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6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Former Petrojam chairman quits other state boards
  2. Explosion damages houses, church in East Portland
  3. Gov’t considers nat’l drought committee
  4. Westmoreland records highest child fatalities
  5. J’can judge for Int’l Sports Arbitration Council
  6. Bitter loss for Reggae Girlz at CAC

1. Former Petrojam chairman quits other state boards

Despite quitting as chairman of the state-owned oil refinery Petrojam almost a month ago, the embattled Dr Perceval Bahado-Singh continued to serve as a member of the boards of two government entities in the energy sector. The Gleaner has confirmed that Bahado-Singh only resigned from the boards of Petrojam’s parent company, the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), and the Jamaica Aircraft Refuelling Service last Friday. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. Explosion damages houses, church in East Portland

Investigators from the Port Antonio fire station are conducting a probe into the cause of an explosion of a 40-ft container in the farming community of Kensington in east Portland yesterday. At least three houses, a church, and two vehicles suffered extensive damage. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

Daryl Vaz

3. Gov’t considers nat’l drought committee

The Government is giving consideration to establishing a national drought committee to devise strategies to be employed should the island be forced into a widespread drought situation. Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Daryl Vaz made the disclosure during a statement in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. Westmoreland records highest child fatalities

Statistics show that Westmoreland has recorded the highest number of child fatalities in traffic accidents between 2012 and 2017. Lead researcher Dr Earl Bailey made the revelation following his analysis of data from the Jamaica National Foundation’s Child Road Safety Assessment: Jamaica report, which was launched at the Regional Headquarters of the University of the West Indies in Mona, St Andrew, yesterday. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. J’can judge for Int’l Sports Arbitration Council

Jamaican jurist Patrick Robinson has been appointed a member of the International Council for Arbitration in Sports for a four-year term. Robinson will begin his stint on January 1, 2019. The International Council for Arbitration for Sport is the governing body of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. Bitter loss for Reggae Girlz at CAC Games

Jamaica’s senior women’s football team lost 2-1 to Venezuela in their opening group stage encounter yesterday at the Central American and Caribbean Games, after missing two penalties in the late stages of the match. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

How To Make A Submission to Parliament in Jamaica

Sometimes people are unaware of the power they possess to help shape the laws and legislation of their country. Many are interested in what is happening in the nation, and would love to be part of the process in a meaningful way, but do not know what avenues are available to them. In Jamaica, the public is often invited to be part of the formulation or review process for certain pieces of legislation in Parliament. Many persons are unaware that they can submit opinions or concerns about these Bills to Parliament within a given time. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand how you can make submissions to Parliament to aid in the deliberations of pieces of legislation.

Where to find out what public Bills are tabled:

  1. Go to the website of Jamaica’s Houses of Parliament (japarliament.gov.jm)
  2. Click on the Publications tab.
  3. Click on Bills, then Public Bills.
  4. Or just go straight to this link.
  5. You will see a listing of Bills being considered by Parliament, referred to the Committee, or awaiting royal assent, with links for the full text of each.

How to write a submission on a particular Bill

Firstly, you should know that there is no set format for how to express your concerns, reservations, opinions and/or recommendations to Parliament. It does not have to be written in a certain way. Just ensure that your points are clearly expressed and submitted by the specified date.

  1. Set out your concerns or reservations, whether it be clauses, sections, potential scenarios not addressed in the Bill, etc.
  2. Ensure that you state at the top what Bill you are writing about.
  3. It is recommended that you state each concern in a different paragraph, and number your paragraphs for easy referencing. (This is a recommendation, not a requirement.)
  4. Address it to: Clerk to the Houses, Houses of Parliament, Gordon House, 81 Duke Street, Kingston  or email  clerk@japarliament.gov.jm. It is recommended that you submit a hard copy via post and a soft copy via email.

How To Register A Charity In Jamaica

In Jamaica, you can register your non-profit organisation through either the Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies (DCFS) (dcfs.gov.jm) or The Companies Office of Jamaica (www.orcjamaica.com).

