Top 5 reasons why you should consider moving to Sint Maarten as a US National

If you are a US National who wants to relocate abroad, here are the main reasons why relocating to Sint Maarten could be a good plan


  1. The Dutch-American Friendship Treaty

The Dutch-American Friendship Treaty is an agreement between the United States and the Netherlands signed into law at The Hague on March 27, 1956.

This Alliance between Sint Maarten and The Former Netherlands Antilles benefits US nationals, giving them equal privileges as Dutch citizens born outside the island. If you can prove no criminal background and have sufficient verifiable funds, BrightPath Caribbean can assist you with your immigration process to get you legal residency. When obtaining residency in Sint Maarten, you acquire the right to live, work, retire, or even start your business. With BrightPath, you can start your residency process from the comfort of your home. We will handle all the aspects of your immigration process, from ordering your documents in the US to submitting and monitoring your file. Find out more on how can BrightPath work for you here.


  1. Tax Benefits

Sint Maarten has no property taxes. That means you can purchase real estate here and do not have to worry about annual property taxes, making Sint Maarten a very attractive location to purchase real estate for investment or for your retirement years and protect your assets with a Private Fund Foundation.

In addition, there are no taxes on goods or services, and no capital gains tax. You can import all your personal belongings free of any taxes because there are no customs duties on imported goods. Shopping at your favorite stores in the US and bringing your purchases with just extra shipping or handling fees is something that US Nationals love. You can live and enjoy the sunny Caribbean while still having the ease of purchasing goods with some extra steps.


  1. Real Estate and Banking

Sint Maarten continues to have a high demand for real estate because the island offers property options with amazing views, modern construction, and amenities, at prices generally lower than the United States, Europe, and Canada and with retained values on property. With brand new projects to invest in or wonderful Villas built in prime locations, Sint Maarten has something for everybody.

Sint Maarten offers a stable banking system, with little to no sign of change in the unexpected future. While the Antillean Guilder or Florin (to be replaced by the new Caribbean Guilder in 2025) is the official currency in St. Maarten, the U.S. dollar is widely accepted, and transactions can be conducted using this currency.

Always keep in mind that purchasing property abroad requires a high level of trust and a team of professionals that can address seamlessly and transparently questions regarding banking and mortgage options, ownership rights and structure, tax, and succession planning matters.

Our team at BrightPath Caribbean and BrightFuture Realty can help you turn your dreams of owning property and enjoying a different pace of everyday life into a reality.

  1. Relaxed Living

The island lifestyle encourages relaxation and well-being, whether you’re enjoying yourself along the beach, sipping a cocktail at a beachside bar, or simply unrolling in a hammock with a good book.

Without the stress and pressure of a fast-paced environment, social media, and the news, you’ll discover yourself more disconnected from the world around you.

Sint Maarten offers a high quality of life that US Citizens can quickly notice when they reach the island for the first time, usually as tourists. The locals are friendly and welcoming, the food is delicious, and there’s a relaxed pace of life that’s infectious. You’ll find yourself enjoying life’s simple pleasures, like a stroll on the beach or a sunset dinner by the sea.

When relocating to Sint Maarten, you can enjoy everything this Paradise offers.


  1. Beauty, Culture, Weather, and Quality of Life

Sint Maarten is simply breathtaking, and most people fall in love with the island just from the views they get when landing at the airport. Sunny weather year-round, friendly people, and quality of life, are very attractive reasons to consider relocation in a peaceful place.

With a vibrant diversity of cultures, traditions, and languages, making new friends in Sint Maarten is very easy! You can create your little community with people from all over the world, your neighbor could be Asian, the bartender in your favorite bar might be European and the bar owner could be local. Sint Maarten is a beautiful mix and an example of how so many cultures and nationalities can live together and work together.  Join volunteering groups and cultural activities such as Carnival, go to sports events like the Regatta, and get ready to enjoy Sint Maarten to the fullest.

Inland and underwater flora and fauna bring out the true beauty of Sint Maarten and enable people to experience two separate worlds in one. Flora and fauna contribute to a well-balanced ecosystem, making it natural and beautiful.  In Sint Maarten, there are non-profit foundations, for instance, “Les Fruits de Mer” located on the French side of the island, that assist in preserving and fostering regional conservation connections and protect Caribbean biodiversity, and the “Nature Foundation Sint Maarten” that take steps to safeguard and enhance the natural environment of St. Maarten in the present moment and for generations to come through a variety of education, preservation, and research initiatives.

Also, if you’re a sports lover, whether you’re into hiking, snorkeling, or simply lying on the beach, there’s always something beautiful to see and experience.

Have you fallen in love with Sint Maarten and would like to reside here legally?

BrightPath Caribbean can help you achieve your dreams, relocate to Sint Maarten, and start a new life full of beautiful sunsets and paradisiac beaches with our assistance. Book your consultation today and find out how to make your island vision a reality.

Contact BrightPath Caribbean and get ready to pack your suitcase for an unforgettable adventure!


1. What are the benefits of the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty for US nationals moving to Sint Maarten? The Dutch-American Friendship Treaty provides US nationals with equal privileges as Dutch citizens born outside the island. This means they can obtain legal residency, allowing them to live, work, retire, or start a business in Sint Maarten without affecting their legal status in the USA.

2.  Are there any tax benefits for US nationals relocating to Sint Maarten? Yes, Sint Maarten offers several tax benefits, including no property taxes, no taxes on goods or services, and no capital gains tax. Additionally, personal belongings can be imported free of any customs duties.

3. What is the quality of life like in Sint Maarten for US nationals? Sint Maarten offers a high quality of life with its relaxed island lifestyle, friendly locals, delicious food, and beautiful weather year-round. The island’s vibrant culture and diverse community, combined with the natural beauty and various recreational activities, make it an attractive destination for those seeking a slower, more fulfilling pace of life.


Do you have additional questions?

Contact us today for a free consultation!

How to retire in Sint Maarten

Retiring in the Caribbean has never been easier, thanks to the Team at BrightPath!  We specialize in immigration services throughout multiple islands in the Caribbean and we can make retiring in St. Maarten a reality for you.

Have you been wondering about retiring in St Maarten? If yes, here are some things you should consider before making your move.

Exploring Retirement: Why Sint Maarten?

Sint Maarten, is the perfect destination for retirees looking to enjoy their golden years in a tropical paradise. With its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant culture, Sint Maarten offers a unique and enriching retirement experience.

One of the main reasons to consider retiring in Sint Maarten is its year-round warm climate. The island enjoys a tropical climate with temperatures ranging from 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, making it an ideal place for outdoor activities and relaxation. Whether you enjoy lounging on the beach, exploring nature trails, or participating in water sports, Sint Maarten has something to offer for everyone.

Another factor that makes Sint Maarten a popular retirement destination is its friendly and welcoming community. Sint Maarten is quite a multicultural island, with over 100 nationalities living together, it keeps you learning about new cultures all the time. Living in Sint Maarten is very enriching!

Retiring in Sint Maarten also provides the opportunity to immerse yourself in a rich and diverse culture. The island is a melting pot of different cultures, with influences from Dutch, French, and Caribbean traditions.

One great advantage to retirees from the USA and Canada is how easy it is to travel to the island. Sint Maarten offers direct flights from many important airports that go from the Miami International Airport to the Toronto Pearson International Airport,  making it very convenient for visits from or to your family. They can always know that you’ll be only a few hours away.

St. Maarten offers a wonderful retirement option for many U.S. citizens. Retirees can take advantage of tax benefits and concessions, and have access to local banking services in U.S. dollars. Importantly, there’s no need to deal with local currency when banking on the island, as retirees can receive and manage their funds in U.S. dollars without any currency conversion hassle.

