The following text is the complete content of a Travel Guide, published by the Sint Maarten Government in May 2015. This document only applies to Dutch Sint Maarten and NOT to French St. Martin.
But as both international airport and cruise port are located on the Dutch side, the regulations published here will cover 99% of the cases. The borders are open: once on island, there are no special documents needed for French St. Martin.
Entry Requirements For Tourists
St. Maarten is proud to be a popular destination in the Caribbean for persons seeking to experience the island’s multicultural and lively atmosphere.
If you are planning to visit St. Maarten, be it for vacation and relaxation, sport, medical reasons, family matters, study, religious purposes or for business, you must meet a number of entry requirements.
Entering St. Maarten as a tourist means that employment is prohibited!
Upon arrival in St. Maarten a tourist must present:
a passport that is valid upon entry and for the duration of stay; if the tourist holds a passport from a visa required country (see list on page 4), he/she must
have a valid visa sticker in said passport and passport must be valid for 3 months after intended stay;
- a completed and signed Embarkation and Disembarkation card (ED-card);
- a valid return- or onward ticket;
- a valid reservation for an accommodation in St. Maarten (e.g. hotel or apartment) or proof that he/she owns property in St. Maarten (a residence, condominium, apartment, timeshare apartment or a pleasure yacht moored in St. Maarten;
- a legitimate address of a family member or friend if not staying at a hotel, etc.
- proof of sufficient financial means for hotel expenses (if applicable) and living expenses during his/her stay (U.S.$ 100.00 - $200.00 per day or valid credit card);
The final authorization for admission to St. Maarten remains with the border control officer. The Immigration and Border Protection Service (IBP) reserves, at all times, the authority to grant or to refuse admission, even if the above-mentioned requirements are met.
Duration of Stay
The maximum stay allowed on St. Maarten is 30 days uninterrupted for tourists in general.
For Dutch nationals and American nationals, maximum stay allowed is 6 months uninterrupted with the possibility to extend.
For nationals of Canada, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand and Japan; maximum stay allowed is 3 months uninterrupted with the possibility to extend.
Extension of Stay
All tourists who wish to stay longer than their allotted time can request an extension; however, the possibilities to obtain an extension may differ for those visa-required travelers.
Tourists who have received an extension of stay are required to have medical insurance valid for the duration of the extended stay.
The tourist stay extension form and list of requirements are available at the Immigration and Border Protection Office on the A. Th. Illidge Road #8 in Philipsburg and can also be downloaded from www.sintmaartengov.org.
Visa free Countries
Nationals of the countries listed below do not require a Dutch Caribbean Visa to enter St. Maarten. If you are from a country that is not on the below-mentioned list, please see page 5.
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Hong Kong – holders of a British National
Hong Kong – holders of a Special
Administrative Region passport
Macao – holders of a Special Administrative
St Christopher and Nevis (St Kitts)
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United States of America
The Kingdom of the Netherlands – Caribbean consists of St. Maarten, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The Dutch Caribbean Visa is valid for travel to any of the countries mentioned above and is issued at Dutch Embassies and Consulates around the world.
If you are from a country that is not mentioned on the visa-free list on page 4, you require a visa to enter St. Maarten.
The maximum stay per visit in any one of the countries within the Dutch Caribbean is 1 month (30 days). A visitor cannot exceed 90 days total stay in the Dutch Caribbean, per calendar year, when travelling on a Dutch Caribbean visa.
General Visa Exemptions
All visitors are exempted from the visa requirement when in possession of the following:
- A valid residence permit (green card) for the United States, Canada, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland or Switzerland;
- A valid residence permit for French St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten;
- A valid residence permit for one of the countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean(Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Eustatius and Saba);
- Passengers of cruise ships visiting the island for less than 48 hours;
- A valid multiple-entry Schengen visa;
Nationals from the following countries may also enter St. Maarten with a valid multiple-entry United States or Canada visa:
Instructions for St. Maarten Residents
When inviting someone who requires a Dutch Caribbean visa, the inviting party must complete a statement of guarantee. This signifies that the inviting party is legally responsible for the visitor once they have been permitted to enter St. Maarten.
The following must be completed, authorized at the Civil Registry, registered at Immigration and sent to the applicant to submit with their visa application to the embassy or consulate. A fee of Nafl 45,- is due per request.
Invitation Letter/Guarantee Declaration:
1. must be addressed to the Consulate General or Embassy in the country of the person who is requesting entry;
2. must contain the visitor’s full name, date, place and country of birth, address, civil status, passport number, telephone number and the period of visit;
3. must state who the guarantor is, relation to the applicant and where the applicant will be residing;
4. must be signed in the presence of the civil servant handling the request at the Civil Registry (Census Office);
Supporting Documents must include:
5. clear copy of identification (passport and I.D. card or Driver’s license);
6. clear copy of passport of the person requesting visa;
7. detailed registration from the Census Office;
8. two recent salary slips or two recent monthly bank statements with sufficient funds: minimum Nafl 1.500, - net per month in order to cover; medical expenses, boarding and lodging costs;
9. Chamber of Commerce proof of registration and a bank letter (for business owners);
The above-mentioned requirements must be fulfilled before inviting someone who requires a visa to St. Maarten. This letter will be stamped for legalization at the Civil Registry. A copy must be delivered to the IBP for registration. Photocopies should be kept of all documents that are submitted with a visa application.
Procedures for Conferences and Events
There are a number of instances when a group of persons may be invited to St. Maarten by one entity.
When inviting a group of persons to the island, it must be ensured that all documents are submitted to the embassy within 2-3 months of event.
The Immigration and Border Protection Service (IBP) should also be informed of group applications. The following must be sent to the IBP, no less than one month (30 days) prior to the event:
- Copy of invitation letter including date and location of event;
- Completed Statement of Guarantee;
- Numbered list of applicants including names, date of birth, nationality and passport numbers;
- Copies of passports;
- Copy of itineraries;
- Hotel/local address details;
- Valid event permit (if applicable);
- Promotional material (event poster or ad);
Visa Instructions for Visitors
Persons who require a visa to visit St. Maarten must visit the nearest Dutch Embassy or Consulate in their home country and submit the following with a completed application form:
1. A passport. All passports should be valid for three months after departure from St. Maarten;
2. One recent passport-size colored photo;
3. Proof of booked (return) tickets/ itinerary from travel agency;
4. For tourist/family visits: legalized invitation (from friends or family with a copy of his/her passport and residence permit if non-national) and guarantee declaration;
5. For hotel booking: copy of confirmed booking and sufficient funds US $100.00 – US $200.00 per day;
6. For business: invitation letter from company you are visiting;
7. If you are a student, please submit a recent and original letter from school, college or university confirming attendance;
8. Bank Letter; evidence of sufficient funds to cover the cost of your intended stay (e.g. original recent bank statement, travelers’ checks);
9. A valid medical insurance or travel insurance which also covers medical costs with a minimum coverage of US $15,000.00 or EC $41,000.00;
10. VISA CANNOT be applied for, more than 3 MONTHS in advance;
11. Process takes approximately two – three weeks