Employees with a foreign nationality, other than US citizens, require a (temporary) residence permit as well as a work permit to be able to legally reside and work in St. Eustatius. The work permit is obtained by the employer by filing an application with the governmental department in question (Social Affairs and Employment). After the work permit is accepted the employee can apply for a residence permit. The length of these procedures vary and in general take several months. Employing employees without the requisite permit is an offense for the employer and is punishable with imprisonment or a fine.