Eligibility for Work Permit of Exemption

Information provided by Jamaica Ministry of Labour & Social Security.

1. Work Permit Exemption

The Foreign Nationals and Commonwealth Citizens (Employment) Exemptions Regulations 1964 lists the different categories of persons who are eligible to receive exemptions from the requirements of work permits.

The request for an exemption is usually made by way of a letter from the relevant organization addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour, providing details such as the full name of the applicant, his/her nationality, period for which exemption is being sought and an explanation of duties to be performed by the applicant.

2. Marriage Exemption

Persons who are eligible for Marriage Exemption under Part I of the Schedule of the Foreign Nationals and Commonwealth Citizen (employment) Exemption Regulations i.e. in view of their marriage to Jamaican nationals are required to attend the Ministry of Labour, 1F North Street Kingston (see checklist for guidance) with their spouses in order to obtain a Marriage Exemption Certificate.

Procedure for obtaining a Marriage Exemption by Foreign Nationals married to Jamaican Spouse

A processing fee of Fifteen Thousand Jamaican dollars (Ja$l5,000) is to be paid (using the Ministry Payment voucher), at any branch of the National Commercial Bank submitted on attendance. The vouchers can be obtained at the Work Permit Department or any Regional/Parish Office island wide.

Both Husband and wife must attend at the Ministry of Labour, 1F North Street, Kingston with the following documents:

  • Birth Certificate or Citizenship Certificate of Jamaican Spouse (original and certified copy).
  • Marriage Certificate (original and certified copy).
  • Passport of both husband and wife. For the Jamaican, a valid passport, national ID or driver’s license maybe used.
  • Affidavit signed by both husband and wife stating that they share a common matrimonial home in Jamaica. This must be certified by a Justice of the Peace.
  • Two certified passport size photographs of husband or wife (expatriate).
  • One certified passport size photograph of husband or wife (Jamaican).
  • A copy of the Decree Absolute if either or both the husband and wife have previously been divorced.
  • A copy of death certificate (original and certified copy) if a former spouse has died.

Expatriate males are issued an Exemption Certificate which is valid over three (3) years period.

Expatriate females are issued a letter of Exemption which is unrestricted.Marriage should exceed ONE MONTH be attending the Ministry for processing.

Processing and delivery is done the same day attended.

The Certificate along with the passport of the Non-Jamaican is to be taken to the Immigration Authorities for the passport to be endorsed.


Both parties must attend at the Ministry at least one (1) month before the expiry date and should take along the following documents.

1) Exemption Certificate previously issued.

2) Both Passports (Please see above note on valid forms of identification for the Jamaican).

3) Affidavit duly signed by both parties and certified by a Justice of Peace or Notary Public.


The Certificate along with the passport of the Non-Jamaican is to be taken to the Immigration Authorities for the passport to be endorsed.

Processing and delivery of document is done the same day attended at Work Permit Department. For more info please visit MLSS.