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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), says operations are running smoothly at its temporary location at the National Indoor Sports Centre, in St. Andrew.
  • Since PICA moved to the temporary location on Monday, it has been processing up to 1,200 applications each day.
  • The agency is now speeding up plans to acquire a new head office, and also to implement online applications.

The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), says operations are running smoothly at its temporary location at the National Indoor Sports Centre, in St. Andrew.

Since PICA moved to the temporary location on Monday, it has been processing up to 1,200 applications each day. The agency is now speeding up plans to acquire a new head office, and also to implement online applications.

The agency is also reminding the public that while other services are offered at its locations in Portmore and May Pen, no new applications are processed on the last two working days of the month (May 28 and 29), due to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), agreed to by PICA and the owners of the premises.

“At the tax offices in Portmore and May Pen, based on the MoU, those are blackout days, so everyone (from those areas) will have to come here. If you are applying, we are inviting those persons to come here,” said Chief Executive Officer of PICA, Jennifer McDonald, in an interview with JIS News, at the Centre, today (May 27).

According to Mrs. McDonald, with the centre having much more space than its Constant Spring head office, they have been able to set up different processing sections for persons with special needs, those with children, and others.

“We start issuing tickets at 5:00 a.m. and the doors are open at 6:00 a.m. We close at 3:30 p.m. On Fridays we normally close at 2:30 p.m., but we will see how that goes. We may have to stretch it,” she pointed out.

The Chief Executive Officer said members of her staff are doing tremendous work to make the public have the services requested.“It has been a lot of stress for both the public, and ourselves, and we have gone out to make the whole experience much better,” she said.

Come June 1, PICA will move the cost of a regular adult passport from $4,500 to $6,500, while the passport for a minor will move from $2,700 to $4,000. At the same time, replacing lost passports for adults will cost $11,500 (up from $9,500) and $7,000 (up from $5,700) for minors.