Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Moving to Sint Maarten as a U.S. Citizen

Sint Maarten is a magnet for Americans seeking opportunities in business, real estate investments, work, retirement, or simply a more relaxed way of life. Its strategic location and excellent transportation connections to the U.S., South America, and Europe have positioned Sint Maarten as the bustling business hub of the eastern Caribbean islands. And let’s not forget the breathtaking sunsets, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters that create an everlasting vacation ambiance.

Sint Maarten provides Americans with unique environments to invest, work, and live in. However, emigrating overseas can be a logistical challenge, involving extensive paperwork and time-consuming procedures, and generally speaking, many countries demand residence and/or working permits for immigrants.


The Dutch-American Friendship Treaty

The Dutch-American Friendship Treaty is an important aspect to consider for Americans looking to relocate to Sint Maarten. This treaty, also known as the DAFT, allows US Nationals to easily request legal residency status and establish in Sint Maarten without the need for a work permit.

This unique agreement between the United States and the Netherlands provides a streamlined process for Americans to start a new chapter in their lives on this beautiful Caribbean island. Under the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty, eligible individuals can apply for an indefinite residency permit, and work without the need for a separate work permit, establish a business, or simply retire and enjoy their golden years.


Employment in St. Maarten for American nationals is easier than in most other Caribbean territories. Because of the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty, American nationals are treated for legal residency purposes similar to Dutch nationals.

As St. Maarten’s most trusted, and recognized, immigration services provider, BrightPath can offer you services such as preparation, filing, and monitoring of an immigration application for a St. Maarten permanent residence permit.  A separate application for a work permit through the Labor Department is not required, as the Declaration by Law applies to United States nationals and therefore covers both the right to residency and work.  The purchase of real estate is not a requirement either.
Schedule your consultation here to learn more about how you can obtain permanent residency in St Maarten for employment purposes, without having to purchase real estate.  If you already rent or own real estate, congratulations!

Working fully remote from Sint Maarten

Living the dream of having a spectacular view while you work, or living within walking distance from a crystal clear beach is possible when you work remotely. The DAFT also allows Americans to work fully remotely from Sint Maarten. In today’s digital age, more and more professionals are embracing the freedom and flexibility of remote work. With reliable internet connections and modern infrastructure, Sint Maarten provides the perfect backdrop for remote workers to thrive. Working remotely from Sint Maarten not only offers a picturesque setting but also allows for a better work-life balance and the opportunity to truly embrace the island’s relaxed way of life.

BrightPath’s Assistance

The key to a smooth transition is having the correct advice and assistance with all the elements of your relocation, and that’s when BrightPath Caribbean comes in. Our multidisciplinary team can assist you from the very beginning, providing comprehensive support with your residency request and document ordering. This means that while we handle all the necessary paperwork, you can spend your days relaxing and enjoying the beautiful beaches of Sint Maarten, sipping on refreshing piña coladas.

With BrightPath by your side, the process of obtaining residency as a US Citizen becomes effortless. Our team will not only guide you through the application process but also track, submit, and monitor your entire immigration process. We understand that navigating the complexities of immigration can be overwhelming, which is why we strive to make the experience as seamless and stress-free as possible.

In addition to our immigration services, BrightPath also offers a range of other valuable services to facilitate your relocation to Sint Maarten. We provide business incorporation services, helping you establish your own business on the island. Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to launch a new venture or an established business owner seeking to expand into the Caribbean market, our team can assist you every step of the way.

Furthermore, BrightPath can also help with bank account opening services, ensuring that you have access to the financial resources you need to support your new life in Sint Maarten. We understand the importance of having a reliable banking system to manage your finances, and we can guide you through the process of setting up a bank account that suits your individual needs.

If you require additional services related to relocation, such as accounting, tax, and legal advisory services, real estate assistance, architectural design, or construction, BrightPath can facilitate those connections as well. While we do not directly provide these services, we have established partnerships with trusted professionals in these fields. We can refer you to the right experts and introduce you to reputable third-party providers who can assist you with your specific needs.

More Positive Things to Consider

When considering a move to Sint Maarten, there are more important factors to take into account. These include proximity to home, quality of life, currency, insurance, medevac options, and shipping.

Proximity to home is a crucial factor for many Americans looking to relocate. Sint Maarten offers the perfect balance of being far enough away to experience a new culture and lifestyle, yet close enough to ensure easy travel back to the United States. With direct flights available from major U.S. cities, you can be back home in just a couple of hours if needed.

The quality of life on the island is another aspect to consider. Sint Maarten showcases a laid-back and relaxed lifestyle and atmosphere, perfect for those seeking a more tranquil way of life. From breathtaking sunsets to pristine beaches, the island offers a sense of relaxation and beauty that can be hard to find elsewhere. Additionally, the local community is welcoming and friendly, making it easy to integrate and feel at home.

