Marrying and Sponsoring a Jamaican Citizen

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Marriage to a Jamaican Citizen

Every country has its own laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to a Jamaican citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with many steps.

To learn more about marrying in Jamaica, contact the Jamaican Embassy.

If you want to bring your Jamaican spouse or partner to live in Canada, you must then file a sponsorship application for them to become a permanent resident. If they would like to visit you in Canada while their application is in process, they must also apply for a visitor visa. For more information, please see our family sponsorship page and our visitor visa page.


Jamaican Marriage Basic Requirements

In order to marry a citizen of Jamaica, you must demonstrate to the Jamaican government that you are eligible to do so. This includes:

  • Proof of country of birth
  • Proof of single status
  • Proof of age requirement


Family Members

If your Cuban spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the Jamaican Marriage document application.

If you have dependent children, they have no effect on the application to marry a Jamaican citizen.


List of Jamaican Consulates in Canada

Click here

Jamaican Marriage License

The application of marriage license is sent to the Ministry of National Security with the following documents;

  • Proof of citizenship – the couple must produce the documents that proves their citizenship such as certified copy of birth certificate, which includes father’s name
  • Parent’s written consent if one of the couples to be is under 18 years of age
  • Proof of divorce if applicable (original certificate of divorce)
  • Certified copy of death certificate for the deceased widow or widower

The Ministry of National Security will review the application and issue a marriage license within 3-24 hours. The cost of the license is approximately $80. The License is valid for three months.


There are non-denominational Marriage Officers in Jamaica who can officiate the marriage ceremony either at their offices, their homes or at a place chosen by the couple and they are able to provide witnesses. Marriage Officers charge between US $50 to US $250

Marriage Certificate

The Marriage Certificate may be applied for by the couple themselves or by Marriage Officer and takes between 7 working days to 1 month to be processed by the Registrar Generals Department (Registry of births, deaths and marriages)

The marriage certificate indicates the following;

1. Name of the Groom

2. Name of the Bride

3. Day, Month and year of the wedding

4. Name of parents of Bride

5. Name of parents of the Groom

6. Place of marriage

7. Signatures of the couple


Jamaican Money

The official currency of Jamaica is the dollar. The dollar has been the currency of Jamaica since 1969. It is often abbreviated “J$”, the J serving to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents.


The following are the Banknotes currently in circulation in Jamaica;


The $50 Jamaican Bank note depicts The Right Excellent Samuel Sharpe, National Hero on the front while displaying Doctor’s Cave Beach, Montego Bay on the back


The $100 Jamaican Bank note depicts Sir Donald Sangster on the front while displaying Dunn’s River Falls on the back



The $500 Jamaican Bank note depict The Right Excellent Nanny of the Maroons on the front and Old Map of Jamaica highlighting Port Royal at the back



The $1000 Jamaican Bank note depicts The Honourable Michael Norman Manley on the front displaying Jamaica House on the back



The Jamaican coins come in the following denominations: 10 Cent, 25 Cent, $1 Coin, $5 Coin, $10 Coin and $20 Coin. All of these Coins depict the face of a Jamaican National Hero.

Jamaican 10 Cent

The Jamaican 10 Cent coin depicts Rt. Excellent Paul Bogle



Jamaican 25 Cent

The Jamaican 25 Cent coin depicts Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey


Jamaican $1 Coin

The Jamaican $1 coin depicts Rt. Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante


Jamaican $5 Coin

The Jamaican $5 dollar Coin depicts Rt. Excellent Norman Manley


Jamaican $10 Coin

The Jamaican $10 Coin depicts Rt. Excellent George William Gordon


Jamaican $20 Coin

The Jamaican $20 Coin depicts Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey


How to Call Jamaica From Canada

To Call Jamaica from Canada

1 – 876 – TEL # (there is only 1 area code in Jamaica)

Calling Canada from Jamaica – Direct Dialling Numbers

To make a direct call to Canada from Jamaica, you need to follow the international dialling format given below. The dialling format is the same when calling Canada mobile or land line from Jamaica.

To call Canada From Jamaica Dial

1 – Area Code – TEL #

Follow the dialing format shown above while calling Canada from Jamaica.

  • Jamaica and Canada are part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). All NANP countries have country code 1. The general procedure for calling a NANP country is 1 + Area code (3 digits) + TEL # (7 digit)
  • 1 – ISD Code or Country Code of Canada

Area code – There are 18 area codes in Canada. The area code is the first three digits of your telephone number.

List of area codes in Canada

Province Code Province  Code
Alberta 403 / 587 (southern Alberta)

587 / 780 (central and northern Alberta)

Nunavut 867
BC 236 / 250 / 778 (majority of BC)

236 / 604 / 778 (Metro Vancouver)

Ontario 226 / 519 (southwestern Ontario)

249 / 705 (northeastern Ontario)

289 / 365 / 905 (Greater Toronto Area)

343 / 613 (eastern Ontario)

416 / 647 (Toronto)

807 (northwestern Ontario)

Manitoba 204 / 431 PEI 782 / 902
New  Brunswick 506 Quebec 418 / 581 (eastern Quebec)

438 / 514 (Montreal)

450 / 579 (Greater Montreal)

819 / 873 (remainder of Quebec)

Newfoundland and Labrador 709 Saskatchewan 306 / 639
Northwest Territories 867 Yukon 867
Nova Scotia 782 / 902


When to call Canada from Jamaica – Time Difference

Knowing the time difference between the country from which you are calling and the recipient’s country will ensure that you are not making untimely calls.

Jamaica Time Zone

Jamaica Standard Time is 5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-5)

The time difference between Canada and Jamaica depends on the time zone you are calling. Jamaica time zone is 5 hours behind GMT. Canada’s time zones are 8 (PST), 7 (MST), 6 (CST), 5 (EST) or 4 (AST) hours behind GMT (except for Newfoundland, which is 3.5 hours behind) so the time difference between Jamaica and Canada can be 3 hours (for Vancouver) and 13 hours (for Halifax). +8)


Daylight Saving Time

Jamaica does not operate Daylight-Saving Time

Since Jamaica does not observe Daylight-Saving Time the time difference changes depending on whether Canada is experiencing Daylight Savings or not. In the summer time you need to add an hour when calculating time difference in Canada.

Canadian Province / Territory Time difference with Jamaica
Alberta Alberta is 2 hours behind Jamaica
British Columbia British Columbia is 3 hours behind Jamaica
Manitoba Manitoba is 1 hour behind Jamaica
New Brunswick New Brunswick is 1 hour ahead of Jamaica
Newfoundland Newfoundland is 1.5 hours ahead of Jamaica
Northwest Territories Northwest Territories is 2 hours ahead of Jamaica
Nova Scotia Nova Scotia is 1 hour ahead of Jamaica
Nunavut Nunavut has 3 time zones, so they are 1 or 2 behind Jamaica
Ontario Ontario has 2 time zones, so they are either the same time or 1 hour behind Jamaica
Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island is 1 hour ahead of Jamaica
Québec Quebec has 2 time zones, so they are either the same time or 1 hour ahead of Jamaica
Saskatchewan Sasatchewan is either 1 or 2 hours behind Jamaica depending on Day light savings
Canada Yukon is 3 hours behind Jamaica

From 2007, clocks following the new North American standard for Daylight Saving Time are to be turned forward by one hour on the second Sunday in March and turned back on the first Sunday of November.


Emergency Contact Information

High Commission of Canada in Jamaica

3 West Kings House Road,
Waterloo Road Entrance
Kingston, Jamaica

Telephone:(876) 926-1500
Fax: (876) 926-1500

E-mail: [email protected]


View Larger Map

Hours of Operation

Monday – Thursday: 7:30 a.m – 4:30 p.m
Friday: 7:30 a.m – 1:00 p.m

After hours emergency contact information
(for Canadian citizens only)

E-mail: [email protected]

Call collect: (613) 996-8885 / (613) 944-1310 (TTY) – The Emergency Operations Centre of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. An experienced officer is always available to respond to emergency calls from anywhere in the world.

You can also phone the numbers above and follow the recorded instructions to reach the Emergency Operations Centre.

In a number of countries, you can also call the 24/7 Operations Centre toll-free.

