In response to the long wait times experienced by travelers at Jamaican airports, the country has introduced an online version of its immigration and customs declaration form. This is the first such initiative implemented by an English-speaking country in the Caribbean region. Now, travelers can fill out the forms before they arrive as all their data will be transferred to immigration offices for processing. According to Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism, the continuing increase in the number of arrivals to Jamaica has emphasized the need to offer a more rapid way to be processed at the nation’s airports. Visitors to Jamaica should be spending their time enjoying the island attractions and not spend time waiting at immigration and customs, he added. White also hopes that the quicker processing will encourage visitors to return to Jamaica.
The Online Passenger Declaration Form includes the same information as provided in the paper version. When completed, the electronic form is submitted to Immigration Officers and Customs Officers, who process these forms for visitors upon their arrival. The new system brings improved efficiencies as it is user-friendly and requires minimal effort from travelers, said Andrew Wynter, the CEO of Jamaica’s Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency. Once a user flicks one of the form’s option boxes, the next option appears, so there is no waiting for visitors to complete the entire form before the information is submitted. The digital forms are part of an ongoing effort to make improvements in the arrival experience. The customs agency will also launch a mobile application for the forms in the near future.