Currency is also an important consideration when moving to a new country. In Sint Maarten, the official currency is the Netherlands Antillean guilder, but the U.S. dollar is widely accepted. This makes it convenient for Americans to manage their finances and eliminates the need for currency exchange.

When it comes to insurance and medical evacuation options, the island has modern medical facilities and a well-established healthcare system, ensuring that you and your family will be well taken care of in case of any emergencies. Additionally, there are several insurance providers and Medevac options that can take you back home to your preferred healthcare facility for major emergencies or treatments, giving you the peace of mind you need when it comes to your health.

Shipping is an important consideration when relocating to Sint Maarten. Whether you are moving your belongings or importing goods for your business or yourself, you’d be glad to know that St. Maarten does not have import/export taxes, this means you only have to pay for shipping and handling fees from your selected shipping company. Moreover, Sint Maarten has a well-developed port infrastructure and efficient customs procedures, making shipping hassle-free and convenient.

For those considering a move to Sint Maarten, the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty, along with the island’s numerous other advantages, makes it an enticing destination for Americans seeking new opportunities. Whether you are looking to invest in real estate, start a business, or simply enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle, Sint Maarten offers a welcoming community, breathtaking natural beauty, and a strategic location that allows for easy travel back to the United States. With the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty in place, the logistical challenges of emigrating overseas are greatly reduced, making Sint Maarten an even more attractive option for those seeking a fresh start in paradise.

Do you have any questions?

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


Moving to Sint Maarten with Pets: A Guide to Relocating to a Tropical Paradise

Planning to move to Sint Maarten with your furry friends? Discover everything you need to know about relocating with pets to this tropical paradise. From import permits to considerations for a smooth transition, and how BrightPath can assist you in the process.

Understanding the import requirements for bringing pets to Sint Maarten

We know it, pets are part of the family and if you relocate, they will relocate with you. As the most trusted immigration services provider in Sint Maarten, and throughout over ten years of experience and thousands of immigration files, BrightPath Caribbean has successfully assisted clients with their pets’ relocation as well. BrightPath provides hassle-free immigration services for humans and hassle-free relocation for pets.


When moving to Sint Maarten with your pets, it is important to understand the import requirements and process to ensure a smooth transition. Authorities will require a series of documentation from the pet and the owner, such as proof of vaccinations, health certificates, and a travel itinerary to provide an import permit.

  1.  Microchip: To enter Sint Maarten, your pet must be registered with an ISO microchip.
  2. Vaccinations: Your pet should be vaccinated for rabies at least 21 days and no more than 36 months before entry. Dogs must be vaccinated against distemper. hepatitis, parvovirus, leptospirosis, and adenovirus. Cats must be vaccinated against feline leukemia, feline rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, feline panleukopenia, feline pneumonitis, and feline immunodeficiency virus.
  3. Internal parasites test: Your pet must be tested for internal parasites, if the test comes out positive, the animal must be treated 21 days prior to departure with a registered medication.
  4. External parasites and cutaneous diseases: Your pet must be free of external parasites, if not, it must be treated with registered parasiticide within 14 days prior to departure. All animals must be free from observable cutaneous diseases.
  5. Rabies Certificate: The rabies vaccination certificate is a formal proof that your dog has been vaccinated against rabies and is required to enter Sint Maarten before arrival and administered between 30 days and one year of travel.
  6. Valid Health Certificate: The animal must be accompanied by a valid International Health Certificate, issued by an accredited veterinarian and endorsed by the official government veterinarian of the exporting country. Take note that Sint Maarten is not part of the European Union; and will not accept European pet passports as a valid international health certificate. The health certificate must be in English, Dutch, or accompanied by an official translation.
  7. Suitable Kennel: The animal must be transported in a suitable kennel according to the IATA regulations
  8. Travel Itinerary and transportation information: Pet owner should present a valid travel to the authorities a valid travel itinerary in a JPEG or a PDF file, and all transportation information must be provided, including vessel type, name, number, origin, and destination addresses.
  9. Animal information: a series of details is required to complete the import request, such as animal species, breed, sex, animal colors, age, microchip digits.
  10.  Additional requirements if necessary: Authorities could require additional details on your pet, their transportation, or any other information they consider necessary to grant entry to Sint Maarten.

All requirements also apply to service and emotional support animals.

Dogs and Cats from Central and South America are prohibited from entry to Sint Maarten.

Preparing your pet for travel and ensuring their well-being

Last-minute planning won’t cut it when it comes to moving pets internationally. It’s essential that you start making arrangements well in advance to avoid any complications or delays. Remember, your pets are counting on you to ensure a safe and hassle-free journey, so don’t leave anything to chance. Get started on your preparations today!

