Citizenship

There are several paths to Jamaican citizenship​:

By Birth

Any person born in Jamaica prior to 1962 August 5, who was on that date a citizen of the United Kingdom and colonies

Any person born in Jamaica after 1962 August 5

Proof of Citizenship: Birth Certificate issued by the Registrar General’s Department of Jamaica.

By Adoption

A non Jamaican child legally adopted in Jamaica in accordance with the children (adoption of) act, can claim Jamaican citizenship through either the adopted mother or father.

Proof of Citizenship: Adoption Certificate issued by the Registrar General’s Department of Jamaica.

By Descent

This refers to anyone born outside of Jamaica to parents (mother or father or both) who are citizens of Jamaica at the time of birth. If you are would like to apply for Citizenship by Descent for BOTH yourself AND your dependents at the same time, your dependents will need to provide the same information noted below.

Required Documents:

  • Completed Citizenship Application form. (See "Online Forms")

  • Two (2) identical non-digitized colour photographs one of which should be certified by the same Notary Public who signs  the Citizenship Application

    • See "Online Forms" for photograph guidelines

    • Photos are not to be stapled or paper-clipped to the Application Form

  • Applicant's Original Birth Certificate / Original Adoption Certificate / Citizenship Certificate, where applicable

  • Applicant's Mother’s or Father’s Original Birth Certificates

  • Applicant’s parent’s Original Marriage Certificate

  • Notarized copy of either Parent's Jamaican Passport OR Valid Government-issued Photo ID* (notarized copy of the front and back)

  • Payment: A fee of US$120.00 is required on application. This fee is payable by Money Order made payable to Embassy of Jamaica and will cover both the application fee and the return of your original documents via courier. 

* Valid ID can be any of the following:

  • US Citizenship Certificate

  • Identification indicating permanent residency (Green Card)

  • California Driver’s License (must be a REAL ID)

  • US Work Permit

  • US Passport

Applications are to be submitted directly to:

The Embassy of Jamaica

1520 New Hampshire Ave NW

Washington, DC 20036

The processing time takes approximately 3 months.

Notes:

  1. The spelling of names (applicant’s and parent’s names)  should be consistent on all documents provided. If the applicant’s name is different due to marriage then a notarized copy of her marriage certificate should be submitted. The same applies to her mother.  If the names are different as a result of an error or changes other than marriage then the relevant correction should be made prior to sending in the citizenship application or an official name change document should be submitted.

  2. Notaries Public based in California must attach a completed California Certificate of Acknowledgement Form (downloadable from the CA Notary Website) in lieu of signature for certification of photograph or passport. In contrast with other states, California notaries are only able to notarize documents with original signatures. They are not able to notarize photographs or photocopies, i.e., they cannot stamp a photocopy with their seal, or sign it on the back in order to meet requirements of other countries or states. Instead, they will provide the California Certificate of Acknowledgement Form.  This is an affidavit by the applicant stating that THEY swear that the copy is a true and accurate copy of the original in their possession.  The notary would simply notarize the signature of the person and verify that they administered an oath to the signer.

  3. In the case of Citizenship by Descent, applicants may apply for their passports through the Consulate AFTER receiving their Certificates of Citizenship.

By Naturalization

A person may be granted naturalization after a minimum period of five (5) years residency in Jamaica on application following his/her residency through either Visa or Work Permit application.

Required documents:

  • Certified copy of Birth Certificate

  • Passport used to enter Jamaica

  • Current Passport if different

  • Work Permit or Exemption Certificate

  • Evidence of involvement in any community activities

  • Two (2) Passport size photographs. One must be notarized.

    • See "Online Forms" for photograph guidelines

    • Photos are not to be stapled or paper-clipped to the Application Form

A Jamaican Passport or Travel Document may be issued on application to a non – Jamaican only after the person has obtained a Certificate of Registration or Naturalization from the appropriate authorities in Jamaica.

