Jamaican High Commission United Kingdom

Jamaican high commission

Returning Residents FAQs

Q: How do I qualify for concessions under the Returning Residents Programme?


You must be a Jamaican national who is at least 18 years old, has lived abroad for more than three consecutive years and intends to return to Jamaica to live permanently.

Q: What documents should I submit in order to obtain the duty concessions?


The following are necessary:

  1. Valid Jamaican passport or non-Jamaican passport with an unconditional landing stamp from the Jamaican Immigration Authorities
  2. tax returns
  3. retirement papers
  4. utility bills
  5. proof of property acquired/ rented in Jamaica
  6. job letter from prospective employer
  7. unaccompanied baggage declaration form (C27)
  8. taxpayer registration number card
  9. original bill of lading

Q: Do students qualify for duty concessions?


Yes. Students who have studied for more than one year but less than three (3) years are entitled to concessions in terms of their tools of trade and some personal and household effects.

Q: What are personal and household effects?


These are personal items of clothing, toiletries, furniture and household appliances whether new or used.

Q: What are tools of trade?


These are the types and amount of instruments, tools, equipment, devices and machinery used in the normal course and scope of a person’s profession, trade or occupation without utilizing additional labour.

Q: What is the procedure for the clearance of unaccompanied baggage?


You will need to attend an interview at the Returning Residents Unit of Customs Department located at:

  • Customs House, Newport East
  • Marcus Garvey Drive
  • Kingston 15
  • Jamaica
  • Telephone: (876) 750-3005
  • Collector of Customs
  • Howard Cooke Boulevard
  • Revenue Centre Building
  • Montego Bay
  • St. James
  • Jamaica
  • (876) 952-3080

Be sure to take along the requisite documents. Personal and household effects, as well as tools of trade, are then inspected.

Q: Can duty concessions be obtained on my personal and household effects prior to arrival in Jamaica?


No. Concessions are granted only after the interview with officials of the Returning Resident Unit of the Customs Department.

Q: What type of vehicle can I import?


You may import a motor car and a light commercial unit for example a pick up or cargo van or two light commercial units.

Q: Are Returning Residents granted duty concessions on motor vehicles?


There is no distinction between Jamaicans who reside in Jamaica and those who reside abroad, with respect to the administration of the Government’s motor vehicle policy. In this regard, no duty concessions are granted to Returning Residents.

Q: Is there an age limit for the importation of used motor vehicles?


Yes. Used motor cars should not be more than ten (10) years old and light commercial vehicles should not be more than six (6) years old.

Q: What documents should I submit in order to import a vehicle?


The documents to be submitted include a pro forma invoice,Ccertificate of Title or  Registration, Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) card, copy of two forms of ID (eg. Driver’s Licence, Passport or Electoral Identification Card).

Q: Is there a limit on the quantity of furniture that I can import?


Yes. The Customs Department has published a list of the quantity of items which may be imported duty free. The list is contained in the Information Booklet for Returning Residents which is available at the High Commission and on the application forms page of this website.

Q: Can I take my pet?


Yes. However, a permit is required from the Veterinary Services Division of the Ministry of Agriculture prior to importation http://www.moa.gov.jm/  In the case of dogs and cats, they must be born and bred in the United Kingdom and should not have received rabies vaccination . Certification from the relevant authority in the UK is required.

Q: Can I take my plants?


Yes. However, a phyto-sanitary permit is required prior to importation. Applications must be submitted to the Chief Quarantine Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture (http://www.moa.gov.jm/).

Q: If I acquired Jamaican citizenship by descent and am desirous of returning to Jamaica, am I entitled to duty concessions?


Yes, you are afforded all the privileges as a Jamaican.  You will need to submit your Certificate of Citizenship and/or Jamaican passport as proof of citizenship.

Q: Do I have to submit any documents to the High Commission prior to my departure from the UK?


No. All documents should be submitted during the interview with a Customs Officer in the Returning Residents Unit of the Jamaica Customs Department. 

Q: Does each spouse qualify separately for the benefits?


No.  A couple will be treated as one family if they return together.  Spouses who do not return together but do so within three (3) years of each other are treated as one family and are entitled to only one (1) concession.

Q: If my spouse is non-Jamaican will he or she be allowed to live in Jamaica?


Non-Jamaican spouses are granted the same concessions as their Jamaican partner and are entitled to live and work in Jamaica with the required immigration and work permit exemption.  (Both parties must have resided overseas for at least three (3) consecutive years).

Jamaican law requires all non-Jamaicans who do not enjoy diplomatic status to have a work permit as long as they are engaged in gainful employment in the island whether or not the form of gainful employment is voluntary, commercial, business, professional, charitable, entertainment, or sport related.  A non-Jamaican national who engages in any form of gainful employment without a work permit exemption or while application is pending, may be prosecuted.

Exemption from Work Permits:   Spouses of Jamaican nationals may be exempt from Work Permits upon submission of an application.

The documents required are:

  • Marriage Certificate; in cases where a previous marriage occurred, a Decree Absolute should be presented.
  • Proof of Jamaican citizenship enjoyed by spouse, however it was acquired;
  • Passport of each spouse and passport-size photograph of each;
  • Declaration by both spouses that they share the same matrimonial home.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security must be informed of change of residence from one parish to another by all foreigners employed in Jamaica. (www.mlss.gov.jm)