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Foreigners

Foreigners
Foreigners have free access to Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba up to a maximum of three months. That means that that no residence permit is required. However, some foreigners are required to have a visa. General questions about Caribbean visas (tourist or short stay in the country Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and the Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba), please contact the Embassy or Consulate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in your country. The addresses and contact information can be found at  WWW.MINBUZA.NL


You can also contact the 'Loket Informatie Rijksoverheid' in The Netherlands. Dialing from The Netherland the number is 1400. Are you calling from abroad the number is +31 77 4656 767 For inquiries send an email to:  contactform

Application for residence permit

Foreigners who want to stay and or work for longer than 3 months on Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba are required to have a residence permit.  Do you have one of the following nationalities: the nationality of one of the EU Member States, EEA Member states, Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New-Zealand, Vatican City, The United States, South Korea or Switzerland, than you can travel directly to Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. Consequently you can make an appointment at the IND and apply for a rPDF fileesidence permit
If that is the case you can apply directly for a residence permit at one of the counters of the IND-unit Caribbean Netherlands by using the PDF fileapplication form (MBES3) after entry in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.


Bear in mind that there is a treatment period of 2 or 3 months.
In the case that you do not have one of the nationalities mentioned above, than you need to apply for an authorization for temporary stay (machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf - mvv). The mvv is a type of entry visa. 

New procedure for incomplete applications for residence permits
Since January 1st, 2015 IND Caribisch Nederland (IND/CN) has strictly applied regulations concerning applications for a residence permit. This means that the organisation will no longer wait for months for clients to provide missing documents in case of incomplete applications. In case of an incomplete application, clients will be given 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the missing document, to submit the missing documents. When this time limit is exceeded the application will be rejected.

The new procedure is as follows:

  1. The applicant will be notified of the missing documents or data during the submission of the application at the service desk.
  2. IND CN will give the applicant the opportunity to submit the missing documents within two to a maximum of four weeks.
  3. If it has been predetermined that the applicant cannot meet certain content-related requirements, 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 submit the passport within four weeks, before a decision is made on the application.
  5. In case of a first application and in case of extension of a temporary regular residence permit for Work in Paid Employment, an advertisement should be published for the position for which a foreigner is hired from abroad five weeks prior to the submission of the application.

Please note!

  • A Certificate of Good Conduct (Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag, VOG) is one of the documents which is required for the application of a residence permit. Applicants should account for the fact that it takes at least 6 weeks before a Certificate of Good Conduct can be obtained and that therefore one should apply for the certificate with the Governor’s Cabinet in time, before submission of the application.
  • An application for the extension of a residence permit, irrespective of the objective of this application, may be submitted to IND CN four months prior to the expiry date of the current permit.
  • DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MOMENT TO SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION.

How to apply for a mvv?

You can apply for an authorization for temporary stay (‘mvv’) in two ways:
  • By you in person at the Dutch diplomatic or consular representation in your country of origin, or the country where you reside long term.
  • By your representative on Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba at the IND-unit Dutch Caribbean.
You can apply for an authorization for temporary stay (‘mvv’) by using the PDF fileapplication form. Depending on the purpose of your application for residence, you must submit some documents and complete some annexes. Which ones these are, is mentioned on the application form.


What do I do after I have received my mvv? If your ‘mvv’-application is positively assessed, you must enter Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba within three months of receipt of your ‘mvv’. Within three days of entry you must submit a request for a residence permit for the purpose that the ‘mvv’ was issued for by using the PDF fileform MBES2 at one of the counters of the IND-unit Caribbean Netherlands. With this too you must submit some documents and complete some annexes.

Most requested residence purposes

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