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Entry requirements for American citizens

Dutch-American Friendship Treaty: Entry requirements
for American citizens equal those for Dutch Citizens


As of January 1st, 2015 the requirements for US citizens to enter the Caribbean Netherlands have been equated to those for Dutch citizens.

December 2014 the Common Court of Justice ruled in a court case on St. Maarten that citizens of the United States should be given equal rights as Dutch citizens when it comes to living and working.

In the relevant case a US citizen requested entry to St. Maarten by means of a Verklaring van Rechtswege (a declaration of admittance by law) under the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty of 1956. The Court ruled that pursuant to the treaty (the treaty also applies to Curaçao, Aruba and the Caribbean Netherlands) citizens of the United States indeed are allowed to live and work on St. Maarten with a declaration of admittance by law. This ruling also has consequences for the Caribbean Netherlands because like St. Maarten, the other islands of the Kingdom are also bound by this same legislation.

Following this ruling, it applies that US citizens, like Dutch citizens, are allowed to stay in the Caribbean Netherlands without a permit for a maximum consecutive period of six months within a time frame of one year (the so-called visa-free period). If they wish to work within the period of six months or decide that they want to stay longer than six months they will have to apply for entry by means of a declaration of admittance by law, like Dutch citizens. They are exempted from having to apply for a work permit.


More information is available at one of the service counters of the IND-CN.

Certificate of Good Conduct

As of January 1st, 2017 those who apply for a residence permit and resided in the United States of America, should submit a Certificate of Good Conduct issued by the U.S. Department of Justice (division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation). A national verification will be conducted for this Certificate of Good Conduct. The Certificate of Good Conduct should also bear an apostille stamp.  

Certificates of Good Conduct issued by the authorities of the state or city where the relevant party resided will no longer be accepted.


The Certificate of Good Conduct and/or apostille stamp should not be older than three months when an application for entry clearance is submitted. 

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Eilandgids Caribisch Nederland (PDF)Blog Rv