Subscribe for all my updates and don't miss a thing! Sign me up!

Can I Live And Work In Jamaica?
How to get Work Permits & Permanent Residence in Jamaica

Sharing Is Caring! Share this awesome content with your friends now.


New! See the real Jamaica in VIDEOS!
Click Here and see why over 140,000 fans are raving about my YouTube Channel!

tourist_destinations_in_jamaica_neville_spence_jamaica2Can I Live And Work In Jamaica?

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer 

Deciding to make Jamaica your home to live and work does take some paperwork and a few trips to the Passport and Immigration and Citizenship (PICA) office or the Ministry of Labour but it is doable and definitely worth it. Now with so many opportunities to work remotely, you can be wherever you wish and still be able to do your job.

New! How much do you love Jamaica?

Join our growing list of well-thinking Jamaica-loving folks who are demonstrating what a friendly, helpful and fun Jamaican community looks like. Click Here to learn more.

And, if you ever need a trustworthy and knowledgeable local guide, consider booking a private tour with us!

There are two ways to do this: apply for a work permit or permanent residence. I’ll explain them both and you can decide the best option.

Can a foreigner get a job in Jamaica?

Yes, foreign nationals can work in Jamaica. However, they need to obtain a work permit before arriving through their employer. Or, if they are self-employed a legal representative or contractor.

What is a work permit?

In Jamaica, the work permit is an identification card with the issue number and photograph of an expatriate authorised to live and work in Jamaica in the specific field and for the duration stipulated on the identification card.

Work Permit for Non-Nationals and Non-Commonwealth members

You must have received a job offer on the island for work permits already. The application to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security must be made on your behalf by your employer, contractor or legal representative.

A cover letter must be included in the documents when seeking a work permit and this letter should clearly outline the reasons for applying, the duration of the work being done and efforts to hire Jamaicans for the role.

Self-Employed Persons

Applications done on behalf of self-employed non-nationals must also include a cover letter. It should outline the nature and duration of the work being undertaken, certified copies of the applicant's qualifications, two passport photos, a copy of their resume and a police record.

If your documents are in a language other than English, you are expected to present a certified English translation. The documents must be certified by a Justice of the Peace or Notary Public. If you are unable to reach any of these individuals, then authorised members of staff at the Ministry of Labour may certify the documents upon presentation of the original documents.

A non-refundable processing fee must be submitted along with the application. If you are approved, you must then pay the work permit fee for the permit to be issued. The cost of the permits depends on the duration you will be staying on the island it can be 3 months, 3 to 6 months, 6 to 9 months or 9 months to a year.

A non-refundable processing fee of JMD$14,400 must be submitted with the application. If approval is granted by the MLSS, the applicant must pay a work permit fee before the permit can be issued. The process for approval can take between 4 and 6 weeks.

Contact Information

  • Ministry of Labour and Social Security (Work Permit Division)
  • Address: 1F North Street, Kingston
  • Tel: (876) 922-9500 – 14
  • Website:

Self-Employment Applications or Work Permit Renewals

A tax compliance certificate is required for both categories of persons. Certified copies of their identity, passport number, date of issue and expiry, landing status in Jamaica and relevant visas (if necessary), should be submitted from the applicant’s passport.

Work Permits, especially those granted through an employer are non-transferable. Should you leave one place of employment for another, before your current contract expires, your new employer will need to reapply for your work permit.

Also, a letter from your previous employer stating that they have no issue with you continuing to work on the island should be submitted.

Watch Video! Tips to Live In Jamaica

CSME Permit

Free Movement of skilled workers within CARICOM is encouraged and the CARICOM Skilled Persons Act came into effect in 1997. This facilitates the free movement of Caribbean nationals within the region.

Skilled workers within the region can apply for a Certificate of Recognition of Caribbean Community Skilled Person which gives them unrestricted access to jobs in the Caribbean as long as it is within their skill set.

CSME certificates cover a wide range of fields including, hospitality, medicine, entertainment, journalism and sports just to name a few. I must hasten to point out however that if you are certified in hospitality, for example, it does not grant permission to work in medicine or any other field.

If you should happen to switch careers, you will need a CSME certificate specific to your career change.

Documents required for a CSME permit

  • Application form
  • A certified copy of a degree, associate degree, diploma or certificate ( for artisans and domestic workers only) or professional qualification such as ACCA or AAT
  • A sealed letter, separate from a transcript, from the institution that awarded the qualifications.
  • Certified copy of passport page (showing bio-data information and expiry date).
  • A certified copy of the Birth Certificate
  • 3 Passport sized photos certified by a Justice of the Peace.
  • Police record from your country of residence for the past 3 years.

Original documents must be brought to support this claim if there has been a name change by deed poll, marriage or any other instance.

If your qualifications were obtained from any other institution other than the University of the West Indies, University of Guyana, University of Technology, MICO University and the University of Suriname, you will need to get the qualification assessed for equivalency at the University Council of Jamaica, 6b Oxford Road, Kingston 10.

If you have dependents who will be travelling with you, these are the documents required:

  • A certified copy of the Birth Certificate and passport page.
  • 3 passport size photographs certified by a Justice of the Peace
  • If the dependent’s name differs from that on the birth certificate, two persons who knew of the birth must sign a declaration stating that the applicant is the true parent. That must be done in the presence of a Justice of the Peace or Notary.
  • If the dependent was adopted, the relevant documents must be submitted.
  • If the applicant is married a marriage certificate is required.
  • Also, if the husband or wife were previously divorced, then these documents are required.
  • A certified copy of the death certificate is needed if a parent has passed.

