Friday 3 April, 2020

Jamaican adults can now renew passport online - PICA

Adults who need to renew their Jamaican passport can now do it online from anywhere in the world.

The development fulfills a promise the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) made earlier this year.

PICA has advised that in order to use its online passport renewal application process, customers need to log on to the agency’s website at www.pica.gov.jm and begin the process from any location, any hour of the day.

The agency has also advised that once the applicant logs on to the system, he/she will also need their expired passport, their Jamaican citizenship document, a digital passport-sized photograph stored on 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 online option, promised by PICA in July, was introduced on Wednesday during a launch ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Speaking at the launch, Chief Executive Officer, 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 passport.

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, travelling 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,” Wynter said.

He said measures have been implemented to ensure that customer information is safeguarded by the agency’s ICT, in partnership with e-Gov and other entities.

“We had to test [and] retest in order to ensure that the system is perfect. In this day and age of cybercrime 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.

The CEO said the initiative forms part of the Government’s drive to modernise and transform the public sector, while making it more efficient and responsive.

“You, the public deserve a transformed public sector, and such transformation is necessary for us to achieve our Vision 2030 goals,” Wynter remarked.

Minors below age 18, first-time adult applicants and adults who were minors when they obtained their last passport cannot apply for their document online.

Additionally, persons in possession of the old non-machine-readable passport issued before September 2001 are ineligible to renew their documents online.

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