Jamaica News: The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) online passport renewal application process for adults is now operational.
To use the system, customers need to log on to PICA’s website at http://www.pica.gov.jm and begin the process from any location in the world any hour of the day.
Once the applicant logs on to the system, he or she will also need their expired passport, their Jamaican citizenship document, a digital passport-sized photograph stored on computer, a valid Visa or Master card for payment, a valid and working email address to receive system-generated messages and a portable data format (PDF) reader.
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 system was introduced during a launch ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, on December 11.
Speaking at the launch, Chief Executive Officer, PICA, Andrew Wynter, said the online adult passport renewal system will enhance service delivery to PICA’s customers, in particular persons in the Jamaican diaspora, by significantly reducing the turnaround time for receiving their passport.
He said prior to the introduction of the new system, Jamaicans, especially those living in rural areas and the diaspora, would have to travel great distances or wait for long periods to have their passports renewed.
“We are moving away from long lines, long wait times, early-morning queues, travelling long distances and consuming much of our customers’ valuable time in their effort to obtain a passport. The launch of the system will ensure a better, more convenient, more efficient and more timely way of applying for your passport,” he said.
He said measures have been implemented to ensure that customer information is safeguarded by the agency’s ICT, in partnership with e-Gov and other entities.
“We had to test [and] retest in order to ensure that the system is perfect. In this day and age of cybercrime and identify theft, one of the critical aspects of it is to ensure that the identity and security of persons’ individual information is secure,” he said.
He said the initiative forms part of the Government’s drive to modernise and transform the public sector, while making it more efficient and responsive.
“You, the public deserve a transformed public sector, and such transformation is necessary for us to achieve our Vision 2030 goals,” he said.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Dianne McIntosh, lauded the agency for the new undertaking, noting that its staff will have to keep abreast of changes in technology to continue transforming the agency while ensuring that the country’s borders, citizenship and sovereignty are safeguarded.
“Transformation is integral in any organisation that seeks to promulgate change. PICA is certainly facilitating this process by making it easier for our people to have access to quality, efficient and expedient government services, so they can pursue their best lives,” he said.
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 passport issued before September 2001 are ineligible to renew their documents online.
Source: JIS News