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Welcome to the Returning Residents Information Guide
Home | Clearing a Car | Duty Schedule | Eligibility | Importing a Car | F.A.Q
Personal Effects | Prior to Shipment | RR Services | Tools of Trade

This information is printed with permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. For further information, please contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade at 21 Dominica Drive, Kingston 5, Jamaica, W.I. Tel: (876) 926-4420; Fax: (876) 929-6733. E-Mail:

In order to be considered a Returning Resident under the laws of Jamaica, and benefit from the concessions relating to personal and household effects and/or tools of trade, you must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Be a Jamaican national who has attained the age of eighteen years of age
  • Have been resident overseas for not less than three consecutive years, and,
  • Be returning to Jamaica to reside permanently.

Three special cases have been identified:

  • Non-Jamaican male spouses of women who qualify as Returning Residents will be afforded the same concessions as their wives. This provision had previously applied only to non-Jamaican female spouses of Returning Residents.
  • Students who have attained the age of eighteen years who have studied abroad for more than one, but less than three years will qualify for concessions in respect of tools of trade; some normally dutiable items which may be new or used; and used household effects.
  • Jamaicans who gave up their citizenship - and can provide proof of that previous status - who wish to return home will be granted the status of a Returning Resident, with the attendant benefits.

At the present time your eligibility for concessions as a Returning Resident is formally established by the Department of Customs and Excise. This must be done after your arrival in Jamaica, and before you begin the process of clearing your personal and household effects and/or tools of trade.

In order to establish your eligibility you will be required to submit:

  • Your passport;
  • Such documentary evidence as may substantiate your residence outside of Jamaica for more than the past three years. Note that short visits to Jamaica for vacations, etc. will not affect your eligibility;
  • Such documentary evidence as may substantiate your intention to re-establish permanent residence in Jamaica;
  • In the case of students, you will also have to provide a letter from your college or university or educational institution confirming the duration of your course of study or time spent at that institution.

You will also have to present the Unaccompanied Baggage Declaration Form (C.27) that you will be given on arrival at the airport in Jamaica.

Please note that whereas the Tools of Trade concession may be granted to each qualified individual within a family, the duty concession on household and personal effects is limited to one allowance per family unit.

Nationality and Citizenship

It is recognized that within Returning Residents' family units there may be Non-Jamaican spouses and children. Recent amendments to legislation provide all non-Jamaican spouses with the privileges granted to citizens of Jamaica and provide that children born of Jamaican parents outside of Jamaica may claim the right of citizenship by descent from either parent. Non-Jamaican spouses may therefore enjoy the concessions granted to Jamaican nationals.

If the country is which you currently reside has required that you renounce your Jamaican citizenship in order to obtain citizenship in that country, you remain eligible for Returning Residents' status. However, there may be particular questions you wish to resolve in instances where renunciation of Jamaican nationality has taken place or with respect to the status of other family-members. Questions on the procedure to be followed in regularizing you status or the status of spouses or children should be directed t the Ministry of National Security and Justice. Queries may also be directed by mail, telephone or by a personal visit to the Returning Residents Facilitation Unit or ht nearest Jamaican Mission overseas. Every effort will be made to provide prompt answers to your queries.

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