The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) was established on June 1, 2007 as an Executive Agency to be a self-financing, performance-based and service-oriented institution. The Agency evolved from the former Immigration, Citizenship and Passport Services Division of the Ministry of National Security following a modernization programme which started in 2005.
Since then, PICA has been taking steps to transform itself into a world-class organisation. The aim is to provide efficient, quality service to its clients through a well-motivated and knowledgeable staff.
PICA’s functions are integral to the nation’s border security system. The Agency accepts and process passport applications, manages the island’s immigration processes and handles matters in relation to application for and renunciation of Jamaican citizenship.
As an Executive Agency the organisation is required to achieve certain performance indicators as a measure of its efficiency and success. Among these targets are: processing passengers at ports in no more than 2 minutes and processing passport applications submitted to its Kingston offices within 7 days and 14 days for applications made through its offices in Montego Bay. Additionally, local applications for Jamaican citizenship by descent are processed within 30 days.
- The introduction of debit and credit card service for ease of transaction at our headquarters and at our office in Montego Bay
- Next-day and three-day expedited services
- The introduction of a mobile service for passport application
The following are the major functions for which the Agency is responsible:
- Incoming and outgoing immigration examination of all persons entering or leaving Jamaica by air and sea;
- Administering visas, entry permits and other documents for non-Jamaican visitors and residents; Handling requests for permanent residency status
- Managing the deportation and repatriation of those persons not qualified to remain in Jamaica as well as handling matters relating to refugees to the island
- Processing of applications for Citizenship as well as for Renunciation and Reinstatement of Citizenship.
- Receiving passport applications at the headquarters and Montego Bay PICA locations, designated JCF locations, and Jamaica’s foreign missions;
- Issuing passports to Jamaicans living at home and abroad, this is carried out by a centralised facility at the Constant Spring Road Headquarters;
- Investigation of offences committed in any of the areas regulated by PICA. This function is carried out by our investigative arm.
The laws that govern the operations of the Agency are as follows:
- The Jamaican Constitution
- The Immigration Restriction (Commonwealth Citizen) Act
- The Jamaica Nationality Act
- The Alien’s Act
- The Passport Act and Regulations
- The Foreign Nationals and Commonwealth Citizens (Employment) Act
- The Caribbean community (Free Movement) of Skilled Persons Act
- The Executive Agencies Act 2002
- The Financial Administration and Audit Act