Feature
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith (left), interacts with employees of the Registrar’s General Department during the Seventh Biennial Diaspora Conference in 2017 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.
Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson

Story Highlights

  • Government entities will be offering fast-tracked services to delegates attending the Eighth Biennial Diaspora Conference, slated for June 16 to 20 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.
  • Approximately 10 State agencies are already confirmed for these engagements, dubbed ‘Government at Your Service’, which were offered during the 2017 Conference.
  • They include: the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA); Registrar General’s Department (RGD); National Housing Trust (NHT); Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ); Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ); Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA); and National Education Trust (NET).

Government entities will be offering fast-tracked services to delegates attending the Eighth Biennial Diaspora Conference, slated for June 16 to 20 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

Approximately 10 State agencies are already confirmed for these engagements, dubbed ‘Government at Your Service’, which were offered during the 2017 Conference.

They include: the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA); Registrar General’s Department (RGD); National Housing Trust (NHT); Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ); Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ); Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA); and National Education Trust (NET).

Visiting participants will experience the benefits of the ‘one-stop’ service provisions, which will be available from Monday, June 17 to Wednesday June 19, beginning 8:00 a.m. daily.

Scores of persons from Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, among other countries, which are home to significant numbers of Jamaicans and their descendants, are expected in the island for the biennial conference.

It is anticipated that many of them will use the opportunity to transact business with the entities, including passport renewals and updating birth certificates.

Chair of the Government at Your Service Committee, Nicole Whyte, tells JIS News that participating entities will pulling out the stops to deliver top class service to the attendees.

“They will be able to come and transact business right there at the Conference instead of having to go to a tax office, or a PICA location. For the RGD, they can apply for a birth certificate on the Monday and if it is needed urgently, they can collect it on the Tuesday,” she says.

Miss Whyte, who is the RGD’s Marketing and Planning Manager, advises that persons will be able to apply for birth, death or marriage certificates, as well as do late entry of names, correction of errors, re-registration, addition of father’s particulars, and updating of birth certificates.

She further discloses that a genealogical research service, which was a “top seller” offered during the last Conference, will be provided again this year.

Miss Whyte notes that many delegates were and still are interested in tracing their genealogical history.

“Persons can actually pay to trace their roots and, if they want, they can also plot a family tree so they can see exactly who they are related to, going as far back as our records allow,” she informs.

To ensure speedy delivery of this service, Miss Whyte encourages delegates to provide as much information as is possible to initiate the process.

“The more information they have, the easier it is for us to start the process. If they can give us the place and date of birth, starting with their parents and going back to their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, it will assist us,” she adds.

PICA will provide passport renewals, with persons being able to opt for either expedited or regular seven-day service.

Delegates using the regular service can choose to either have their new passports delivered by secured courier or pick up same in person at a local PICA office or Jamaican Overseas Mission.

“Applicants will be required to submit their current Jamaican passport, Jamaican citizenship documents, such as birth and naturalization certificates, two passport-size pictures and their name change document, if applicable,” Miss Whyte adds.

PICA will also facilitate applications for Jamaican citizenship as also unconditional landing, she further informs