Dr. Horace Chang, Jamaica’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, announced that the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) will present a submission to the Cabinet that would give a one-year temporary residence in Jamaica for foreign nationals. He made the announcement at the opening ceremony for a new PICA office in Montego Bay.
Chang noted that increased travel to Jamaica is expected following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that one of the questions people have been asking themselves as they emerge from the pandemic situation concerns where they will live. It is necessary to establish residency in any case, so PICA is making efforts to establish a temporary residence program. This will impose greater demands on PICA operations, but it will also give foreigners a chance to live and work in Jamaica for the period of one year. Chang maintained that regardless of how COVID-19 has impacted people’s lives and livelihoods, he wanted to commend PICA for going forward with its work in providing quality, efficient, and professional services to the region, efforts that are critical to the area’s continued development.
Andrew Wynter, the CEO of PICA, reported that more than 4,000 people were granted Jamaican citizenship in 2019. Once the temporary residency program gains approval, he said, it will provide an additional product and service that the agency can offer to visitors.
PICA’s new Montego Bay office will allow the agency to provide more immigration and citizenship products to visitors, and Jamaicans who live in the western parishes can submit applications to the agency there without having to travel to Kingston as they do now.