Sun | Oct 21, 2018

Confused about the global immigration card

Published:Monday | June 26, 2017 | 12:03 AM



There seems to be some confusion about government's plan to implement global immigration cards to be used by Jamaicans overseas who hold foreign passports.

I have to ask, is this really necessary? And at what cost? If these cards are to facilitate ease of travel back and forth to Jamaica wouldn't it be better to use the immigration form to declare Jamaica as their country of birth, which can then be verified with the country of birth as stated in the foreign passport?

Why is it necessary to have another card to prove that one was born in Jamaica if the plan is to reduce restrictions on Jamaicans living abroad travelling back and forth to Jamaica?

I think if Jamaica wants to make it easier for Jamaicans who travel on foreign passports to enter/leave Jamaica, all that is needed is a change in rules and policy. We should not complicate, simple matters.

Having a card as an extra travel document which is only valid in Jamaica may create looseness and confusion.

Ambassador Sharon Saunders in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade said that the card would "increase affinity and raise the level of consciousness of Jamaicans."

It is also understood that the card is one of the targets recommended by the Economic Growth Council. But I believe if a Jamaican is really serious about certifying affinity to Jamaica the best way would be a Jamaican passport since dual citizenship is allowed by many countries, including Jamaica.

An investor from the diaspora would also be wise to have a Jamaican passport for ease of travel and residency. Why bother get a global card which I'm sure one has to pay a fee for. Or is this just another way to raise foreign currency?