How to move to Jamaica for permanent residence and citizenship: tips for foreign nationals

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How to move to Jamaica for permanent residence and citizenship: tips for foreign nationals

Jamaica is an incredibly beautiful and cozy island in the Caribbean Sea. This quiet and peaceful place is very popular with expats. Foreigners often move to Jamaica for employment, study, or further their careers, and many choose the island for permanent residence. It is truly an ideal corner for a quiet, measured life amid exotic landscapes. Read below about how to move to an island and stay there forever.

What you need to do to obtain citizenship

Lots of foreign tourists do not need a visa to visit Jamaica, as visa requirements have been waived for citizens of several countries. You can find out detailed information on these countries on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica. However, if you plan a long-term stay on the island with further residence and obtaining citizenship, in this case, it is necessary to apply for a visa and have a permit.

Foreigners who come to Jamaica for study, work, business, residence, and marriage can extend their stay. After staying in the country for a certain time, a foreigner can apply for permanent residence, and later become a citizen of Jamaica. There are the following main ways to obtain citizenship: 

• by origin - absolutely all children who were born in the territory of the island or have Jamaican parents automatically become citizens of the country;

• naturalization – foreigners can apply for Jamaican citizenship if they have lived on the island for more than 5 years and have enough finances to support themselves;

• marriage – marriage to a Jamaican citizen also entitles you to a local passport;

• registration – citizenship is granted to residents of Commonwealth countries who have legally lived on the island for at least five years.

In general, the procedure for obtaining Jamaican citizenship is not complicated. You only need to legally reside in the country for up to 5 years, have a stable income, be law-abiding and submit all the documents by the requirements.

Documents required

The list of documents may differ depending on the way a person obtains citizenship.

By descent, if the parents (or one of them) are citizens of Jamaica:

• birth certificate of the applicant;

• passport;

• marriage certificate (if any);

• birth certificates and passports of Jamaican parents;

• parents' marriage certificate (if any)

• two passport-sized photographs.

Citizenship by marriage:

• completed R1 application form in two copies (samples can be found on the website of PICA or consulates);

• passport;

• birth certificate;

• marriage certificate;

• two photos;

• birth certificate of husband or wife;

• husband's or wife's passport

• police report on the applicant.

Obtaining citizenship by naturalization:

• completed N1 application form in two copies (the form is available at the link) ;

• the passport with which the applicant arrived in Jamaica;

• birth certificate ;

• valid passport (if there is an extra one);

• work permit or dismissal certificate;

• confirmation of social activities in which the applicant can participate;

• two passport-sized photos certified by a judge;

• a certificate confirming the payment of taxes.

Citizenship by registration:

• R3 form completed in duplicate, which is available at the link;

• birth certificate;

• the passport with which the applicant arrived in the country and the current passport if they differ;

• work permit or other documents related to employment;

• confirmation of social activities in which the applicant participates;

• a document confirming the payment of taxes;

• two photos;

• confirmation of financial capacity;

• recent bank statements.

All applicants for citizenship must pay a fee. We recommend that you clear information about the list of documents either at consulates or at other competent authorities before submitting applications. The necessary information can also be found on the PICA website.

Types of stay in the country

The grounds for a long-term stay on the island can be:

• employment;

• conducting business;

• marriage

• maintenance;

• studies, etc.

In all these cases, foreigners need to apply for an appropriate visa to have the legal right to stay in the country for a certain period.

Emigrants who have spent at least three years in Jamaica can apply for a permanent residence permit, which allows them to apply for citizenship in the future.

Length of stay

Citizens of several countries can stay in Jamaica without a visa for up to 180 days. The duration depends on various circumstances. With long-term visas (for example, work visas), foreigners have the right to live on the island for one year, and then extend the period.

To apply for citizenship (by registration or naturalization), it is necessary to have lived in the country for at least 5 years.

Summary information

Jamaica is an ideal destination for those looking for comfort. It is for this reason that many foreigners move to the island to stay there forever. Today, it is not difficult to relocate to the country for permanent residence or even become a citizen. You just need to follow the requirements and recommendations.