JIS News

Five members of staff from the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), are to be deployed overseas during July and August, as the agency seeks to satisfy the needs of Jamaicans living in the Diaspora.
This disclosure was made by Jennifer McDonald, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PICA during a recent interview with JIS News.
According to Miss McDonald, the five persons would be placed throughout the Diaspora for at least four years.
“We are posting five members of staff overseas in the United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA) and Canada for three to four years. Their main duty will be to assist the mission to review passports, citizenship and visa applications to ensure that they are completed correctly and that the requisite supporting documents are provided,” she explained.
The CEO also pointed out that the employees would be working from the London High Commission in the UK, the Consulate General’s Offices in Miami and New York, the Embassy in Washington, D.C., in the USA, and Toronto, Canada.
They include three Immigration Supervisors, a Senior Immigration Officer and the Director of Passport. Hugh Thomas, Director of Passport will be working in New York; Immigration Supervisors, Sasha Wedderburn, Marcus Manning and Carol Stewart will be going to Washington D.C., Toronto and London, respectively and Senior Immigration Officer, Stacey Johnston will be stationed in Miami.
Miss McDonald noted that the officers would undergo about three weeks of specialized training before they are deployed overseas.
“They will be undergoing specialized training this week for about two to three weeks to better prepare them for their appointment. The training session will discuss our foreign policy, passport laws and regulations, customer service, diplomatic immunities, citizenship and immigration laws, interviewing techniques, communication skills, and a number of other areas,” she pointed out.
The CEO also indicated that the training would be done through a combination of internal and external persons, including individuals from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Management Institute for National Development (MIND).
With regard to the sustainability of the initiative, Miss McDonald said that PICA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “will constantly be assessing and reviewing to see the extent to which we would need to complement those persons who are going and the extent to which the service will be required in other locations.so it will be an on-going assessment.”
She said that the deployment of the officers would not create an undue void in the operations, but that it would create opportunities for other persons to move up in the agency.

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