The Counsellor for the Jamaica High Commission in Trinidad and Tobago Ms. Delita McCallum, on Saturday, wrapped up a three –day mission which addressed issues relating to Consular matters including Passport, Citizenship and Visa applications as well as Diaspora Engagement.
Ms. McCallum was met on arrival by Mr. Albert Wade, Superintendent of the Prison. Mr. Wade provided her with a list of the inmates and a brief overview of the status of their cases.
Following the meeting, the inmates were assembled in the chapel located on the prison grounds and were later interviewed individually.
Ms. McCallum also conducted a Consular interactive session at a Town Hall meeting at the Multi-Purpose Cultural Centre, last Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. during which she made a power point presentation and shared practical information about the process of obtaining the renewal or replacement of a Jamaica Passport.
In addition, she advised that efforts were being made by the High Commission to select an Honorary Consul for Jamaica in Antigua & Barbuda.
Meanwhile, Jamaicans living in Antigua and Barbuda during the meeting welcomed the efforts by the High Commission in the quest to appoint a Honorary Consul to serve their interest while high-lighting the challenges encountered in the absence of that representative.
Chief among them were high processing fees charged by consular agents, the delayed return of their documentations-mainly for correction of errors and incomplete forms.
Ms. Mc.Callum informed the meeting that the Office of the High Commission has placed significant emphasis on completing the applications in short order, adding thatPassport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, PICA has set out specific guidelines and protocols in the completion of the passports forms which must be compliant in all its forms.
She also told the residents, that much focus should be placed on the compliance of the photographs, signing within the signature box at the top of page 2, which should be consistent with the signature at section E. She also pointed out that there should be two (2) contacts at section F, one of which must be an overseas contact.
The Counsellor also advised the meeting that in order to fast-track the process, applicants may submit two copies of page 2 of the passport application forms.
It was on that note that she urged Jamaicans living in Antigua & Barbuda to re-launch the Jamaica Association. This, she said could serve as a useful mechanism for strengthening the collaboration among the Jamaicans and maintaining both the Jamaican linkages as well as linkages in the host country.
In addition, the Association could enable greater assistance and support to the Jamaicans. She therefore urged the group to register their skills set, plan activities and execute them.
“Unity is strength – one can learn from each other.” She added that most of the issues that the residents are experiencing could be addressed through an elected Executive of a Jamaican association who could in turn liaise with the High Commission with a view to identifying solutions.
Miss McCallum also conveyed greetings from High Commissioner David Prendergast to the group.