Overall, Sint Maarten offers retirees a chance to live in a tropical paradise while enjoying a peaceful and fulfilling retirement. From its breathtaking natural beauty to its warm and friendly community, there are countless reasons why Sint Maarten is the perfect place to retire.

How do I retire in Sint Maarten?

Retiring in Sint Maarten requires some planning and preparation, but the process is relatively straightforward. Here are some steps to help you retire in Sint Maarten:

  1. Determine your eligibility: Before you start planning your retirement in Sint Maarten, it’s important to check what’s the criteria for the Retiree Immigration program. Sint Maarten offers a residence permit for retirees, but there are certain requirements that need to be met. These requirements include having a valid passport, providing proof of sufficient financial means to support yourself, health insurance with coverage on the island or Medevac insurance, and the purchase of a real estate property with the minimum amount of USD 255.000 (necessary for the renewal of your residency after the first year).
  2. Research the cost of living: It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the cost of living in Sint Maarten before deciding to retire there. Take into account factors such as housing, healthcare, transportation, and daily expenses. This will help you plan your finances and ensure that you can comfortably afford your retirement lifestyle.
  3. Contact BrightPath Caribbean: Once you have decided to retire in Sint Maarten, book a consultation with the team at BrightPath and we will assist with your retirement dreams. With over 12 years of experience and a track record of successfully handling more than 10,000 immigration files, BrightPath is the most trusted immigration service provider in Sint Maarten. You can feel confident entrusting your retirement plans to our team of professionals. We will handle the ordering of your documents, ensure all requirements are met, liaise with the authorities on your behalf, and provide you with regular updates on your file’s status. Schedule your free consultation today, start your retirement dreams.
  4. Find the perfect retirement home: Sint Maarten offers a range of housing options for retirees, from beachfront villas to cozy apartments. Consider your preferences and budget when searching for a retirement home and contact our real estate affiliate, BrightFuture Realty, with a team of realtors that fully understand the process and work seamlessly with the team at BrightPath throughout your retirement process.
  5. Settle into your new life: After obtaining your residence permit and finding your perfect retirement home, it’s time to settle into your new life in Sint Maarten. Take the time to explore the island, make new friends, and embrace the local culture. Join social clubs or engage in activities that interest you to make the most of your retirement experience.

Finding the Perfect Retirement Home

Finding the perfect retirement home in Sint Maarten is an exciting and important decision. Here are some factors to consider when searching for your dream retirement home:

  1. Location: Determine the ideal location for your retirement home. Sint Maarten offers a variety of options, from beachfront properties to inland areas with stunning views. Consider factors such as proximity to amenities, access to healthcare facilities, and the overall atmosphere of the neighborhood.
  2. Amenities and Services: Consider the amenities and services available in the retirement community or neighborhood. Are there swimming pools, fitness centers, or social clubs? Are there nearby grocery stores, restaurants, and medical facilities? Choose a retirement home that offers the amenities and services that align with your lifestyle and preferences.
  3. Size and Layout: Determine the size and layout of the retirement home that suits your needs. Do you prefer a spacious villa with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, or a smaller apartment with less maintenance? Consider your future plans and any specific requirements you may have when choosing the size and layout of your retirement home.
  4. Consult with BrightFuture Realty: They will have in-depth knowledge of the local market and can help you find the perfect retirement home based on your preferences and budget. Plus, as an affiliate company of BrightPath Caribbean, BrightFuture’s realtors understand the process of purchasing a home for retirement purposes.

By considering these factors and taking the time to research and visit different properties, you can find the perfect retirement home in Sint Maarten that meets all your needs and allows you to enjoy a comfortable and fulfilling retirement.

Embracing the Sint Maarten Lifestyle

Embracing the Sint Maarten lifestyle is an integral part of enjoying a retirement in this beautiful paradise. Here are some ways to fully embrace the Sint Maarten lifestyle:

  • Enjoy the outdoors: Take advantage of the island’s stunning natural beauty by spending time outdoors. Whether it’s lounging on the beach, snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, or hiking through lush rainforests, Sint Maarten offers countless opportunities for outdoor adventure.
  • Explore the local cuisine: Sint Maarten is known for its diverse culinary scene, influenced by Dutch, French, and Caribbean flavors. Sample local dishes such as fresh seafood, Creole stews, and French pastries.
  • Engage with the community: Get involved in the local community by joining social clubs, attending cultural events, or volunteering for local organizations. This will not only allow you to make new friends but also help you learn more about the island’s culture and traditions.
  • Learn the local language: While English is widely spoken in Sint Maarten, learning some basic Dutch and French phrases can enhance your experience and interactions with locals. Consider taking language classes or using language-learning apps to familiarize yourself with the local languages.
  • Take part in island traditions: Sint Maarten has a rich cultural heritage, and there are many traditions and festivals celebrated throughout the year. Participate in events such as Carnival, the Grand Parade, and the Heineken Regatta to experience the vibrant spirit of the island.

By embracing the Sint Maarten lifestyle, you can fully immerse yourself in the island’s culture, connect with the local community, and create lifelong memories during your retirement.


  1. What are the residency requirements for retirees in Sint Maarten?

Retirees must have a valid passport, proof of sufficient financial means, health insurance with island coverage, and purchase real estate worth at least USD 255,000 for residency renewal after the first year.

  1. How can retirees find the perfect home in Sint Maarten?

Retirees should consider location, amenities, size, and layout when searching for a home. Consulting with BrightFuture Realty, which works seamlessly with BrightPath Caribbean, can help find a home that meets their needs and budget.

  1. What steps should retirees take to embrace the Sint Maarten lifestyle?

Retirees can embrace the Sint Maarten lifestyle by enjoying outdoor activities, exploring local cuisine, engaging with the community, learning basic Dutch and French phrases, and participating in island traditions and festivals.


Do you have additional questions?

Contact us today for a free consultation!

Five Things You Should Know About St. Maarten Before Starting a Business

Discover essential information about conducting business in St. Maarten with these key insights.

For many years, St. Maarten has been well-known for its high tourist footfall, making it a leading vacation destination in the Caribbean. With the highest GDP in the region, Sint Maarten ranks as one of the best vacation spots in the Caribbean. It is also a popular vacation and retirement destination, offering a wide variety of businesses tailored to different types of clients, prices, and preferences.

For these reasons, foreign nationals like Americans, Canadians, and Europeans are keen to start a business in St. Maarten.

Understanding the Business Environment

Before starting a business in St. Maarten, it is important to have a good understanding of the business environment. This includes knowing the local laws, regulations, and cultural norms that may impact your business operations. Having the correct advice is crucial and contacting the team at BrightPath for assistance with your incorporation should be your next step. From the business structure and incorporation to the banking, tax advisory with CaribTax, and a great commercial space with the real estate agents at BrightFuture Realty. Finding professional services for your business is possible with BrightPath Caribbean.

Before you incorporate, It’s very important to understand all the legalities of your business, timeframes when setting up, renewals for licenses, and tax responsibilities. Questions like: How often do I have to renew my business license? Do I need a special License? Where can I find assistance with taxes or payroll? Can I change the purpose of my business? Can I bring key personnel from abroad? How does the work permit process start? These are some of the many questions related to your type of business that you should have an answer to before you invest your time and money. Make your business incorporation stress-free with the corporate services at BrightPath. Book a consultation today.

Expanding Economic Landscape

Historically, St. Maarten was known for its salt exports. Then came the era of tourism, which is still dominant. However, as Sint Maarten’s Infrastructure is getting better fast, and with a tax-free structure for imports and exports, we are starting to witness the island becoming the headquarters for many businesses planning to expand or already expanding to the neighboring islands.

St. Maarten has experienced significant economic growth in recent years, making it an attractive location for businesses. The island’s expanding economic landscape offers various opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors in many sectors. Tourism-related businesses might be the most important sector, however other industries sectors like construction, IT Infrastructure, real estate, and manufacturing, have been growing steadily. By understanding the current economic trends and identifying areas of growth, you can position your business for success in St. Maarten.

Transactions in US Dollars

Although the Antillean Guilder or Florin (In 2025 becoming the new Caribbean Guilder) is the official currency in St. Maarten, the U.S. dollar is widely accepted and transactions can be conducted under this currency.

In reality, all transactions on the Dutch side are primarily conducted in US dollars, this means commercial and personal banking, loans, invoicing, and even pricing display for any goods or services. Being able to run your business transactions in U.S. dollars provides stability and ease of doing business with international companies and investors.

The U.S. dollar is overwhelmingly the world’s most frequently used currency in global trade and also the dominant currency in international banking. Over the period 1999-2019, the dollar accounted for 96 percent of trade invoicing in the Americas, 74 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, and 79 percent in the rest of the world. The only exception is Europe, where the euro is dominant, this includes the French side of the island. (Source: Carol Bertaut, Bastian von Beschwitz, Stephanie Curcuru. (2021) The International Role of the U.S. Dollar.)

Duty-Free for Import and Export

St. Maarten has a duty-free policy for both import and export, which can be beneficial for businesses involved in international trade. This policy allows for cost savings and competitive pricing. In other words, this means whether it’s for personal or business, you won’t incur in any taxation fees when bringing goods from abroad as well as sending them. Usually, all the costs are merely, shipping and insurance fees, and those will all depend on the company hired for the service.

Duty-free import and export in Sint Maarten is a great advantage to big and small business operations, letting you ship out any manufactured on-island goods and bring in raw materials for your production.

Always consider that other countries will have different policies and you will pay customs duties. Ask the shipping company of your choice to consider all your costs when importing or exporting for your business.

Opportunities for Growth and Expansion to the Eastern Caribbean Islands

St. Maarten’s strategic location in the Eastern Caribbean offers great opportunities for businesses to expand and grow beyond the island. With its well-developed infrastructure and transportation links, St. Maarten serves as a gateway to the Eastern Caribbean islands. Sint Maarten features the most modern airport in the Eastern Caribbean and the largest port in the region. This gives all businesses registered in Sint Maarten a strategic advantage, enabling them to reach and serve the neighboring islands. By leveraging this geographical advantage, businesses can tap into new markets, collaborate with regional partners, and explore growth opportunities in the wider Caribbean region.

A guavaberry emporium


  1. Why is St. Maarten an attractive location for starting a business?

St. Maarten is attractive for starting a business due to its stable economy, high GDP in the Caribbean, and being a popular vacation and retirement destination. Additionally, the use of the U.S. dollar for transactions, duty-free import and export policies, and its strategic location with developed infrastructure make it an ideal place for entrepreneurs and investors.

  1. What are the key legal considerations before starting a business in St. Maarten?

Key legal considerations include understanding local laws, regulations, and cultural norms, determining business structure, incorporation requirements, license renewals, tax responsibilities, and whether special licenses are needed. It is also important to know about the work permit process for bringing key personnel from abroad and the ability to change the business’s purpose.

  1. How does the duty-free policy in St. Maarten benefit businesses involved in international trade?

The duty-free policy in St. Maarten benefits businesses by allowing them to import and export goods without incurring taxation fees. This leads to cost savings and competitive pricing, making it easier to bring in raw materials for production and ship out manufactured goods. However, businesses must consider customs duties and costs imposed by other countries when importing or exporting.

  1. What sectors are experiencing growth in St. Maarten’s expanding economic landscape?

Besides the dominant tourism sector, other growing industries in St. Maarten include construction, IT infrastructure, real estate, and manufacturing. Understanding these economic trends can help entrepreneurs identify opportunities for success and expansion on the island.

  1. How does St. Maarten’s use of the U.S. dollar impact business operations?

The widespread use of the U.S. dollar in St. Maarten simplifies business transactions, providing stability and ease of doing business with international companies and investors. It allows for consistent pricing, commercial and personal banking, loans, and invoicing in a globally dominant currency, facilitating smoother international trade and investment.

Do you have additional questions?

Contact us today for a free consultation!

Guide to the Best Sint Maarten Beaches

The Caribbean Island of Sint Maarten is well-known for its outstanding beaches, amazing food, and friendly people. Every beach in Sint Maarten and Saint Martin (French Side) has a unique feeling, and finding your favorite will all depend on what you are looking for, the things you like to do, and the distance from where you are staying. The best thing? You can find a little bit of everything in St. Maarten! From hidden solitary gems to spend a relaxing day, to breezy beaches with lots of watersports options, and beautiful bays with high-end restaurants.

With 37 beaches to choose from, who’s better to guide you to the island’s best beaches than Elma and Ted from All Things Sint Maarten. Not only do they love Sint Maarten, but they love showing the world how unique and enchanting this island can be.

Maho Beach

Maho Beach in Sint Maarten is one of the island’s most captivating destinations, renowned for its tranquil beauty and pristine white sands. This unique beach offers the perfect spot for relaxation, with restaurant services just a few steps away. What sets Maho Beach apart is its location at the end of an airport runway, providing an exhilarating experience as planes land and take off right overhead. Despite the proximity to the runway, the beach is heavily secured, ensuring the safety of all visitors. Beachgoers can enjoy watching various international planes from airlines like American Airlines and Air France, making each visit a thrilling experience.

Adjacent to Maho Beach is the famous Sunset Beach Bar, known for serving some of the best burgers on the island and hosting vibrant events. Whether you are listening to live performances by DJs or local bands, the atmosphere is always lively and welcoming. Maho Beach truly offers a one-of-a-kind experience, combining the serene beauty of a tropical beach with the excitement of close-up plane spotting and dynamic entertainment options.


Kim Sha Beach

Kim Sha Beach in Sint Maarten is one of the island’s most enchanting spots, attracting visitors with its clear waters and refreshing ocean breeze. Recognized by BrightPath Caribbean as one of the best beaches in Sint Maarten, Kim Sha offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Water sports enthusiasts can indulge in activities like jet skiing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and tubing with different water sports providers. Kim Sha Beach is also a culinary haven, home to some of the island’s top restaurants. Enjoy a delicious meal at Buccaneer Beach Bar, The Green House, or Captain’s Rib Shack, among others. Whether you are looking to relax on the beach, partake in thrilling watersports, or savor a variety of local and international cuisine, Kim Sha Beach offers an unforgettable experience for all.



Little Bay Beach

Little Bay Beach in Sint Maarten is a stunning destination, offering one of the most picturesque settings on the island. Despite its name, Little Bay is a sprawling beach, perfectly positioned to provide breathtaking views of the island. One of its unique features is the hill overlooking the beach, which offers a glimpse into history with the remains of Fort Amsterdam. Visitors can explore this historical site with guided tours that delve into the fort’s rich past.

The beach is nestled within the magnificent Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, which provides a wealth of amenities, dining options, and activities that can keep visitors entertained for days. Whether you are relaxing on the beautiful sands, exploring historical landmarks, or enjoying the luxury of the resort, Little Bay Beach promises a memorable and enriching experience for all. Little Bay offers one of the best spots for snorkeling, with underwater sculptures, lots of fish, turtles, and the remains of a sunken helicopter.


