Pica corner: Renewing your passport
Q I WILL be sending my passport to Jamaica with my sister for renewal as it is now expired. What is the procedure and what documents should I send with her? I currently reside in New York?
A Please do not send your passport to Jamaica with your sister. The Jamaican passport is a secure document and remains the property of the Government of Jamaica. Therefore, you are not at liberty to send the document with a relative to Jamaica, or to send it to someone in Jamaica by courier. If you do, it may be confiscated by border officers and may be handed over to any Jamaican High Commission/Consulate or the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA).
The practice of sending passports from overseas to persons in Jamaica for personal purposes or for renewal is a serious security concern. Passports in transit may get lost or end up in the wrong hands, thereby making the holder vulnerable to identity theft. Persons in this situation often experience travel delays and may end up being very inconvenienced by the process to be completed when one's identity is stolen or one loses his or her passport. It is hoped that through this article persons like yourself will opt not to engage in the practice.
An application for a passport can only be made within the locale of the applicant. Applications are therefore facilitated through the Jamaican consulates, embassies and high commissions in various parts of the world for the convenience of Jamaicans living overseas.
You may obtain an application form from any of our mission offices or via the PICA website at www.pica.gov.jm. The form must be completed and certified by persons authorised to do so. A listing of such persons can be found on the application form.
You would then submit your passport application along with the expired passport to the nearest Jamaican consulate. The application is then sent to Jamaica for processing, after which the passport is sent to the consulate office from which the application is made for transmission to you.
Generally, the processing of applications from overseas takes 20 working days after receipt at our office in Jamaica. Where emergencies may occur, this should be communicated to officials at the embassy/consulate so the necessary assistance can be rendered.
What you will need
To renew your passport you will need the following:
Birth certificate/certificate of Jamaican citizenship or adoption certificate (if adopted by a Jamaican);
Certified application form;
Two coloured passport-sized photographs (only one of the photos must be certified);
Marriage certificate (for women using a married name).
Please check relevant embassy/consulate for fee.