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Government of Jamaica

Policies & Plans

Migration Policy

The overall objective of the Migration in Jamaica: A Country Profile 2018 is to provide a descriptive analysis of the main migration characteristics and trends for Jamaica.

Therefore, it gives an evidence-based foundation to the following: (a) enhance the knowledge base relating to migration and its interconnectedness with socioeconomic development; (b) identify the data gaps; and (c) provide the basis for coherence in the development of policies to effectively manage migration in the interest of national development. 

The different types of migration included are as follows: (a) immigration of foreign-born nationals and return of Jamaican nationals; (b) permanent or long term emigration of persons in various categories; and (c) international outward and inward movement of students, refugees and asylum seekers, and irregular migrants. The 10-year period under review is 2007–2016, with special emphasis on the latter part of the decade, 2012–2016. A 10-year span is provided in examining each of the indicators so that any trend can be discerned, but the actual years selected vary, as this was determined by the availability of data up to 2015, 2016 or even 2017.


The White Paper entitled National Policy and Plan of Action on International Migration and Development responds to key global developments which have revealed, over time, the need to address the broad and evolving range of challenges and opportunities associated with migration. The policy seeks to ensure that international migration is adequately measured, monitored and influenced to serve the development needs of Jamaica as outlined in the Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan.

The National Policy on International Migration and Development recognizes that Jamaica is a country of origin, transit and destination. It is also recognized that relationships exist between migration and the economic, social and cultural conditions in developing countries, such as Jamaica.

The policy development process was led by the PIOJ and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

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