Baie Rouge

If the previous beaches did not catch your interest, Baie Rouge in Sint Maarten surely will. Offering a classic and traditional beach experience, Baie Rouge is a serene escape with no restaurants or official activities—just pure sand and ocean. The colorful entrance sets a welcoming tone for beachgoers seeking tranquility. Baie Rouge is perfect for those looking to relax and unwind. Its simplicity allows visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the beach, making it an ideal spot to sit down on the sand and enjoy the soothing sounds of the waves. Just remember to bring a towel and soak in the peaceful ambiance of this beautiful, unspoiled beach.


Orient Bay

Orient Bay on the French side of Sint Maarten is a quintessential tropical experience that combines natural beauty with vibrant culture. This expansive beach is not only famous for its stunning views and turquoise waters but also for its lively and welcoming atmosphere. Stretching over a long, picturesque shoreline, Orient Bay features a diverse array of restaurants and beach bars that serve world-renowned cuisine, offering everything from gourmet French dishes to fresh, local seafood.

The beach’s consistent winds create perfect conditions for a variety of watersports, making it a hotspot for windsurfing, kiteboarding, and sailing. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie looking to catch the waves or a foodie eager to sample some of the finest dining options the island has to offer, Orient Bay caters to all interests. The combination of its scenic beauty, culinary delights, and adventurous spirit makes Orient Bay a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Sint Maarten. Relax on the sandy shores, enjoy the lively beach scene, and take in the breathtaking views that this tropical paradise offers.

Mullet Bay

Nestled on the Dutch side of Sint Maarten, Mullet Bay Beach is sprawling with life, a beautiful haven that shows visitors its pristine, clear waters and stunning scenery. Located just past the Maho area and adjacent to Mullet Bay’s Golf Course, the beach offers a unique blend of natural beauty and architectural wonder. The best way to spend your day at Mullet Bay is by renting a chair and umbrella while you get snacks and drinks from nearby restaurants.

As you relax on the soft, sandy shores, you’ll be treated to mesmerizing views of beautifully constructed buildings and the thrilling sight of planes descending towards the nearby airport. For those who love marine life, the small rocky area on one side of the beach is a vibrant underwater ecosystem, teeming with fascinating sea creatures. Mullet Bay Beach is not just a destination; it’s an unforgettable experience, combining leisure, adventure, and breathtaking vistas.

Are you considering living in Sint Maarten?

Yes, it’s possible!

At BrightPath Caribbean we have seen throughout over 12 years of business, so many people falling in love with Sint Maarten, the lifestyle, the beaches, the food, and all the things the island has to offer, that they decide to make Sint Maarten their home and apply for legal residency with the assistance of BrightPath. You might be wondering, what’s the process like? What documents do I need? Read our informative blogs on the process and book a consultation with our team to find out how to move forward and make it happen.


Pictures courtesy of All Things Sint Maarten.



  1. What makes Maho Beach a unique destination in Sint Maarten?

Maho Beach is unique due to its location at the end of an airport runway, offering the exhilarating experience of planes landing and taking off overhead. It also features the famous Sunset Beach Bar and a lively atmosphere with events and live performances.

  1. What activities and amenities can visitors expect at Kim Sha Beach?

Visitors to Kim Sha Beach can enjoy a range of water sports such as jet skiing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and tubing. The beach also boasts several top restaurants, including Buccaneer Beach Bar, The Green House, and Captain’s Rib Shack, providing a blend of relaxation and adventure.

  1. Why is Little Bay Beach considered a notable destination in Sint Maarten?

Little Bay Beach is notable for its picturesque setting, historical significance with the nearby Fort Amsterdam, and the amenities offered by the Divi Little Bay Beach Resort. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views, explore historical landmarks, and take advantage of the resort’s dining and activity options.


Do you have additional questions?

Contact us today for a free consultation!

How can BrightPath Caribbean work for you?


How can BrightPath Caribbean work for you?

The idea of moving or starting a business is easy, and trust us, when you love the Caribbean, it can be the fastest “YES!” you’ve ever said.

Then, you start doing your research and everything seems so simple to do, yet so overwhelming! A simple list of documents can have many layers of intricacy that go from requesting simple certificates, to having them legalized or translated. And now, what’s next? What if you are moving from abroad, requesting residency, purchasing property with a mortgage, starting a new business, and on top of that bringing your pets?

To keep things uncomplicated, thousands of people have used BrightPath as their service provider. Our team will be there for you from day one, sending you updates, requesting documents on your behalf, following up with the authorities, obtaining translations, making appointments with banking institutions, and notaries, and so much more.


 We are here to keep it simple for you!


Thinking of starting a business?

We get you, starting a business is exciting and petrifying at the same time. You need to consider every detail, map out every action, and address any sudden change of plans. And, when you add the component of starting a business in a different country, things can get complicated very quickly.

Our clients have saved time, money, and headaches by engaging with BrightPath for their business incorporation. Once you’re ready to proceed after the initial consultation, our corporate services team will efficiently handle the process of incorporating your business. This includes conducting a company name search, preparing and submitting all the necessary information for incorporation, advising you on the best company structure, assisting with business banking, and registering your business and employees with the relevant government departments. We will also provide regular updates on the progress of your file.

Did you know that we can offer continuous support after your business incorporation?

That’s right! After your business is up and running, we can continue to support you with all the necessary yearly corporate renewals, such as licenses and chamber of commerce, as well as accounting duties by working alongside our latest addition to the group, CaribTax Accounting & Advisory Services, to ensure compliance.


Work Permits for essential employees

Sometimes the best match for a key position will have to come from a different country. Get ready to build your dream team and find with BrightPath the support you need to integrate into your company foreign employees that are crucial to your operation. Work permits in Sint Maarten are a complex request with two sides that must be perfectly synchronized – Labor Department and Immigration Department. Our experienced team will go with you through all the documents from the prospective employee, and company, to check all the requirements and secure a successful outcome.

Does the best employee prospect for a key position live abroad? Let’s discuss the possibility of a work permit! Book a consultation with BrightPath.


Moving to SXM?

The dream of living in the Caribbean becomes a reality with BrightPath. There’s nothing we love more than the final stage of the immigration process when we take our clients to pick up their approved residency permit. Seeing their smiles is the best part! It’s real – they now legally reside in the place of their dreams, and we were a part of making it happen!

Gathering and requesting documents, submitting forms, and following up on your file are some of the many things the Immigration Services team will do with your residency request, so you can sit back and relax while you receive notifications and updates on the process.

How about immigration and real estate all under one roof?

Having worked on thousands of files for over 10 years of business, we can say something for sure; Relocation means Real Estate. Whether you are looking to purchase or rent, the team of professionals at BrightFuture Realty can help you find the perfect spot to call home. They will adapt to your needs, budget, and time frames of your immigration process.



  1. How does BrightPath Caribbean simplify the process of relocating to the Caribbean?

BrightPath Caribbean handles all aspects of the relocation process, including document requests and legalization, residency applications, property purchases, business incorporation, and pet relocation. They provide updates, manage interactions with authorities, and ensure a smooth transition for their clients.

  1. What services does BrightPath offer for individuals looking to start a business in the Caribbean?

BrightPath offers comprehensive business incorporation services, including company name searches, preparation and submission of incorporation documents, advice on company structure, assistance with business banking, registration with government departments, and continuous support for corporate renewals and accounting through CaribTax Accounting & Advisory Services.

  1. How does BrightPath assist with work permits for essential employees in Sint Maarten?

BrightPath guides clients through the complex work permit application process, coordinating with both the Labor and Immigration Departments. They review all necessary documents from the prospective employee and the company to ensure all requirements are met, facilitating a successful outcome for integrating foreign employees into the company.