Cost of A CSME Certificate

The current costs in 2022 listed on the Ministry’s website are as follows:

  • Application Fee - $2,000.00
  • Cost of the Certificate - $8,000.00
  • Each Dependent - $2,000.00
  • Replacement Fee - $3,000.00
  • Amendment Fee - $2,000.00

These prices are subject to change and are non-refundable.

Additional Information for CSME Applicants

Only those who are native to Caricom Countries that are signatories to the agreement and who are graduates are eligible for a CSME certificate. Some professionals are required to register with local bodies in addition to gaining their CSME certificate. These include, but are not limited to Engineers, Doctors, Veterinarians and Nurses.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is a great source of additional information should you need it.

Contact Information

  • Tel: 1(876) 922-9500-17
  • Website:

Permanent Residence

Permanent Residence is issued to persons who wish to live and work or retire in Jamaica. It is also issued to persons who marry Jamaicans and wish to reside here with their spouse.

Permanent residence is less restrictive than a work permit as it allows you to work without a stipulated duration of time or having to reapply every year for a work permit or apply for Jamaican citizenship.

Qualifying Categories for Permanent Residence

  • Employment: foreign nationals working on the island for more than 3 years
  • Retirement: retired foreign nationals who wish to retire in Jamaica
  • Marriage to a Jamaican: a foreign national who is married to a Jamaican national
  • Dependent: foreign nationals who are dependent on a Permanent Resident holder

Previous holders of Unconditional Landing status by virtue of marriage to a Jamaican also qualify for permanent residence.

Required Documents for Permanent Residence Application

  • Completed Application form
  • A passport with no less than 6 months' validity
  • Evidence of financial status (bank statements, pension etc)
  • Original birth certificate and if you are applying through marriage, the birth certificate or passport of your Jamaican spouse
  • Original marriage certificate/decree absolute if applicable
  • Original birth certificate for children if applicable
  • Two (2) identical passport-size pictures, certified by a Justice of the Peace (JP)
  • Evidence of property ownership/assets in Jamaica or overseas
  • A Letter stating the reason for permanent residence must be addressed to the CEO, PICA, 25 Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10.
  • Letter from two (2) reputable references, must be Jamaican nationals and must be addressed to the CEO, PICA, 25 Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10.
  • Entry visa (if applicable)
  • Local medical certificate/certificate of good health in Jamaica
  • Police record from your previous country of residence.
  • Police record in Jamaica if you have been residing here for 6 months or more.
  • Required fee

For business owners, the certificate of registration, tax compliance certificate (TCC), proof of income tax returns and audited financial statements for the last full year of the business’ operations are required.

Points to note:

  • Relevant documents must be translated into English.
  • Permanent residents are not afforded the same rights as Jamaican citizens.
  • Applicants will be required to attend an interview conducted by the Agency’s Investigation and Surveillance Unit.
  • Applications are processed within 3 to 6 months
  • All documents must be original and not copies.

Contact the Passport and Immigration Agency for more information:

  • Phone: 876 754 PICA or 876 754 7422
  • Email:
  • Website:,rights%20as%20a%20Jamaican%20citizen.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and PICA have locations islandwide, and the necessary forms are available online.
There are locations islandwide.

All you need to do, is pick the best option for you, fill out the necessary paperwork and you’ll be living like the locals in no time!

You might like these

Sharing IS Caring! Please help me get the message out by sharing this article with your friends on social media (links below). Thnx ;-)

If you found this page useful, please consider subscribing to my weekly newsletter, to get even more

It tells you each week about the new information that I have added, including new developments and great stories from lovers of Jamaica! 

Return to Cost to Live In Jamaica from Can I Live and Work In Jamaica? 
Return to My Island Jamaica Homepage from Can I Live and Work In Jamaica?

References & Sources For Can I Live and Work In Jamaica?

  1. Earle, C.P. (no date) Jamaican embassy. Available at: (Accessed: November 9, 2022).
  2. What are the main causes of crime in Jamaica? (no date) My. Available at: (Accessed: November 9, 2022).
  3. Work permit (no date) Ministry of Labour and Social Security. Available at: (Accessed: November 9, 2022).

Can I Live And Work In Jamaica | Written: November 9, 2022

Back To The Top Of This Page

New! Get My Latest Book👇🏿


You asked, I've answered! You no longer need to save for months or years, to enjoy paradise!

JAMAICA On A Budget is your passport to experiencing what I call 'The Real Jamaica' on a budget!

I spilled the beans! sharing my top tips on finding cozy accommodations and secret gems, only the way a native could! Click Here to pick it up on my e-store and start saving now!

See The Best Of Jamaica - In Videos!


My channel reaches over 140,000 subscribers worldwide and has leveraged over 11 million views, sharing, what I call 'The Real Jamaica'. Subscribe today and join our family of viewers.


Read More ...

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

New! Experience The REAL Jamaica!
Book Your Private Tour here and experience Jamaica the way we (locals) do!

P.S. Didn't find what you were looking for? 
Still need help?

Click Here to try our dependable and effective Site Search tool. It works!

Or, simply click here and here, to browse my library of over 500 questions and answers! Chances are someone already asked (and got an answer to) your question.

Back To The Top Of This Page

Like My Site? Please Click Here To Share It With Your Friends

Home   |   JOIN US   |   Site Search   |   Have Your Say   |   Archives   |   Old Archives   |   Contact   |   Disclaimer   |   TIP ME!   |   Link To Us

Do like I did! Share your passion
(about your city, hobby or experience) and make a living from it. Click Here to see how

By Wellesley Gayle   |   Copyright © 2007-2024   |   All rights Reserved.   |   Privacy Policy