The Ministry recognises that it is the right of every country to remove persons deemed undesirable to reside in their territory. The primary reasons for deportation include criminal activities, certain types of misdemeanors, overstaying of visas or entry permits, and other practices which may be deemed unacceptable in those countries. The Government of Jamaica is obligated to accept Jamaicans who have been ordered deported. As such the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with the Ministry of National Security, provides assistance for Jamaican citizens prior to departure from who are ordered deported from the country in which they reside.
Consular officers in the Jamaican Embassies, High Commissions and consulates offer non-judgmental and practical support as follows:
- Issue you a travel document to facilitate travel to Jamaica if your passport is unavailable, once you have been verified as a Jamaican citizen
- Assist you to get information about detention or deportation arrangements
- Provide contacts for English-speaking lawyers
- Ensure that you are afforded due process as allowed under the laws of the country from which you are to be deported (e.g., that you get all your appeals heard)
- Provide your family with information regarding the deportation such as legal arrangements in the country from which you will be deported
- Assist you to maintain contact with your family and arrange for funds
- Ensure that you are not discriminated against as a foreign citizen
- Ensure that you have a place to stay once you arrive in Jamaica (temporary shelters arranged through NGOs, if you have no relatives willing to take you in)
What Consular Officers cannot do
- We cannot refuse to accept you back in Jamaica once you are ordered deported and once you have been verified to be a Jamaican citizen
- We cannot intervene in the legal process or with the local authorities to get the decision overturned
- We cannot pay for legal defence to appeal your case or provide legal advice
- Not denied access to a Jamaican Consular Officer, his/her lawyers and those who have a legitimate right to have access to him/her.
- Not denied legal aid to which he/she may be entitled to under the local laws.
What can our Consular Officer assist in?
- Notify the Jamaican’s family of the detention or arrest and provide details made available by the local authorities.
- Obtain information about the status of the Jamaican’s case.
- Assist in obtaining information on the local judicial and prison systems.
- Provide the Jamaican and his/her family with a list of local lawyers, if available.
- Assist in arranging prison visits for the Jamaican’s family.
- Arrange for consular visits to the detained or imprisoned Jamaican, provided that there is a Jamaican mission in that country.
- Facilitate the transfer of funds to the detained person if other means are unavailable (only if such remittance is permitted by prison authorities).
- Ensure that medical problems, if any, are brought to the attention of the prison authorities.
- Address any justified complaint about ill treatment or alleged discrimination with the prison authorities.
- Facilitate repatriation or deportation of the Jamaican, after his/her release.
What can our Consular Officer not assist in?
- Pay the Jamaican’s medical, hospital, legal, accommodation, travel or other bills.
- Provide loans or cash the Jamaican’s cheques.
- Post bails or pay fines on behalf of the Jamaican.
- Intervene in the judicial process of a foreign country or ignore local laws.
- Intervene in or act as an intermediary in disputes which are civil or commercial nature.
- Provide legal advice or initiate court proceedings on behalf of the Jamaican.
- Act as the Jamaican’s guarantor or sponsor.
- Arrange for the Jamaican’s accommodation or employment.
- Provide translation, mail-forwarding, telephone, fax or other personal services.
- Preventing your removal once you have been ordered deported.