Guide to Doing Business
in St. Maarten

Immigration requirements

The ‘National Ordinance on Admission and Expulsion’ (Landsverordening Toelating en Uitzetting, LTU) of the (former) Netherlands Antilles addresses the terms and conditions of admission to St. Maarten. The LTU applies to foreign nationals and is not applicable to:

  • Persons having Dutch nationality, born in the Netherlands Antilles on the islands Bonaire, Curacao Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten;
  • Persons with the Dutch nationality, born before 1 January 1986 on the island Aruba and residing on that date in the Netherlands Antilles; and
  • Children of the above mentioned persons.

As per 10 October 2010 the LTU should have been amended due to the constitutional changes, but at this moment those amendments have not been proclaimed. We expect the LTU also to be applicable to persons with the Dutch nationality born in Curacao, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, who were not residing in St. Maarten on 10 October 2010. Furthermore, there are certain admission requirements based on local policy regulation from which we expect that they will be continued. Possible changes will be processed in this guide.

As a general rule, all foreign nationals are obliged to apply for a residence permit, unless a person has admission by right (toelating van rechtswege), see Dutch citizens) or qualifies as a tourist (see Tourists & visas). In all other cases foreign national immigrants are obliged to apply for a (temporary) residence permit (see Foreign nationals).

Legal regulation with regard to immigration to St. Maarten makes a distinction between immigration by Dutch citizens and immigration by foreign nationals.

More about employment law in St Maarten.