Relocating to Caribbean Curacao or Bonaire
It’s not easy finding correct and accurate information about what needs to be done before you can move to Curacao. Sources may be unreliable or contradictory. Besides finding your way around the necessary paperwork and official legal obligations, other activities such as finding a house to live in, insurances and shipping your belongings can be strenuous for an outsider from Curacao.
Curacao is a Dutch island in the Caribbean that gained the status of an autonomous country (since October 10th, 2010) within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. With an average temperature of 27,8 C, lots of sunshine, and little rain, Curacao has a tropical climate. The population counts over 150,000 people from about 100 nationalities. Dutch, English and Papiamento are official languages, but also Spanish is commonly used. The BES-islands (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba) obtained the status of so-called 'special municipalities' within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
US citizens have ‘easy access’ to Curacao and Bonaire
You may not be familiar with the advantage, but as a US citizen, the execution of your plan for relocating to the Caribbean islands is easier than you might think.
Immigration implies handling specific document requirements, applying for permits, taking out insurances and making investments. Different conditions apply to citizens from various countries.
However, US citizens can benefit from the DAFT (Dutch-American Friendship Treaty), an agreement signed in 1956 by both the American and the Dutch governments. The treaty enables US citizens to relocate to Curacao and the BES-islands under practically the same conditions as Dutch citizens.
Because Curacao once belonged to The Netherlands and the BES-islands still are Dutch public bodies, the Dutch, as well as American citizens, only require a declaration of law. They will be granted indefinite admission after the requirements are met. A citizen from any other country will generally only receive a residence permit for one year if the requirements are met. For USA residents, even Canada is a more difficult country to apply for immigration.
As an American citizen, are there any restrictions?
Yes, there certainly are restrictions in case you don't meet the requirements. Depending on your personal situation and details, additional permit applications may also be necessary.
In addition, we must note that we regularly receive questions and remarks about misconceptions regarding texts on the web or other media. Relevant information is often omitted, thus (for some reason) misleading to the reader. Such as the ones below that we consider highly questionable - in some cases even stated by significant parties.
concerning: the DAFT and 'the judgment of The Joint Court of Justice' - December 15, 2014
[...] U.S. citizens have the right to be admitted automatically in Curaçao [...] On June 1st 2015 the Curaçao Immigration Authority has officially adapted its immigration requirements for U.S. citizens in accordance with the DAFT and the judgment of the Joint Court of Justice. U.S. citizens no longer need to apply for residence and working permits. U.S. citizens may invest, work and live in the Dutch Caribbean [...]
At first sight, it may seem like there are no requirements at all, and you could just relocate to the Dutch Caribbean to live and work there. This is not necessarily true. US citizens do not require to obtain a separate work and residence permit (as it applies to all foreign nationals). Legally spoken, the ‘permit’ may more likely be called a ‘declaration’. The fact remains there are requirements and restrictions for US citizens too before they are allowed to work and stay. In other words, it has the characteristics of a permit (especially for the layman).
'Na Kaminda' means ‘on the way’ - that is exactly what we do!
We help you depart well prepared. Immigration demands a distinctive procedure; you need to follow the right steps, in the correct order. We are familiar with the regulations and the opportunities of the Caribbean. That is why you can consider ‘Na Kaminda' your immigration partner.
Our services in the field of immigration and emigration offer full support in the preparation, submission, process monitoring and finalizing the application and obtaining of your work and residence permit. We also assist in obtaining your identity card, the so called 'sedula', after your admission has been completed.
Na Kaminda helps you avoid the following problems:
- first, for your situation, we find out exactly which applications are necessary and which documents you require to provide
- we pay your legal fees in advance. Only upon receipt of payment, Curacao authorities start processing your application
- after the application has been submitted, we will remain in close contact with the Admission Office and keep you posted
- if your application is unexpectedly rejected, we will assist you with the procedure and we will avoid double government fees
In a personalized digital file, we will provide a precise list of documents required for the application. This list is tailor-made and may vary from person to person, depending on your background and plans.
We are constantly renewing and expanding our website where you can find lots of information about the Caribbean Islands in general, interesting links, and our immigration services, such as: