St. Maarten Residency by Investment – 5 Things you must know before you make the move

Despite the horrific hurricane in 2017 and the ongoing pandemic that has had a socio-economic impact on a global scale, St Maarten remains an attractive destination for investors and tourists alike.  If you are considering leaving everything behind and immigrating to St. Maarten’s, here are five valuable tips to consider before making the move.


Rent or Buy a Property?

Relocating will inevitably involve a property transaction.  Our affiliate Bright Future Realty can offer you options to suit by neighborhood, budget, and lifestyle.

For people seeking residency by investment, at BrightPath we often recommend obtaining residency first and then purchasing a property.  This often makes the transition more stable and opens up banking options more readily for most prospective buyers.  However, if you find a great deal on a property (click here for an exclusive property on discounted sale), our partners at BrightFuture Realty can support you in your real estate ventures.


Rely on Reputation and Experience

Advice, structure, and execution related to immigration services is a highly specialized field.  Rely on experts with verifiable experience and reputation.  At BrightPath, we can provide you with dedicated advice, as well as added services such as obtaining required documents, apostilles, and legalizations from your country of origin.  This way, your documentation is acquired in the right manner and with no added effort on your part – easy and hassle-free.

With the most experienced team in the local immigration services market, a regional network throughout the Caribbean, and relationships for document services within USA and Canada, trust BrightPath for your immigration needs.


Immigration consultancy


Retirement or Self-Employment? What Suits you Best?

Early retirement by way of immigration is possible for everyone as currently there is no age limit.  However, tax advisors will remind you that for tax purposes, the minimum age for retirement benefits is 50 years.  So, what does this mean for you?

Before making the move, define your intended lifestyle whether it’s semi or full retirement or a new business venture altogether.  We can support your immigration, business set-up, or banking services depending on what your plans are in the next stage of life.


Consult with your Tax Attorney

Cross-border taxes can become a costly (if not, messy) mistake to clean up if you don’t get your researched and verified facts in line before executing a plan.  We recommend a paid, tailored consultation with an independent tax attorney.

There are several knowledgeable and experienced tax professionals to choose from that will take various factors into consideration before helping you devise a plan. Some of the key factors to consider include recommended tax and corporate structure to support your current asset base and manage your tax exposure.


Remember to Enjoy Life!

With the right support from dedicated professionals and help from experienced immigration consultancy, you can begin a new chapter of your life in St. Maarten’s immediately. If you want to know more about starting a business or moving to St. Maarten, schedule a free Zoom consultation today with BrightPath Caribbean.


Do you have any questions?

Contact us today for a free consultation and let us guide you throughout the process!




St Maarten Work Permits: Five things you need to know before you start

Since the pandemic, the current employment market globally has been ever-changing and very dynamic. Statistics show that employers are sourcing skilled employees often remotely. At BrightPath, we offer regional solutions for immigration, corporate, and banking services that support your business, and in the case of work permits; support your Human Resources department, saving your company time and money.

Work Permits in Sint Maarten

Work permits in Sint Maarten are requested by the prospective employer and require a two-part process with the labor and immigration departments. Read this article below on five things you must know before applying for a work permit in St. Maarten.

A work permit is granted for a definite period beginning and the validity of the work permit is determined by the labor agreement and usually is not granted for a period exceeding one (1) year. In adherence with local labor and immigration policy, all (local and foreign) employers who engage in an employment agreement with a non-national in St. Maarten must apply for a work permit, except for the following:

  • Dutch citizens and United States citizens who have obtained legal residency in St Maarten
  • Persons having a residence permit for an indefinite period (commonly referred to as “permanent residency”);
  • A person married to a Dutch citizen; the latter having been registered in St Maarten;


1. Verifiable Documents must be Readily Available

BrightPath can support you in sourcing the right candidate BEFORE you have extended a formal offer of employment.  This is important because for work permits in St Maarten, diplomas and relevant skill certificates should be presented in their original form when applying for the employment permit. Further, the documents must be validated by the issuing educational institution and a letter from the institution confirming that the diploma is authentic must also be obtained. If presenting copies, these must be notarized by a licensed notary in the country of origin.  Oftentimes, candidates have difficulties understanding and managing these complexities when obtaining these requirements.  For this reason, many human resource specialists trust in BrightPath to guide them in the work permit and residency permit process relying on the suite of services offered by our team of experts.

2. Work Experience must be substantiated

When applying for a work permit in St. Maarten, the petition to employ a foreign national and seek a work permit in connection to the same must justify to the Department of Labor that the non-national employee possesses a skillset that cannot be found on the island.  To substantiate the request, BrightPath recommends that the applicant provide employment reference letters from previous employers.  These professional employment reference letters must be notarized in the country of origin and are provided to verify the period of previous employment and work-related experience in support of what will be the applicant’s new role and responsibilities under this proposed employment in St Maarten.

