How to Obtain Citizenship in St. Maarten

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!


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.
BrightPath Caribbean