Moving to Sint Maarten: A Guide for Canadian Citizens

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!


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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