PICA’s online Passport Application Portal was recently tested by delegates at the Eighth Biennial Diaspora Conference, held from June 16 to 20 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
The agency was one of several government agencies that offered express service and government-related business at the ‘Government at Your Service’ pavilion, a fast-tracked one-stop-shop exclusively at the conference.
Director of Customer Service, PICA, Stephanie Gordon, told JIS News that the new system will allow Jamaicans to apply for or renew their passport online at www.pica.gov.jm, pay for the service and have it delivered to them.
“We will be introducing the online passport application service as well as the online citizenship application,” she said.
Ms. Gordon said a number of persons had visited the booth during the Conference to apply for passports and to enquire about Jamaican citizenship.
“We turned around their applications in a day, so persons were able to get their passports before they returned home. People made use of the opportunity to do their renewals while they were here, instead of waiting while they are overseas,” she added.
Ms. Gordon said that applications for citizenship were also received from second-generation Jamaicans and from persons who are married to Jamaican nationals.
The Director said that the agency’s outreach programme has been fulfilling the needs of Jamaicans abroad.
“We do have a number of outreaches throughout the year. We have been in the UK, Canada, US as well as in the Caribbean, so in order to reach our customers where they are, we take our services to them,” she added.
Ms. Gordon said that PICA offers its services at community activities and exhibitions, in partnership with Missions overseas. “This provides an opportunity for persons to interact with us and get their issues resolved,” she said.
She noted that persons are sometimes hesitant to apply for their passports because they don’t have some of the requisite documents.
“So, when we are there we can interact with them to get their issues resolved and to find a solution to the situation they may have,” Ms. Gordon said.
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