The process of relocating to Jamaica after a period of residence abroad entails direct contact with Government Agencies and Departments, as well as with travel and shipping agents and customs brokers. In order to simplify the relevant procedures, a major component in the Charter for Long-Term Returning Residents has been the establishment of facilities within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Kingston to provide assistance in dealing with the various problems which may arise.

The Jamaicans Overseas Department (formerly the Returning Residents Facilitation Unit) is staffed by a team of officers who are familiar with the various regulations pertaining to importation, immigration and other relevant matters. The Department is designed to function as a focal point for transmission of information to and from overseas-based Jamaicans, either directly, or through Jamaica's Overseas Missions.

The Department also liaises closely with key Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including:

The Ministry of National Security and Justice on matters of nationality, citizenship and immigration procedures
The Customs Department on matters relating to eligibility for concessions, and the importation and clearance of personal and household effects, tools of trade, vehicles and other items
The Trade Board Limited on matters relating to the issue of Import Licences; n The Ministry of Commerce & Technology and the Ministry of Finance & Planning on matters relating to Motor Vehicle Policy;
The Office of the Services Commissions on matters related to the Skills Bank Facility;
The Ministry of Mining & Energy, the Ministry of Commerce & Technology and the Ministry of Water on matters relating to provision of utility services to persons re-establishing their home in Jamaica;
The Ministry of Industry & Investment and JAMPRO on matters relating to Investment Policy and business Start-Ups.

Among the important tasks performed by the Department are:

The administration of the Returning Residents Programme including the provision of essential information to returning Jamaicans.
The monitoring of procedures relating to the relocation process; the identification of problems; and the facilitation of solutions as appropriate.
The promotion of the interests of overseas Jamaicans seeking to provide skills and services, including the circulation of curriculum vitae /résumés of qualified persons seeking to explore employment opportunities.
The promotion of the development of a policy supportive of the interests of overseas Jamaican communities in their respective host countries.
The encouragement and mobilization of Jamaicans abroad to promote relationships of mutual support which assist national development.

The Department is geared to assist in individual cases of difficulty, and, where it is apparent that a number of persons are experiencing the same problem, the Department will be instrumental in alerting the appropriate Ministry or Agency, and in working with them to take corrective action. In the same way, it will keep abreast of changes in the relevant procedures and regulations, and make such information available on a continuous and timely basis.

The services of the Jamaicans Overseas Department are extended through the network of Jamaica's Diplomatic and Consular Missions which provide a vital linkage with nationals living abroad. All Missions have therefore been provided with supplies of this Information Pack and are aware of its operational details.

Additionally, because in some countries and some locales there are significant concentrations of people of Jamaican origin, special Information Desks have been established in the following Missions:

  Jamaican High Commission, Ottawa
  Jamaican Consulate-General, Toronto
United Kingdom
  Jamaican High Commission, London
United States of America
  Jamaican Embassy, Washington, D.C.
  Jamaican Consulate-General, New York
  Jamaican Consulate-General, Miami.

In each of these Missions a Consular Officer has been designated to assist Returning Jamaicans. You are invited to contact the Mission nearest to you, and seek clarification on any aspect of planning your return to Jamaica. If you are unable to make a personal visit to a Mission, please make contact by telephone, mail, fax, or e-mail and your request will be dealt with promptly. The relevant addresses and contact numbers may be found in the Directory Section of this document.

In countries where there is no Diplomatic or Consular Mission assistance, information can be sought directly from the Jamaicans Overseas Department. Similarly, if you are in Jamaica on a visit prior to relocation, you are encouraged to visit the Department for any information you may require.

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