Tue | Sep 27, 2016

I want to regain my Jamaican citizenship

Published:Wednesday | February 24, 2010 | 12:00 AM

I
renounced
my Jamaican citizenship about a decade ago, as I got married to a Venezuelan and had been living in Venezuela for some time. I had applied for and attained Venezuelan citizenship. However, Venezuela does not recognise dual citizenship.

As such, I had no choice but to renounce my Jamaican citizenship. I am now divorced and want to come back to Jamaica. Please, advise me on how I can regain my Jamaican citizenship.

As you rightly point out, making a claim for citizenship from a nation that does not recognise dual citizenship would require that you renounce your Jamaican citizenship. In countries that recognise dual citizenship, this would not be necessary. Like you, some persons who have had reason to renounce their Jamaican citizenship have, at a later period, expressed the wish to have it restored.

Based on an amendment to the Jamaican Nationality Act in 1993, it is now possible for persons to apply for the reinstatement of their citizenship. This provision was included under Section 9A of the Jamaican Nationality Act, 1962, to allow the minister to act in his discretion in the restoration of Jamaican citizenship "to any person who:

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

(b) has renounced that citizenship; and

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

How to apply

1. The application should be made (in duplicate) on the Restoration of Citizenship Form R5, which is obtainable at the Jamaica Printing Services, 77 1/2 Duke Street, Kingston. For persons residing overseas, application 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, notary public or someone authorised to administer oaths.

3. The application must be submitted to the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency, supported by the following documents:

(i) Letter of renunciation (this you would have to obtain from our consular office in Venezuela, to inform you that your request for renunciation was granted);

(ii) Proof of current citizenship (e.g. citizenship certificate/letter or passport);

(iii) Two passport-size photographs certified by a justice of the peace; notary public or someone authorised to administer oaths.

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 $15,000, or its equivalent, is required on application. Payment should be made by cash or manager's cheque.

Having restored your citizenship, you will once again be entitled to all the rights and privileges as any other Jamaican citizen.

Where will the PICA mobile service go next?

The PICA's mobile service began in August 2009, with the aim of bringing its services literally "to the doorsteps" of its customers in different communities and organisations in Jamaica. Since its inception, hundreds of persons have applied for their passports without having to visit any of our offices.

For persons interested in acquiring passports, application forms are available at
www.pica.gov.jm
.

Supporting documents in acquiring a passport include an original birth certificate, two photographs (one certified), old passport (for renewals), marriage certificate and deed poll (where applicable) and a valid ID for lost and first-time applicants and for parents/guardians identifying their children.

Costs of passports

Adult - $4,500

Minor - $2,700

Replacement (Adult) - $9,500

(Minor) - $5,700

PICA Corner is a collaboration between The Gleaner and the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency. Send questions, comments and suggestions to editor@gleanerjm.com and PICA will respond.