Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Moving to Jamaica

Jamaica is a small island in the Caribbean Sea, and is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. It was formerly a Spanish possession named Santiago, and then became the British Crown Colony of Jamaica, and remains a Commonwealth nation. Its citizens speak English, but some speak Jamaican Creole. Its capital is Kingston, and other cities include Portmore, Spanish Town, Mandeville, Negril and Montego Bay. It consists of the inland Blue Mountains, and a narrow coastal plain. Jamaica has a tropical climate, but it is more temperate in the high peaks of the mountains. Most of the population is from African descent.


Work Permits:

Work permits are granted to non-Jamaicans who have special skills. They are granted through the Minister of Labour, in Kingston. Commonwealth Citizens are allowed to apply for a permit once they are in Jamaica, but all others must apply from outside the country through their consulates or embassies. You must obtain application forms from the Government Printing Office. You must have a job lined up, and your employer must have advertised the job to make sure that no qualified Jamaicans could take it.

In order to apply for a work visa, you must submit the following:

  1. Application, completed
  2. Valid passport
  3. Original letter from company with your job offer
  4. Approved work visa, signed by or behalf of the Minister of Labour
  5. Passport-sized photo

Visit the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for Further Details.

Student Visas:

In order to study in Jamaica, you must submit the following documents to obtain a student visa:

  1. Valid Passport
  2. Return ticket valid for one year
  3. Letter of acceptance from your school
  4. Proof of adequate funds
  5. Name of people responsible for student at school

Students over 16 years old are required to be registered as aliens in Kingston or through the police in rural areas.

Click here for information about some educational programs in Jamaica.

Moving Pets to Jamaica:

Only dogs and cats from the United Kingdom or Ireland can be brought into Jamaica, and they cannot be vaccinated against rabies. They must all have an Import Permit from the Veterinary Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Jamaica. They will be inspected upon arrival to Kingston, and placed into quarantine for the minimum of 14 days. Quarantine can be extended if inspectors find further problems.

Click here for more details.

Other Information:

Click here for some FAQ’s from a retiree expat in Jamaica.

Click here for some information about Jamaican culture.

Click here for information about real estate in Jamaica.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *