The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) was established on June 1, 2007 as an Executive Agency to be a self-financing, performance-based and service-oriented institution. The Agency evolved from the former Immigration, Citizenship and Passport Services Division of the Ministry of National Security following a modernization programme which started in 2005.
Since then, PICA has been taking steps to transform itself into a world-class organisation. The aim is to provide efficient, quality service to its clients through a well-motivated and knowledgeable staff.
PICA's functions are integral to the nation's border security system. The Agency accepts and process passport applications, manages the island's immigration processes and handles matters in relation to application for and renunciation of Jamaican citizenship.
As an Executive Agency the organisation is required to achieve certain performance indicators as a measure of its efficiency and success. Among these targets are: processing passengers at ports in no more than 2 minutes and processing passport applications submitted to its Kingston offices within 7 days and 14 days for applications made through its offices in Montego Bay. Additionally, local applications for Jamaican citizenship by descent are processed within 30 days.
To ensure optimum performance and efficiency of staff, structured on-going training has been incorporated as a policy of the new Agency and plans are afoot to introduce a Performance-Based Management System for continuous evaluation and development of personnel.