3. Stay Abroad During the Application Process

Unless the prospective employee holds Dutch or American (USA) citizenship, the applicant must await the decision for both work and residency permits while remaining abroad.  For planning purposes, aside from the time allotted to source the documentation, the process starts once all documents have been received by BrightPath.  Usually, a mandatory five-week waiting period must be observed, during which time the position must be advertised in local traditional media outlets, and a reasonable timeframe is given for suitable candidates within the local labor pool to apply.  In some instances, with a written petition prepared and submitted, our firm can obtain consideration for the waiver of this waiting period if the role is essential and it can be substantiated that no suitable candidates can be sourced from within the local labor market.  In addition to the five weeks, a maximum six-week waiting period is allocated to the adjudication process at the Labor Department.

4. Employers (not employees) are the Petitioner

The employer must request work permits. Moreover, evidence of tax compliance is a pre-requisite for all employers seeking to acquire a work permit for a foreign employee in St Maarten.  For this reason, we explicitly detail that if you are seeking employment in St. Maarten, our firm DOES NOT offer recruitment services, and our immigration services must be retained by the employer and not the employee.

5. Health Insurance is Mandatory

For application purposes, health insurance is now a pre-requisite for the work and residency permit process. Therefore, employers must verify that their foreign employees hold a valid health insurance policy.  This health insurance policy must be accepted by the Sint Maarten Medical Center.  For more information on medical insurance related to work and residency permits, rely on the team at BrightPath to provide you with accurate information.



1. What are the essential documents required for applying for a work permit in St. Maarten, and how can BrightPath assist employers in sourcing the right candidates with validated credentials?

To apply for a work permit in St. Maarten, employers must ensure that verifiable documents such as original diplomas and skill certificates are readily available, validated by the issuing institution, and accompanied by a confirmation letter. BrightPath can support employers in sourcing candidates with validated credentials before extending formal offers of employment, ensuring compliance with work permit requirements.

2. How can applicants substantiate their work experience when applying for a work permit in St. Maarten, and why are employment reference letters crucial in this process?

Applicants seeking a work permit in St. Maarten must justify their skillset by providing employment reference letters from previous employers, notarized in the country of origin. These letters verify previous employment and work-related experience, supporting the applicant’s suitability for the proposed role. BrightPath advises applicants on the importance of substantiating their work experience to meet the Department of Labor’s requirements.

3. What is the process for obtaining work and residency permits in St. Maarten for foreign nationals, and why is it necessary for applicants to remain abroad during the application process?

Prospective employees seeking work and residency permits in St. Maarten, unless Dutch or American citizens, must await permit decisions while remaining abroad. The process begins once all required documents are received by BrightPath, including a mandatory waiting period for labor market advertising. Employers can petition for a waiver of this waiting period under certain circumstances. BrightPath outlines the process and advises applicants to remain abroad during the application process to ensure compliance and facilitate a smooth transition.

Do you have additional questions?

To learn more about how BrightPath Caribbean can support your business in successfully obtaining work and residency permits for key personnel, schedule your free consultation today.


Six Tips to Finding the Right Immigration Agency

Despite there being no recent statistics available, it’s estimated that owing to the political unrest and pandemic, at least nine million Americans have immigrated out of the country. A large number of these immigrants are moving to the Caribbean to enjoy retired life, start a business or merely enjoy the simplicity of life the pristine beaches offer.

To make the immigration process easier and hassle-free, Americans and Canadians largely rely on immigration consultants. However, sometimes finding a shady business disguised as an immigration agency can be a major setback. So to find a credible and reliable immigration consultant service, here are some tips to remember.

Start with Referrals

The best way to begin your search to hire an immigration consultant is by asking for referrals and recommendations from peers. This way, you can know the firsthand experience of people you trust and find an agency that has fulfilled their client’s expectations. You can also check online reviews at this stage to know the agency’s reputation.

Proceed to Credentials

Once you contact an immigration consultant, check for their credentials. Credentials include their registration number, association with local bodies, cognition at the embassy of the country you want to immigrate to, and certifications. If an immigration agency happily provides these details, you can consider them for your immigration to the Caribbean.

Ask for Experience

Ask your immigration consultant to share their experience details, their number of years in the business, the number of immigrants they have helped settle in the Caribbean, and other details. You can also ask the agency to put you in touch directly with your consultant so that you can speak to them directly.

Immigration program Caribbean

Weigh in Your Options

Some Caribbean countries offer Immigrant by Investment Program, while others offer retirement plans to immigrants. Make sure to discuss all your options and immigration plans with your consultant and see how informed and clear they’re.

Inquire About Process

The immigration process to the Caribbean countries takes somewhere around three to six months. Some Caribbean countries also require foreigners to stay in the country for a while before granting residence or citizenship. Check with your agent the requirements of the Caribbean country you’re immigrating to and understand the time frame. Ask your agent about their frequency of communication and updates during this period.

Sign a Contract

Once you’re fully satisfied and have understood the process, have your immigration agency draft a contract. This will entail information like the agency’s details, estimated time frame, and the cost of the process, including your consultant’s fee.

Find the Right Agency

An immigration consultant that fits all criteria is the one you should be hiring for your immigration services. You can also get in touch with us at BrightPath Caribbean to start the process and obtain a residency permit at the earliest.

