How to: Getting a Jamaican work permit

March 18, 2016

Persons wanting to work in Jamaica are obligated by law to obtain a work permit before commencing a job in the country.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security needs relevant information to allow for careful consideration and ease in processing an individual's application for a work permit.

Here is how to attain a permit to work in Jamaica:

1. The application forms to apply for a work permit can be accessed at

Employers will have to prove previous steps taken to recruit a Jamaican national for the job to be undertaken by the applicant.

Employers must show they tried to recruit a Jamaican national for the job before trying to employ someone from overseas.

2. Applicants seeking a work permit, on the basis of being self-employed, also have to complete the application form.

3. A non-refundable fee has to be paid for processing the application.

4. Payment vouchers are available at the work permit section of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in Kingston and parish offices islandwide.

5. Payments are to be made at any branch of the National Commercial Bank (NCB).

6. A work permit will not be issued without evidence of the payment of fees.

7. Where approval has been granted for a work permit, prospective employer of the applicant will be notified.

8. On receiving the notice of approval, a work permit fee is payable by the employer before the work permit may be issued. The work permit becomes effective from the date it is approved.

9. Work permits are not transferable. If an individual has been granted wishes to withdraw his or her services from one employer, and takes up employment with another, before the expiration of the current work permit, the applicant is required to submit a letter from the previous employer when making a new application.

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