Emergency services

The Canadian Consular Section in Greece offers 24-hour emergency service to Canadians in distress. For emergency assistance after hours, call the Canadian office in your area and follow the instructions. The emergency services offered vary depending on the nature of the emergency. The emergency services offered by the embassy falls under the following categories:

  • Arrest or Detention
  • Child Abductions
  • Evacuations
  • Natural Disasters and Civil Emergencies
  • Financial Assistance
  • Lost or Stolen Belongings
  • Medical Matters
  • Missing Persons
  • Passport
  • Transportation Accidents

Emergency Numbers in Jamaica

Addiction Alert (24 hours)
1-888-991-4146 hotline

Helpline 1-888-991-4444

Alcoholics Anonymous
926-5556/927-0812 Kingston (24 hr service)
979-2862/952-2481 Montego Bay

Air-Sea Rescue


Air Ambulance – 24-hours:
Karvin Air 978-8405/Cell. 0995-7745
Wings Jamaica (day) 923-5416/6573 day; 927-9769 night

Coast Guard
967-8031/8223/8190-3 Kingston
973-3256 Discovery Bay

Complaints, road repairs etc.
929-7328, 926-6499

Domestic Violence
927-7681/2 Police (24 hours daily)


Hurricane Update

Jamaica Defence Fource Emergency Flying
926-9260/9 Ext. 2147

Jamaica Publi Emergency Numbers in Jamaica

c Service
925-1021 between 11 p.m & 7 a.m.

Mentally Ill (Assistance with)
927-7681/2 Police 24 hours daily

Missing Persons

Office of Disaster Prepared-ness & Emergency Relief


Police Control

Police Crime Stop

Police Corporate Area
927-7778 hotline 24 hours daily

Police Complaints

Red Cross

Salvation Army
929-6190/2 Disaster Operation Centres

St. John’s Ambulance
926-7656 Kingston
974-5126 Ocho Rios

Stolen Motor Vehicles
922-3771, 927-7681-2


Tourist Board
1-888-991-9999/991-4400 toll free

Women’s Crisis Centre
929-2997/9038 Kingston
952-9533-4 Montego Bay

Gleaner – Non-Delivery
967-2624/922-3400/9 Monday to Friday 8.00 to 10 a.m.
922-4707 Sat/Sun 9 a.m/12 noon


Jamaican Wedding Traditions

Weddings are a very important event in Jamaican culture and Tradition. Wedding ceremonies are large, extravagant celebrations in which many friends and family members participate. Although many old-time Jamaican wedding customs are not being practised to a large extent nowadays, there are still a few that have stood the test of time and are being practised.


Wedding Traditions and Customs in Jamaica

Though nowadays many Jamaican couples mostly rely on wedding planners and coordinators to organize their wedding ceremonies, in the past it was the responsibility of the members of the village or community at large in which the couple lived. Literally the entire community or village was involved in the ceremony whole heartedly as if the wedding ceremony was personally theirs. To prepare for the ceremony, villagers cooked large amounts of food and baked many cakes.

One unique Jamaican wedding tradition consisted of married women wearing white dresses and head ties carrying the cakes to the ceremony location on the wedding day. It was customary for everyone to remain silent during this procession and the cakes were covered with lace so the bride could not see them until after the ceremony.

Traditionally, prior to a wedding ceremony, villagers played games, ate large quantities of food, and partied until daybreak. Then they would go to their homes and get themselves ready to attend the wedding ceremony, which was typically held in the morning hours. Food that is commonly served at Jamaican weddings to this day is curried goat and rice. The goat is usually killed and cooked on the day before the wedding ceremony. Rum punch is almost always served as are champagne, wine, and spirits. Jamaican wedding cakes are very dark and are sometimes soaked for up to a year in rum so that the fruits and cake are flavourful and moist. Jamaican wedding cakes are rich pound cakes that contain fruits like currants, raisins cherries and prunes.


Curried Goat and Rice


Rum punch


In traditional Jamaican culture, the wedding reception was held in a shelter constructed out of coconut boughs and decorated with tropical flowers. The shelter was built at the groom’s home. Jamaican wedding receptions usually started with the cutting of the cake and then there was a toast to the bride and groom, eating, singing, games, and dancing. The reception usually lasted until the afternoon hours. The Sunday after the wedding, everyone went to church together and then attended a second reception at the bride’s parents’ home, where more food and cake were served. At the second reception, the top layer of cake was given to the minister while the second layer of cake was given to the bride and groom.

The wedding guests played traditional games at the second reception, such as when they bid on the bride and groom. The bride would collect the money after the bidding was over. Quadrille was a common dance at old-time wedding receptions in Jamaica. The type of music played in the Jamaican Wedding ceremony included banjo, fife, and guitar. Dancing typically took place at the end of the reception. Guests gave the newlyweds gifts at the second reception.

Following the festivities, the newlyweds went to rest for a week in their new home. During this time they were excused from working in the field and would receive food and advice from their visiting family members.

