Tue | Oct 17, 2017

PICA working to resolve citizenship application

Published:Saturday | April 9, 2016 | 12:01 AM

PICA working to resolve citizenship application

Jennifer McDonald

CEO, Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency

25C Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10

In a letter to the editor published on Monday, March 14, 2016, with the headline 'PICA leaves a bitter taste', Rosalie Grant wrote to express her dissatisfaction with the lengthy delay in processing an application for Jamaican citizenship submitted on behalf of her daughter. We have since been in touch with Ms Grant and have taken steps to have the matter resolved, and we are confident

that her negative opinion of the CEO, Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency (PICA), has been reversed.

Nonetheless, we wish to point out that it normally takes 25 days for the processing and issuing of an application for citizenship by descent, and PICA has maintained this service record for more than 90 per cent of the cases we handle.

In some instances, however, we encounter issues with one or more of the documents submitted by applicants, which stymie the pace at which an application can be processed. This is what happened in the case of Ms Grant's application.

For the record, the application in question was submitted in March 2015 at Jamaica's diplomatic mission in Tokyo and later remitted to us at PICA on June 5, 2015.

Upon examination of documents, we discovered the need for clarity on the format of the child's birth certificate, which was dissimilar to documentation we customarily receive from the Tokyo office. Formal communications were sent for this clarification on June 29, 2015 with a follow-up request on December 9, 2015.

We have not yet received a response to our queries.

PICA empathises with the frustration and inconveniences being experienced by Ms Grant, and wishes to assure her that we will continue to press for a response to our request for authentication, while keeping her updated on our progress in this matter.