Do you have additional questions?

Contact us today for a free consultation!


How to renew a work or residency permit in St. Maarten?

If you’re considering renewing your work or residency permit in St. Maarten this means that you’re already enjoying life on The Friendly Island – congratulations! 

Renewing, or as formally referred to, “extending”, a work or residency permit can be just as complex if not more than the initial application.  Why?  Because several components such as tax and banking compliance will come into consideration.  That’s the reason why many people trust the expertise and reliable immigration services at BrightPath Caribbean. 

If you are an existing temporary resident of St. Maarten, you can choose to renew or change your residency status.  Unless you are a Dutch national or a citizen of the United States of America, you will likely be required to renew your temporary residency permit on an annual basis.  This is because, in Sint Maarten, only Dutch and American citizens may successfully request and obtain permanent residency from the onset.  Read here to learn more about the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty and how it can benefit you in securing permanent residency in St. Maarten. 


Temporary residency programs that can be conditionally extended are the following: 

Family Reunion / Family Formation 

This form of temporary residency permit can be extended annually and applies to persons who are being petitioned by a guarantor.  The guarantor must be a legal resident of St. Maarten or a Dutch national that is registered on the island.  The guarantor must also have a direct relationship to the applicant, for example, the guarantor must be a parent or legal guardian, or the spouse of the applicant.  Once the applicant can substantiate five years of uninterrupted legal residency on the island, a change request can be filed to change the status of the permit from temporary to indefinite (also referred to as “permanent”).   

The process does involve coordinating documentation and verifying sources and sufficient means of income.  Verification of the relationship at the civil registry by way of a recent extract may also apply.  Interested in learning about how BrightPath can file for the renewal of a residency permit under this program? Schedule your free consultation today and request a comprehensive service estimate. 


Investor / Retiree Immigration Program 

The investor program and the retiree program are similar in that they both involve a real estate purchase.  BrightPath offers fully integrated immigration services in teamwork with BrightFuture Realty.  Many persons seeking to obtain residency under the investor or the retiree program may also qualify for tax concessions.  Consult with our referral partners at CaribTax Advisory & Accounting Services and schedule your free meeting here.   

For the renewal of residency permits under this program, tax compliance is a requirement, and in the case of the investor program, an appraisal is also a firm requirement.  The appraisal substantiates that the property purchased initially is still owned by the applicant and supports a value above USD 500,000 (NAF 900,000). 

The retiree program does not require the purchase of real estate upfront, but it is an essential part of the renewal process.  This means that the first residency permit granted to the applicant did not have to involve a real estate transaction, but the extension of the permit will.  The minimum amount required for the real estate purchase is USD 250,000 (NAF 450,000).  If you haven’t made your real estate purchase, contact our referral partners at BrightFuture Realty to support you in a manner that fits your budget, meets the immigration requirements, and the timeframes to ensure your residency permit is renewed without interruptions. 


Work Permit Renewal 

Work permit renewals, as is the case with the first application, must be requested by the employer.  Evidence of tax compliance is a requirement for both the employer and the employee.  Also, as a part of the renewal process, the applicant must substantiate that the salary is being deposited into their personal bank account and is equivalent to the amount declared in the initial work permit.   

With work permits, the renewal process involves the same paperwork initially presented for the first-time request.  We cannot substitute original diplomas or notarized copies in the renewal process.  Advertising the vacancy locally will also be required.  Rely on the knowledge and expertise that the team can offer you for work permit renewal services to ensure that you’re well on your way to permanent residency if that is your goal.   


The information herein is provided in the form of a summary of the most common immigration programs in the context of temporary residency permits that can be extended.  In generalizing, please consider that every circumstance is different.  We encourage you to schedule a consultation to learn more about how BrightPath can assist you with immigration, tax and accounting, and real estate services to support you in the renewal of your legal residency in St. Maarten. 



  1. What are the requirements for renewing a work permit in St. Maarten?

 To renew a work permit in St. Maarten, the employer must request the renewal and provide evidence of tax compliance for both the employer and employee. The employee must substantiate that their salary is being deposited into their personal bank account and is equivalent to the amount declared in the initial work permit being extended. The renewal process involves the same paperwork as the initial application, including original diplomas or notarized copies, and advertising the vacancy locally. 


  1. How can temporary residency be renewed under the Family Reunion/Family Formation program?

Temporary residency under the Family Reunion/Family Formation program can be renewed annually. The guarantor, who must be a legal resident of St. Maarten or a Dutch national registered on the island, must have a direct relationship to the applicant (e.g., parent, legal guardian, or spouse). The process involves coordinating documentation, verifying income sources, and possibly verifying the relationship at the civil registry. After five years of uninterrupted legal residency, a change request can be filed to change the status from temporary to indefinite. 


  1. What are the specific requirements for renewing residency under the Investor/Retiree Immigration Program?

For the Investor Immigration Program, tax compliance and an appraisal confirming the property value above USD 500,000 (NAF 900,000) are required. For the Retiree Immigration Program, while the initial residency permit does not require a real estate purchase, the renewal does, with a minimum property purchase amount of USD 250,000 (NAF 450,000). Applicants must ensure they meet these financial criteria and have the necessary property investments to qualify for renewal. 

Do you have additional questions?

Contact us today for a free consultation!


How to Obtain Citizenship in St. Maarten

St Maarten Citizenship Requirements

For many persons the dream of a life in the Caribbean can be made a reality with citizenship by investment programs in islands such as St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, and Antigua, to name a few options of territories that offer passports to foreign investors and/or retirees that meet the required criteria.


What do all these have in common?

Aside from visa-free access to many countries, including the European Union for leisure visits, affordable real estate options, possible tax incentives, and additional citizenship – yes, you do get to call the country issuing your passport “home” – they all are members of the Caribbean Community.  Island hopping becomes a reality with one of these passports and yes, you can consider extended stays of over 30 days when staying within member countries of the Caribbean Community.


But, what about St. Maarten?

The tiny jewel consisting of 37 square miles known as Saint Martin/Sint Maarten is the smallest territory shared by two nations, namely France and The Netherlands, and allows the free movement of persons between both sides of the island without a physical border.  The French side is French overseas territory, and the Dutch side is a country within the kingdom of the Netherlands.


Want to obtain citizenship in St. Maarten?

Although the option to obtain direct citizenship through a form of investment – whether by real estate purchase or by investing in a business – is not available on either side of the island, legal residency on St. Maarten is possible through real estate investment.  The process towards a possible Dutch citizenship starts with legal residency.


How do I obtain legal residency in St. Maarten?

There are two very popular ways for persons to request residency in St. Maarten.  These are by real estate investment or by retirement.  BrightPath Caribbean has over 10 years of serving as the most trusted immigration services provider in the English Caribbean and can be your valued partner in obtaining your legal residency in St. Maarten.

With its real estate affiliate through BrightFuture Realty, the team at BrightPath can support you in all aspects of your relocation from purchasing the right property that meets your budget and the criteria of your immigration program, to ensuring your tax and estate planning is in place, and obtaining the necessary mortgage financing if needed.  With a diverse and specialized team of professionals under one roof, more and more foreign nationals trust BrightPath Caribbean when exploring opportunities to legally reside or obtain citizenship in the Caribbean.


What are the advantages of moving to St. Maarten?

Moving to St. Maarten can often come with a series of challenges when not relying on BrightPath.  There are many factors to consider, and this article is meant to provide general advice from the experience and perspective of our actual clients.