Although most of these local wedding customs are no longer practised in Jamaica, the Jamaican people look upon them with fondness. The today’s wedding couples in Jamaica who want to add a special, local touch to their wedding ceremony may not be able to carry out all the customs and traditions mentioned above but they can include some of these traditions in their ceremony and reception as a way to pay respects to the local culture. The couples can serve a traditional rum cake, hire a live Jamaican folk band, or organize a cake procession as was custom in old-time Jamaican weddings. These wedding customs are easy to incorporate and can make for a unique destination wedding experience.


Jamaican Wedding Dress


Customs Duties and Wedding Presents

If you are a Canadian resident coming from Jamaica, you are eligible for a personal exemption, which allows you to bring a certain amount of goods into the country from Jamaica without paying any duty.

Personal exemptions

Personal exemptions are based on the amount of time you have spent in Jamaica. These exemptions apply if:

  • You are a Canadian resident returning from a trip to Jamaica
  • You are a former resident of Canada returning to live in the country from Jamaica
  • You are a temporary resident of Canada.

Wedding gifts

If you got married in Jamaica within three months before coming to Canada or if you plan to marry no later than three months after arriving in the country, you can bring in your wedding gifts free of duty and taxes. However, you must have owned and possessed the gifts while in Jamaica and before you arrived in Canada. At this instance, the requirement to have used the goods does not apply. These same conditions apply to household goods you bring in as part of a bride’s trousseau from Jamaica.

Ownership, possession and use requirements

To import goods duty- and tax-free, settlers must have owned, possessed and used the goods prior to their arrival in Canada and Former Residents must have owned, possessed and used the goods for at least six months before returning to resume residency from Jamaica.

It is important that you meet these three requirements. For example, if you owned and possessed the goods without using them, the goods will be subjected to duty and taxes. Please note that leased goods are subject to duty and taxes because the Canada Border Services Agency does not consider that you own them. If you have bills of sale and registration documents, they can help you prove that you meet these requirements.


Exceptions to ownership, possession and use requirements

If you are a former resident then the six-month stipulation will be waived if you have been absent from Canada for five years or more. Therefore, you only need to have owned, possessed and used your personal and household effects/items for any period of time before you return to Canada from Jamaica.


Declaring your goods

You must give your list of goods to the border services officer when you arrive at your first point of entry in Canada from Jamaica even if you have no goods with you at the time. The officer will complete a Form B4 , Personal Effects Accounting Document, assign a file number to it and give you a copy of the completed form as a receipt based on the list of goods you submit. To claim free importation of your unaccompanied goods when they arrive, you will need to present your copy of this form.  Goods to follow may be subject to import restrictions before you can import them.

To facilitate the clearance process, you can complete Form B4, before your arrival at the first port of entry in Canada. You can obtain a copy of the form from the Canada Border Services Agency’s web site at

Religion in Jamaica

The religious affiliation by the People of Jamaica consists of 64% Christian (62% Protestant and 2% Roman Catholic), 2% Jehovah’s Witnesses, 3% unstated, and 10% other. The other category includes 24,020 Rastafarians, an estimated 5,000 Muslims, 1,453 Hindus, approximately 350 Jews and the census reported 21% who claimed no religious affiliation according to the most recent census (2001) carried out in the country



62% of the Jamaican populations are Protestants. Jamaican protestantism are composed of several denominations such as 24% Church of God, 11% Seventh-day Adventist, 10% Pentecostal, 7% Baptist, 4% Anglican, 2% United Church, 2% Methodist, 1% Moravian and 1% Brethren.

There are about 50,000 (2%) Catholics in Jamaica, which is divided into three dioceses, including one archdiocese; Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston in Jamaica, Roman Catholic Diocese of Mandeville, Roman Catholic Diocese of Montego Bay.

Rastafari Movement

The Rastafari movement or Rasta is a new religious movement that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica, which at the time was a country with a predominantly Christian culture where 98% of the people were the black descendants of slaves. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia (ruled 1930–1974), as God incarnate, the Second Advent, or the reincarnation of Jesus.

Other Religions

Other popular religions in Jamaica include Islam, Bahá’í Faith with perhaps 8000 Bahá’ís and 21 Local Spiritual Assemblies, Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism. There is also a small population of around 200 Jews forming the Shaare Shalom Synagogue in Kingston, who describe themselves as Liberal-Conservative. The first Jews in Jamaica trace their roots back to early 15th century Spain and Portugal. It is estimated in Jamaica that Muslim population is about 5,000.

Samples of Churches in Jamaica

Church in Ocho Rios


Church in Lucea


Jamaican Baptist Church


Mandevill Baptist – Manchester


Mary Gate of Heaven – Negril

The Missionaries of the Poor monastic order originated in Kingston, Jamaica.


