Tue | Jun 19, 2018

PICA Corner - Obtaining permanent resident status in Jamaica

Published:Wednesday | November 10, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Q:  I am a German national who has been making regular visits to Jamaica for more than 30 years.

I love Jamaica very much and was married at one of your beautiful resorts on the north coast. My wife, who died two years ago, was also in love with Jamaica.

I am now retired and wish to move to Jamaica permanently. Please advise me on what I need to do in order to make this possible.

A: Permanent resident status is usually conferred on non-Jamaican nationals who are:


Married to Jamaicans;

Descendants of Jamaicans living here for a minimum of two years; or

Working on the island for more than five years.

Previously, retired persons were required to meet a specified period of residence (three years) on the island in order to qualify. However, this is no longer the case. Therefore, you would be able to apply for permanent residence.

To apply for permanent resident status, you would need to visit the Extension of Stay Unit at the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), 25C Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10.

Please have the following documents/information prior to your visit:

A completed application form;

A valid passport (at least six months prior to expiration);

Evidence of financial status (for example, pension, bank account, investments, etc);

Birth certificate;

Marriage certificate (where applicable);

Particulars of spouse and other dependents;

Medical certificate;

Police certificate from the country from which you are migrating (if you have not been living here);

Two passport-size photographs;

A letter stating the reason for wanting to live in Jamaica (must be addressed to the Chief Immigration Officer, Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency, 25C Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10);

Provide two character references with your application.

All the requisite documents must be furnished before permanent resident status can be considered. The process usually takes upwards of six months.


Applications for permanent residence attract a non-refundable processing fee of J$30,000. In addition, all permanent residents who are aliens or non-Commonwealth nationals are issued with multiple-entry visas, valid for two years at a time. The cost for a visa ranges from J$500 to J$2,000. In general, Commonwealth nationals do not require visas, with the exception of persons from Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

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