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Foreigners

Tourist stay

Foreign nationals have free access to Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba for a maximum of three months within a time frame of six months. This means that no residence permit is required for that period. The period of three months can be reduced by the officers at the border (Royal Netherlands Marechaussee) depending on the purpose of your visit and your means of existence. However, some foreign nationals are subject to the visa requirement. You may contact the embassy or consulate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in your country for general questions about the granting of Caribbean visas (tourist and/or short stay for the countries Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten and for the Caribbean Netherlands islands Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba). For addresses and contact details, please visit www.minbuza.nl


You can also visit the following website for more information: www.rijksoverheid.nl.

Application for residence permit

You may enter Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba immediately if you have the nationality of one of the following countries: the EU member states, the Member states of the European Economic Area, Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Vatican City, the United States, South Korea or Switzerland. You can subsequently submit an PDF fileapplication for a residence permit.


Please allow for a processing time of a maximum of six months. The IND-CN aims to process your application within three months.


If you do not have the nationality of one of the above countries then you should apply for a regular provisional residence permit [Machtiging Voorlopig Verblijf, hereafter referred to as MVV] prior to your entry. The MVV is a type of entry visa. The processing time for an MVV is three months.


Procedure for incomplete applications:

  1. The applicant will be notified of the missing documents or data during the submission of the application at the service counter.
  2. The IND-CN will give the applicant the opportunity to submit the missing documents within two to four weeks.
  3. If it has been predetermined that the applicant cannot meet a certain content-related requirement, they will not be granted a rectification delay and the application will be rejected.
  4. An application may only be submitted on presentation of a valid passport. If the applicant cannot produce a valid passport, the applicant will be given the opportunity to present the passport within four weeks, before a decision is made on the application.
  5. In case of a first application for and in case of extension of a temporary regular residence permit for work in paid employment, a job vacancy for the position for which a foreigner is hired from abroad should be notified to the Labor Affairs department of the Public Entity's Directie Samenleving en Zorg [Society and Care Department] five weeks prior to the submission of the application.

Please note!

  • A Certificate of Good Conduct [Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag] is one of the documents which is required for the application for the extension of a residence permit. Applicants should account for the fact that it takes at least six to eight weeks before a Certificate of Good Conduct is issued. Therefore one should apply for the certificate with the Governor’s Cabinet in time, well before submission of the application.
  • An application for the extension of a residence permit, irrespective of the purpose of this application, may be submitted to the IND-CN four months prior to the expiry date of the current permit.
  • DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MOMENT TO SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION.

How can I apply for a regular provisional residence permit?
Your sponsor on Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba, amongst others, may apply for a regular provisional residence permit [Machtiging Voorlopig Verblijf, hereafter referred to as MVV] with the IND-CN.

One can apply for an MVV by means of the PDF fileapplication form for authorisation to issue a regular provisional residence permit. Depending on the purpose of your application for residence, you should submit documents and complete forms. The list of documents on the application form states what documents and forms are required. You are not allowed to wait for the processing of the application on Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba. If you are on Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba at the time of the submission of the application for an MVV, you should leave the island within eight days.


Please allow for a processing time of a maximum of three months. We do aim to complete the process within two months, provided that your application is complete.


What should I do after I have received my MVV?

In case of a positive decision on your MVV application, you should enter Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Bonaire within three months after receipt of your MVV. Within three days after entry you should apply for a residence permit for the purpose of stay for which the MVV has been issued, by means of the PDF fileapplication form at one of the service counters of the IND-CN. 


Most frequently requested purposes of stay

1. Paid employment

If you want to come to Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba to work in paid employment. You should submit your application for a residence permit with the IND-CN and your employer (or you on their behalf) should submit the application for the work permit (werkvergunning (twv)). The SZW unit decides on the application for the twv. The IND-CN subsequently processes your application for a residence permit.

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2. Declaration of Admittance by Law

Dutch and American nationals qualify for a Declaration of Admittance by Law. The Dutch national who is not an island child and who wants to stay in the Caribbean Netherlands for a period longer than six months or who wants to work for a period longer than three months, should submit an application to qualify for a Declaration of Admittance by Law. The Dutch or American nationals who want to work do not need a work permit. 

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3. Study

If you want to come to Saba to study at the Saba University School of Medicine (SUSOM).

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4. Family reunification or family formation

If you want to come to Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba to reside here with you partner or another family member.

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5. Work as a self-employed person

If you want to come to the public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba to operate an independent business. This can either be a sole proprietorship or a legal entity. One should have start-up capital.

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6. Permanent residence

If you have resided on the public entity Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba for at least five consecutive years for a non-temporary purpose, you may – under conditions – qualify for a permanent residence permit. In this case it is important that you have always submitted your applications for a residence permit in time. The seventh permit will then be a permanent one, provided that you have explicitly requested this.

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7. Pensioner/person of independent means

If you have sufficient own capital and want to come to the public entity Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba to live from your interest or pension monies. 

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8. Winter visitor

High net-worth individuals who want to stay in the Caribbean Netherlands for a maximum period of six months per year.

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Extension of residence permit

If you have a residence permit, this is valid for a certain period, usually this is one year. If it has expired, you should in principle leave Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba within four weeks. If you want to extend your stay on the public entities, we recommend you to start the process for submission of an application for extension of the validity four months prior to the expiration of your residence permit.

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