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Moving to Jamaica? What the returning resident should know.

Although you as a returning resident is  already familiiar with life in jamaica may not be entirely familiar with what is required when you plan to return.

In this article we will take a look at what  is required for the returning resident who plans to move to Jamaica.

Perhaps the first consideration of a returning resident is to procure a home whether it is a house or the purchase of a lot of land with the ultimate construction of a house.

Its always best to use a real estate broker. They will ask you a couple of questions so as to determine your  interests and your price point and they usually have a database of properties which are available .

If you have lived abroad, and are planning on moving to Jamaica as a returning resident, please note that you must satisfy at least one of the following criteria.

1. Be a Jamaican national of at least 18 years old, who:

2. has lived abroad for the most recent 3 consecutive years,
3. is returning to permanently live in Jamaica.

4. Be a Jamaican who has renounced your foreign citizenship, can prove that previous status, and wants to move to Jamaica to live.

5. Be a Jamaican student of at least 18 years of age, who has studied abroad for more than one year but less than 3 consecutive years.

6. Be a Non-Jamaican whose is married to a Jamaican Returning Resident.

7. A Deportee who has lived abroad for the most recent 3 consecutive years

Important Note: A couple – husband and wife- will get only one concession if they return together or within three years of each other.

Documents Required

If you are moving to Jamaica and want to import your items under the Returning Resident status, you must visit the Jamaica Customs Agency Returning Residents Unit located at Myers’ Wharf, Newport East, Kingston 15, and submit the following:
• Valid Jamaican or foreign passport with the unconditional landing endorsement stamp
• Validated Bill of Lading or Airway Bill for the items being imported (you would get this from the freight forwarder who is handling your shipment)
• Jamaican Taxpayers Registration Number (TRN)
• Proof of foreign of 3 or more consecutive years.
• Returning Students will need a transcript, student’s I-20, letter of attendance from last institution of study and the institution’s identification card.
• Deportees will need their Deportation Order and case file.
It is important to know that you may receive Returning Resident concession ONLY ONCE.
If for any reason you find that you must leave Jamaica to reside abroad, after you have already benefitted from the Jamaican returning resident concessions, you may not receive the concession upon your return.
There are very few exceptions and these require very detailed records and reports, such as:
• You are consistently being relocated in the service of your country
• You have very specific diplomatic immunity
• Your job requires you to travel and spend extended time (years) abroad
If you will be taking your personal effects and returning with them, you should ensure that this is documented on all of you shipping documents before they are shipped out of the country. Take care to keep your copies of the documents, as you will be required to produce them when the items are being re-imported.
If you are requesting special exemptions from import taxes or duties, you must write to the Ministry of Finance or Ministry of Foreign Affairs, depending on the reason for the request.
Your Entitlements?
You are generally entitled to at least one or one set of standard household items. For more specific information, Click here for Entitlement
Personal motor vehicles
The age limit on personal motor vehicles for import is five years. There are, however, some concessions for returning residents. For more information, click Trade Board Limited, which is responsible for granting Import Licenses for motor vehicle importation.
Pets and Plants
Before importing your pet(s) and/or plant(s), you will need to get an Import Permit from the Veterinary Services Division and/or the Plant Quarantine Division of the Ministry Of Agriculture.
You may also visit Jamaica Customs website for additional information.
Returning Resident Unit
Jamaica Customs Agency
Myers’ Wharf, Newport East
Kingston 15
Telephone: 750 3098 or 750 3005
Jamaica Customs Agency
Montego Bay Revenue Service Centre Bldg
18B Howard Cooke Blvd., Montego Bay, St James
Telephone: 952-0000 extension 2023
Diaspora and Consular Affairs Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
21 Dominica Drive,
Kingston 5
Telephone: 926 4220

Comments (4)

  1. Jan 15, 2020 at 21:47 pm

    I am planning to return home in the next 2 years with my US citizen girlfriend who had worked in the government sector for thirty years we are planning to open two businesses while there to help the community as well as others who would like to visit and who are already there.
    Some insight would be helpful.
    Chris& Tracy
    9543838304 Chris&Tracy Elite Gutters Hollywood Florida
    9542926334 Tracy

    1. Jan 15, 2020 at 22:25 pm

      Hello Cris and Stacy Your intentions are truly commendable. Not sure what information you would need however what I can tell you is that the government has an incentive program for returning residents where you can import a specified quantity of household items and tools of trade duty free see link here . You are also allowed to import a motor vehicle up to 10 years old . There are various bodies set up to assist returning residents who return to Jamaica and would be more than willing to assist in the transition . In the meantime you can read this document it has a vast amount of helpful information for you and just in case you need further more specific information feel free to email us at Take care now.

  2. Jan 26, 2020 at 21:18 pm

    I plan on returning this year. I am confused on the actual custom fee for a 2106 3.5 engine motor car.

    1. Jan 26, 2020 at 21:21 pm

      Hello Cheryl the duties are dependent on the CIF value of the vehicle. If you only want the percentage value of the various fees let me know

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