Want To Return To Jamaica, But Concerned, Any Advice?
Whenever I find a gem, I don't hesitate to share it so that you, and many others, can benefit.
Responding to my recent (weekly) newsletter, Sharon asked a very valid and timely question, something that a lot of my readers are interested in.
I provided a detailed response and so I am now sharing the response with you so you can benefit as well.
Here is it below.
ANSWER: by Wellesley
On Sun, 23 Jun 2019 at 06:22, Sharon P
Good Morning Wellesley!
Blessings on this lovely Sunday morning.
I have been contemplating returning home for a while now, but I have been hearing so many negative news about Jamaica that I’m beginning to change my mind.
I would love to live in Portland. Please tell me the real deal. By the way I have been visiting every year since 2009 sometimes twice per year and have had nothing but good times.
I fear visiting and actually living there are two different scenarios. Please enlighten me.
Thanks in advance.
Sent from my iPhone
Hi Sharon, thanks for reaching out to me!
I first must commend you on your annual visits, you said, twice per year since 2009, that's awesome!
Yes, visiting and living is quite different, you remember that old saying, seeing and living with me is two different things
I believe it is also true for visiting vs living anywhere, and that includes Jamaica.
That said, my first advice is always for persons with no real appreciation and understanding of the culture to visit a few times and immerse themselves in #TheRealJamaica as much as possible before making any decision to migrate.
But you are already ahead of the game. Not only have you visited several times, for several years, you also lived here when you were younger, from what I understand.
Crime is here, that's the fact, and so it is a valid concern. Sometimes it gets quite depressing when it appears that the authorities have no real fix for it.
The truth though (and I covered it in the article, is Jamaica safe
) there are areas that have much higher concentration of crime than others, for several social reasons.
And so, there are areas that are as safe as, and perhaps even safer than where you are living now, despite the apparent proliferation of lawlessness and insanity you see on social media!
Portland happens to be one of those many relatively safer areas. In fact, the problem plagued areas are in the extremely smaller percentage!
I suggest you read my response to the question of best place in Jamaica to live for a returning resident here
and come back here.
Go ahead, I'll wait :-)
Back now from reading it?
OK, with that said, I believe the authorities are fully aware of this concern (It's still a valid one) and have finally taken some steps to address the concerns of returning residents.
In fact, they have established a department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade specifially to render assistance to Returning Residents of Jamaica.
That Department serves as the focal point for the facilitation of assistance to Returning Residents through the transmission of information to and from overseas based Jamaicans. It also serves as an information centre and collaborates with a number of Government Agencies for the smooth resettlement process.
- The Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) on matters relating to nationality, citizenship and immigration.
- Jamaica Customs Agency, which deals with matters relating to eligibility for concessions, and the importation and clearance of personal and household effects, tools of trade, motor vehicles and other items, and
- The Trade Board, which deals with matters relating to the issuance of Import Licences.
They have also published what they call, The Returning Resident Handbook
that I believe is extremely helpful.
You can download a copy of it here
. Yeah, its free!
It addresses and includes helpful information on:
- Retuning home
- Essential contacts, including direct contacts to key government ministries and agencies you'll need.
- Airport and customs importation issues (see the Returning Resident customs guide here as well)
- Safety and Security measures, as well as,
- Key Returning residents associations.
Those Returning Residents Associations, by the way, includes:Jamaica Association for the Resettlement of Returning Residents
President: Mr. Percival LaTouche
Address: 3 Cargill Avenue, Suite #8, Kingston 10
Telephone: 876-754-3790/ 925-7277
Website: www.ja-rr.comNational Association of Returned Citizens
President: Mrs. Gertrude Thelwell
Address: Santa Cruz P.O., St. Elizabeth
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgInternational Returning Resident Association of Jamaica
President: Mrs. Marylyn Tapper
Address: 47E Old Hope Road, Kingston 5
Press, Policy and Public Relations: Ms. Sharon DavisEmail: email@example.com
Website: www.jamaicareturningresidents.comFacebook: www.facebook.com/IRRAofJABritish Jamaican Association
President: Mrs. Jennifer Coleen Speid
Telephone: Jamaican: 876-343-8991
British: +44 793-291-0919
And finally, I answered a similar question sometime and shared some key tips for returing residents and those migrating to Jamaica
. Be sure to read that article here
I hope this helps.