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Five Most Scenic Caribbean Islands You Should Have On Your Bucket List!

Turquoise-blue water, pearl white sand, and lush palm trees. We all dream of visiting the Caribbean at least once in our lifetime. Some are lucky enough to not only visit the gorgeous Caribbean islands but also find a home to move to the Caribbean permanently.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves right away. While you may want to immigrate to the Caribbean one day in your life, now let’s talk about a much-deserved vacation to the Caribbean islands.

So how do you pick the best Caribbean islands out of the 28 countries and 750 islands? It’s simple: take inspiration from this blog and add these five stunning Caribbean islands to your bucket list. We also have a reason for you to visit each of these places!

St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Kitts and Nevis is a sister island in the Caribbean that’s known for one of the richest heritage and architectural buildings. St. Kitts and Nevis is also a golfer’s paradise as the island has a wide range of golfing activities you can indulge in. Do you want to transport yourself back to the 1800s? Visit the historical sites on this sister island.

Anguilla

If you want to live in the Caribbean like a free spirit, visit Anguilla. Anguilla is the dream destination for sports enthusiasts, known for some of the best water sports activities, including snorkeling and scuba diving.

Aerial view of an exotic beach resort

Belize

Belize is known for its coral reefs, buzzing nightlife, and great contemporary infrastructure. If you want to experience a luxurious vacation in the Caribbean, then Belize is the place you need to be. Offering a wide range of activities, beaches, and cuisine, Belize has it all in one place.

Antigua and Barbuda

The land of 365 beaches! Antigua and Barbuda is presumably the only island in the world with 365 beaches. So if you’re a fan of exotic scenery, delicious Caribbean cuisine, and ferry boats, head over to Antigua and Barbuda. This island will offer you both a boho-chic feel and a metropolis vibe with its unique island life.

St. Maarten

And if you ever want to move to the Caribbean for good, then visit St. Maarten once. This part Dutch and part French island is known as the Friendly Island and is a hub of everything amazing. From vibrant city life to multiculturalism, St. Maarten has everything you wish for in a place.

At BrightPath Caribbean, we offer immigration consultancy and business incorporation services. If you wish to relocate to the Caribbean and start a new life, reach out to us.

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

The current employment market globally is ever-changing and very dynamic. Statistics show that employers are sourcing skilled employees remotely, while many employees are also working remotely from many destinations. At BrightPath, we offer regional solutions for immigration, corporate, and banking services that adapt to the new work-from-home way of doing business – wherever “home” may be.

Read this article below on five things you must know before applying for a work permit in St. Maarten. Yes, living in the Caribbean is possible by way of employment. However, it’s important to do thorough research and trust a team of professionals to guide you along the way.

 

  1. Verifiable Documents must be Readily Available

Diplomas and relevant skill certificates must be presented in original form for applying for a work permit in St. Maarten. Further, the documents must be validated by the issuing educational institution. If presenting copies, these must be notarized by a licensed notary in the country of origin.

 

  1. Work Experience must be Substantiated

Reference letters notarized in the country of origin must be obtained to verify the period of previous employment and state the applicant’s role and responsibilities.

 

  1. Stay Abroad During the Application Process

Unless the prospective employee holds Dutch or American (USA) citizenship, the applicant must await the decision for both work and residency permits while remaining abroad.

Residency Permit St. Maarten

  1. Employers (not employees) are the Petitioner

The employer must request work permits. Moreover, evidence of tax compliance is a pre-requisite for all employers seeking to acquire a work permit for a foreign employee in St Maarten.

 

  1. Health Insurance is Mandatory

For application purposes, health insurance is now an up-front requirement. Therefore, employers must verify that their foreign employees hold a valid health insurance policy.

 

Let Us Help You

To learn more about how BrightPath Caribbean can support your business in successfully obtaining work and residency permits for key personnel, schedule your free consultation today. We are a full-service immigration consultancy that can help individuals immigrate to St. Maarten.

 

 

Six Tips to Finding the Right Immigration Agency

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

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

Start with Referrals

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

Proceed to Credentials

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

Ask for Experience

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

Immigration program Caribbean

Weigh in Your Options

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

Inquire About Process

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

Sign a Contract

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

Find the Right Agency

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

Five Things to do for Your Retirement Plan

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

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

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

Start Saving

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

Pick a Location

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

Retiring in the Caribbean

Plan for Medical Coverage

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

Set Your Goals

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

Get Professional Help

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

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

7 Facts You Didn’t Know About St. Maarten

The Caribbean Sea is home to over 700 islands, reefs, and islets. In it all, St. Maarten undoubtedly stands as one of the top places in the region. With its offerings such as multiculturalism, a wide array of beaches, and exotic cuisine, it has become one of the most visited Caribbean countries in recent years.