Do a name search

Before you can register your charitable organisation, you need to ensure that the name you are thinking of is available. To do so, you need to sign up on the Companies Office of Jamaica website, then do a name check on their website. Here’s how:

  • Go to the Companies Office of Jamaica website: www.orcjamaica.com
  • Select Login (at top left corner of page).
  • Select Sign up
  • Return to home page by clicking Home
  • Select Online Services tab (at bottom of picture)
  • Select Requests
  • Select Name Reservation and select Go To Service
  • Fill out the form and do your name check. If the name is available, it will be reserved for two days, no charge. If you want to reserve it for 90 days, you can pay JMD$3,000.

OR

Download and complete Form 6 (Request for Name Search and Name Reservation) from the Companies Office of Jamaica website. You can download the form from this link and submit the completed form to the Companies Office of Jamaica.

To register through the Companies Office of Jamaica:

To register a Charity in Jamaica, one has to take into consideration the Charity’s Act. This Act provides a comprehensive regime for registration, monitoring, and tax treatment of charities. For an organisation to be registered as a charity it will need to fulfil certain requirements including, it must be either

  • A charitable trust, or
  • An incorporated or unincorporated institution that
  1. a) It is established exclusively for a charitable purpose,
  2. b) It intends to and does operate for the public benefit; and
  3. c) No part of its net income or assets ensures to the personal benefit of any governing   board member or settler of the charity, or of any other private individual

Registration Requirements for Charitable Status:

Applications for registration are to be made to the Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies (DCFS) located at: 2 Musgrave Avenue, Kingston 10, Telephone: 927-4912/927-6572 or 978-1946. A certificate is issued which is valid for 2 years. This must be renewed when expired.

You will need an application form which can be located on their website www.dcfs.gov.jm. Each of the governing board members (i.e. the directors or trustees and the secretary) of a charity will be required to complete a Fit and Proper Form which will be signed in front of a Justice of the Peace confirming them to be a fit and proper person.

This means that:

  • Such persons must not have been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty or be an undercharged bankrupt,
  • And must be, in the Authority’s assessment, a person of sound probity, able to exercise competence, diligence and sound judgment in fulfilling his or her responsibilities.

Benefit of Charitable Status: There is no requirement to make separate applications for tax waivers/exemptions in respect of: Customs duty, General Consumption Tax (GCT) and Special Consumption Tax(SCT), Income Tax, Property Tax, Stamp Duty, And Transfer Tax etc. These exemptions will now be automatic.

If one chooses to incorporate a non-profit company to obtain Charitable Status, they will be required to do so through the Companies Office of Jamaica.

WHAT IS A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION?

A non-profit organization is an association or corporation whose primary objective is to operate a business for the benefit of the general public, without shareholders, and without a motive for making profit. A primary difference between a non-profit organization and a profit making company is that a non-profit organization does not issue stock or pay dividends nor does it enrich its directors.

TYPES OF NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

Non-profit organizations are active in a wide range of areas, including the environment, the arts, social issues & charities, early childhood education, health care, politics, religion, research, associations, sports or other endeavours.

THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR INCORPORATION

  1. The Articles of Incorporation (Company limited by guarantee without a Share Capital) (Form 1B): This document basically sets out the name of the company, articles, the guarantee, number of directors and any restriction on the activities the company may carry on. This also outlines the objects and powers of the organization and the rules governing the non-profit entity.
  • Stamp duty must be paid on the Articles, and this service is offered at the Companies Office of Jamaica.
  1. The Business Registration Form (BRF1)/ Superform: This document sets out the name of the company, registered office, name of directors and the principal director, the company secretary and completes the application for the company’s NIS, TRN, NHT, HEART and TCC registrations.

The cost to register same is $24,500 which will have a processing time of 4 working days. The Companies Office of Jamaica also provides a Next day express which attracts an additional  $3,000 (available from 8:30am to 1pm) and a same day express processing which is an additional $6,000 (Available 8:30am to 9:30am).

When your non profit company is incorporated you will take the

  • Certificate of Incorporation and
  • A certified Copy of your Articles of Incorporation and the charitable status application form

to the Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Society to request your charity status.

 

Registration through the DCFS:

The DCFS provides registration for benevolent societies under the Friendly Societies Act.

The application form for registration of a charitable organisation with the DCFS can be downloaded from their website (click here to go to download page and look for “Charitable Organisation – Application Form”). This must be filled out, as well as the “Fit and Proper Questionnaire”, which can both be taken to the DCFS office, located at 2 Musgrave Avenue, Kingston 10, Jamaica. The questionnaire is to be completed by each individual on the board and the secretary and submitted along with a passport-size photograph.

