St. Martin is one of the most interesting and beautiful places in the Caribbean. And our home of Grand Case is one of the most liveable towns in which to live anywhere. Many of our guests who come to visit leave with the question: do I need a Visa to Live on St. Martin?
To help you plan your move we’ll answer this question, as well as some common FAQ’s about living on St. Martin.
St. Martin is Part of the European Union (EU)
As we wrote about previously, St. Martin is shared by two countries-France and Holland.
In practice, this shared custody does not affect visa and residency requirements at all. Both France and the Netherlands are members of the European Union (EU), and, since the EU itself is borderless, there is no border on St. Martin either.
For prospective expats, it means you must deal with EU regulations on immigration, or abide by local rules regarding permanent resident.
Not an EU Resident? You May Need a Visa
This means that if you are not a citizen of a European Union country you cannot just show up one day on St. Martin and take up residence. You must first apply for residency status before you will be allowed to live on the island. Also, even if you are granted residency you will not be able to work on the island without a work permit.
Those are difficult to get as you must posses a unique skill and your potential employer must prove that there are no locals qualified to fill the position.
For more information, refer to the Sint Maarten immigration service (the Dutch side of the island typically has more information in English than the French side). They have a guide to moving to Sint Maarten that is very thorough.
Do I need a visa to go to other islands?
If you plan to visit any of the surrounding Islands such as St Barths, Anguilla or Saba, even just for a day trip, please check the entry requirements before arriving here in case you need a visa for any.
However, if you are an American with a passport or a European Community passport holder you should not have any problems entering any of the Islands.
What kinds of jobs are on St. Martin?
While you may qualify to live here, actually being able to build a life here is another story. Tourism has also provided lots of jobs for the foreign locals. Many of these jobs are in the boating industry. People who visit the island not only fly in but they come on cruise ships, private and chartered yachts, sailboats and ferries. This creates opportunities for those who have boating skills or who are willing to learn the skills.
Working with boats is not the only place you can find foreign locals working. Some people work in construction, while others may sell real estate real estate. And, as mentioned, many people work remotely.
What’s the weather like?
The weather is especially dry and temperate between December and April.
The winter season is typically when most of our visitors experience St. Martin and Grand Case for the first time. And for everyone who has ever stayed with out, Grand Case is love at first sight.
What are the beaches like?
What is the food like on St. Martin?
One of the great things about living on the island was the hundreds of eating establishments—Saint Martin is often called the “culinary capital of the Caribbean.” From fish kebabs to barbeque and sushi, there is something for every taste on our island.
If you like good food, this is the place to be. It has been said that there are so many restaurants on St. Maarten/St. Martin that you can eat in a different one every night and never eat in the same one twice.
In fact, there are more than 67 restaurants set up in typical Creole houses along Grand Case Boulevard, just a short walk from our beautiful Caribbean resort.
What’s the Internet like on St. Martin?
St. Martin is an island, and this means internet must be provided by undersea cable. So, like most island communities around the world, the internet is slower on St. Martin. It’s also more expensive. Companies such as UTS and Caribserve provide Internet services, but it’s going to cost about 50% more than in the United States.
What are the hospitals like?
There is a large, modern hospital in Marigot, the largest city on the French side of the island. There is also a hospital in Philipsburg, on the Dutch side of the island. Both hospitals provide good quality medical care. Of course, if you are not a permanent resident you must come equipped with travel insurance before you move here.
Can I buy property on St. Martin?
There are no restrictions on the purchase of real estate by foreigners. . Saint Martin is an overseas collectivity of France, so people who buy real estate here enjoy all the legal protections of the French Republic and the European Union.
Have More Questions?
If you have more questions about moving to St. Martin, let us know in the comments!