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Moving is tough – all of us who have made that big jump and relocated to another country can confirm it’s not the easiest experience.  Change is often difficult.  Do you know what’s even more difficult? From our experience at BrightPath, we would say that finding the right advisors to guide you in the decision-making process is often like finding a needle in a haystack.  So, if you’re considering emigrating to the Caribbean, here are some tips to take into consideration if St Maarten is on your relocation radar:

1-No office, no thank you! – Needless to say, if you’re considering entrusting someone with your immigration process, you should definitely adopt this policy. The days of handing over your most private and confidential documents to someone who’s not licensed and doesn’t have a storefront (and reputable) business operation are a “no-no”.  Save yourself a horror story and rely on this one as a rule of thumb.

2-Check for references – check, check, and check some more. Just because your friends took the big leap and did it themselves, doesn’t mean you should too.  COVID-19 has caused changes to procedures, requirements, and timeframes.  Make sure that you do your research, manage your expectations, and look online for reviews and credible feedback on available immigration services providers.

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3-Rely on a team of experts – It’s important to sort out the best in their industry and rely on their specialty only. What does this mean?  It means your real estate agent is your real estate specialist (period).  Your banker is your banking specialist (period).  Your tax advisor… well, you get the point.  So, guess what?  Your immigration specialist, is your immigration specialist (PERIOD).

4-Do it right and do it once – If you’re a US national obtaining legal residency on the island, in most cases it’s usually a one-time matter when applied for properly. Although other islands in the Caribbean may be actively promoting “live and work here” immigration programs targeting US nationals, St Maarten is unique in that The Dutch-American Friendship Treaty streamlines the residency process for Americans.  What does this mean?  That in most cases, your residency permit, once approved is for an indefinite period of time – no annual renewals and no additional fees.  Once and it’s done.  Even better is the fact that you get to keep your US passport and your rights as a US citizen.  Applying for legal residency on the island of St Maarten does not have an impact on your US passport holding status.


Do you have any questions?

Disclaimer:  Our articles are not intended as (legal) advice and do not take your personal circumstances into consideration. BrightPath does not accept any liability for damages resulting from using the provided information. We highly recommend you to seek personalized advice from us or before you act or fail to act because of the content of our articles. BrightPath is a privately-owned consulting firm that assists clients with filing applications for residence permits and/or business licenses at the relevant government departments. None of our directors, employees or agents hold or have held any position with the government of Sint Maarten and our service does not provide for any preferential treatment with regards to any application. All information provided and statements made only serve to provide you with a general understanding of immigration, residence and business incorporation procedures on Sint Maarten.

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