PICA to hosts access Jamaica initiative in Connecticut October 8-10

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Chief Executive Officer of the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, Andrew Wynter [Photo by PICA]

By Lisa Rowe

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – Jamaicans living in Hartford, Connecticut in the United States, are set to benefit from the services offered by the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), at the Access Jamaica initiative.

The event, which will be held at the Collin Bennett Building located on 1229 Albany Avenue in Hartford from October 8 to 10, 2021, will allow members of the diaspora living in the area, to apply for Jamaican passports, renew and replace existing passports.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, chief executive officer of PICA, Andrew Wynter said the Agency created the event as the service was needed by the diaspora.

“It is a programme that PICA developed as part of our diaspora engagement strategy. We asked ourselves how we could connect with the diaspora and get them on board and one of the things we thought of was that a lot of persons want access to Jamaica and the best access they can get is through their passport,” Wynter said.

This is the third staging of Access Jamaica, with the first held in Atlanta, Georgia in October 2019 and the second held in Florida in March 2020.

PICA will be hosting the event in partnership with the GraceKennedy Money Services (Western Union), Jamaica National, Victoria Mutual Building Society and Integrated Diaspora Services.

Wynter said PICA will also give persons the opportunity to apply for citizenship through the various service channels at the agency.

“Persons whose children were not born in Jamaica can apply for their citizenship by descent for their children and in other cases even citizenship by marriage with their spouses. Once we have completed the process for citizenship then they can now apply for their Jamaican passport,” he stated.

In addition, Jamaicans in the diaspora will be able to apply for unconditional landing.

“This is a facility that is extended to Jamaicans who have dual nationality sometimes they don’t want to carry two passports, we have an immigration product that is called unconditional landing which once that stamp is in their passport, they will be able to land and move in and out of Jamaica without any issue.” Wynter explained.

Persons will be processed in the same manner as they would in Kingston, and it will take approximately 20 working days for them to receive their passport after they make the application.

This allows PICA to process the applications in Jamaica and then send the passport to the applicant via a courier service.

The three-day event is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. each day and end at 4:00 p.m. Applicants are reminded to bring the necessary documents such as their birth certificate, identification, their passport (in the case of a renewal), submit and pay for processing.

Persons can pre-register for the event by visiting PICA’s website.

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