Jamaican Work Permit
Application, Process, Cost and Exemption

Getting a Jamaican work permit is much easier today than it was 10 years ago.

Jamaica is a great vacation destination filled with career opportunities. Many jobs are available to tourists and foreigners.

After you have successfully applied for a job, it is then time to acquire your Jamaican work visa or work permit.

The employment permit, or work visa, is generally issued to a non-Jamaican who is seeking employment on the island for a period of time.

Below are the steps to follow when you are applying for a Jamaican work permit.

Did you know that a work permit may also be issued to foreigners seeking investment opportunities or starting a business in Jamaica?

How to Get a Work Permit in Jamaica

All Jamaican work permits must be submitted to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security ( Ministry of Labour and Social Security ).

Application for a work permit should be made by any one of the following:

  • The employer
  • Contracted Agency
  • Legal representative, for example, a lawyer

If you are working for an employer, then the employer should make the application for your employment permit.

Prospective self-employed persons can also make an application; however, they will need to submit the following supplementary documents:

  • Police record
  • Resume
  • Two (2) passport sized photos
  • Length (months or years) and scope of work to be undertaken.
  • You may also need certified copies of academic and professional achievements.

The application cost for a work permit in Jamaica is JMD$14,000. There are additional costs based on the length of employment to be undertaken:

  • One day to three months ($27,000)
  • Three months to six months ($54,000)
  • Six months to nine months ($81,000)
  • Nine months to one year  ($108,000)

Usually, the process takes four to six weeks to get your job permit but that all depends on the type of work permit because it can take less or more time, even up to six months, so please be patient.

It is important to submit all documents as this will make the process easier.

Never attempt to work in Jamaica without an occupation visa. Anyone found working without a valid permit can be fined up to JMD$500,000 and/or face imprisonment.

All labour permits carry a number and a photograph. Additional information on the card includes full name, date of birth, type of job, and expiration date of the work permit.

A Jamaican work certificate will allow you employment only at the establishment that the work authorization was issued for, and a specific time-frame. You will have to apply for an extension or notify the Ministry of Labour if you want to switch jobs.

Work Permit Exemptions

There is a good chance that you may be exempted from a Jamaican work permit. A few professionals who are granted immunity include:

  • Several Caricom nationals
  • Students and staff of universities
  • Diplomats
  • Persons employed to the media fraternity
  • Health Inspectors
  • Pastors and a number of religious members
  •  Some medical staff
  •  .....and more

Remember that regardless of your position, you will still need to apply for an exemption.


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