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International Travel

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Country Information

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba (BES)

Country Information

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba (BES)
Last Updated: September 21, 2016
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Must be valid for period of stay. 

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

None required for visits up to 180 days

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Curacao

J.B. Gorsiraweg 1,
Willemstad, Curaçao

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

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

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

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Destination Description

The three islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatia (or “Statia”), and Saba are collectively known as the BES Islands and are special overseas municipalities of the Netherlands. They were previously part of the Netherlands Antilles (see the Department of State’s Background Note on the Netherland Antilles for more information). 

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

All U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport for all air travel, including to and from the BES Islands.  All sea travelers must have a passport or passport card. To enter the BES islands, you are required to have an onward or return ticket, proof of sufficient funds, and proof of lodging accommodations for your stay. For the most current visa information please visit the website of the Caribbean Netherlands Immigration and Naturalisation Service.

For further information, travelers may contact the Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300, or the Dutch Consulates in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston, and Miami. For more information on visas or extending  your visit, please call the Immigration Office of Bonaire at +599-715-8330.

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

See our webpages for more information about dual nationality,  prevention of international child abduction, customs information, and the CDC’s immunization information

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Safety and Security

There are no known areas of instability on the BES islands, although drug trafficking organizations do operate on the island.

Crime: The crime threat is generally considered low for Saba and St. Eustatuis and medium for Bonaire, although travelers should always take precautions in unfamiliar surroundings. There are incidents of theft from hotel rooms and vehicles, and armed robberies have occurred. Do not leave valuables unattended in public areas or unsecured hotel rooms and rental homes. U.S. travelers should have a copy of their valid U.S. passport in a secure location in case their passport is stolen.

Car theft, especially of rental vehicles, can occur. Vehicle leases or rentals may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen or damaged. Be sure you are sufficiently insured when renting vehicles and jet skis. Parents of young travelers should be aware that the legal drinking age of 18 is not always rigorously enforced on the BES islands, so extra parental supervision may be appropriate. Young travelers in particular are urged to take the same precautions they would take when going out in the United States, e.g., travel in pairs or groups and be responsible with alcohol consumption. If you are a victim of crime, report it immediately to the local police and to the U.S. Consulate General Curacao. Do not rely on managers of hotels, restaurants, or tour companies to make the report for you.

For information on scams, visit the Department of State and FBI pages on scams and safety.

Victims of Crime:

If you are a victim of crime, report it immediately to the local police. Dial 911 if you need emergency police assistance.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes that occur on the BES Islands.

Call the U.S. Consulate General Curacao 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 our 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.

For further information:

  • Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

 

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

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

Persons violating the laws of the BES islands, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Dutch law allows for suspects to be held by order of a judge without a hearing during an investigation.

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 the BES islands. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Some public areas and buildings are not wheelchair accessible and may present difficulties for persons with mobility issues.

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

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Special Circumstances: Dutch law, in principle, does not permit dual nationality. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For detailed information, contact the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, D.C., or one of the Dutch consulates in the U.S.

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Health

Medical care on the BES islands is generally good but may be limited in availability. Hospitals have three classes of services, with patients accommodated according to their level of insurance.

Drug stores or “boticas” provide prescription and over-the-counter medicine.  Visitors need a local prescription, and may not be able to find medications normally available in the U.S. Emergency services are usually quick to respond.

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.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. 

Zika virus has been reported in the Dutch Caribbean, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel notices for Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, and Sint Maarten. Visit the CDC website for general information about Zika and to obtain CDC travel notices.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the CDC.

Further health information:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Nonexistent, hidden, and poorly maintained street signs are the major road hazard on the BES islands. Proceed through intersections with caution. Roads can be extremely slippery during rainfall.  Night driving is reasonably safe for drivers who are familiar with the route and road conditions. Many streets are poorly lit or not lit at all. In Bonaire and Statia, drivers should be vigilant for wild donkeys or other animals crossing the road. Drivers should use caution when driving in Saba as roads tend to be steep and have many sharp turns.

