PICA introduces Online Passport Application
As of today, Wednesday, December 11, 2019, adult customers who are renewing their passport will be able to do so without having to visit the offices of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA). This, as the Agency introduced an online adult passport renewal application portal to provide customers with a more convenient option for renewing their document. Applicants using the service can also opt to have their passports delivered directly to them wherever they are in the world courtesy of a partnership between PICA and DHL.
The service, which was launched today at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston is available only to adults who are renewing their passports. Minors below age 18, first-time adult applicants and adults who were minors when they obtained their last passport cannot apply for their document online. Additionally, persons in possession of the old non-machine-readable passports issued before September 2001 are ineligible to renew their documents online.
To use the system, customers will simply log on to PICA’s website at www.pica.gov.jm and begin the process. As with the manual process, the applicant will need their expired passport and Jamaican citizenship document, i.e. either a Jamaican birth certificate, adoption certificate or citizenship certificate from which they will input the relevant document numbers onto the system. The applicant will be further required to upload their photograph and make payment using a Visa, Master debit or credit card. They should also input their email address and telephone number to allow PICA customer service reps to communicate with them, should there be any concerns relating to their application.
The online adult passport renewal system will enhance service delivery to PICA customers, in particular persons in the Diaspora, by significantly reducing the turn-around time for receiving their passport. Prior to this, Jamaicans, especially those living in rural areas and the Diaspora, would have had to travel great distances or wait for long periods to have their passports renewed. The new service has made such experiences a thing of the past.
Commenting on the development, PICA’s CEO, Andrew Wynter says he is delighted with the service adding that it is a fulfillment of a promise to continually improve on the quality of service that customers receive from the Agency. According to Mr. Wynter, “though efforts were made to make the passport application process more convenient through the introduction of a dropbox and courier service in December 2017, we soon realise that we could do more and quickly turned our attention to implementing the online service”.
The CEO went on to add that, “every effort was made to build on our track record of safeguarding customer information by ensuring that our application and payment portals were encrypted and secured so customers may feel at ease when applying”. He explains that the initiative is in support of the Government of Jamaica’s Vision 2030 objectives, particularly as it relates to facilitating a cohesive and just society through improved and modernized law enforcement and border security systems.