Monday, March 14, 2011

Applying For Permanent Residency in Jamaica


I am speaking from my own experiences not from second hand information. And since this subject comes up a lot I have decided to share my OWN process and cost information for anyone thinking of applying, so that there can be FACTS and not Speculation on this subject.

NO HIV test, just a medical check up from a doctor in Jamaica, no blood or urine was drawn.

The only Criminal record came from my home city/state. No fingerprints from anywhere were ever taken.

There were three interviews done in Kingston but there was also one interview done in my home, and my neighbors were also interviewed. Ironically it was the ones hanging out on the block and not the ones who are gainfully employed. The initial interview was done in Kingston because no two people could give the same information, so after speaking with an Immigration Officer in Kingston it was decided that I should go to Kingston with the few papers from the checklist that I already had and to see what else I might need to get the process started.

Went to Kingston 3 times (1) to get the process started and pick up a letter to take to Immigration in the states to obtain a multi entry visa,upon arrival back in Jamaica even though I had it, at airport I was still only given 3 month stamp. (2) to take back additional papers that I had to pick up from my home, plus the police report. (3) to obtain my approval and get my stamp.

$100 transportation to Kingston
30,000JMD cost of application for Permanent Residency
$131.00 cost in Miami for Multi entry visa
$30.00 cost for expediting multi entry visa
2000JMD visa
10,000 JMD extension which was needed to remain while application was being processed.
$100 transportation  to Kingston
3rd Kingston trip was no cost because I waited until Approval to return.
$300 cost for hotel in Miami 2 nites
$150. additional paid for stopover in Miami
$50. RT transportation and taxi's in Miami

When you arrive with the multi entry you are given 6 mos to a year stamp to remain in country while your papers are being processed. If your time expires before approval/disapproval you are with an additional 10,000JMD given an extension.

Process started in March approved in December. It is valid until the passport expires. At that time you must renew it, but you don't have to go back through the complete process, just bring your new Passport and get your new stamp.

Cost app: $1312.00 US may have been a few other incidental costs not factored in.

Perhaps a working permit needs certain other clearances but a Permanent Resident permit does not have to go through the bells and whistles. I believe it MIGHT be easier for retirees to get approval because they figure you will not become a burden on Jamaica since you have an income and will not try to seek nor need employment.

Permanent Residence Checklist:

A Valid Passport
B Evidence of Financial Status and means of support
C Copy of Birth Certificate
D Marital Status Marriage certificate, particulars of spouse
E Medical Certificate Certificate of good Health
F Police Certificate from the state from which you are migrating
G Two Passport size Photos
H Reasons for seeking Permanent Residence in Jamaica
I Letters from two reputable references or acquaintances.

All of above must be originals NO COPIES.

Check your local listings for a Jamaican Consulate near you.

For me it was just a process, like any other when you are applying for permission to do something, nothing more, nothing less.

Those who own property should have an easier process than mine.

Hope this helps anyone interested.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Mark Twain


  1. Thanks for the information, it is very helpful, and I really appreciate all your advice and help. - medi :)

    1. I hope this will assist you in your Process. Since no 2 people give the same information, I wanted people to have a blue print or example of what to expect.

      Good Luck.

  2. Don't understand why they sent you back to the States to get the M.E. visa when you were already physically there in JA...

    1. Because they had begun enforcing the long on the books law that Americans could only stay in Jamaica a total of 180 days per year, 90 Days,then get an additional 90 day extension in either Mobay or Kingston, I purposely timed beginning my process to coincide with my departure and return. But you have to have the entry stamp posted from one of your home Country's Consulate. The Consulate in your home Country is the one who gives permission for a Multi Entry Visa to be granted.

  3. Thanks for the information. My husband and I are planning to retire to Jamaica and your information has been the most helpful (and realistic) that we have found.

    1. Good Luck Fm. And Full Joy to life in Jamaica.

  4. hello... i'm looking for an example of what the reference letters ought to say, please, or a bit more detail as to what out to be in them... thank you, bless!

    also had to say - your Mark Twain quote... been one of my favourites for ages, words to live by

  5. Just want to say initially your blog has been very helpful, insightful and enjoyable to read. It's so nice you're getting to live your dream. I totally understand how you feel about Jamaica...we fell in love with it on our first visit over 8 years ago. My husband and I retired and started our process of moving here and applying for residency but haven't completed you said needing to get documents and money together, etc. we tried once but the visa and police report had expired so had to return and renew...hoping the next time around we'll get approved.
    I am curious how life is different for you as a permanent resident vs "visitor" status? Are there any other obligations once one becomes a resident? ( taxes, etc) I know your way of living is the same, just talking about the " other" stuff if you know what I mean....also I too am curious about what Jamaica defines as proof of ability to support oneself since on our first try they questioned if our pension was sufficient since we rented and didn't own property.....

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