Many Jamaicans living overseas look forward to the day when they return home, some to retire, some to invest, and others to work and share experience and expertise gained abroad.

The process of relocation and re-establishing oneself requires planning, and in the past, Returning Residents have been severely hampered by a lack of information. This Information Pack has therefore been designed primarily to provide the kind of advice which will facilitate the re-entry process for Jamaican nationals and their families returning home to live and join in the development of our country.

An important factor in a number of policy decisions taken by the Government of Jamaica was the need to refine certain procedures in order to make it easier for Jamaicans overseas to return home. The Government accordingly initiated the Charter for Long-Term Returning Residents. The Provisions of Charter which was introduced in 1993 included:

The establishment of a Returning Residents Facilitation Unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Kingston to deal specifically with Returning Residents' affairs with responsibility for coordinating the efforts of designated officers in Jamaican Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom specially assigned to deal with Returning Residents, and liaising with the Ministries and Government Agencies which administer the various procedures and regulations affecting Returning Residents.
The review of statutory provisions relating to such matters as eligibility for concessions, and importation of personal and household effects and tools of trade with a view to possible amendment of the relevant laws.
The standardization of procedures relating to the importation of motor vehicles for all Jamaicans at home and abroad.
The provision of adequate and up-to-date information to actual and potential Returning Residents and the briefing of officials with whom they will come into contact.

In preparing this document, matters that a Returning Resident will have to address have been identified, some of which require explanation and prior knowledge of what to expect. We believe that this Information Pack should provide the answers to most of your questions, but please do not hesitate to contact the Jamaicans Overseas Department, or the Jamaican Diplomatic or Consular Mission nearest to you at the addresses in the directory provided should you require any further clarification.

As part of a process of liberalization, every effort has been made to simplify the bureaucratic processes involved in returning home. We must caution however, that penalties still exist for the abuse of the relevant laws and regulations. Please be aware of this and act accordingly.

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