Automated Immigration Kiosks launched at NMIA
The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) has formally launched into operation, five automated immigration kiosks to process airline passengers arriving in the island at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston. The launch was held on Thursday, November 27, 2014 at the Government VIP Lounge at the NMIA.
The five kiosks were acquired by the Agency through funding from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and aided by technical support from SITA, an internationally renowned IT company that provide ICT solutions to the aviation industry.
It is anticipated that the use of the kiosks will facilitate a speedier processing of passengers through immigration as travellers interaction with the system will average approximately 60 seconds. This represents a significant reduction in the current average processing time of two-minutes when passengers interact directly with an immigration officer.
Immigration Officers will however, monitor the passenger flow at these kiosks and intervene where necessary.
It is expected that once the initial teething pains are resolved, the benefits from using the kiosks will increase over time as the number of experienced travellers grows.
Passengers who will be invited to use the kiosks include:
Jamaican Nationals with a valid passport
Visitors who possess electronic passport with biometric information (via embedded chip)
Caribbean Nationals who are members of CARICOM
UK, Canada and USA passengers with Machine Readable Travel Document
On the other hand, some passengers will not be accommodated in the new system, namely:
Passengers who require a visa
Families with children under the age of 18 years
Passengers who are users of wheelchairs
Holders of any type of permits will have to use the Primary Line
Emergency Certificates (non-passport) holders
The addition of kiosks at the airport forms part of PICA’s effort to re-engineer its immigration process and follows an earlier introduction of the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) to allow for a more convenient and hassle free travelling experience. With APIS, airlines are able to dispatch their passenger manifest to Jamaica’s immigration service prior to take off, thereby reducing the time spent in immigration. At present, APIS is used at both outgoing and incoming immigration and the addition of kiosks at the airport Arrival Hall is expected to complement and support the system.