Thu | Sep 29, 2016

Becoming a Jamaican citizen through marriage

Published:Wednesday | January 13, 2010 | 12:00 AM

I have been living and working in Jamaica for some time and was recently married to a Jamaican. I now wish to gain Jamaican citizenship. How do I go about doing this?

Congratulations on your recent marriage. The laws of our land make possible the eligibility of any man or woman, who is the spouse of a Jamaican national, to be registered as a citizen of Jamaica upon application.

According to the Constitution, if your marriage is genuine and is not for the purpose of allowing you to become a citizen of Jamaica, then you can obtain your citizenship. It further states that if you share the same matrimonial home as your Jamaican spouse and have no criminal convictions in Jamaica or a foreign jurisdiction, then your application is likely to be approved.

The conditions

This is spelt out in Section 7, sub-section (1) and is subject to the conditions as laid out at sub-section (2) of the Jamaica Constitution. According to Section 7(1):

"Any man or woman, 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."

Under the provisions of sub-section (2) A person may be denied registration if:

(a) there is satisfactory evidence that-

(1) the marriage was entered into primarily for the purpose of enabling that person to acquire Jamaican citizenship; or

(2) the parties to the marriage have no intention to live permanently with each other as spouses, after the marriage:

(b) the person has been convicted in any country of a criminal offence specified in any law which makes provision for such denial on the ground of such conviction."

How to apply

1. The application should be made (in duplicate) on Registration Form R1 which, is obtainable at the Jamaica Printing Services, 771/2 Duke Street, Kingston. For applicants residing overseas, the forms may be obtained through the various Jamaican Missions or the Agency's website at www.pica.gov.jm.

2. The form should be read carefully, then completed and signed in the presence of a justice of the peace, a notary public or someone authorised to administer oaths.

3. These should be submitted at the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency, 25C Constant Spring Road and accompanied by the following documents:

Documents

Applicant's birth certificate

Official marriage certificate (certified copy issued by the Registrar General)

Husband's/wife's official birth certificate

Husband's /wife's current passport

Verification of income

Recent bank statement

Two passport-sized photographs of the applicant, certified by a justice of the peace

A tax-compliance certificate (if resident in Jamaica)

A police certificate from country of last residence (overseas)

Persons residing overseas may submit their requests through the nearest Jamaica Mission. Photocopies are accepted only if they are certified by a consular officer, notary public or a justice of the peace

Cost

A fee of J$7,000 or its equivalent is required. Payment of the fee should be made by cash or manager's cheque.

Send questions, comments and suggestions to editor@gleanerjm.com and the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) will respond.