  1. Basic healthcare is affordable: Moving to St. Maarten for persons over the age of 50 can often be primarily determined by the standard of healthcare.  Maarten, in comparison to its peers, offers adequate healthcare for persons residing on the island.  Most doctors are educated and/or trained in The Netherlands or at a medical institution that meets European Union Medical and Educational Standards.  You can pay out of pocket for medical consultations with the average fee ranging from US$60 to US$150 per session. If you wish to retain your health insurance in your country of origin, consult with BrightPath on how to secure a medical evacuation plan accepted by the local immigration authorities.


  1. Maarten is free of duties on all imports: Regardless of your residency status, one of the benefits of living in St. Maarten is that there are absolutely no import duties.  This means that you can import your personal belongings into the island and pay no taxes on the value of these imports.  This is a big advantage when managing the cost of a relocation.  Many vehicles and household items are available for purchase on the island, but if you still don’t manage to find what you like, importing one is a very popular option too.


  1. Zero-rate property tax: Any decision that involves a relocation requires analyzing direct costs as well as recurring costs.  Retirees must remain mindful of hidden expenses when planning this chapter of their lives because most rely on a fixed income and a combination of earnings from investments.  Maarten has a zero property tax rate, which makes owning real estate an attractive option.  Insurance options are also reasonable with various insurance carriers that can offer you competitive rates.  If purchasing a condo, many home-owner associations include structural property insurance in the monthly dues, which makes it simpler for budget management and forecasting.


  1. Competitive pricing on real estate: Depending on what dynamics you may be used to in your local real estate market, the Caribbean, particularly St. Maarten, offers very modern construction with attractive finishes and spectacular ocean views.  While enjoying the incentive of no property taxes, you can observe your property increase in price year over year without worrying about paying annual fees for its rise in value.  With our affiliate, BrightFuture Realty, you can explore real estate options available in St Maarten from modern studios to luxury villas, all unique in their appeal and tailored to fit your budget.


  1. U.S. and Canadian-accredited schooling:  Not all of our clients are retiring in the Caribbean!  Some are starting a new chapter in their life at a younger stage or accepting a new job opportunity, and oftentimes, have a family with children.  The Caribbean has limitations, and one is that the island does not offer various options concerning tertiary education.  For this reason, having access to accredited schooling is crucial to the long-term planning for your children’s education.  To learn more about relocating with your family and school enrollment standard requirements, schedule your consultation here.


  1. Tax incentives for retirees: If you are age 50 or over and planning to retire in St. Maarten, the team at BrightPath can facilitate immigration and tax services to support you in taking advantage of the incentives created for retirees.  Because these incentives require a series of steps to qualify, a multi-disciplinary team such as the experts of BrightPath is recommended for a higher probability of success.  Under the ‘penshonado program, once the immigration process has been completed, qualifying applicants may enjoy a reduced fixed taxation rate on retirement income in St. Maarten.


Although the path to citizenship in St. Maarten requires several steps, including a minimum of five years of residing on the island with permanent residency in place, the path to citizenship in St. Maarten can be an enjoyable one with all the entertainment and European flair that the island has to offer, but it can also come with many hidden benefits that make life in the Caribbean exactly what it was meant to be – a truly enjoyable experience!

sxm citizenship


  1. What are the options available for obtaining legal residency in St. Maarten, and how can BrightPath Caribbean assist individuals in this process?

Legal residency in St. Maarten can be obtained through real estate investment or retirement. BrightPath Caribbean, with over 10 years of experience, offers support in all aspects of relocation, including property purchase, tax planning, and mortgage financing.

  1. What are some of the advantages of moving to St. Maarten, particularly in terms of healthcare, import duties, property tax, real estate pricing, and schooling options?

St. Maarten offers affordable healthcare, no import duties, zero property tax, competitive real estate pricing, and accredited schooling options for families. These advantages make the island an attractive destination for relocation.

  1. How can retirees take advantage of tax incentives in St. Maarten, and what steps are involved in qualifying for these incentives?

Retirees aged 50 and over can benefit from tax incentives in St. Maarten under the ‘penshonado’ program. BrightPath Caribbean facilitates immigration and tax services to help retirees qualify for reduced fixed taxation rates on retirement income.

Do you have additional questions?

Contact us today for a free consultation!


How to Start a Business in St. Maarten

Discover the essential steps to kickstart your business venture on the picturesque island of St. Maarten.

St. Maarten is one of the most sought-after Caribbean islands for investment. Many foreign business owners and entrepreneurs are keen to start a business in St. Maarten. With a stable economy and bustling tourism, St. Maarten is a prime destination if you are starting your business in the Caribbean.

In case you’ve been tempted by the white beaches and crystal blue water and make St. Maarten your home, starting a business is a good first step towards obtaining legal residency on the island too.

Below is helpful information about BrightPath Caribbean and how our team of professionals can provide valuable assistance for those starting a business on the Caribbean island.

A cropped image of a person holding pen and paper

How to start a new business in St. Maarten

BrightPath Caribbean for over 10 years, has remained the most trusted and recognized corporate and immigration services provider for St. Maarten and the English Caribbean.  Our team of professionals can support you in answering key questions that will factor into your decision to start a new business in Sint Maarten and assist you with a turnkey suite of services to deploy your business and support it throughout its operating phase.

Registered Office Services and Commercial Real Estate

When considering starting a business in Sint Maarten, you must first determine if you will need to rent or purchase commercial real estate.  Businesses that require an operational license, in addition to a business and managing director license, will need to lease or purchase a commercial property in the name of the business before incorporation.  This makes the efficiency of an integrated team such as that of BrightPath Caribbean and affiliate BrightFuture Realty, impactful to your budget and timeframe to coordinate both the real estate and the incorporation simultaneously and seamlessly.

If you would like to incorporate your business while remaining abroad, BrightPath can facilitate that service too, offering you registered address services on an annual basis.  This means that for an annual fee, all business correspondence and registrations can be received and handled by our dedicated office team.  This will save you unnecessary rental fees and is particularly useful for businesses that offer professional services, such as accountants, consultants, artists, and designers, that understandably prefer to keep their residential address separate from their business address.

Tax Advisory, Accounting, and Bookkeeping

For many years, BrightPath Caribbean has relied on our referral partners at Haven SXM for their expertise in tax advisory services.  They in turn rely on the leadership of Erik van Engelen, who holds a postgraduate degree in Business Economics and obtained his Post Master’s as a Certified Auditor, in addition to many years of senior management experience in the same field.  Erik and his team are essential to the integral component of any business decision for any prospect or actual business owner requiring professional tax advisory services.  Under the guidance of HaVen SXM, the Team at BrightPath Caribbean can establish your business in Sint Maarten, Private Fund Foundation, or legal business entity in a tax-compliant manner to fit your current and future financial plans.

Once your business or private fund foundation has been established and registered at the local authorities, our team remains in close collaboration with HaVen SXM for you to receive the necessary monthly and annual administrative and tax services to ensure your business’s compliance with the local tax reporting requirements.

Deciding on your Company Structure

Depending on the type of business you are planning on incorporating it is very important that you know from the beginning your options and consult with an expert to decide on the best corporate structure.

In St. Maarten, when it comes to business entities you have a  few options that can go from an incorporated business entity to a private fund foundation.  For standard business operating purposes, the two most popular options are a Besloten Vennootschap (“B.V.”), or Naamloze Vennootschap (“N.V.”), As an initial requirement, BrightPath ensures all legal entities must be registered with The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) and at the local tax authorities are done so in a manner that is correct and compliant with local authorities.

If you are a foreign national incorporating a company in Sint Maarten, most likely you will be doing it with a B.V. or an N.V.  which are the equivalents of a Public Limited Liability Company (“PLC”) and Private Limited Liability Company (“LLC”), and they tend to be quite similar. Tax law and tariff apply in the same way, and which entity you choose is not relevant to the core business. Company calling times for shareholder’s meetings are slightly different, as well as audit compliance and voting rights.

