Visa policy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean

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Visa policy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean
The common visa for the Caribbean islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

A common visa exists since the end of 2010 for the countries Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands which form together the territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean.[1] The visa is not valid for the European part of the Netherlands which is part of the Schengen Area.


A standard visa is valid for all 6 islands and allows multiple entry for a maximum period of 90 days within 180 days. The maximum uninterrupted stay in one of the individual countries is 30 days. The visa is not valid for the European part of the Netherlands. Application takes place at the consular representations of the Kingdom and the main visiting country has to be indicated. The basis for evaluation of the evaluation of the application in the main visiting country is however the same for the whole area. Entry for longer periods is arranged by the different countries separately.[2]


The two Caribbean countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands were Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles. They each had their own visa policy and thus a list of countries from which nationals could enter without a visa. Through consultation between all countries in the Kingdom the requirements showed strong similarities; they were based on the visa free lists for the Schengen Area, extended with countries in the Caribbean. Upon the Dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010, the common visa system was introduced for all territories of the Kingdom in the Caribbean: Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten as well as Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.[3] The maximum period of stay is 3 months for all countries on the visa-free list for which full reciprocity is in place; for other countries the maximum period is 30 days.

Visa free entry[edit]

Nationals of the following countries do not require a visa for a stay for up to 30/90 days in Aruba/Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands.[4][5][6][7][8]

Furthermore, the following groups are exempt from the visa requirement:

  • holders of a valid residence permit for any territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands or for Saint Martin, Canada, Ireland, the United States, the United Kingdom, or one of the Schengen countries;
  • the captain, crew or passengers of a ship or aircraft which does not stay for a continuous period of longer than 48 hours.
  • holders of a United Nations laissez-passer, issued by the United Nations.

Dutch Nationals[edit]

Although all Dutch nationals have the right of abode in the Netherlands, right of abode on the Caribbean territory is limited to those who have a connection to the region. Other Dutch can enter both countries visa free for maximum of 6 months.[11][12] The Identity card BES and the "Cedula" of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten are valid for entering Bonaire, Sint Eustatius or Saba, but the Dutch Identity Card is not.[13]

See also[edit]