Jamaicans living overseas can now renew their Jamaican passports online with the new online system launched by the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA).
The system, which was launched on December 11th, is now fully operational for adults and allows users to apply or renew a passport and also apply for Jamaican citizenship.
To use the system, customers need to log on to PICA’s website at http://www.pica.gov.jm and begin the process from any location in the world any hour of the day.
Once the applicant logs on to the system, the applicant will also need their expired passport, their Jamaican citizenship document, a digital passport-sized photograph stored on a computer, a valid Visa or Mastercard for payment, a valid and working email address to receive system-generated messages, and a portable data format (PDF) reader.
Applicants using the service can also opt to have their passports delivered directly to them wherever they are in the world, courtesy of a partnership between PICA and DHL.
The system was introduced during a launch ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston yesterday.
Speaking at the launch, Chief Executive Officer of PICA Andrew Wynter said the online adult passport renewal system will enhance service delivery to PICA’s customers, in particular, persons in the Jamaican diaspora, by significantly reducing the turnaround time for receiving their passports
He said prior to the introduction of the new system, Jamaicans, especially those living in rural areas and the diaspora, would have to travel great distances or wait for long periods to have their passports renewed.
“We are moving away from long lines, long wait times, early-morning queues, traveling long distances and consuming much of our customers’ valuable time in their effort to obtain a passport. The launch of the system will ensure a better, more convenient, more efficient and more timely way of applying for your passport,” he said.
He said measures have been implemented to ensure that customers’ information is safeguarded.
“We had to test [and] retest in order to ensure that the system is perfect. In this day and age of cybercrimes and identify theft, one of the critical aspects of it is to ensure that the identity and security of persons’ individual information is secure,” he said.
He said the initiative forms part of the government’s drive to modernize and transform the public sector while making it more efficient and responsive.