Do I need a B.V. or an N.V.?

Key Characteristics 

  •  There is NO fiscal difference between an LLC (NV) and PLC (B.V.), The choice of entity for your core business objectives is not significant, as both entities are subject to the same tax laws and tariffs.
  • The only difference is that the LLC (NV..) can have bearer shares and the B.V. not. It is important to know that our local banks do not cooperate with companies having bearer shares.
  • The period of calling up the shareholders for a meeting is 10 days for an LLC (N.V.), and 5 days for a PLC (BV), and a distinction can be made on voting rights in an LLC (N.V.), that is NOT possible with a PLC (B.V.).
  • There may be more stringent publication and audit requirements to adhere to for a large LLC (N.V.), being an entity with at least twenty (20) employees employed, the value of the assets being more than five (5) million NAF, and the net turnover is at least ten (10) million guilders.


Why work with BrightPath Caribbean

Having BrightPath by your side when starting a business in Sint Maarten is like having a trusted navigator guiding you through uncharted waters. While the process of obtaining a business license may appear straightforward, the nuances and intricacies can vary greatly depending on the nature of your business. BrightPath will not only provide valuable insights into different business structures, requirements, renewals, and tax considerations but will also offer a clear and comprehensive overview of your project, laying a strong foundation for your entrepreneurial journey.

With BrightPath on board, you can rest assured that every aspect of setting up your business will be handled with expertise and precision.

How to proceed to incorporate a business in St Maarten with BrightPath

We highly recommend requesting a preliminary consultation with a dedicated business incorporation consultant at BrightPath.  Learn more about our team of experts here and read a summary of the skillset and qualifications of each member of our organization.  Frequently visited topics during the free 30-minute consultations are matters regarding the timeframe to incorporate, required documents to start a business, associated service charges, one-time and recurring government costs, as well as matters specific to the business you would like to start in St. Maarten.  Because the initial consultation is free of charge and we generate a detailed cost estimate with all costs directly associated with the start of your business, along with required documentation, within one business day from the moment of consultation, BrightPath is regarded by many as the most efficient and transparent service provider to incorporate your business in St Maarten.

Work permits and immigration for Managing Directors

When setting up your business in Sint Maarten, it is important to consider where you will source your key personnel.  Sint Maarten has an experienced labor pool, especially in the field of hospitality and tourism, including food and beverage professionals.  BrightPath’s immigration services team has substantial experience in the topic of work permits and the intricacies involved in successfully applying and securing the relevant approvals at both the Labor Department and Immigration Department.  Work permits can only be applied for by the employer, this means that a person, independent of the company that offered them employment, cannot initiate the process on their own.  Except for Dutch and United States citizens, the decision for a work and residency permit cannot be awaited while on the island.  This is important to consider because timeframes to process the application and ensure receipt of the required documents.

Set up your Consultation and Get Started

BrightPath Caribbean is the leading business consultant and immigration service in St. Maarten. We have helped numerous clients acquire work permits, residency permits, and start a business in the Caribbean. If you’re looking forward to living in Sint Maarten, reach out to us for a free Consultation.


  • What are the key steps and requirements for starting a business in St. Maarten? To start a business in St. Maarten, you need to determine if you’ll need commercial real estate, obtain necessary licenses, decide on a company structure (e.g., B.V. or N.V.), and ensure tax compliance. Additionally, working with professional services like BrightPath Caribbean can streamline the process.

  • What are the differences between a Besloten Vennootschap (B.V.) and a Naamloze Vennootschap (N.V.) in St. Maarten, and how do they impact business operations? Both B.V. and N.V. are common business entities in St. Maarten, but they differ in shareholder meeting notification periods, voting rights, and bearer share options. While tax laws apply similarly to both, understanding these distinctions is crucial for foreign nationals looking to incorporate a company in St. Maarten.

  • How can BrightPath Caribbean assist with immigration and work permits for managing directors in St. Maarten? BrightPath Caribbean’s immigration services team has experience navigating the intricacies of securing work permits and residency approvals for key personnel, particularly in fields like hospitality, tourism and management. We can assist employers through the application process, ensuring compliance with local regulations and timely receipt of necessary documents.

Do you have additional questions?

Contact us today for a free consultation!


Moving to Sint Maarten: A Guide for Canadian Citizens

If there is one thing that all Canadian Citizens have in common when they consider moving to the Caribbean, is the joy of warm, breezy, and sunny weather all year long. For this and many other reasons, more Canadians are considering moving to Sint Maarten every year. This guide provides valuable information on immigration programs, important factors to consider, and tips for a smooth transition.

Understanding Sint Maarten’s Immigration Programs

Moving to the Caribbean as a Canadian citizen involves understanding the different immigration programs available. For Canadian Nationals, Sint Maarten’s Immigration programs go from starting your own company, to work permits or real estate investment programs such as the retiree program. It’s important to research and understand the requirements, application process, and any restrictions or limitations involved in each program. Consulting with BrightPath Caribbean before you make the move will always be our first recommendation.

The application requirements for residency in Sint Maarten are quite straightforward, similar to those of any other country. The necessary documents range from a birth certificate and police record to health insurance and proof of savings. Now, let’s explore some of the residency programs available.

Penshonado Program

Congratulations! You have decided to enjoy your retirement in Sint Maarten. The pensioner program offers a wonderful opportunity that includes a real estate transaction. Once your temporary residency has been approved, you can live in Sint Maarten for the first year without the requirement to purchase property. This allows you ample time to explore different neighborhoods and find the perfect property that meets your dreams. However, for the residency renewal, you will need to show proof of a property purchase for a minimum amount of Naf 450,000 (equivalent to USD 253,000). The experienced team at BrightPath can assist you with your residency request, offer asset protection guidance, and connect you with qualified tax advice. Our affiliate, BrightFuture Realty, can also assist in navigating the real estate market in St. Maarten. With the retirement program offering benefits such as a lower tax bracket for those over 52, the ease of no annual property taxes, and the option to protect your assets with a Private Fund Foundation, it’s no surprise that this program is highly popular.

Managing Director Program

If you’ve always dreamed of setting up your own business on the friendly island of Sint Maarten, you should know that you can apply for temporary residency under the managing director program. After all, as a business owner, you’ll want to be closely involved in managing your business, right? The managing director program does involve several steps and documentation, but don’t worry – at BrightPath Caribbean, our corporate services team and immigration team will work together seamlessly to guide you through the process. We’ll assist you with the business incorporation and licensing process while also helping you with your residency request as a managing director. Just keep in mind that residency under this program requires renewals and keeping your business active and fully compliant.

Investor Program

For those interested in obtaining residency in Sint Maarten through the investor program, a minimum real estate purchase of Naf 900,000 (approximately USD 500,000) is required. This program is ideal for individuals looking to invest in real estate while also gaining legal residency on the island. It’s important to note that residents under this program are not permitted to work. However, one of the advantages of the investor program in Sint Maarten is that it allows for indefinite residency once the required number of residency permits has been obtained without any gaps. Investing in real estate in Sint Maarten is a smart move, especially considering the absence of annual property taxes, the thriving real estate market, and the opportunity to protect assets through tools like a Private Fund Foundation or a company.

