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I Plan to Retire in Jamaica, What Should I Do?

RESPONSE: by Sheree-Anita Shearer

Hello, good morning.

I am planning on retiring in March 2022 and moving to St Ann. I want to be able to stay longer than 90 days so I think I need to apply for permanent residency in the PICA office in Kingston, correct? Is this by appointment? When I return to the US how long do I have to stay there before returning to Jamaica?

Can I return to the continental US only? Can I live outside the resilient corridor when I am no longer considered a tourist?

SHOULD I apply for TRN? (seems to ask for TRN on many applications). Can I get utilities without TRN! Thanks for your help.

I’m going to the Etsy store now.
J


Hi J,

Congratulations on your retirement! I am so glad you have chosen Jamaica as your retirement destination! And after visiting St. Ann myself, I can’t say I am surprised that you have chosen the parish as your new home. Anyway, you have some questions that you would like to have answered and I will respond as best as possible.

We actually have a video with our friend Maura who shares vital information on not only how to live in Jamaica for 6 months but how to retire on the island. You can

Watch this Video Below



When do you apply for Permanent Residency in Jamaica?

If you are a foreign national living and working in Jamaica, you must apply for permanent residency to avoid restrictions on your stay. This way, foreign nationals are able to live in the country legally without having to apply for a work permit or Jamaican citizenship. You are, however, not given the same constitutional rights as a Jamaican citizen with permanent residency.

You need not apply for residency in Jamaica if you are planning to stay for less than 6 months.

Who qualifies for permanent residency?

If you fall under one of the following categories then you are qualified to apply for permanent residency:
  • Marriage to a Jamaican national
  • Have been employed in the country for three consecutive years
  • Plan to or have retired in Jamaica
  • Are a dependent of someone with Permanent Resident status
  • Previously held Unconditional Landing status as a result of marrying a Jamaican National
What are the required documents to apply for Permanent Residence in Jamaica?

To apply for Permanent Residence you must submit:
  • Your Permanent Residence application form.

  • A valid passport with no less than six months validity.

  • Proof of Financial Status and means of support. For example pension, bank statement or proof of income etc. For business owners who are foreign nationals, you must submit 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.

  • Original birth certificate of the applicant. Please ensure it is translated to English if necessary.

  • In the case you are applying through marriage to a Jamaican national, the original birth certificate or machine-readable Jamaican passport of a Jamaican spouse must be included.

  • Police certificate from both your previous country of residence and Jamaica.

  • Two identical passport size pictures certified by a Justice of the Peace. Justices of the Peace are found locally.

  • Evidence of property ownership and other assets in Jamaica and overseas. Ensure it is translated to English if necessary.

  • Original marriage certificate/decree absolute (if applicable).

  • Original birth certificate for children (if applicable).

  • Local medical certificate in Jamaica.

  • A letter outlining the reason for applying should be written and addressed to the CEO, PICA, 25 Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10.

  • A letter from two reputable references, must be written and addressed to the CEO, PICA, 25 Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10. These two references must be Jamaican nationals.

  • If an entry visa is required, it must be submitted as well. You can check here to see if a visa is required for your country.

  • The processing fee. You can check PICA’s website (https://www.pica.gov.jm/) to see the current fees.
Please ensure all your documents are original copies and are translated to English if necessary.

What is the process like?

To obtain Permanent Residence, you will first be interviewed by the Investigation and Surveillance Unit of the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA). You can apply at any PICA location in Jamaica, however, the interview is done based on appointment at all locations except in Kingston.

There is no stipulated time as to when you have to travel from one country to the next when you have permanent residency. You can move between both countries freely and there are no restrictions on where you can and can’t go. Also, you can live outside of the resilient corridor with permanent residence status.

How long does it take to get permanent residency?

The entire process usually takes 3 to 6 months after application for permanent residency to be granted.

Will you need a TRN?

I see you have noticed that a Tax Registration Number is important if you live in Jamaica. Whether you are a citizen or not, some transactions will not be done unless you can provide a TRN, including getting utilities.

You should definitely apply for a TRN and it is fairly easy to get it done as well. For persons residing overseas, your application should be submitted along with a copy of your passport or drivers licence (notarized by a notary public). Ensure that your passport or Drivers Licence has your correct name, date of birth and signature. Also, the signature on the application must match the one on the form of identification you have chosen to use.

If your document happens to be in another language, please ensure it is translated to English before submitting your application.

You can begin the process of applying for your TRN while you are overseas by mailing it to the Tax Office in Jamaica. However, the TRN card will be mailed to the address the applicant sent the request from. If you would like to wait until you get to Jamaica, that is fine too. Getting a valid TRN is free and can be done in approximately one week.

Please don't hesitate to send us any additional questions you may have or to update us on your progress. Additionally, our website has a wide entrée of articles and recommended suppliers of various goods and services which can help you with things such as property acquisition, shipping and other necessities to help you transition smoothly.

I wish you a long and fulfilling retirement! Jamaica looks forward to having you.

I also recommend you read, How to Live in Jamaica for Six Months.

Regards,
SS

References:
  • Permanent Residence, Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency, https://www.pica.gov.jm/immigration/permanent-residence
  • There are new requirements for individuals applying for TRN, Jamaica Observer, https://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/there-are-new-requirements-for-individuals-applying-for-trn_14389166

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