JIS News

From July 12 to 24 the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) will conduct several outreach meetings targeting Jamaican nationals living in major North American cities.
Initially, a six-city tour, covering Miami, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and New York City in the United States and Toronto and Montreal in Canada, the agency has extended the number of outreach meetings to include areas such as Fort Lauderdale near Miami, Hartford in Connecticut and Irvington in New Jersey.
This extension, according to Dr. Patricia Holness, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the RGD, was done in order to accommodate the numerous requests for the RGD’s services made by delegates attending the inaugural Jamaican Diaspora Conference, which was held in Kingston from June 16 to 17. “The outreach is a part of our efforts to provide RGD services and information to Jamaicans, not only locally but all over the world,” Dr. Holness explained.
Indeed, the outreaches to these major cities are welcomed, given the fact that it was reported in a 2003 study by the Planning Institute of Jamaica that at least one million Jamaicans had migrated to the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada in the last 50 years, with over 59 per cent scattered in cities all over the United States.
“We are looking forward to speaking to groups of persons in each city, who at least will be able to pass the word along, in terms of what the agency can do to better facilitate all the efforts they have been making to secure birth, marriage and death certificates,” the CEO told JIS News. The RGD team, consisting of four members of staff, will be working closely with and in most instances, operating out of the Consulates and foreign missions in the selected cities. All Jamaican nationals are invited to submit and make payment for applications for certified copies of vital records.
“We will also be holding town meetings in all locations, therefore Jamaicans may submit applications at these meetings, and also learn about the agency’s functions and services,” Dr. Holness pointed out.
The RGD will commence its tour in Miami on July 12, moving on to Atlanta on July 14. The team will then go to Washington, D.C. on July 15 and 16, after which the members will be in Hartford, Connecticut on July 18.
On July 19, there will be an outreach meeting in Irvington, New Jersey and on July 20, the outreach will operate out of New York City.
The team will then head to Canada, and on July 22 will operate out of Toronto, before hosting an outreach and town meeting from July 23 to 24.
Meanwhile, the CEO disclosed that the agency would be working assiduously to facilitate online payment for applications made via their website:, given the increase in online applications.
“We are looking forward to implementing it in the very near future,” Dr. Holness said, noting that the facility would be of great assistance to customers applying for services from overseas.
Since becoming an Executive Agency in 1999, the RGD has previously conducted an outreach in both North America and the United Kingdom.