Contrary to popular belief, the Jamaican passport is not as ‘useless’ as many would have you believe. If you’re one of the many Jamaicans who thinks our passport is one of the weakest in the world I’ve got news for you. The Henley Passport Index (their website is a super useful resource if you’re not sure if a visa is required for a specific country) ranks our modest navy blue book 59th of the 199 passports issued in the world. We are allowed visa-free access to a whopping 84 countries. Not too shabby for a tiny dot in the Caribbean sea.
Singapore and Japan are ranked #1 on the list and our Caribbean neighbors St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Trinidad & Tobago, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and St. Lucia round out the top 30 with ranks 24, 25, 27, 28, and 30 respectively.
While Europe and North America may be off limits without the required visas, there are many countries that you can travel to as a Jamaican without needing a visa or with the visa on arrival (VoA) option. Quite a few of these countries are in Asia, South America, Africa, and the Caribbean.
- Visa-free: You do not need a visa to enter these destinations
- Visa on arrival (VoA): You need a visa to enter these destinations, but you can apply for and receive the visa upon arrival at the airport (no pre-departure approval necessary). Countries on the list above marked with * are VoA countries. You should note that for most if not all of these countries (I can confirm for Vietnam, Jordan, and Cambodia) there is a fee associated with the VoA. Best to confirm beforehand.
While most of these countries are much more easily accessible via the US, many can still be reached using alternate flight routes that may involve layovers in countries with more relaxed immigration laws. For example, Panama is a good option for connecting flights into Europe and Africa. Again, just be sure to do some research when exploring options.
As you’re reading this I hear your rebuttal. It’s one I hear quite often. “All well and good, but most of those places are expensive to get to.” I hear you. But here’s the thing. It’s not normally as expensive as you think. Don’t believe me? Read this post.
So for your next vacation, challenge yourself and get off the beaten path. If you’re willing, this little old blue book is ready and able to take you places. Just say when.