The following tidbits are provided based on my personal experience, reading of the passport rules and frequent travels to Jamaica. Denise J. McCallaCreary, CEO, JAANC.
Jamaican Passport Renewal
Recently there has been some questions about the renewal of Jamaican passports. Based on my personal experience with renewing passports via the Jamaican Embassy in Washington D.C., I recommend anyone in need of this service, do it on a visit to Jamaica. The passport office in Kingston is quite efficient in processing passports. They will even expedite processing for an additional fee. My experience with passports processed via the Embassy in Washington D.C. is it takes a very long time, it is almost impossible to get someone to answer the phone if you have a question and the pictures taken here never seem to meet the criteria required by Passport office in Kingston. As a result, the pictures get returned a number of times which delays the processing of your passport.
Jamaican Passport and U.S. Passport
The Jamaican government allows Jamaicans born in Jamaica who become a U.S. citizen to keep Jamaican citizenship and you can also retain a Jamaican passport. The U.S. government does not allow you to retain your Jamaican passport and normally direct you turn it in when you become a U.S. citizen. This is a U.S. government requirement, not Jamaican government. If you elect to keep your Jamaican passport but you enter Jamaica on a U.S. passport, you then become a visitor in Jamaica and normally given a specific length to stay. If you wish to stay in Jamaica for an indefinite length of stay, you need to enter Jamaica on a Jamaican passport.
Jamaican Passports for Children of Jamaicans born in the U.S.
Children born in the US of Jamaican parents are eligible for a Jamaican passport. The first part of the process entails obtaining Jamaican Citizenship papers. Once you have obtained the Citizenship certificate, you can then apply for a Jamaican passport. Applications for Citizenship are processed by the : Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency
25 Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica W. I.
Tel: +876 – 906 1497 or +876 906 4474
Passport processing information, citizenship information can be found on the internet by visiting the Jamaica Information Service Website, various Consular General sites, Jamaica Customs site, etc.
Note: Northern California has an Honorary Consul General position. This is an appointed position by the Jamaican government. Unlike a Consul position, appointed Honorary Consul Generals are not paid positions. The position is currently held by Dr. Newton Gordon. Dr. Gordon will answer questions and advise you in the processing of Jamaican documents. His contact information is at our website www.jaanc.org. Most forms and information are now available on line. Jamaicans who must travel on Jamaican passports are reminded to keep passports current so you meet your needs to travel for emergencies such as funerals etc.
In order to establish your eligibility as a returning resident you must visit the Returning Resident unit at the Jamaica Customs Department with certain documentation. Additionally, they will provide you all the information, rules and timelines required to make a smooth transition to return to live permanently in Jamaica. Failure to do so could result in loss of entitlements at a great expense to you.