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Don't send passports to Jamaica for renewal

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

I will be sending my passport to Jamaica with my sister for renewal, as it is now expired. What is the procedure, and what documents should I send with her? I currently reside in New York?- Reader

Please do not send your passport to Jamaica with your sister. The Jamaican passport is a secure document and remains the property of the Government of Jamaica. Therefore, you are not at liberty to send the document with a relative to Jamaica, or to send it to Jamaica by courier. If you do, it will be confiscated and handed over to the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA).

The practice of sending passports from overseas for renewal is a serious concern for us at PICA. This should never be done, whether via a relative, courier service or by post. Passports in transit may get lost or end up in the wrong hands, thereby opening up the holder to the possibility of identity theft. It is hoped that, through this article, persons like yourself will opt not to engage in the practice.

An application for passport can only be made within the locale of the applicant. Applications are, therefore, facilitated through the Jamaican consulates, embassies and high commissions in various parts of the world for the convenience of Jamaicans living overseas.

You may obtain an application form from any of our mission offices or via the PICA website at www.pica.gov.jm. The form must be completed and certified by persons authorised to do so. A listing of such persons can be found on the application form.

You would then submit your passport application, along with the expired passport, to the nearest Jamaican consulate. The appli-cation is then sent to Jamaica for processing, after which the passport is sent the consulate office from which the application is made for transmission to you.

Generally, the processing of applications from overseas takes 20 working days after receipt at our office in Jamaica.

To renew your passport, you will need the following:

Birth certificate/certificate of Jamaican citizenship or adoption certificate (if adopted by a Jamaican).

Current passport.

Certified application form.

Two colour passport-size photographs (only ONE of the photos must be certified).

Marriage certificate (for women using a married name).

Application fee of $4,500 (US applicants will pay US$80).

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.