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PICA Corner: How do I restore my Jamaican citizenship?

Published:Wednesday | October 14, 2015 | 10:00 AM

I was born in Jamaica but renounced my citizenship to become a Bahamian citizen. Now that I have retired and intend to return to Jamaica to live, can my citizenship be restored? In addition, how can my wife, a Bahamian national, acquire Jamaican citizenship?

Yes, you may apply for the restoration of your Jamaican citizenship. The Jamaican Nationality Act, Section 9A-(1), provides that: "The minister may, at his discretion and in the prescribed manner, cause citizenship of Jamaica to be restored to any person who:

(a) Was a citizen of Jamaica by birth, descent or adoption;

(b) Has renounced that citizenship: and

(c) Has made application to the minister in the prescribed manner for the restoration of that citizenship."

An application for restoration of your Jamaican citizenship should be made on the Form R5, in duplicate, and may be submitted to the Jamaican Consulate in The Bahamas for onward transmission to the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency for processing. The application form is obtainable from the consulate's website, www.pica.gov.jm, and may be certified by a notary public or the honorary consul.

The completed application forms should be submitted along with the following documents:

- Valid identification (passport)

- Letter of renunciation of citizenship;

- Proof of current citizenship;

- Two passport-size photographs, certified by a justice of the peace, notary public or commissioner of oaths. (The applicant's name, along with the name, telephone number and signature of the justice of the peace/notary public, and the certification date, not older than six months, should be included).

- Processing fee of US$1,000.

Written communication of the decision on your application is forwarded to the consulate in The Bahamas, via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Jamaica.

Once your Jamaican citizenship has been restored, your wife may submit an application for Jamaican citizenship, on the basis of marriage, in accordance with Section 7 (1) of the Jamaican Constitution which states:

"Any man or woman who, after the fifth day of August, 1962, marries a person who is or becomes a citizen of Jamaica shall, subject to subsection (2), be entitled, upon making application in such manner as may be prescribed and, if he or she is a British protected person or an alien, upon taking the oath of allegiance, to be registered as a citizen of Jamaica."

The R1 application form, also obtainable from the consulate or the agency's website, www.pica.gov.jm, should be completed in duplicate, certified, and submitted along with the following:

- Official marriage certificate

- Husband and wife's official birth certificate

- Husband and wife's current passport

- Decree absolute (where applicable)

- Verification of income, for example, the last three payslips, company financial statements, employment letter, pension statement (should not be older than six months).

- Recent bank statement (should not be older than six months).

- Two (2) passport-size photographs, certified by a justice of the peace, a notary public or commissioner of oaths. (The applicant's name,. along with the name, telephone number and signature of the justice of the peace/notary public, and the certification date, not older than six months, should be included).

- Tax Compliance Certificate (if resident in Jamaica).

- A police certificate from country of last residence (if resident in Jamaica).

- Non-refundable processing fee of US$260 or J$15,000.

Please note that compliant applications are submitted for approval within 24 months. If the application is approved, a certificate of citizenship is issued.

- For further information please visit our website at www.pica.gov.jm or email queries to info@pica.gov.jm.