The steps to remember are:

1. Application Form or Renewal of Charity Status (Application Form)

2. Certificate of Registration / Certificate of Incorporation

3. Entity’s Tax Registration Number  (TRN)

4. Articles of Association and memorandum of Association (entities registers with COJ before 2005); Form 1B – Articles of Incorporation to include Schedule 1; Rules; Vested Act; or any other applicable Constitution

5. Fit and Proper Questionnaire along with Certified Passport Size Pictures to be submitted by all Directors including Secretary

6. Prior year Audited Financial Statement or current unaudited financials

 

Other forms of registration

Depending on the kind of status being sought, an organisation can be either registered (as detailed above) or unregistered. There are different kinds of unregistered charities. This can be in the form of a trust, or other unincorporated entities.

To register as a trust, take constitution of your organisation to the Stamp Office (part of Tax Administration Jamaica) to get it stamped, and then take that to DCFS.

Other types of unincorporated entities can register by taking their constitution to the Registrar’s General Department to get it lodged, then take that to the DCFS to get it approved and complete the form, after which they get letter to get TRN.

 

See our article: What Qualifies As a Charity, According to Jamaican Laws?

See a list of registered charities in Jamaica: Tax Administration Jamaica’s List of Registered Charities OR Companies Office of Jamaica listing

Source: THE STAR, Jamaica’s Charities Act, Tax Administration Jamaica

6 Things You Need To Know Today

Rodje Malcolm of Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ)

Your news in a nutshell

  1. JFJ takes legal action over schools’ no-lock policy
  2. #PetrojamScandal: Corruption crisis
  3. Vybz Kartel Appeal: Evidence contaminated
  4. More children dying on weekends -Report
  5. PAAC seeks answers on sacking of public bodies’ CEOs
  6. Reggae Boyz recruitment drive on

1. JFJ takes legal action over schools’ no-lock policy

Human-rights advocacy group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) yesterday filed an action in the constitutional court, asking it to rule that public schools cannot set a ‘no-locks policy’ that forces children to remove their natural, locked hair in order to obtain an education. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. #PetrojamScandal: Corruption crisis

A coalition of non-governmental, religious, and private-sector groups has warned Prime Minister Andrew Holness that the declining public confidence in Jamaican authorities is now approaching crisis proportions. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. Vybz Kartel Appeal: evidence contaminated

Retired High Court judge Justice Lennox Campbell gave the green light for “contaminated” exhibits to be included in the Vybz Kartel murder trial, and this triggered a domino effect that was prejudicial to the entertainer and his three co-accused, an attorney has argued. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. Report says more children dying on weekends

Research is showing that most children suffer from accidents on the weekends. The findings are contained in the Child Road Safety Assessment: Jamaica report published by the Jamaica National Foundation in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and which was launched yesterday at the Regional Headquarters of the University of the West Indies in Mona, St Andrew. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. PAAC seeks answers on sacking of public bodies’ CEOs

Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) yesterday sought answers on management changes resulting in the sacking of heads of public bodies at three agencies which were then under the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. Reggae Boys recruitment drive on

Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore has identified a number of weak areas in the national side that he will be looking to address ahead of the CONCACAF Nations League in September. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

Registering A Charity Through The Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies (DCFS)

The DCFS provides registration for benevolent societies under the Friendly Societies Act.

The application form for registration of a charitable organisation with the DCFS can be downloaded from their website (click here to go to download page and look for “Charitable Organisation – Application Form”). This must be filled out, as well as the “Fit and Proper Questionnaire”, which can both be taken to the DCFS office, located at 2 Musgrave Avenue, Kingston 10, Jamaica. The questionnaire is to be completed by each individual on the board and the secretary and submitted along with a passport-size photograph.

