Open border Dutch Side / French side

The island of St Maarten / St Martin has a 350 year history of open borders. The French side is part of the European Union; the Dutch side is an associated country of the European Union and issues European passports. Travel between the two sides via its four border crossings Cupecoy / Lowlands, Cole Bay / Marigot (at the Concordia Monument), Dutch Quarter / French Quarter (Belle Plaine) and Oyster Pond do not have border or passport checks. However, it clearly stands both countries free to do controls at any location on their respective territories.

This article pertains to the Dutch side of St Maarten / St Martin, as it is the main international gateway to the island by means of its airport Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM). If you have a visa or proof of return for the French side ( St Martin ), none is needed for the Dutch side (St Maarten).



No ED Card needed


Though this is a requirement in many Caribbean destinations, no Embarkation-Disembarkation Card (ED Card) is at this point needed to travel to St. Maarten either before, during or after travel. This accounts for all connections via Princess Juliana International Airport or ferries from and to Philipsburg. For some years, government has been developing an online ED card but this has not been implemented yet.



General travel requirements


In all cases, visitors need to be in possession of a valid passport for the duration of their stay and a return ticket. If transiting through St Maarten, a ticket showing the next part of the travel itinerary needs to be at hand. For seamen and airline crews, please see below.
Visa for the Kingdom of the Netherlands can be applied for with a general maximum of 90 days via its consulates and embassies or online.


Click here for more information about entry requirements when traveling to St Maarten.



Department of Immigration and Border Protection Services (IBPS)

Telephone: +1 721 543-0353 / +1 721 543-0354 or call +1 721 546-7518  (This is the airport’s number asked to be transferred to the immigration department)





For United States Visitors of St Maarten


For hundreds of years, a United States – Dutch Friendship treaty applies to St Maarten. United States citizens do not need a visum to enter St Maarten (or St Martin).

The US State Department requires visitors to exercise normal precautions in Sint Maarten and read its country information page for additional information on travel to Sint Maarten.

It encourages visitors to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to make it easier to reach visitors in case of alerts or an emergency. A Traveler’s Checklist assists in preparing for contingency measures.


Click here for more information from the Bureau of Consular Affairs about entry requirements when traveling from the United States to St Maarten.


Canadian travelers to St Maarten

Canadian travelers do not need a visa to enter St Maarten. A passport needs to be valid for the expected duration of stay in Sint Maarten. Residents of Canada must travel with their Permanent Resident Card and Canadian passport.

US / Canada permits and Multiple Entry Visas

If you have a residency permit for the United States or Canada, you do not need a visa for St Maarten (maximum of 90 days).

If you possess a multiple entry visa for the United States or Canada from the following countries, no visa up until 90 days is required for St Maarten: Bolivia, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, India, Jamaica and Venezuela.

Note that neither a permit or a multiple entry visa is the same as an ESTA, but are separate requirements.


Click here for more information from the government of Canada about entry requirements when traveling from Canada to St Maarten.


Dutch travelers to St Maarten / St Martin


As with visitors from all countries, a passport is required for European Dutch / Aruban / Curaçaolean travelers when entering St Maarten. Dutch ID passes do not apply as a valid entry document. No visa is required for a stay under 180 days. Those Dutch passport holders born on the former Netherlands Antilles (St Maarten, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius) have no limitation on their stay.


Click here for more information from the Dutch government about entry requirements when traveling from the Netherlands to St Maarten.


Entering St Maarten as European Union Citizen

Citizens of European Union (EU) Member states can enter St. Maarten free of visa for a stay up to 90 days. Members of the EU are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Citizens of non-EU countries exempted of visa requirements for St Maarten

In Europe, exemption for visa also applies to Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine (if biometric passport), the United Kingdom and Vatican City.


Schengen visa holders

People in possession of a short stay visa or multiple entry visa for a Schengen country do not need to apply for a visa for St Maarten or St Martin. The same applies for citizens having a residency permit or multiple entry visa for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Ireland.


Caribbean countries exempted of visa requirements for St Maarten.

Within the Caribbean region, citizens the following countries do not need to apply for visa for a 90 day stay: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago.


French areas overseas (COMs, DOMs, TOMs)

With a valid residency permit for French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion, Saint-Barthelemy (or Saint Martin) no visa is needed to visit Dutch side St Maarten.


Latin-American countries exempted of Visa requirements for St Maarten

In Latin America, citizens of Argentina, Brazil, Belize, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay do not need to carry visa when entering St Maarten.


Countries outside the Americas and Europe not needing visa for St Maarten

Outside the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America and North America, citizens of the following countries are also exempted of the requirement to have a visa: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong (– holders of British National Overseas passport or holders of Special Administrative Region passport), Israel, Japan, Macao (holders of Special Administrative Region passport), Malaysia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Suriname, Taiwan (holders of a passport bearing their identity card number) and the United Arab Emirates.


Cruise visit

If you are visiting St Maarten by cruise, you are allowed to stay on St Maarten without visa for 48 hours.


Airport Transits

If you are transiting via St Maarten, in the possession of a valid onward ticket, you are permitted to stay on St Maarten for 24 hours to connect to your next flight. No visa is required.


Sailors and airliner crews

If you are a crew member of a civil aviation airliner and staying on St Maarten less than 48 hours, or crew member of a civil vessel in accordance to the London Treaty of April 9th, 1965 and the rules of the International Maritime Organization.

If you are a sailor and in possession of a seaman’s book and a passport, you are allowed to stay in St Maarten for 48 hours without a visa.


Refugee and other exemption documents

No visa is needed when you possess a refugee or stateless  person document issued by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a Form I-571 issued by the authorities of the United States or you are in the possession of a document according to the treaty of July 28th 1951, provided by Canadian or United States authorities.


Embassies and disclaimer

Any of the above information can vary at any time as international agreements are adjusted frequently. VisitStMaarten attempts to update its information frequently, but does not take responsibility for overlooked / outdated information due to changes in international relations. The same applies as the laws applying to your stay are issued in Dutch and French; any confusion arising from our attempt to translate the requirements as clear as possible.

We therefore advise to take up contact with your nearest embassy or consulate of either the Kingdom of the Netherlands or the French Republic before you commence your travel. Though the south side of St Maarten is an autonomous country within the Kingdom, consular and diplomatic traffic is represented worldwide in embassies and consulates jointly with Aruba, Curacao and the European Netherlands. For French St Martin this applies to those of the republic of France. For the travel status of diplomatic and special passports we also recommend taking up contact with a kingdom or French embassy.






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