Finding a Job in Jamaica
Moving to Jamaica is an exciting decision. Jamaica is a developing country with a diverse economic system; that is, the private sector and the state lead the economy. The primary industries are tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and insurance and financial services. Currently, the average monthly salary after taxes is $ 1,000. In addition, English is a widely spoken language in Jamaica.
Employment opportunities for foreigners in Jamaica are somewhat limited, as local residents are theoretically given priority in the workplace to ensure that unemployment does not rise too high. That said, for specialized tasks with complex skills, you’re likely to have better luck. The employer should ask you for a work permit, then you should wait and hope that the Labor and Social Security Department feels generosity. Economic development projects are underway in the Kingston Harbor area, which will also increase employment opportunities.
Construction is also expanding, although most jobs in this sector are being taken by locals. However, if you have specialized skills in this field, you may want to look into employment opportunities.
Working Hours and Benefits in Jamaica
Seven days a week, including Sunday, are now considered working days. The workweek is limited to 40 hours, and you can work up to 12 hours in a 24-hour period. You will get overtime if you work outside of these hours.
The minimum wage is 7,000 JMD ($ 52) for a 40-hour workweek.
You are entitled to a maximum of 2 weeks' sickness benefit but the amount depends on how long you work for your employer. If you are pregnant, you are also entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave if you have worked for your employer for one year but you will be only paid for 8 weeks.
Annual leave is complex and depends on the length of your work, but on average you are entitled to 2 weeks of leave per year.
Your spouse does not need a work permit if you are a Jamaican citizen, but if you are not, they can’t work on a visa and will need a separate permit if he/she is moving to Jamaica with you. If you are a citizen of the Commonwealth, your dependents (over the age of 18) can apply for a work permit upon arrival in Jamaica.
Requirements to Start Working in Jamaica as an Expat
When moving to Jamaica, without a work permit, you cannot legally work there but you must have a job offer before you can apply to the Labor and Social Security Administration (MLSS). You may apply for a permit at the time of your arrival in the country if you are a citizen of the Commonwealth. U.S. citizens who are not Commonwealth citizens should ensure that they obtain a work permit before applying for a work visa at the Jamaican Embassy or Consulate.
The requirements mean that your employer will make most of the requests for you, but you will still need to provide:
- work permit application (you must complete the first part and the employer must do the rest)
- a letter from the employer describing the nature of the job and the reason why the Jamaican candidate could not be hired
- your CV (s)
- your qualifications (you must obtain apostille certificates or diplomas)
- Updated police inspection
- 2 photos
- 2 copies of your passport
- a complete tax registration request in the form of a tax certificate
You will have to pay an application fee, the amount of which depends on your profession - you can check this with the MLSS.
If you are self-employed, you can apply for a work permit through the MLSS. You will need the following documents:
- nature and duration of the work
- certified copies of your credentials
- 2 passport photos
- your CV (s)
- Updated Police Authority File
You will need to pay a non-refundable processing fee of JMD$14,400 (US$109) but you will then need to pay for the permit itself (the duration of the permit determines the cost of it).
Besides your work permit, you'll also need an entry visa: certain countries have mutual visa arrangements with Jamaica, and before you formalize your arrangements you will be allowed to stay on the island for a limited period.
If you have a specialization or other qualifications and experience in the music or mining sectors, you might want to consider Jamaica as an option. Tourism in Jamaica continues to be a booming area: the Tourism Minister has projected that the tourism sector will provide 41,000 new jobs on the island by 2022.
Apply For A Visa/Permit when Moving to Jamaica
If you are planning on visiting, working, or moving to Jamaica, you will need to apply for a visa. Read more about this process below.
If you are a British citizen, you do not need a visa to visit Jamaica and you are generally entitled to entry for up to 90 days. The date you must leave Jamaica will be stamped on your passport. If you wish to continue your stay after that date, you will have to apply to the Jamaican immigration authorities, but the government says Commonwealth citizens can be granted a maximum period of one year.
If you are a U.S. citizen, you will not need a visa for up to the first six months on the island, and you can request an extension from the immigration authorities.
If you are visiting the island on a cruise, you do not need a visa, although you will need to bring your passport/travel documents.
The Embassy of Jamaica, the High Commission, the Consulate General, or the local consulate is responsible for issuing your Visa for entry.
Only if you have applied for a residence permit you can apply for a long-stay visa. You need to submit your application in person for this kind of visa, and even children under the age of 18 must apply in person.
The following documents are required to apply for a Jamaica Visa:
• Passport (a valid one)
• Your return ticket/itinerary with a re-entry visa for the ones who are not citizens of the current country of residence or an extension ticket to another destination.
• The last statement of your bank account (to provide that you have sufficient funds for your visit).
• Hotel reservation confirmation or any kind of proof that proves you have the appropriate accommodation during your stay in the country.
From the UK, a visa costs £ 25 and an additional £ 7 for return. This must be paid in cash if you apply in person or by postal orders. Currently no personal checks or card payments are accepted.
Admission is $ 100 if you arrive without a visa and need it.
But people arriving at the point of entry without a required visa may be subject to a $ 350 fine.
The cost if you want to extend your stay after the visa waiver period is 50,000 JM ($ 357).
Requests submitted in person must be processed for at least three working days. If your visa application has been returned to the Jamaican authorities for approval or posted, allow processing to take 2-3 weeks.
You cannot legally work when moving to Jamaica without a work permit, and you must have a job offer before you can apply for it through the Department of Labor and Social Security (MLSS). Please note that if you are a citizen of the Commonwealth, you can apply for a permit upon arrival in the country. If you are a U.S. citizen, you must obtain a work permit before applying at the Jamaican Embassy or Consulate for a work visa.
The requirements mean that your employer will make most of the application for you, but you will need to provide:
You will need to pay an application fee, the amount of which will depend on your profession. The Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLSS) should verify this.
You can apply through the MLSS for a work permit if you are a self-employed person. You will need the following documentation:
- A work permit application (your employer wants to complete the first part, and the remainder)
- A letter from your employer detailing the nature of the job and the reason why a Jamaican applicant could not be hired
- Your CV/resume
- Your qualifications (you will need to get any certificates or diplomas apostilled)
- An up-to-date police clearance check
- Two photographs
- Two copies of your passport
- A well-completed taxpayer registration application in the form of a tax compliance certificate
You will have to pay a non-refundable processing fee of JMD 14,400 (USD 109) as well as a fee for the permit itself, the price of which depends on the duration of the permit.