Work permits and Residency permits in Sint Maarten

Work permits and Residency permits in Sint Maarten

Learn More About Work and Residency Permits for St. Maarten

BrightPath Caribbean was established in 2013 as a corporate and immigration services provider.  Over one decade in business operations, and an extensive network of valuable relationships with both private and public sectors alike, we are the most reliable and trustworthy firm for immigration and work permit requests. 

If you are a business owner, human resource manager, or employer on Sint Maarten, rely on BrightPath to provide you with the advice, consultation, and immigration services you need to determine if the employment candidate that you are considering for hire has a high probability of success when applying for a work and residency permit.  This is important to determine from the onset because work permit requests can often be timely and costly, with upfront fees due to government and relocation expenses in connection to the employee to consider as well.   

Also important to highlight for work permit processes is that the employee must remain abroad for the duration of the decision-making process.  This is extremely critical to note because a labor agreement must be signed with the non-national employee while the employee remains abroad.  Therefore, relying on the skillset and expertise of the team at BrightPath is essential to align clear, achievable goals for both the employer and the employee as to the timeframes, costs, and expectations. 

Our referral partners at HaVen SXM and BrightFuture Realty are at your full disposal to address matters regarding taxation and housing, each respectively, making the work permit process a seamless and integrated one that will save you time, and money, and increase the likelihood of a positive employee relocation experience.  No other firm in Sint Maarten offers this suite of services under one roof. 

If your employee will relocate to Sint Maarten with immediate family, they too may qualify for temporary residency under the employee’s work and residency permit in St Maarten.  BrightPath can assist with the immigration process that must be undertaken at both the Department of Labor Affairs for the work permit and the Immigration Border Protection Services Department for the respective residency permits for the employee and the immediate family members.  Because a school letter will be required for all children between ages 4 and 16 years, BrightPath can support the employee’s family relocation by offering private enrollment services at school institutions accredited in the United States or Canada depending on the employee’s preference. 

When applying for an employment permit for a non-national, particularly at the management level, the employee may qualify for tax benefits as an expat.  With BrightPath, payroll and tax exemption services requests are processed by way of our referral partners at HaVen SXM and we can offer an integrated approach that may help in the finalization of employee benefits packages that are essential when trying to attract the right candidate.   

In general terms, work permits must first be petitioned and registered as a vacancy at the Department of Labor, to announce the details, requirements, and compensation of the role and to allow for suitable candidates to be sourced from within the local labor pool.  A mandatory minimum five-week waiting period is allotted for local applicants to submit their interest in writing with documentation to support their qualifications.  During this time, an advertisement of the vacancy in mention must be placed in the local newspapers announcing the open vacancy and informing interested, qualified parties of where to submit their application with a copy of the application to be sent to the National Employment Employment Services Center which is a division of the Department of Labor Affairs.  The latter is the adjudicating department on the work permit request filed.   

BrightPath Caribbean services Sint Maarten Work Permit

Why do we elaborate with so much detail on what the work permit process entails?  Because work permits in Sint Maarten are for qualified candidates who truly meet the criteria of an employment position.  They are petitioned by the employer and the initial costs are borne solely by the employer.  Relying on the right service provider, such as BrightPath, will help you determine if your candidate has a high (or low) probability of success before we start services.  Work permit application fees alone can go up to USD 1,700 payable directly to the Government of Sint Maarten, so ensuring that your candidate has documented qualifications is essential before engaging our services.  A free consultation with a representative from BrightPath can assist in determining that and a detailed cost estimate from BrightPath can determine the costs, timeframes, and documentation required to move forward with us in processing your work permit request. 


Also to consider is that if you are a citizen of the United States of America, the work permit process detailed herein will not apply to you.  To learn more about the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty and what benefits for employment and residency on St Maarten this may grant you as a U.S. passport holder, read this article and schedule your free consultation with BrightPath. 

Retirees do not qualify for work permits because the retiree immigration program allows for residency only and is not requested at the Department of Labor Affairs, but instead, only at the Sint Maarten Immigration and Border Protection Services Department.  If you would like to learn more about retiring in St Maarten, read here, or schedule your consultation if you would like to explore changing your residency status from retiree to employment permit.   

In Sint Maarten, work permits are granted to candidates between the ages of 25 and 58 years.  In some instances, if an applicant is over 58 but has completed post-graduate studies, an exception to this standard may apply.  Also, candidates with post-graduate studies may be exempt from the mandatory five-week waiting and publication period if the skillset and experience they possess can verifiably not be sourced within the local labor pool.  A written request must be submitted and processed by the Department of Labor Affairs specifically petitioning that the waiting period be lifted and yes, the team at BrightPath has substantial experience with this.  Most business organizations and established Human Resources teams on St Maarten continue to rely on BrightPath for work permit requests for key personnel, particularly for their management teams. 

Sint Maarten work permit and residency permits


  1. What are the key steps involved in obtaining a work permit for non-nationals in Sint Maarten, and what role does BrightPath Caribbean play in facilitating this process?

Obtaining a work permit in Sint Maarten involves petitioning and registering the position with the Department of Labor, advertising the vacancy locally, and allowing a five-week period for local applicants to apply. BrightPath Caribbean assists employers in determining candidates’ eligibility, managing the application process, and providing consultation on costs, timeframes, and required documentation.

  1. How does BrightPath Caribbean support employers in navigating the complexities and costs associated with work permit applications in Sint Maarten?

BrightPath Caribbean provides essential support to employers by offering consultation services, assessing candidates’ qualifications, and estimating costs and timeframes associated with work permit applications. Additionally, they guide employers through the process of fulfilling legal requirements, such as advertising job vacancies locally and coordinating with government departments.

  1. What are the eligibility criteria and age restrictions for obtaining a work permit in Sint Maarten, and are there any exceptions to these requirements?

Work permits in Sint Maarten are generally granted to candidates aged between 25 and 58 years. However, exceptions may apply for individuals over 58 who have completed post-graduate studies. Candidates with post-graduate qualifications may also be exempt from the mandatory five-week waiting period if their skillset cannot be sourced locally. BrightPath Caribbean assists employers in navigating these eligibility criteria and exceptions, ensuring a smooth application process for work permits. 


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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