The emergency service telephone number is 911. Police and ambulances tend to respond quickly to emergency situations.

Traffic Laws: Driving on the BES islands is on the right hand side. Right turns on red are prohibited and traffic conditions require somewhat defensive driving. Local laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts and motorcyclists to wear helmets. Children under 4 years of age must be in child safety seats; children under 12 must ride in the back seat.

Public Transportation: Taxis are the easiest, yet most expensive, form of transportation on the islands. As there are no meters, passengers should verify the price before entering the taxi. Fares are quoted in U.S. dollars. In Bonaire, public minibuses are inexpensive and run non-stop during the daytime with no fixed schedule. Each minibus has a specific route displayed on the windshield. Buses, which run on the hour, have limited routes. The road conditions on the main thoroughfares are good to fair. There is no public transportation in Saba or Statia; however, hitchhiking is common in Saba.

See our Road Safety page for more information. 

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of the BES Islands’ Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of the BES Islands’ air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

The U.S. Consulate has temporarily prohibited U.S. Consulate personnel from flying on Insel Air. The Consulate adopted this policy following an internal review of safety-related considerations.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Curacao

J.B. Gorsiraweg 1,
Willemstad, Curaçao

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

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

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

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General Information

For information concerning travel to Bonaire, Saba, and Statia, including information about the location of the U.S. Consulate General, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for the Dutch Caribbean. 

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

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Hague Abduction Convention

Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius (Statia), are administratively integrated in the Netherlands. The Government of the Netherlands is responsible for implementing the Hague Abduction Convention for Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius (Statia). The Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United States are treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) and have been since September 01, 1990.   

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction. For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under The Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child. The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State 
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
CA/OCS/CI 
SA-17, 9th Floor 
Washington, DC 20522-1709

Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website: travel.state.gov
Email: AskCI@state.gov  

The Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention for Bonaire, Saba, and Statia is the Guardianship Council. The Guardianship Council’s role is to perform the duties given to central authorities under the Hague Abduction Convention, including processing Hague Abduction Convention applications for return of and access to children.

They can be reached at:

Guardianship Council (Voogdijraad)
Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland
Kaya Internashonal z/n
Postbus 357
Kralendijk
Bonaire
Phone: +011 599 717 8976

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Bonaire, Saba, and Statia, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to the Guardianship Council’s office. The United States Central Authority (USCA) is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the Guardianship Council’s office, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with the United States or Bonaire, Saba, or Statia.  Attorney fees, if necessary, are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney. Additional costs may include but are not limited to airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

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Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in Bonaire, Saba, or Statia. The U.S. Department of State can provide information on whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Visitation/Access

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in Bonaire, Saba, or Statia. The U.S. Department of State can provide information on whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Retaining an Attorney

Retaining a private attorney may not be required in order to file Hague Abduction Convention applications with courts in Bonaire, Saba, and Statia. However, parents may wish to consider hiring a private attorney to follow up on their case, provide information directly to the court, and generally advise courses of action appropriate for their individual circumstances. A privately-hired attorney should contact the Attorney General’s office in Bonaire as soon as possible after The Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed. 

The U.S. Consulate in Curaçao posts a list of attorneys here.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms.  Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

The U.S. Department of State is not aware of any government agencies or non-governmental organizations that offer mediation programs in Bonaire, Saba, or Statia.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
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Hague Convention Information
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Who Can Adopt
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Who Can Be Adopted
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Traveling Abroad
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After Adoption
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Contact Information
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Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V

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Country Specific Footnotes

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

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Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

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Marriage, Divorce Certificates

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Adoption Certificates

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Identity Card

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Police, Court, Prison Records

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Military Records

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Passports & Other Travel Documents

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Other Records

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Visa Issuing Posts

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Visa Services

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Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

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Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Consulate General Curacao
J.B. Gorsiraweg 1,
Willemstad, Curaçao
Telephone
+(599) (9) 461-3066
Emergency
+(599) (9) 510-6870
Fax
+(599) (9) 461-6489
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Country Information

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba (BES)
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Must be valid for period of stay. 

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

None required for visits up to 180 days

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Curacao

J.B. Gorsiraweg 1,
Willemstad, Curaçao

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

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

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

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Destination Description

The three islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatia (or “Statia”), and Saba are collectively known as the BES Islands and are special overseas municipalities of the Netherlands. They were previously part of the Netherlands Antilles (see the Department of State’s Background Note on the Netherland Antilles for more information). 

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

All U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport for all air travel, including to and from the BES Islands.  All sea travelers must have a passport or passport card. To enter the BES islands, you are required to have an onward or return ticket, proof of sufficient funds, and proof of lodging accommodations for your stay. For the most current visa information please visit the website of the Caribbean Netherlands Immigration and Naturalisation Service.

For further information, travelers may contact the Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300, or the Dutch Consulates in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston, and Miami. For more information on visas or extending  your visit, please call the Immigration Office of Bonaire at +599-715-8330.

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

See our webpages for more information about dual nationality,  prevention of international child abduction, customs information, and the CDC’s immunization information

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Safety and Security

There are no known areas of instability on the BES islands, although drug trafficking organizations do operate on the island.

Crime: The crime threat is generally considered low for Saba and St. Eustatuis and medium for Bonaire, although travelers should always take precautions in unfamiliar surroundings. There are incidents of theft from hotel rooms and vehicles, and armed robberies have occurred. Do not leave valuables unattended in public areas or unsecured hotel rooms and rental homes. U.S. travelers should have a copy of their valid U.S. passport in a secure location in case their passport is stolen.

Car theft, especially of rental vehicles, can occur. Vehicle leases or rentals may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen or damaged. Be sure you are sufficiently insured when renting vehicles and jet skis. Parents of young travelers should be aware that the legal drinking age of 18 is not always rigorously enforced on the BES islands, so extra parental supervision may be appropriate. Young travelers in particular are urged to take the same precautions they would take when going out in the United States, e.g., travel in pairs or groups and be responsible with alcohol consumption. If you are a victim of crime, report it immediately to the local police and to the U.S. Consulate General Curacao. Do not rely on managers of hotels, restaurants, or tour companies to make the report for you.

For information on scams, visit the Department of State and FBI pages on scams and safety.

Victims of Crime:

If you are a victim of crime, report it immediately to the local police. Dial 911 if you need emergency police assistance.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes that occur on the BES Islands.

Call the U.S. Consulate General Curacao 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 our 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.

For further information:

  • Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

 

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

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

Persons violating the laws of the BES islands, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Dutch law allows for suspects to be held by order of a judge without a hearing during an investigation.

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 the BES islands. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Some public areas and buildings are not wheelchair accessible and may present difficulties for persons with mobility issues.

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

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Special Circumstances: Dutch law, in principle, does not permit dual nationality. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For detailed information, contact the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, D.C., or one of the Dutch consulates in the U.S.

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Health

Medical care on the BES islands is generally good but may be limited in availability. Hospitals have three classes of services, with patients accommodated according to their level of insurance.

Drug stores or “boticas” provide prescription and over-the-counter medicine.  Visitors need a local prescription, and may not be able to find medications normally available in the U.S. Emergency services are usually quick to respond.

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.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. 

Zika virus has been reported in the Dutch Caribbean, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel notices for Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, and Sint Maarten. Visit the CDC website for general information about Zika and to obtain CDC travel notices.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the CDC.

Further health information:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Nonexistent, hidden, and poorly maintained street signs are the major road hazard on the BES islands. Proceed through intersections with caution. Roads can be extremely slippery during rainfall.  Night driving is reasonably safe for drivers who are familiar with the route and road conditions. Many streets are poorly lit or not lit at all. In Bonaire and Statia, drivers should be vigilant for wild donkeys or other animals crossing the road. Drivers should use caution when driving in Saba as roads tend to be steep and have many sharp turns.

The emergency service telephone number is 911. Police and ambulances tend to respond quickly to emergency situations.

Traffic Laws: Driving on the BES islands is on the right hand side. Right turns on red are prohibited and traffic conditions require somewhat defensive driving. Local laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts and motorcyclists to wear helmets. Children under 4 years of age must be in child safety seats; children under 12 must ride in the back seat.

Public Transportation: Taxis are the easiest, yet most expensive, form of transportation on the islands. As there are no meters, passengers should verify the price before entering the taxi. Fares are quoted in U.S. dollars. In Bonaire, public minibuses are inexpensive and run non-stop during the daytime with no fixed schedule. Each minibus has a specific route displayed on the windshield. Buses, which run on the hour, have limited routes. The road conditions on the main thoroughfares are good to fair. There is no public transportation in Saba or Statia; however, hitchhiking is common in Saba.

See our Road Safety page for more information. 

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of the BES Islands’ Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of the BES Islands’ air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

The U.S. Consulate has temporarily prohibited U.S. Consulate personnel from flying on Insel Air. The Consulate adopted this policy following an internal review of safety-related considerations.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Curacao

J.B. Gorsiraweg 1,
Willemstad, Curaçao

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

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

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

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General Information

For information concerning travel to Bonaire, Saba, and Statia, including information about the location of the U.S. Consulate General, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for the Dutch Caribbean. 

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

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Hague Abduction Convention

Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius (Statia), are administratively integrated in the Netherlands. The Government of the Netherlands is responsible for implementing the Hague Abduction Convention for Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius (Statia). The Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United States are treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) and have been since September 01, 1990.   

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction. For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under The Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child. The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State 
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
CA/OCS/CI 
SA-17, 9th Floor 
Washington, DC 20522-1709

Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website: travel.state.gov
Email: AskCI@state.gov  

The Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention for Bonaire, Saba, and Statia is the Guardianship Council. The Guardianship Council’s role is to perform the duties given to central authorities under the Hague Abduction Convention, including processing Hague Abduction Convention applications for return of and access to children.

They can be reached at:

Guardianship Council (Voogdijraad)
Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland
Kaya Internashonal z/n
Postbus 357
Kralendijk
Bonaire
Phone: +011 599 717 8976

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Bonaire, Saba, and Statia, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to the Guardianship Council’s office. The United States Central Authority (USCA) is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the Guardianship Council’s office, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with the United States or Bonaire, Saba, or Statia.  Attorney fees, if necessary, are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney. Additional costs may include but are not limited to airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

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Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in Bonaire, Saba, or Statia. The U.S. Department of State can provide information on whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Visitation/Access

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in Bonaire, Saba, or Statia. The U.S. Department of State can provide information on whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Retaining an Attorney

Retaining a private attorney may not be required in order to file Hague Abduction Convention applications with courts in Bonaire, Saba, and Statia. However, parents may wish to consider hiring a private attorney to follow up on their case, provide information directly to the court, and generally advise courses of action appropriate for their individual circumstances. A privately-hired attorney should contact the Attorney General’s office in Bonaire as soon as possible after The Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed. 

The U.S. Consulate in Curaçao posts a list of attorneys here.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms.  Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

The U.S. Department of State is not aware of any government agencies or non-governmental organizations that offer mediation programs in Bonaire, Saba, or Statia.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
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Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information
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Who Can Adopt
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Traveling Abroad
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Contact Information
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Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V

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Country Specific Footnotes

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

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Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

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Marriage, Divorce Certificates

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Adoption Certificates

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Identity Card

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Police, Court, Prison Records

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Military Records

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Passports & Other Travel Documents

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Other Records

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Visa Issuing Posts

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Visa Services

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Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

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Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Consulate General Curacao
J.B. Gorsiraweg 1,
Willemstad, Curaçao
Telephone
+(599) (9) 461-3066
Emergency
+(599) (9) 510-6870
Fax
+(599) (9) 461-6489
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.