PICA Corner: Gaining citizenship by marriage or descent
Q I am thinking, in the future, I would like to live in Jamaica. However, my mum was born in Jamaica, although she cannot find her birth certificate. How would I get a replacement?
Also my husband-to-be is Jamaican, although, at the moment, he has no bank account or bank statement. He works for himself. How would I be able to obtain citizenship through marriage if my partner does not have a bank account? Would he have to use savings? Or, if he had a relative that could support him and me, could they sponsor? Please advise me.
A Thank you for your letter in which you raised several interesting questions. We note that your mother was born in Jamaica. This would make you eligible for a claim to citizenship of Jamaica by descent. In order to prove your claim and obtain a formal certificate, you are required to submit the originals of the following documents:
1. Your birth certificate
2. Your mother's birth certificate
3. Two passport-size photographs of yourself, one of which should be certified by a justice of the peace, notary public or a commissioner of oaths,
4. A valid photograph identification of yourself
5. The official change of name document (if applicable).
Local applications for citizenship by descent attract a processing fee of $10,000. However, if your application is submitted through a Jamaican High Commission, Jamaican Consulate or Embassy, we advise that the particular mission is consulted on the required fee.
On the question of how to obtain a replacement of your mother's birth certificate, an application must be made either online at www.rgd.gov.jm or directly at the most convenient branch addressed to:
The Registrar General's Department
ELIGIBILITY BY MARRIAGE
As the spouse of a Jamaican, you are also eligible to make an application for citizenship of Jamaica by virtue of marriage to a citizen of Jamaica. This application requires the originals of the following documents:
1. Your birth certificate
2. Your husband's birth certificate
3. Your state-issued marriage certificate
4. Your current passport
5. Your husband's current passport
6. Verification of income statement
7. Recent bank statement
8. Tax-compliant certificate (if resident in Jamaica)
9. A recent police certificate from country of last residence
10. Marriage exemption certificate/work permit.
This application, if made locally, attracts a processing fee of $50,000. However, if your application is submitted through a Jamaican High Commission, Jamaican Consulate or Embassy, we advise that you consult the particular mission on the required fee.
You are, therefore, not precluded from making an application because your husband does not hold a bank account for his business. Neither is there a requirement for a sponsor. All application forms are accessible at our website at www.pica.gov.jm.
Editor's note: Two weeks ago, we incorrectly reported that the renewal cost of a minor's passport is $2,700. The correct fee is $4,000.