By Dana Niland
In a major step to improve wait times at its airports, Jamaica has launched an online version of its immigration and customs declaration form.
The move, which would be the first by an English-speaking Caribbean country, means travelers can fill out their forms in advance of their arrival, with the information sent to immigration officers for processing. (The Dutch Caribbean was the first part of the region to launch such forms).
“As Jamaica’s arrivals numbers continue to soar, it’s important that we offer a speedier process at our airports, so our visitors spend less time waiting in immigration and customs and more time enjoying the destination,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “We’re continuously seeking ways to enhance our visitors’ experience while in Jamaica and we hope this improved experience also promotes greater return visits for our guests.”
The Online Passenger Declaration Form captures the same information as the current paper Immigration and Customs Passenger Declaration Form.
Once completed, the electronic form is then submitted to Immigration Officers and Customs Officers, who process passengers upon their arrival.
“The new system is efficient because it is user-friendly and requires minimal effort on the part of the traveller,” said Andrew Wynter, CEO of Jamaica’s Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency. “Once you click on one of the boxes, it moves you onto the next option; we don’t want people spending too much time on the form, we want them focusing on their stay and experience in Jamaica.”
As part of its continuing efforts to improve the arrivals experience, the customs agency’s next project is to launch a mobile application, it said.
The new digital form can be found here.