How It Works: Modernising Jamaica’s Work Permit System

How It Works: Modernising Jamaica’s Work Permit System

The new work permit system, to be implemented at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS), will reduce the 29-step application process by 50 per cent.

The system will see the transformation from a now paper-based system to an online platform that allows applicants to apply and pay for their work permits. They will also be able to track the status of their application online.

Currently, applicants are required to physically visit the MLSS and submit a form; visit the bank and make payments; deliver the payment receipt to MLSS’ offices; then follow-up on the process, mainly via telephone.

When the application is approved, the applicant schedules an appointment with the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), after which they return to the MLSS; make the relevant payments; and then collect the permit.

With the new system, which should be ready by 2022, an applicant will be able to apply for a work permit from the comfort of their home and will only need to visit the offices of PICA to get their passport endorsed.

The new system and processes will support the needs of public and private sector entities that need to fill skills gaps in their labour force externally (overseas) and will also help to strengthen protection against the risk of work permits being used for human trafficking and to facilitate acts of terrorism.

It is one of the many government systems being transformed under the Public Sector Transformation Programme by the Transformation Implementation Unit.