Sat | Sep 23, 2017

How do I apply for unconditional landing?

Published:Wednesday | December 9, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Q I need information on what the requirements are for travelling to Jamaica for an extended period. We will be there by the end of December, but we're not sure on what date we will be returning to Canada.

However, we will return before April 2016. I am Jamaican by birth, travelling with my 11-year-old Canada-born son. We both travel using Canadian passports. I recently applied for certified copies of my birth certificate and am hoping I will receive same before travelling. My Canadian passport indicates 'Jamaica' as place of birth. While we have both travelled extensively to Jamaica, we always had return air tickets. What documents would we need, if any; and also, would we have to provide proof of return travel by way of a return air ticket?

A Yes, you would need to provide proof of return travel as you are travelling on a Canadian passport. One of the requirements for anyone travelling to Jamaica (other than persons travelling on a Jamaican passport or persons who have unconditional landing status) is a return ticket, either for onward journey to a country where the passenger has legal status or for return to the passenger's homeland.

Note, however, that you could opt to apply for an extension of your stay beyond the time given at the port of entry. To do so, you would need to come into our office in Kingston or Montego Bay and apply for an extension of stay. This costs J$10,000 each.

Nevertheless, it may be more useful for both you and your son to apply for unconditional landing status instead. Unconditional landing will allow you to stay as long as you like in Jamaica, particularly as you are flying on a Canadian passport and your son is born outside of Jamaica.

Unconditional landing status is typically granted to:

- Persons born in Jamaica, but are travelling on foreign passports;

- Persons born overseas to Jamaican parent(s);

- Persons that have been naturalised or registered as a Jamaican (that is, individuals that have been granted Jamaican citizenship);

- Children of persons who have been registered as a Jamaican by virtue of marriage to a Jamaican and who have been born after their parent has been granted Jamaican citizenship.

You can only apply for unconditional landing while you are in the island, so you may wish to do so during your next visit. Your son is below the age of 18, so you would need to apply for the status on his behalf and he must accompany you to our office.

As your son is born to a Jamaican parent, he would qualify for unconditional landing status by virtue of descent. To apply for unconditional landing status by descent you would need to provide:

- The child's birth certificate (your name must be on the document);

- Your birth certificate (as his Jamaican parent);

- A valid ID for his Jamaican parent;

- The child's passport.

You are also required to fill out an extension of stay application form.

Persons like yourself, who are born in Jamaica but who travel on a non-Jamaican passport, must submit:

- A national passport;

- Original Jamaican birth certificate or machine-readable Jamaican passport.

You must also fill out an extension of stay form.

The cost for obtaining unconditional landing status is J$10,000, while the cost to have it transferred from an expired passport to a new passport is $5,000. Upon payment of the required fee, the applicant's passport will be endorsed (stamped), allowing him/her to remain in Jamaica 'unconditionally'.

Q My permanent residency requires rene-wal. This is based on the expiration date of my United States passport, which I have just renewed. what documentation should I bring in for renewal?

A Note that your permanent residency (PR) status is indefinite and therefore has not expired because your passport has expired. You would, however, need to transfer your PR status from your old passport to your new passport. This process costs J$5,000 and does not require any documentation.

For additional information, visit the website of the Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency at www.pica.gov.jm. For enquiries, email: info@pica.gov.jm.