Work Permit

If you have been offered a job opportunity in St. Maarten, you can apply for a temporary residency under the work permit program. However, obtaining a work permit and residency involves several steps that need to be completed by both the applicant and the employer. It is important to note that both the work permit and residency need to be renewed as required by the labor department and immigration authorities. Obtaining a work permit can be a complicated and time-consuming process, and it is important to ensure that all the steps are followed correctly. If you are an employer considering hiring a foreign employee, we recommend that you schedule a consultation with our experts to guide you through the process. It is also important to note that work permits in St. Maarten can only be requested by an employer who is looking to bring a non-resident into their staff, and not by individuals who are considering coming to Sint Maarten and finding a job.

Preparing for the Move: Documents and Paperwork

Before moving to the Caribbean, Canadian citizens need to know that depending on the chosen program, some documents and requirements are different. All programs require standard documentation such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, police record, proof of active health insurance that will cover you in Sint Maarten in case of emergency or an accepted Medevac plan, proof of sufficient means to support yourself, a valid passport and any specific document depending on the case.

The convenience of starting your residency process with BrightPath is how uncomplicated we can make things for you, starting with document ordering. With over 10 years of experience, we have secured partners in several countries that will allow us to obtain documents on your behalf, making the process smooth and streamlined.

Cost of Living and Financial Considerations

When moving to Sint Maarten, it’s crucial to consider the cost of living and financial implications. The cost of living can vary significantly between different Caribbean countries and even within different regions of the same country. Factors such as housing, transportation, healthcare, groceries, and utilities should be taken into account when estimating your budget.

In addition to the cost of living, it’s important to consider your financial situation and the availability of job opportunities or investment prospects in the Caribbean. Some individuals may choose to work remotely or start their own businesses, while others may seek employment or investment opportunities locally. Understanding the financial aspects and planning accordingly will help ensure a smooth transition and avoid any financial hardships.

The experienced professionals at BrightPath Caribbean are here to guide you in the right direction when it comes to tax consultancy advisory, ensuring yearly compliance for your business, and even providing real estate opportunities through our trusted affiliate, BrightFuture Realty. With our multidisciplinary team, you can rest assured that all your financial and real estate needs will be taken care of as you navigate your way through the immigration process in Sint Maarten.

Adapting to Caribbean Culture and Lifestyle

When you make the decision to move to Sint Maarten as a Canadian citizen, you are embarking on an exciting journey of adapting to a new culture and lifestyle. Each Caribbean country has its own distinct traditions, customs, and way of life, and Sint Maarten is no exception. It is essential to approach this transition with an open mind, respect for the local culture, and a willingness to fully embrace the vibrant customs that make Sint Maarten unique.

If you are seriously considering relocating to Sint Maarten, chances are you have already experienced the allure of the island and its captivating atmosphere. The relaxed lifestyle, surrounded by nature, warm weather, vibrant colors, and the soothing embrace of salty waters, is truly unmatched. Sint Maarten offers an enriching experience of various cultures coming together and fostering human connections.

Cultural integration on the island is a fascinating and rewarding experience. Sint Maarten is a melting pot of European and Caribbean influences, creating a diverse and dynamic community. From the vibrant local festivals and events to the multitude of languages spoken, residents and visitors have countless opportunities to immerse themselves in this rich cultural tapestry. Engaging in community activities, joining local clubs or organizations, and making a genuine effort to connect with the locals will not only help you integrate seamlessly into Sint Maarten’s culture but also enhance your overall experience of this remarkable island.

So, if you are seeking a new chapter in life filled with relaxation, natural beauty, vibrant culture, and the warmth of human connections, Sint Maarten is the perfect destination for you. Embrace the unique way of life this island offers and let it transform your world.

Choosing the Right Neighborhood for Your Lifestyle

It’s crucial to choose the right neighborhood when moving to the Caribbean as a Canadian citizen. Having the expertise of a seasoned realtor, apart from professional immigration assistance, is one of the keys to a successful relocation. By researching different areas of the island and visiting them with your realtor, you’ll gain a better understanding of what neighborhoods have to offer. Choosing the right neighborhood to purchase or rent a house in is never easy as there are many variables to consider. Safety, distance to work and schools, real estate prices, and traffic in the area are just a few examples. Additionally, you’ll have your own personal criteria, such as whether you want a pool, a view of the ocean or hills, and a garage or curbside parking.

If you don’t mind living a little far from nightlife, supermarkets, and the bustle of the city, you could consider neighborhoods like Guana Bay, Rice Hills Gardens, Pointe Blanche, Belair, or Mary’s Fancy. In some cases, whether you are looking to purchase or rent, you might get more space, a private pool, and even a backyard compared to other neighborhoods. You’ll get to enjoy more greenery, beautiful views of the island, and the hills.

On the other hand, if you want to be close to most of the restaurants, nightlife, popular beaches, and supermarkets, areas like Cole Bay, Simpson Bay, Pelikan Key, Philipsburg, or Cupecoy can give you the best of both worlds.

While these are certainly valid criteria when house hunting, we at BrightPath, along with our real estate partners, can help you find the perfect Caribbean home that meets your standards.


  1. What are the key immigration programs available for Canadian citizens moving to Sint Maarten, and what are their respective eligibility criteria? Canadian citizens considering relocating to Sint Maarten can explore various immigration programs such as the Penshonado Program for retirees, the Managing Director Program for business owners, the Investor Program for real estate investors, and the Work Permit Program for employment opportunities. Each program has specific eligibility requirements, including minimum investment thresholds, business incorporation, or employment offers, tailored to different needs and circumstances.
  2. What documents and paperwork are necessary for Canadian citizens to prepare when applying for residency in Sint Maarten, and how can BrightPath Caribbean streamline this process? Canadian citizens moving to Sint Maarten need to gather standard documentation like birth certificates, marriage certificates, police records, and proof of active health insurance. Depending on the chosen immigration program, additional documents may be required. BrightPath Caribbean, leveraging over a decade of experience, offers streamlined services, including document ordering through established partnerships in multiple countries, simplifying the residency process for clients.
  3. What factors should Canadian citizens consider when selecting a neighborhood in Sint Maarten, and how can BrightPath Caribbean assist in this decision-making process? Choosing the right neighborhood in Sint Maarten involves considering factors such as safety, proximity to amenities, real estate prices, and personal preferences like views or accessibility. BrightPath Caribbean, in collaboration with its real estate partners, provides expertise in identifying suitable neighborhoods aligned with clients’ criteria and preferences. With guidance from seasoned professionals, Canadian citizens can make informed decisions when purchasing or renting property in Sint Maarten.

Do you have additional questions?

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


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.


  1. How does the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty simplify the process of relocating to Sint Maarten for U.S. citizens, and what privileges does it offer?

The Dutch-American Friendship Treaty, also known as DAFT, allows U.S. citizens to easily obtain legal residency status in Sint Maarten without the need for a separate work permit. Under this treaty, eligible individuals can apply for indefinite residency permits, work without additional permits, establish businesses, or retire on the island.

  1. What assistance does BrightPath Caribbean offer to U.S. citizens relocating to Sint Maarten, and how does their expertise streamline the immigration process?

BrightPath Caribbean provides comprehensive support to U.S. citizens throughout the relocation process, including assistance with residency applications, document ordering, and immigration paperwork. Their multidisciplinary team guides applicants through the entire immigration process, tracks and monitors applications, and ensures a seamless experience.

  1. What are some of the practical considerations that U.S. citizens should take into account when moving to Sint Maarten, such as proximity to home, currency, and healthcare options?

When moving to Sint Maarten, U.S. citizens should consider factors like proximity to home, quality of life, currency, insurance, medevac options, and shipping. The island offers a laid-back lifestyle, easy travel back to the U.S., acceptance of the U.S. dollar, modern healthcare facilities, and efficient shipping procedures, making it an attractive destination for relocation.


Do you have additional questions?

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


BrightPath Caribbean