Before traveling to Sint Maarten, it is essential to prepare your pet for the journey and ensure their well-being throughout the process. Start by scheduling a visit to the veterinarian to ensure your pet is in good health and up to date on all vaccinations.

The next step is to contact the Team at BrightPath Caribbean to request more information on how we can assist you with the process for a successful pet import approval.

During the journey, it is important to provide your pet with a comfortable and secure travel crate or carrier in compliance with the IATA regulations. Make sure the crate is well-ventilated and large enough for your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. It is also recommended to include familiar bedding and toys to help them feel more at ease. Make sure to contact your airline and ask them for all the details on their pet transport policy, and further details on transportation requirements.

Depending on how far you are traveling, during the travel, it is important to provide your pet with regular breaks for exercise and bathroom breaks. Keep them hydrated and make sure they have access to fresh water throughout the journey. It is also advisable to avoid feeding them a large meal right before travel to prevent any discomfort.

Once you arrive in Sint Maarten, it is important to help your pet adjust to the new environment. Gradually introduce them to their new surroundings and establish a routine. Weather is also a variable you need to consider; Sint Maarten might be warmer compared to what they are used to and some breeds adapt faster to warmer environments than others. Provide them with plenty of love, attention, and familiar items to help them feel secure in their new tropical home, and make sure to discuss it with your veterinarian for advice on the things you need to consider when relocating your pet to the Caribbean.

Tips for finding pet-friendly accommodation in Sint Maarten

When relocating with your pets, finding pet-friendly accommodation in Sint Maarten won’t be an issue, especially when you have the support of a local real estate agent.

Make sure to discuss with the real estate agent your requirements, this way property search will move faster. Consider that some properties may have size or breed restrictions, while others may require an additional pet deposit or monthly fee. It is important to clarify these details upfront to avoid any surprises.

Consider the layout, amenities, and location of the accommodation. Look for properties with pet-friendly features such as fenced yards, pet-friendly flooring, and easy access to outdoor areas. These features can contribute to a more comfortable living environment for both you and your furry companion. Keep in mind that If you are looking for yard space, you might not get a centrally located property, or maybe you rather have proximity to a beach and take your pet for daily walks. It all depends on what you and your pet need.

Exploring the pet-friendly activities and amenities in Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten offers a range of pet-friendly activities and amenities you can enjoy with your furry friend. Explore the beautiful beaches of the island and let your pet play with the sand and the waves, go for a walk around areas like the causeway bridge, or take your pet for an outdoor adventure on the many hiking trails all over the island, many of which end in beautiful peaceful beaches. One unique adventure you can have with your pet is the so-called Moses walk, a fun experience you will find right next to the Coralita lookout point.

If you’re looking for socialization opportunities for your pet, consider visiting pet-friendly cafes or restaurants. Some establishments in Sint Maarten have outdoor seating areas where you can enjoy a meal or a coffee while your pet relaxes by your side.

Lastly, don’t forget to check out local pet supply stores and veterinary clinics in Sint Maarten. These establishments can provide essential supplies, grooming services, and healthcare for your pet, ensuring their well-being during your stay on the island.

Quick notes on outdoor Activities:

  • Take your time when introducing your pet to new experiences and allow them to adjust at their own pace.
  • It’s important to keep them hydrated as they may feel the effects of the tropical heat more quickly.
  • Consider protecting their paws by investing in boots, shoes, or paw protectors for long walks. This will help prevent injuries and keep them safe from hot surfaces.
  • As a responsible pet parent, remember to keep your pets on a leash when surrounded by other people and dogs. This will give you more control over your pet and ensure their safety. Additionally, always clean up after your pet to maintain the beauty and cleanliness of the island that we all cherish.
  • Play, have fun, enjoy the island, and make memories.

Settling in: Tips for helping your pet adjust to the tropical environment.

Moving to a tropical environment like Sint Maarten can be an exciting change for both you and your pet. However, it is important to help your pet adjust to the new climate and surroundings.

Start by gradually acclimating your pet to the warmer temperatures. Provide them with access to shaded areas and fresh water to prevent overheating. It is also important to protect them from direct sunlight, especially during the hottest hours of the day.

Keep an eye out for any tropical pests or diseases that may affect your pet. Consult with a local veterinarian to ensure your pet is protected against common tropical parasites such as fleas, ticks, and heartworms.

Lastly, make sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh water to stay hydrated in the tropical heat. Consider providing them with a cooling mat or a small pool of water to help them cool down when needed.

With a little patience and care, your pet will soon adjust to the tropical environment of Sint Maarten and enjoy their new life in paradise.


Do you have any questions?

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


BrightPath Caribbean