With the recently concluded Independence celebrations as the backdrop, Jamaica on Thursday, August 9, welcomed 32 individuals who were officially recognized with certifications of citizenship by the Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency (PICA).
Held at the Police Officers’ Club in St. Andrew, the citizenship oath ceremony saw persons from Nigeria, India, Mexico, China and other countries take the final step in becoming Jamaicans in the fullest extent.
Jamaica’s newest citizens were serenaded by several entertaining numbers from the Jamaica Military Band before the swearing-in got under way.
Speaking at the ceremony, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PICA Andrew Wynter said today is an important milestone as Jamaica’s newest citizens met all the necessary criteria to get to this stage.
“These persons are a representation of the Vision 2030 [plan] as they have chosen to be part of this vision and share that journey with us,” he said.
“To our newly made citizens, you are now a part of a unique country, a very unique set of people and culture. You are now part of a legacy; live and enjoy it. We look forward to your continued contributions and commitments to Jamaica’s growth and development,” Wynter added.
In his welcoming remarks, Minister of National Security Dr. Horace Chang said Jamaica is, arguably, one of the most easily recognizable identities the world over.
“A Jamaican is known across the globe. We punch very much above our size, it speaks to our character as a nation,” the minister said.
“We celebrate a legacy of tolerance and inclusion and the observance of universal freedom. I hope you will find great purpose and success in all your pursuits; that your family and friends will thrive even as you thrive. May our spirit of unity always embrace you, it is a pleasure to have you as part of this fraternity – our sisters and brothers,” he added.
By Gavin Riley