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Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency

Modernization of the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA)

As of June 1, The Immigration, Citizenship and Passport Division (now the Passport Immigration and citizenship Agency, PICA) was granted Executive Agency status, the tenth to be created under the Public Sector Modernisation Programme. Numerous changes will take place as the modernisation plans for the entity are implemented. Implementation is projected to take place up to June 2009.

Why is the Agency being modernised?

  • PICA has responsibility for the issuance of the Jamaican passport which is the only form of national identification. It also serves visitors to the country and Jamaicans abroad. The entity’s performance therefore, is very important.
  • The organization must be equipped to deal with emerging security and border control
  • The organization’s performance has much to do with how Jamaica is perceived by foreigners; Immigration services, for example must therefore be carried out in a professional and customer-focused manner

What has happened so far?

  • Appointment of CEO and other critical officers;
  • Implementation of most recommendations from modernisation Plan;
  • Implementation of MOU with another ministry (ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade)

What is to be done?

  • Posting of PICA staff at some overseas missions.
  • Relocation of PICA’s offices to new location.

Processes have been simplified towards offering hassle-free service to its clients.

Some changes already introduced are:

  • Extended opening hours
  • Shortened turn –around time for passport processing, form 14 to 7 days, a time which ranks very high among international standards
  • A Q-matic system introduced to ensure smooth flow of applications on a daily basis.
  • New payment systems which allow payments to be made by debit and credit card.
  • Creation of a new PICA website where customers can download application forms and view job offerings.
  • The introduction of a quarterly report which tracks the progress of the modernization programme.This documentation supports efforts to ensure the modernistaion process is informed by empirical data.

PICA's modernisation plans project a number of changes that are expected to be in place by the end of 2009. The new Agency will operate at a heightened level of efficiency and service delivery. Clients can expect significant improvements in the processing of passports, immigration and citizenship applications.