Rosenthal sent letter to Justice Minister Duncan about visa rules

POSTED: 06/13/11 12:53 PM

St. Maarten – Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal has sent a letter recently to Justice Minister Roland Duncan about the Kingdom’s visa policy. Though this newspaper has solid information about the existence of the letter, Rosenthal’s ministry yesterday declined to confirm this or to provide this newspaper with a copy.

Christoph Prommersberger, a spokesman for Rosenthal, said yesterday that the content of the letter is confidential. “It is about current thoughts that have to be exchanged in confidence,” he said.

Prommersberger said that he was not at liberty to disclose the content of the letter, its nature or even the subject matter.

From confidential sources however, this newspaper learnt that the letter deals with the Kingdom’s visa policy and that the Ministry sent guidelines to its embassies confirming which countries are on the exemption list.

The guidelines consist of an internal memo that is not public, and a part for public consumption that is also to be found on the ministry’s web site. The guidelines include a list of 76 countries whose citizens do not need a visa to enter the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.

Countries in the region that do not require a visa are among others Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Venezuela and the United States of America.

Citizens of Jamaica and Guyana only need visas for St. Maarten but not for Curacao, Aruba, and the BES-islands. Citizens with a valid residence permit for the French part of St. Maarten don’t need a visa, but Guadeloupe is not included in this exemption.

Missing from the list of exemptions are neighboring Anguilla, the Dominican Republic and St. Barths.

The embassy-guidelines state explicitly that children need a visa no matter what their age is. They need their own visa sticker and their own passport. Children under the age of six are exempt from stamp duties. Foreigners who are married to a Dutch citizen but who are from a country where a visa is required, also must obtain a visa to visit the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.


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