Department does not honor Dutch-American Friendship Treaty – Americans still face additional requirements at immigration

POSTED: 10/15/12 4:18 PM

St. Maarten – In spite of numerous court rulings and a letter from Justice Minister Roland Duncan that grants at least one American citizen admission by right to the country, the Immigration and Naturalization Service still treats American citizens differently from European Dutch citizens.

This appears from documents the Immigration and Naturalization Service gives to Americans who seek admission by right under the rules of the Dutch American Treaty of Friendship, commerce and Navigation, commonly called the Friendship Treaty.

On September 19, Minister Duncan informed Loraine Talmi Zarelli that he resigned to a court ruling of September 11 that basically states what all other court rulings before that had stated: American citizens are entitled to the same treatment as European Dutch citizens under the Friendship Treaty.
The minister stated that Talmi would be admitted by right because she met the four requirements that are also valid for European Dutch citizens: sufficient financial means, housing, medical insurance and a clean police record.

Three others – Tina Marie Abbott, Talmi’s husband Shai and Ricardo Perez and his family – are still waiting for a similar decision from the justice minister.

But American citizens who go to the Immigration and Naturalization Service to request admission by right are confronted with forms containing conditions that do not apply to European Dutch citizens.

Americans are presented with a Model I form – for temporary residency – while European Dutch get a Model IV form for permanent residency. One form with the headline “Employment as sole proprietorship based on the Treaty for American citizens” asks proof that the applicant “has invested a substantial capital in his or her company.”

The letter Minister Duncan wrote to Lorraine Talmi shows that this is not a requirement.

A second form, headlined “Key staff employee based on the treaty for American citizens” requires proof that the applicant “works as key personnel” and a copy of the employment permit request from the Labor Department.

Minister Duncan was ordered on September 11 to take a decision about Ricardo Perez’ request by October 16; so far that decision has not come down. The deadline is today.

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