Romantic Places in Jamaica

Jamaica is one of the top countries in the world that has several Romantic Hotels and Beaches. Jamaican beaches are renowned throughout the world for their beauty, white or golden sand, blue waters that glisten under the hot Caribbean sun and the delightful views of palm trees.


Ochos Rios

Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn is a small resort hotel located in beautiful Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Situated on what many consider to be the premier private beach in Jamaica, each of Jamaica Inn’s 47 rooms and suites has a private balustraded balcony overlooking the beach and the Caribbean. Jamaica Inn has consistently been ranked one of the top resort hotels and vacation destinations in the Caribbean Since 1950.


St. Mary’s

GoldenEye Hotel and Resort

GoldenEye Hotel & Resort overlooks the Caribbean Sea in the quiet village of Oracabessa on Jamaica’s north coast. The hotel is named after one of Fleming’s World War II missions, Operation GoldenEye. It has three villas, nine Beach Cottages, two Lagoon Cottages and six Lagoon Suites. The stunning 52-acre property is home to secret coves, private beaches, tropical forests and a singular lagoon.


Montego Bay

Round Hill Hotel

Round Hill Hotel has profuse gardens, secluded beaches, a world-class spa in an 18th century great house at the edge of the sea. It has plenty of privacy and warm friendly staff.

Half Moon

Half Moon is A Rock Resort stretching across 400 acres lushly landscaped. It has 33 splendid four to seven-bedroom villas, each with its own personal staff and pool, 152 luxurious suites and 46 rooms.

Ritz Carlton Rose Hall

The Ritz-Carlton, Rose Hall Resort in Jamaica located near secluded beach with warm sand, gleaming waters and lush, green mountains. This Jamaica luxury hotel offers an idyllic escape for lovers. It has 427 guest-rooms and suites, each with a private balcony, a championship golf course.

Sandals Royal Plantation

Sandals Royal Plantation is a boutique resort and it is nestled within a magnificent coral bluff on Jamaica’s lush north coast. This intimate resort is renowned for its impeccable service.

Geejam Hotel and Resort – San San

These five modern villas on a remote mountaintop are surrounded by thick stone walls or dense flora. Designed for utmost privacy, service is by request only, and each room comes with a cell phone so guests can call anyone from room service to the free staff driver to the hotel’s owner. The rooms are self-contained with a 24-hour room service, in-room massages and free Wi-Fi.



Negril Beach

On the northern coast of the island is the trendy tourist attraction, Negril, Jamaica and it is here where  the seven mile long Negril Beach can be found. It stretches along the west of Negril and comes complete with golden sands and a view of the sea, which is truly remarkable. This beach is perfect for vacationers


Doctor’s Cave Beach

The thriving tourist hotspot of Montego Bay (Mobay) is home to some of the island’s most treasured beaches. A favorite among Mobay’s beaches is Doctor’s Cave Beach, a five mile stretch of pristine white sands, surrounded by sparkling, turquoise water. The beach earned its name when it was found in 1906 by a group of doctors.


Cornwall Beach

Cornwall Beach is also one of the favourite beaches in Montego Bay. Within less than half a mile from the major tourist resorts in Montego Bay, Cornwall Beach is a beach for the whole family.


Treasure Beach

Treasure Beach is located on the south coast of Jamaica. This beach is often treasured by those who prefer to break away from the crowds and enjoy tranquil seclusion.


James Bond Beach

James Bond Beach is located near Port Maria and it has white sand and warm blue waters. It is a great place for romantic lovers to visit.


How to Sponsor your spouse to Canada

Canadian citizen can sponsor a spouse and dependent children to come and live with them if they are outside Canada. Therefore Canadians are free to get a marriage visa to marry their Jamaican spouses and sponsor their application for marriage immigration to Canada provided that they meet all the requirements set forth by the Canadian Government. If you were married in Jamaica the marriage must be valid under the law of Jamaica and under the Canadian law.  A marriage performed in a Canadian embassy in Jamaica must comply with the laws of Jamaica.

Learn More


Sponsorship Review

Immigroup will review your completed spousal sponsorship application.. Immigroup will make sure you have not made any mistakes on your application or in gathering the documentation of your relationship. We will assess your sponsorship letter and give you peace of mind that you are submitting an application with a very good chance of success. Don’t lose sleep at night worrying about whether you’ve done enough. Call us at 1-866-760-2623 for a review.

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