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Crass US visa withdrawal policy

Published:Tuesday | March 2, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor,

The withdrawal of a non-immigrant visa from Wayne Chen is something that happens to many Jamaicans and other 'ordinary people' all across the world every day. Chen, well known to many, including the Americans, and from the upper echelons of our socio-economic classes, has understandably brought with his case national attention and numerous speculative rumours at home and abroad regarding the reasons for such action.

The Americans have all the right in the world to lend or sell you a visa, and to refuse to lend you, call in that visa loan or cancel the sale agreement. I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with is the crass, vulgar and disrespectful manner in which Chen was handled and, no doubt, many other not-so-well-known persons.

More respect needed

It is reasonable to think that it is not outside the capacity of the United States Embassy and State Department to have notified him in a more orderly manner, instead of waiting for him to turn up at the airport with his family to be informed by Jamaican functionaries that he no longer has a visa to travel, thus magnifying and illuminating the embarrassment. This is unacceptable.

Going forward, our minister of foreign affairs and government should demand, ask or beg the Americans to show the people a little respect. In the same way they use courier services to deliver visas, they could use the same medium to advise individuals of withdrawals. The truth is, when the Americans lend you a visa, they have more information on you than the Jamaican Government, so contacting the recipient should be no problem. Putting periodic visa withdrawal advertisements in this newspaper would have been more acceptable.

I am, etc.,


PO Box 630


Kingston 6