So if you’re planning to visit this small country, chances are you’ll eventually want to move to St. Maarten. Here are seven wonders of St. Maarten that you didn’t know about.

One Island, Two Governments

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

Smallest Co-Shared Land

St. Maarten is the smallest area in the world that’s co-showed by two countries. With a total covered area of 87 kilometers square, St. Maarten is the smallest inhabitant island as well as the only of this size to have two different governing bodies.

Oldest Open Border

Ever since the treaty of Concordia in 1648, the Dutch and French have kept open borders in St. Maarten, thus making it the oldest open border in the world. Tourists may notice border monuments on both sides of the island but can freely move from one part to the other.

Capital with a Beach

Phillipsburg is the capital of St. Maarten, it was founded by a Scottish captain employed in the Dutch navy named John Philips in 1763, and it has its own beach!

St. Maarten Island

Beach with an Airport

If you live in St. Maarten, you’ll often notice a plane landing or taking off right over you at the beach. The Princess Juliana International Airport has its runway alongside the beach; hence beachgoers in St. Maarten are often pictured with low-flying aircrafts on the beach. Again, this is the only place in the world where this happens.

Hundred Cultures

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

Strong Sea Hold

Due to its unique geographic location and strong ties to the European and North American countries, St. Maarten is the hub of sea transport and home to many cargo companies. The exports and imports of some of the world’s biggest manufacturers are carried out from here.

Make St. Maarten Your Home

If you want to enjoy life to the fullest in a country that’s vibrant, ethnically rich, and offers great opportunities, immigrate to St. Maarten with our immigration consultancy services at BrightPath Caribbean. Get in touch today to get started and acquire St. Maarten’s residency permit in no time.

Six of the Best Places to Retire in the Caribbean

Clear blue waters, warm and shiny white beaches, and a slow-paced life that’s far stretched from the hustle and bustle of metropolitans are what all retirees long for, and the Caribbean offers it. If retiring in the Caribbean is your true calling, then this is the blog you should be reading today.

Whether you’re far from the retirement stage and like to plan ahead, or you have come to the point where a decision has to be taken immediately, we’ll help you find the land of your dreams. With over 700 islands spread across the region, you too can find a home in the Caribbean where you can spend the retirement life you’ve always imagined.

Belize

Home to the second-largest barrier reef in the world, Belize is a small country with a population of less than half a million. The country’s biggest tourist destination in Belize City, which is also a great place to settle for retirees. Tax exemptions, business opportunities, and multiculturalism of Belize make it a great place for people who want to enjoy a beachy life but want to hold on to the urban lifestyle.

St. Maarten

Part Dutch and part French, St. Maarten is the smallest inhabitant island in the world. Duty-free shopping, upscale neighborhoods, and booming tourism are some of the best features of St. Maarten. If you’re a retiree who wants to enjoy a cultural and social hub in the Caribbean, then head over to St. Maarten to enjoy exotic cuisine, buzzing nightlife, and an array of investment opportunities.

Anguilla

Just across St. Maarten’s is Anguilla Island. Offering tax exemptions on capital gains and personal income, the country is another one of the British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean. Restaurants, resorts, and the year-long warm temperature of Anguilla make it another favorite retirement destination in the Caribbean.

Immigrate to the Caribbean

St. Kitts and Nevis

If you want to immigrate to the Caribbean and want to enjoy a rustic, slow-paced, and town-like vibe, then St. Kitts and Nevis is the place to be. The island offers tax exemption on inheritance and foreign income as well the oldest Citizen by Investment Program for as low as $150,000.

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and its sister island Barbuda are two of the most affordable places to live in the Caribbean. Not only can you obtain extended stay permits, but you can also apply for citizenship through investment. The island also offers a second passport to its permanent residents and tax exemptions.

Dominica

Marketed as the ‘Nature Island’ of the Caribbean, Dominica is one of the most forested lands located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean. So for retirees who want to enjoy beaches, rains, forests, and mountains altogether, Dominica offers everything.

Retire in the Caribbean

If you are looking for a reliable retirement consultant in the Caribbean, then get in touch with us at BrightPath Caribbean. We offer immigration consultancy, relocation services, and retirement services in the Caribbean.

 

Here How’s You Can Buy Land in St. Maarten

Buzzing nightlife, upscale neighborhoods, and home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, St. Maarten is the perfect choice to relocate or invest in. The 37 square mile island is the smallest known island in the world, and immigration to St. Maarten is comparatively easier than in other Caribbean countries.

In case you have been looking to relocate to St. Maarten or want to invest in one of the best islands in the Caribbean, this blog is your ultimate guide. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about buying property in St. Maarten right here.

St. Maarten or Saint Martin?

If you go online and look up St. Maarten, you’ll find what you’ll assume to be two spellings of the same place: St. Maarten and Saint Martin. Interestingly, these two spellings denote the two halves of St. Maarten island, the northern and the southern, owned by the Netherlands and France, respectively.

Both the islands have different governing bodies and somewhat variance in rules. What’s similar is the serenity, public security, and investment returns in both the halves co-owned by the Dutch and the French.

In this blog, we’ll guide you about buying property in St. Maarten – the Dutch-owned territory.

Benefits of Buying Land in St. Maarten

Here are some of the benefits of investing in St. Maarten:

  1. Lucrative and booming real estate sector
  2. Numerous posh neighborhoods and luxurious villas, condos, etc.
  3. No annual property tax
  4. Duty-free shopping all across the southern part of the island
  5. Business opportunities with small capital investment
  6. Safe quality of life and hub of international sea transport
  7. Major Caribbean tourist destination
  8. Not overcrowded hence serene and abundant in resources

Property in St. Maarten

How to Buy Land in St. Maarten

Here’s what you need to do to buy land in St. Maarten as a foreigner:

Find a Consultant

An immigration, business, or relocation agency can help you in many matters when you set foot in St. Maarten. Albeit the processes to acquire land in the region are easier, there is some paperwork and permits involved for which you’ll need the help of a consultant.

Begin the Search

Your consultant or a reliable realtor can help you find the right property to buy on the island. If you’re moving to St. Maarten, look for a villa or condo that’s best for your family’s needs. Size, location, budget, and amenities are some of the key factors in finding the right property. For investment, your realtor will tell you about the lucrative opportunities.

Seal the Deal

Once you have finalized the property, your consultant will fulfill the necessary paperwork requirements of the local government. You can then seal the deal and enjoy the life St. Maarten has to offer.

Settle in St. Maarten

If you plan to live in St. Maarten for the rest of your life, you can obtain a residency permit with the help of an immigration consultant like BrightPath Caribbean. Get in touch with us today to get started.

St. Maarten Immigration policy: Important things you should know

St. Maarten Immigration policy

Resurfacing after the global lock-down of 2020 has been an ever-changing ordeal that has left many St. Maarten business owners often times with more questions than answers – particularly as it relates to immigration policy. Also stemming from the pandemic is a greater interest from foreign employees working from remote, especially in connection to persons offering professional services from the comfort of the Caribbean to the international market.

Most of us that have been living for many years on St Maarten, can recall (particularly prior to the pandemic), when the immigration process was more of a “do-it-yourself” option. There was not a real need for a qualified immigration specialist to ensure your file was truly compliant. Compliance in St Maarten – like in many other jurisdictions – is more likely to be placed at the forefront, as countries make efforts to preserve and protect their respective economies.
Here are some important details you need to consider before advancing on your immigration process in St Maarten:
1. Income earning levels for Guarantors have increased – The minimum requirements for guarantors was previously set at an annual income earnings level of NAF 24,000 (USD 13,334); however, as of June 1st 2021 this minimum threshold has been raised by approximately 50 percent. Additionally, the earnings must now be verified by way of filed tax declarations, supported by bank statements, pay slips, and job letter if required.

2. The difference between indefinite and permanent – Compliance is key everywhere we go and as a non-national legally residing in a foreign country, your stay has direct ties to your compliance and adherence to the local requirements and regulations of that jurisdiction. It is important to emphasize this, because in past many people have mistakenly used the term “permanent” to describe a residency permit that has no explicit expiration date. Non-compliance to tax policy, as well as inability to provide sufficient means of income can be reason for an indefinite residency to be revoked. Please remain mindful that residency permits are not “permanent” and can indeed be rescinded or revoked for non-compliance.

3. Managing Directors must show detailed business activity – Managing director programs are also under more scrutiny to protect the local labor market, as well as to ensure that those being granted a temporary residency permit are actually investing in, and exploiting, a business on island. This must be supported for first-time applicants with evidence of sufficient funds to start the business (a minimum reserve of NAF 36,000/USD 20,000) is the benchmark currently observed. Applicants for extension must show fiscal activity supported by monthly tax declarations, as well as annual tax filings. Although employment of a national is not currently a requirement, it is strongly encouraged.

Choosing your immigration services provider is now, more so than before, a very important decision that can have an impact on your livelihood and plans for many years to come. Verifiable experience, trust and reputation should be your deciding factors rather than simply price and location. The Team at BrightPath consists of multiple members with over 30 years of collective experience in the immigration and business incorporation services sector.

With tens of millions of dollars of client investments to St Maarten with the support of BrightPath, a regional presence in the English-speaking Caribbean, and more than 1,800 files handled in the past 8 years of business – it’s understandable why BrightPath continues to be the most recognized and trusted immigration services provider for the Caribbean.

sint marteen bright path caribbean airplane

What documents do I need to start a business in Sint Maarten

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS TO OPEN A BUSINESS IN ST. MAARTEN

At BrightPath Caribbean, we can provide you with fully integrated and comprehensive services to facilitate you in starting your business in St Maarten.

In order to start a business in St. Maarten, a “Business License” based on the “Vestigingsregeling voor Bedrijven” Ordinance must first be issued. This can be done in the form of a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company (N.V. or B.V.) or other as regulated in the Civil Code.

The following require a business license:

  • Dutch nationals not born on St. Maarten, Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius.
  • Foreign nationals
  • A limited liability company (N.V./B.V.) or other entity
  • A locally established sole proprietorship

Trust the experts at BrightPath to guide you in establishing the necessary articles of incorporation for your limited liability company. Additionally, we (BrightPath) submit the request for a Director and Business License at the Minister of Tourism Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunication (TEATT) along with other documents required on the client’s behalf.

Kindly take note of the following:

  • A nonrefundable processing fee must be paid by the applicant
  • Once the Director’s license is approved, a residence permit is required for the foreign national who intends to live on St. Maarten. This must be done by requesting a residence permit at the Department of Immigration, Border Protection Services. Find out more about immigration services at BrightPath by contacting us.
  • In addition to a business license, an Operational License may be required for some businesses. This request is submitted at the TEATT, via the Department of Economic Licenses.

Do you have any questions?

CONTACT US

Sint Maarten is a top Caribbean destination for tourism and investment

TOP 10 CARIBBEAN DESTINATIONS FOR TOURISM AND INVESTMENT

If you’re ready for your next tropical getaway, but aren’t sure which island is right for you, this blog post can help you choose your next Caribbean destination – whether it’s for business or pleasure. There are many islands to visit in the Caribbean, but St. Maarten is the top Caribbean destination for investment and tourism!

The list below was put together by Ben Souza for CruiseFever and showcases the top Caribbean destinations as decided by travelers.

Top 10 Caribbean Destinations for Tourism and Investment:

10. Roatán: This is an island located on the coast of Honduras, it’s a great tropical getaway with its sandy white beaches. The mild climate and friendly people will make your experience feel simply delightful. Also, Roatán is known for having the second largest coral reef system in the world.

9. Ocho Rios: Located on the coast of Jamaica, known for its world-class resorts and impressive beach clubs. If you are looking to propose, here you will find a wide selection of precious jewelry and gems. You will feel comfortable all-season round, Jamaican style.

8. Oranjestad: This city is the capital of Aruba. It has a combination of antique and modern which makes this island unique. It has accessible beaches that will have you enjoying this small city all day long.

7. St. Kitts: If you enjoy trees and being outdoors, this island located in the West Indies is great for you. It has a wild rainforest that expands all over the island instead of shrinking. It’s also known for its diving and scuba areas if you’re looking for more adventure.

6. San Juan: This popular city is the capital of Puerto Rico. Take a tour in this city and explore every known and historic corner. And you will not have visited San Juan without making a stop at Finca Cialitos, known to be a coffee house where the owner cultivates and roasts his own coffee beans.

5. Grand Turk: The island located in the Caribbean is known for its famous port that has nearly 18 acres of landscape grounds. From blue waters to one of the largest swimming pools of the Caribbean, you will be enjoying nothing but fun.

4. Grand Cayman: The largest of the three Cayman Islands. Discover the beauty of these beaches when looking for relaxation. If you are looking for something more adventurous take a visit to Stingray City, where you will get the play with friendly Southern Stingrays.

3. Cozumel: One of the most visited ports in the Caribbean, will have you in activity once you arrive. This Mexican island has an incredible culture, they don’t think that hospitality it’s just a practice, and they consider it a belief.

2. St. Thomas: Second one on the list is known for its shopping and its Cosmopolitan style. It has the prettiest beaches, stunning panoramic views and exciting nightlife. Take the Skyride 700 feet tall and have an incredible view of the city from above.

1. St. Maarten: And we’ve arrived to the number one top Caribbean destination for tourism and investment! What can’t you do on this island with its architecture and exotic beaches? St Maarten has been voted as the best cruise port in the world for two years in a row. Since cruises arrive daily, the tourism is one of the financial motors of this island. Its cultural and natural wealth makes this island perfect not only to take short vacations but to live here. This island is also called the gastronomic capital of the Caribbean, so looking for good restaurants here will be no problem. St Maarten has a stable growing economy, making it the highest income per capita island on the Caribbean.

At BrightPath Caribbean, we believe in the growing success of this island, so we are here to help you set up your business in St. Maarten. We only handle quality investments that will yield a financial impact both for the investor and the island. Now is the perfect time to initiate your business and stay in St. Maarten with all the advantages this island can provide you.

Do you have any questions?

CONTACT US

BrightPath Caribbean