Applications are to be submitted directly to the Passport, Citizenship and Immigration Agency in Jamaica by the applicant.

Address: 25C Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica.

 

By Marriage

​​A non-Jamaican national is eligible to make an application for citizenship by virtue of Marriage if he or she is married to a Jamaican citizen.

Required Documents:

  • Original Birth Certificate and certified copy of Passport of the Jamaican National

  • Original Birth Certificate and certified copy of Passport of the applicant (spouse)

  • Original copy of Marriage Certificate

  • Recent ( at most 6 months old) Police Record of the Applicant​​

  • Two (2) Passport sized photographs of the Applicant. One must be notarized.

    • See "Online Forms" for photograph guidelines

    • Photos are not to be stapled or paper-clipped to the Application Form

  • 2 x Completed Applications using Form R1 (see "Online Forms")

  • Letter to the Minister of National Security and Justice requesting registration as a Citizen of Jamaica.

​​Ministry of National Security
12 Ocean Boulevard
Kingston Mall
Jamaica, WI

  • Payment: A fee of US$260.00 is required on application. This fee is payable by Money Order made payable to Embassy of Jamaica and will cover both the application fee and the return of your original documents via courier. 

  • Processing period:

    • for Citizenship by Marriage Applications (provided that application fulfills all requirements AFTER being transmitted to the Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency (PICA) in Jamaica) is Twenty-four (24) months

    • In the case of Citizenship by Descent and Citizenship by Marriage, applicants may apply for their passports through the Consulate AFTER receiving their Certificates of Citizenship.

 

 

Notes:

  1. The spelling of names (applicant’s and parent’s names)  should be consistent on all documents provided. If the applicant’s name is different due to marriage then a notarized copy of her marriage certificate should be submitted. The same applies to her mother.  If the names are different as a result of an error or changes other than marriage then the relevant correction should be made prior to sending in the citizenship application or an official name change document should be submitted.

  2. Notaries Public based in California must attach a completed California Certificate of Acknowledgement Form (downloadable from the CA Notary Website) in lieu of signature for certification of photograph or passport. In contrast with other states, California notaries are only able to notarize documents with original signatures. They are not able to notarize photographs or photocopies, i.e., they cannot stamp a photocopy with their seal, or sign it on the back in order to meet requirements of other countries or states. Instead, they will provide the California Certificate of Acknowledgement Form.  This is an affidavit by the applicant stating that THEY swear that the copy is a true and accurate copy of the original in their possession.  The notary would simply notarize the signature of the person and verify that they administered an oath to the signer.

  3. In the case of Citizenship by Marriage, applicants may apply for their passports through the Consulate AFTER receiving their Certificates of Citizenship.

 

By Residency

The first step in obtaining Permanent Visa status for Jamaica and eventually a Jamaican travel document is to establish residency either through Visa/Work Permit Application or Registration.

Residency Requirements

To reside in Jamaica each person should submit the following documents and particulars:

  • Valid National Passport

  • Evidence of financial status and means of support – e.g. particulars of pension, bank account, property owned and business investments

  • Certified Copy of Birth Certificate

  • Marital status – Marriage Certificate, particulars of spouse, children and other dependents

  • Medical Certificate of good health

  • Police Certificate from the state from which you are migrating

  • Two (2) Passport sized photographs of the Applicant. One must be notarized.

    • See link for photograph guidelines

    • Photos are not to be stapled or paper-clipped to the Application Form

  • Reasons for seeking permanent residence in Jamaica

  • Names and addresses of two reputable references or acquaintances

 

All applications are referred to Jamaica for approval which can take up to 3 – 4 months.

By Residency through Work Permit

Persons applying for residency who will require employment to maintain themselves in Jamaica must also apply for a Work Permit. On approval of the Work Permit which is usually based on a job offer, a visa is automatically granted.

Commonwealth citizens are allowed to enter Jamaica without visas and not required to have Work Permits, although it is advisable that they apply for Permits prior to arrival where employment will be sought.