Reference is made to a letter that was published in The Gleaner dated Saturday, August 24, 2013, titled 'Incompetent staff at Sangster International Airport'.
The letter highlighted the complaint of a passenger who arrived at the Sangster International Airport on Virgin Atlantic Airlines from the United Kingdom on Wednesday, August 14, 2013. The passenger, who resides here, took offence to being asked for the departure section of the Immigration/Customs C5 card.
Our standard operating procedure requires that an immigration assistant prescreens the immigration card, the purpose of which is to ensure that the card is thoroughly completed before the passenger is directed to an appropriate queue for processing by an immigrant officer.
Some Jamaican nationals or persons with a claim to Jamaican citizenship travel with non-Jamaican passports with unconditional landing stamps placed in the passport. The unconditional landing stamp allows such persons to remain in Jamaica for an indefinite period.
It is correct that Jamaican nationals and holders of unconditional landing status who reside here are not required to complete the departure section of the immigration card. We, therefore, apologise for any misunderstanding that may have arisen.
While passengers with unconditional landing status are not required to indicate this beforehand, some do take the initiative to do so in order to speed up the landing process, as depending on the frequency of the individual's travel, it may take some time to locate the stamp.
We wish to note that all immigration officers are specially trained prior to being placed at various points of contact with the public.
Therefore, while more tourist visitors to the island use the Sangster International Airport compared to the Norman Manley International Airport, which is utilised more by business travellers and Jamaican nationals, immigration officers at both airports are trained to deliver service to the same high standards which recently saw immigration services at Sangster being highlighted by the Airport Council International for Courtesy and Helpfulness of Passport Inspection in Latin America and the Caribbean.
We nevertheless take all complaints seriously and are constantly seeking to improve on our service delivery to the travelling public. We have also taken steps to prevent future misunderstandings.
Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency