may visit Jamaica for up to 90 days without a visa. One of the requirements for entering the island, however, is a return ticket to the traveller's homeland, which, in your case is Austria. On the other hand, since you are not departing Jamaica by plane, but by yacht, you and your companions will need to provide proof of this to immigration officers on entering the island.

The proof could be a letter from the owner of the yacht, stating that you will be departing on his or her vessel. It should include the date of departure. The letter should be notarised by a notary public in your country.

If you are owners of the vessel, proof of ownership would be needed, in addition to how the vessel would get here, when it would arrive and who would be taking it to Jamaica.

For further information, please visit our website at: www.pica.gov.jm. You may email your queries to info@pica.gov.jm.