Five Things to do for Your Retirement Plan

You require financial security during retirement more than ever before. However, studies suggest that less than half of Americans are prepared for their retirement life, and even lesser have ever spoken to retirement consultants to plan their old age.

According to estimates, one needs approximately 70 to 90 percent of their income to maintain their lifestyle during retirement. Luckily, with a low housing cost and tax exemptions, moving to the Caribbean is often considered a sensible decision for retirees.

So what do you need to do if you plan to retire and settle in the Caribbean? Well, here’s a basic guide to planning a comfortable retirement with specifics to help you find the perfect home in one of the 23 Caribbean countries.

Start Saving

Ideally, one should start saving at 45 years of age to retire after 60. However, if you have not done so already, you can opt for a 10-year retirement saving plan to save 15 percent of your gross annual income. And no matter what happens, do not touch your retirement fund at all!

Pick a Location

Depending on your current lifestyle and preferred choice of retirement life, find a location in the Caribbean that you love the most. While St. Maarten is known to have one of the lowest crime rates globally, Belize offers a 29% lower cost of living than the US. So make a pick according to your needs and preferences.

Retiring in the Caribbean

Plan for Medical Coverage

Since Medicare does not offer coverage to Americans living outside of the US, you can either opt for a medical insurance plan to obtain private healthcare services or have substantial funds to fly out to Mexico or the US for your medical needs.

Set Your Goals

Retirement goals consist of various things you can or want to do in your retirement life. You can either start a business in St. Maarten, or set up an off-shore company in Anguilla right away. Whatever you picture yourself doing when you retire, start working towards it. Moreover, some Caribbean countries like Belize require you to put in funds to benefit from their retirement funds. Speak to your consultant and look into every aspect of it.

Get Professional Help

Get in touch with a retirement consultant to get started with the process. A retirement consultant in the Caribbean can walk you through the legality of the process and help you in acquiring a residency permit, setting up a bank account, and buying property.

If you are looking for a retirement consultant in the Caribbean that offers you transparent services with dedication, reach out to us at BrightPath Caribbean. We have helped thousands of clients immigrate to the Caribbean and start businesses, acquire residence and even earn citizenship. Schedule a free Zoom consultation with us today to begin the process.

7 Facts You Didn’t Know About St. Maarten

The Caribbean is made up of more than 700 islands, reefs, and islets. And out of all those amazing places, St. Maarten is definitely one you won’t want to miss! With its unique blend of cultures, stunning beaches, and delicious food, it’s no wonder why so many people have fallen in love with this Caribbean gem. If you’re thinking of visiting or even moving to St. Maarten, here are some fun facts you might not have heard about yet.

One Island, Two Governments

St. Maarten and Saint Martin are two halves of the island jointly owned by the Dutch and the French. The south half, St. Maarten, is an independent territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, whereas France owns the northern half and it is an overseas collectivity of the French Republic.

Smallest Co-Shared Land

St. Maarten is the smallest area in the world that’s co-shared by two countries. With a total covered area of 87 kilometers square, St. Maarten is the smallest populated island as well as the only one of this size to have two different governing bodies, making it a fascinating place to visit.

Oldest Open Border

Ever since the treaty of Concordia in 1648, the Dutch and French have kept open borders in St. Maarten, thus making it the oldest open border in the world. Tourists may notice border monuments on both sides of the island but can freely move from one part to the other. This makes Sint Maarten a very special place where you can live and spend time, go to the beach, do groceries or go to restaurants in a different country any time you wish.

Capital with a Beach

Phillipsburg is the capital of St. Maarten, it was founded by a Scottish captain employed in the Dutch navy named John Philips in 1763, and it has its own beach called Great Bay! With pristine, warm, and inviting waters, it is simply spectacular. If you are visiting the Island, you should spend one day in Philipsburg, walk around, have a drink, do some shopping, and enjoy a sunny day at the beach.

airplane landing maho beach sint maarten

Beach with an Airport

Maho Beach is a must-visit for travelers and a fun activity for residents, it is unique due to The Princess Juliana International Airport having its runway right there, just a few meters away from the beach, making Maho Beach very famous for its plane-spotting experience, where incoming planes fly just meters above visitors’ heads. It is the world’s most famous beach for this spectacle. It’s the perfect place to capture an Instagram-worthy shot of a jumbo jet passing overhead.

Hundred Cultures

According to St. Maarten’s government, the country hosts over a hundred different nationalities and cultures in a population of less than a hundred thousand. This makes St. Maarten one of the smallest yet richest multicultural populations in the world. Due to this reason, you can enjoy a huge range of cuisines in the country.

Strong Sea Hold

Due to its unique geographic location and strong ties to the European and North American countries, St. Maarten is the hub of sea transport and home to many cargo companies in the eastern Caribbean. Sint Maarten has the most important cargo and cruise ship port in the region.

Make St. Maarten your Home

If you’re looking for a vibrant, ethnically rich country with great opportunities to enjoy life to the fullest, consider making St. Maarten your home with the services of BrightPath Caribbean. Sint Maarten offers different immigration programs for those looking to start a business, invest, or retire and enjoy life.

Do you have any questions?

Contact us today to begin your journey to residency!

BrightPath Caribbean