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Sint Maarten
Official Name:

Sint Maarten

Last Updated: January 30, 2017
Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Consulate General Curacao

J.B. Gorsiraweg 1,
Willemstad, Curaçao

For assistance in Dutch Sint Maarten, contact the U.S. Consulate General Curaçao. For assistance in French St. Martin, contact U.S. Embassy Bridgetown.

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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Must be valid for duration of stay.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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None

VACCINATIONS:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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Amounts exceeding USD 11,000 (or equivalent) must be declared.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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Amounts exceeding USD 11,000 (or equivalent) must be declared.

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U.S. Consulate General Curacao

J.B. Gorsiraweg 1,
Willemstad, Curaçao

For assistance in Dutch Sint Maarten, contact the U.S. Consulate General Curaçao. For assistance in French St. Martin, contact U.S. Embassy Bridgetown.

Telephone: +(599) (9) 461-3066

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(599) (9) 510-6870

Fax: +(599) (9) 461-6489

Consulates

U.S. Embassy Bridgetown
Wildey Business Park
Wildey
St. Michael BB 14006
Barbados, W.I.

Telephone: +(246) 227-4399

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(246) 227-4000

Fax: +(246) 431-0179

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Sint Maarten for information on U.S. – Sint Maarten relations. 

Upon arrival in Sint Maarten, you must have:

  1. a U.S. passport valid for the duration of your stay;
  2. an Embarkation and Disembarkation Card (ED-Card);
  3. a return or onward ticket;
  4. proof of accommodations (hotel reservation, property ownership, or the address of a family member or friend if you are not staying at a hotel); and
  5. proof of sufficient funds to cover expenses during your stay ($100 - $200 U.S.D per day or valid credit card). 
     

U.S. citizens are allowed to stay in Sint Maarten for a maximum of six months with the possibility to extend. For more information about entry requirements, duration of stay, and extensions, visit The Sint Maarten Travel Guide or contact the Sint Maarten Immigration and Border Protection Service (IBP) directly at immigration@sintmaartengov.org or +(721) 543-0355.

Additional sources of information include: The Official Website of The Government of Sint Maarten; The Royal Netherlands Embassy (4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300), and the Dutch Consulates in Chicago, Miami, New York, and San Francisco

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Sint Maarten.

Information about dual nationality and the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our customs information page.

Crime: Crimes of opportunity, such as pickpockets and purse snatching particularly at beaches, hotel lobbies, or from cars are common. Accordingly,

  • Be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to secure personal property.
  • Do not leave valuables in cars in plain view or unattended in unsecured hotel rooms and rental homes.
  • Avoid withdrawing cash from ATMs after dark and walking in poorly-lit areas.
  • Keep a copy of your valid U.S. passport in a secure location in case your passport is stolen.

Be sure you are sufficiently insured when renting vehicles, jet skis, and other equipment. Theft of rental cars can occur, and damages may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen.

Parents of young travelers should be aware that the legal drinking age of 18 is not always enforced. Extra parental supervision may be appropriate. Take standard precautions when frequenting nightclubs and bars. Travel in pairs or groups and, if you consume alcohol, do so responsibly. Do not leave your drink unattended or accept open containers from strangers. If you are a victim of a crime, report it immediately to Sint Maarten police (dial 911) and the U.S. Consulate.

Watersports Advisory: Be aware of the risks of recreational water activities. Never venture out alone, particularly at isolated beaches or far out to sea. Avoid entering the water above your waist if you have been drinking and always be mindful of watercraft traffic in the area. When in doubt, stay out!  

Do not attempt to experience the jet blast of approaching and departing aircraft at Maho Beach, which can result in serious injury or death.  Maho beach is adjacent to the airport runway and lies directly under the flight path.  In July 2017, a tourist smashed headfirst into a concrete curb and died after attempting to withstand the blast of a departing jet by clinging to the runway fence. 

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Dial 911 for police assistance. Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes that occur on Sint Maarten.  

If you or someone you know becomes a victim of crime, report it immediately to the local police and the U.S.Consulate. Do not rely on hotels, restaurants, or tour companies to make the report for you.

Call the U.S. Consulate General Curaçao at +5999 461-3066. We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • replace a stolen or lost passport
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home

For more information, see our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Consulate for assistance. If you are in immediate danger, first contact the local police at 911.

For further information:

Access to quality medical care is limited in Sint Maarten. Facilities may not meet U.S. standards. There is one hospital on the Dutch Side, St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), which offers 24-hour emergency services. The hospital has tiered health care with accommodations varying according to ability to pay.

Not all medical specialties are available in Sint Maarten. Critically ill patients requiring services not offered at SMMC are transferred to neighboring countries. Airlift is available to Puerto Rico and the continental United States in case of extreme medical emergency. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.     

There is no decompression chamber in Sint Maarten. Persons suffering from decompression sickness must be medically evacuated for proper treatment. 

Bring all necessary medications with you. Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Not all drugs are available locally. Pharmacies provide prescription and over-the-counter medicines. For most medicines, you will need a local prescription.  

Mental health facilities include outpatient psychiatrists and psychologists for both children and adults and inpatient psychiatric facilities.

Below are important phone numbers for emergency assistance: 

Emergency: 911
Ambulance/EMS: 912
Hospital (Sint Maarten Medical Center): +1-721-543-1111

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.   See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

The following diseases are prevalent: Zika Virus, Chikungunya, and Dengue Fever. 

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. Zika outbreaks have been reported in Sint Maarten. Because of the risk of birth defects in babies born to women who were infected with Zika while pregnant, women who are pregnant should not travel to Sint Maarten. For more information, see Zika Virus in Sint Maarten. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.

Chikunguya and Dengue are mosquito-borne illnesses that are becoming more frequent in tropical and equatorial climates around the world. Preventing mosquito bites is the most important way to prevent these illnesses. Travelers should carry and use CDC recommended insect repellents.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local law. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Furthermore, some offenses committed overseas can be prosecuted in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Sint Maarten’s enforcement policy concerning drug possession differs significantly from Holland’s. In Sint Maarten, laws against possession of controlled substances are enforced rigorously, including against tourists in possession of marijuana for personal use.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Local law allows for detention during an investigation with the approval of a judge. Persons detained may not post bond for their release.

Dual Nationality: Dutch law, in principle, does not permit dual nationality. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For detailed information, contact the The Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC, or one of the Dutch Consulates in the United States.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Sint Maarten. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights Report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Sidewalks and street crossings in many areas are not wheelchair accessible. Many buildings lack ramps.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Road Conditions and Safety: Sint Maarten’s main roads are paved and well-marked, but narrower and dimly lit. Driving at night is reasonably safe, as long as drivers are familiar with the route and road conditions. Proceed through intersections with caution. 

Traffic Laws:

You can drive in Sint Maarten with a valid U.S. driver’s license.

  • Drive on the right-hand side, as in the United States.
  • Right turns at red lights are prohibited.
  • There are no border controls separating the Dutch and French sides of the island.
  • Cars pass freely without stopping.
  • Driving while intoxicated may result in the loss of a driver’s license, fine, and imprisonment.    

Public Transportation:

Taxis are unmetered. Passengers should determine the price in advance. Rental car kiosks are located inside the Princess Juliana International Airport. Be sure you are sufficiently insured. Ask your car rental agency for instructions in case of an accident.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Sint Maarten’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Sint Maarten’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

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