The steps to remember are:

  1. Application Form or Renewal of Charity Status (Application Form)
  2. Certificate of Registration / Certificate of Incorporation
  3. Entity’s Tax Registration Number  (TRN)
  4. Articles of Association and memorandum of Association (entities registers with COJ before 2005); Form 1B – Articles of Incorporation to include Schedule 1; Rules; Vested Act; or any other applicable Constitution
  5. Fit and Proper Questionnaire along with Certified Passport Size Pictures to be submitted by all Directors including Secretary
  6. Prior year Audited Financial Statement or current unaudited financials

 

Other forms of registration

Depending on the kind of status being sought, an organisation can be either registered (as detailed above) or unregistered. There are different kinds of unregistered charities. This can be in the form of a trust, or other unincorporated entities.

To register as a trust, take constitution of your organisation to the Stamp Office (part of Tax Administration Jamaica) to get it stamped, and then take that to DCFS.

Other types of unincorporated entities can register by taking their constitution to the Registrar’s General Department to get it lodged, then take that to the DCFS to get it approved and complete the form, after which they get letter to get TRN.

 

See our article: What Qualifies As a Charity, According to Jamaican Laws?

See a list of registered charities in Jamaica: Tax Administration Jamaica’s List of Registered Charities OR Companies Office of Jamaica listing

Source: THE STAR, Jamaica’s Charities Act, Tax Administration Jamaica

Registering a Charity through the Companies Office of Jamaica

To register a Charity in Jamaica, one has to take into consideration the Charity’s Act. This Act provides a comprehensive regime for registration, monitoring, and tax treatment of charities. For an organisation to be registered as a charity it will need to fulfil certain requirements including, it must be either

  • A charitable trust, or
  • An incorporated or unincorporated institution that
  1. a) It is established exclusively for a charitable purpose,
  2. b) It intends to and does operate for the public benefit; and
  3. c) No part of its net income or assets ensures to the personal benefit of any governing   board member or settler of the charity, or of any other private individual

Registration Requirements for Charitable Status:

Applications for registration are to be made to the Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies (DCFS) located at: 2 Musgrave Avenue, Kingston 10, Telephone: 927-4912/927-6572 or 978-1946. A certificate is issued which is valid for 2 years. This must be renewed when expired.

You will need an application form which can be located on their website www.dcfs.gov.jm. Each of the governing board members (i.e. the directors or trustees and the secretary) of a charity will be required to complete a Fit and Proper Form which will be signed in front of a Justice of the Peace confirming them to be a fit and proper person.

This means that:

  • Such persons must not have been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty or be an undercharged bankrupt,
  • And must be, in the Authority’s assessment, a person of sound probity, able to exercise competence, diligence and sound judgment in fulfilling his or her responsibilities.

Benefit of Charitable Status: There is no requirement to make separate applications for tax waivers/exemptions in respect of: Customs duty, General Consumption Tax (GCT) and Special Consumption Tax(SCT), Income Tax, Property Tax, Stamp Duty, And Transfer Tax etc. These exemptions will now be automatic.

If one chooses to incorporate a non-profit company to obtain Charitable Status, they will be required to do so through the Companies Office of Jamaica.

WHAT IS A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION?

 

See our article: What Qualifies As a Charity, According to Jamaican Laws?

See a list of registered charities in Jamaica: Tax Administration Jamaica’s List of Registered Charities OR Companies Office of Jamaica listing

Source: THE STAR, Jamaica’s Charities Act, Tax Administration Jamaica

What is a Non-Profit Organization?

WHAT IS A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION?

A non-profit organization is an association or corporation whose primary objective is to operate a business for the benefit of the general public, without shareholders, and without a motive for making profit. A primary difference between a non-profit organization and a profit making company is that a non-profit organization does not issue stock or pay dividends nor does it enrich its directors.

TYPES OF NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

Non-profit organizations are active in a wide range of areas, including the environment, the arts, social issues & charities, early childhood education, health care, politics, religion, research, associations, sports or other endeavours.

THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR INCORPORATION

  1. The Articles of Incorporation (Company limited by guarantee without a Share Capital) (Form 1B): This document basically sets out the name of the company, articles, the guarantee, number of directors and any restriction on the activities the company may carry on. This also outlines the objects and powers of the organization and the rules governing the non-profit entity.
  • Stamp duty must be paid on the Articles, and this service is offered at the Companies Office of Jamaica.
  1. The Business Registration Form (BRF1)/ Superform: This document sets out the name of the company, registered office, name of directors and the principal director, the company secretary and completes the application for the company’s NIS, TRN, NHT, HEART and TCC registrations.

The cost to register same is $24,500 which will have a processing time of 4 working days. The Companies Office of Jamaica also provides a Next day express which attracts an additional  $3,000 (available from 8:30am to 1pm) and a same day express processing which is an additional $6,000 (Available 8:30am to 9:30am).

When your non profit company is incorporated you will take the

  • Certificate of Incorporation and
  • A certified Copy of your Articles of Incorporation and the charitable status application form

to the Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Society to request your charity status.

See our article: What Qualifies As a Charity, According to Jamaican Laws?

See a list of registered charities in Jamaica: Tax Administration Jamaica’s List of Registered Charities OR Companies Office of Jamaica listing

Source: THE STAR, Jamaica’s Charities Act, Tax Administration Jamaica

Processing Time for USA Visas

How Long is the wait?

The average wait time between when an appointment was scheduled until the time of the scheduled visa interview frequently varies. Additionally, appointments often become available over the course of each week as appointments are added or cancelled. The following website contains real-time information on visa appointment wait times: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/general/wait-times.html/

Please note: the listed processing times are averages. The timing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case. Many additional factors, such as the need for special clearances, incomplete applications, and fraud investigation may influence the processing of individual cases. Please plan accordingly to avoid delays.

How long is the NIV Processing Time?

Unless otherwise directed, approved nonimmigrant visas will be delivered directly to applicants through a professional courier service. At the time applicants are approved for an NIV, they will immediately proceed to the courier company, which is located just a three minute walk from the Embassy. Each visa recipient will pay a fee to the company and will arrange all delivery details with company representatives. The courier company will deliver the passport with visa affixed ap­proximately four (4) business days after the date of the Embassy interview.

For certain emergencies, expedited processing may be available. Any expedited processing requests will be reviewed by the Consular Officer at the time of your interview. Visa renewals do not qualify for expedited processing.

For Caymanian residents two different options are available. You may pick up your visa at the Embassy the second business day after your interview at 1.30 p.m. or you may return to the Cayman Islands with your passport and a fetter from the Consular Officer and mail your passport back to the Embassy. Specific instructions will be discussed by the Consular Officer at the time of your interview.

Helpful Links about USA Visas

Documents Needed for US Visa Interview

  • A valid Passport
  • All previous U.S. visas in old passports (even if expired)
  • Completed and signed visa application forms:
  • DS-156 http://evisaforms.state.gov/
  • DS-157 http://foia.state.gov/FORMS/visa/ds0157.pdf
  • DS-158http://foia.state.gov/FORMS/visa/ds015S.pdf (for students and exchange visitors only)
  • One passport-sized photo (2″ by 2″ in a dark-coloured shirt on white or off-white background taken within last 6 months)
  • Paymaster ‘tee paid” receipts, which are numbered “1” and “2”, For fees paid beginning 01 January 2008, the fee is $131.
  • If applying for a minor under 18, an original copy of the child’s birth certificate from the Registrar General’s Department on security paper (NOTE – Children under the age of 6 are not required to appear in person for visa interviews. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when being interviewed for the visa. Parents or legal guardians must also present their own passport or identification to the interviewing officer. Additionally, legal guardians must present original, official court documentation that they have been appointed guardian of the minor).

Additional documentation is required from applicants for student visas and temporary work visas, as well as some other categories, Click on the sections listed under “Other Helpful Links” below for more detailed information.

 

What Forms do I need?

The U.S. Department of State now requires all appli­cants to fill out an electronic version of DS-156 AND DS-157. Handwritten forms are no longer accepted.

The DS-156 form can be found on-line at: http://evisaforms.state.gov/

The DS-157 form can be found on-line at: http://foia.state.gov/FORMS/visa/ds0157.pdf

Finally, student visa and exchange visa applicants also must fill out form DS-158 in addition to the DS-156 and DS-157 forms, This form can be found on-line at: http://fola.state.gov/FORMS/vlsa/ds0158.pdf

Each electronic form will have a barcode used for scanning the application when you appear a the Embassy for your appointment. Unacceptable barcodes (those that are not read by our scanner due to poor printer quality and other factors) will not be accepted and applicants will have to exit the Embassy and return with a readable barcode.

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