Wed | Sep 28, 2016

PICA Corner - Obtaining permanent residency in Jamaica

Published:Friday | July 5, 2013 | 12:00 AM


Q. My husband is a German and I am Jamaican. We currently live in New York and my husband was given a contract to work in Jamaica. Could you advise me on how he may obtain permanent residence?

AThe process of obtaining permanent residency (PR) status could take a few months and it may be prudent for your husband to apply for a marriage exemption certificate in the interim. This document allows non-Jamaicans to work on the island without having to obtain a work permit if such persons are married to a Jamaican national. Your husband can obtain this document through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Nevertheless, I will advise you on permanent residency as you have requested. As your husband is married to a Jamaican, he would qualify for permanent residency status.

To obtain PR status your husband would need to visit the Extension of Stay Unit of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) and fill out an application form as well as to submit a valid passport.

He must also submit the following:

His birth certificate

Evidence of marital status i.e., marriage certificate.

Birth certificate of Jamaican spouse or their Jamaican passport (machine readable) [Birth certificates should also be provided for children and other dependents]

One passport-size photograph

A medical certificate showing his health status

Police certificate from the country from which he is migrating (you mentioned that he is now living in New York, so he would need to obtain the certificate from that jurisdiction)

Letter of recommendation from two reputable references.

Please note that no financial statement is required for persons applying on the basis of their Jamaican descent or their marriage to a Jamaican. It would be necessary, however, for other categories of applicants.

In addition to the above, he would need to submit a letter stating his reason for wanting to live in Jamaica. The letter must be addressed to:

The Chief Executive Officer,

Passport, Immigration and

Citizenship Agency,

25c Constant Spring Road,

Kingston 10

The process of obtaining PR usually takes upward of three months and costs J$30,000.

Permanent residents who are aliens are issued with re-entry visas, valid for the duration of the passport. Aliens are persons from non-Commonwealth countries, which would mean that your husband will require one. This costs from J$500-J$2,000, depending on one's nationality. Germans would pay J$500.

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