Thu | Mar 22, 2018

PICA Corner: How to acquire temporary residence

Published:Wednesday | December 23, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Q I have been given a five-year contract to work in Jamaica beginning next March. I am living in Belize and am the mother of two children, ages seven and nine. How can I get my kids to be with me while I am working in Jamaica?

A Your children can accompany you while you work in Jamaica if you apply for their temporary residence status. Temporary residence is a period of extension that is granted to the dependents of work permit holders. It allows a work permit holder to have his or her family in Jamaica while working on the island.

Dependents are typically a husband or wife; children 16 years and under (as outlined in Jamaica's immigration laws) or parents over 60 years old.

Please note that documentary proof must be shown to verify that applicants are dependents of the work permit holder; for example, a marriage certificate and/or birth certificate. The latter document must bear the name of the work permit holder.

Apart from dependents, temporary resident status may also be granted to any of the following:

-Persons whose work permits are pending, though aliens (non-Commonwealth citizens) applying for work permits for the first time are not eligible as they should arrive in the island with their work permits.

- Persons whose citizenship have been approved and they are awaiting the citizenship certificate.

No dependents, including spouses, who have been granted temporary residence, are permitted to work while here. Note also that their passport must be valid up to the period of time granted to the work permit holder. If a dependent's passport expires prior to the expiration of the work permit, then he or she will only be granted a time which corresponds with the validity of their passport. They would need to acquire a new passport before being granted the required time.

In applying for temporary residence, your dependents will need to complete an application form which they can obtain at the offices at Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency, 25 Constant Spring Road in Kingston or from our website at

Please note that each application attracts a non-refundable processing fee of J$10,000.

Q I am planning a vacation to Jamaica in August 2016. I require a certified service dog. Would you be able to admit and accommodate my service dog? Are special forms or veterinary certifications required? Please reply as soon as possible to assist in my travel planning.

A Note that the PICA processes human passengers only, and as such, matters in relation to the entry of animals into the island are not within our purview. Please direct your queries to the Veterinary Services Division of the Ministry of Agriculture.

For additional information, visit the website of the Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency at For enquiries, email: