St. Maarten Marine Trades Association welcomes new immigration rules

POSTED: 11/1/11 12:30 PM

GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten Marine Trades Association says recent changes to the country’s immigration policy may serve as an impetus for more yacht crews and yachting tourists to visit the island. The new rules were approved by Justice Minister Roland Duncan recently and come in time for Spotlight St. Maarten, a month long celebration of education and recreation which begins November 11 and continues until December 17. The event will include seminars, concerts, outings and island-wide discounts at participating marinas, chandleries and restaurants.

The new rules allow nationals from the list of countries that need visas to enter the island if they have a Dutch Caribbean Visa, a multiple entry visa for the U.S., Canada, or the European Schengen region, a residence permit for the U.S., Canada, the Schengen region or U.K., a residence permit for French St. Martin and a residence permit for Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba.

Professional yacht crew on the visa required list without one of the above mentioned visas, entry is granted with a Seaman’s Discharge Book and an Agent Guarantee Letter that a local agent will prepare. Yacht guests on the visa required list without one of the above mentioned visas, a 48hr transit exemption to go from the airport to the vessel or the vessel to the airport can be arranged with a local Agent Guarantee Letter.

“The St. Maarten Marine Trades Association hopes that this new change will encourage yacht crews and yachting tourists from around the world to visit St. Maarten and enjoy what the island has to offer,” a release from the association’s administrator Christian Smith stated.

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