Travel Ready? Passports & Visas for Jamaicans
I don’t know about you, but I get super excited just thinking about my next trip. Before you can get going though there is usually a couple of things you have to check first. Today let’s look at passports and visa.
A passport is a document required to leave one country and enter another, visas on the other hand are only required by some countries so it depends where you are going and what you plan to do at your destination.
The Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) produces four (4) types of Jamaican passports: adult ordinary passports; minor ordinary passports; diplomatic passports and official passports.
- Adult ordinary passports – These are passports issued to any adult Jamaican.
- Minor ordinary passports – These are passports issued to any Jamaican child under 18 years of age
- Diplomatic passports – These are passports issued to an authorized set of persons who represent Jamaica in diplomatic and other international affairs such as Ministers of government.
- Official passports – These are passports issued to government officials who will be representing Jamaica’s interests overseas
Issue and validity
Jamaican ordinary passports are issued by the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency in Jamaica and Jamaican Diplomatic Missions or Consulates and are valid to travel to all countries. Passports issued to persons over 18 years of age are valid for 10 years and those issued to persons under 18 years of age are valid for 5 years, unless otherwise endorsed.
Go to the PICA website to get more information on Jamaican passport
Passports have a date of expiration, at which time you’ll be required to get a new one to continue traveling internationally. A passport can also be considered functionally expired if you run out of pages for immigration to stamp.
A passport is typically required to be valid (and not expire) within the next 6 months to enter a foreign country.
Visas allow a destination country to have an accounting for (and to control) who they let in to their country and for what reasons. Some countries may use it as a political tool to keep people with certain views from entering and causing problems, while most use it to control the number of students, foreign workers, or tourists residing in their country.
Types of visas:
- Tourist Visa
This visa is for travelers intending on visiting a country but not working, studying, or staying there permanently. Countries differ on how long they allow tourists to stay, but 30-60 days is common. Tourists can often apply for a visa extension for a small fee.
There are Single and Multiple Entry Tourist Visas. Single entry as it suggests is only a one-time entry and multiple entry allows a person to leave the country and re-enter without having to apply for a visa each time. Multiple Entry Tourist Visa is usually more expensive.
This visa allows you to study abroad, student visas allow you to attend university for a fixed period in your country of choice. You must apply to and be accepted to the school of your choice before applying for this visa. So, you will have to meet the schools’ international student requirements first.
Work visas are for people who want to enter a country and work for a limited period. This will often require an employer to provide all the necessary documents and follow the procedures required by said country to hire foreigners.
This visa is required for those traveling to a country for business reasons who aren’t going to be working for or receiving payment from elements in that country. Overseas business meetings would fall under this category.