AT
Topic Author
Posts: 882
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2000 12:16 pm

Question About Travelling To St. Maarten Vs Martin

Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:47 pm

Hello all,
I am traveling from New York to St. Maarten in mid July for vacation. I am confused as to the Dutch and the French sides of the island, and whether there are any restrictions or borders between the two.

I am a US Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder). When I checked the respective websites, it appears (unless I am wrong) that I do not need a visa for the Dutch side, but *WOULD* need a visa for the French side.
This is because green card holders from countries otherwise requiring visas are exempt from a visa for the Netherlands Antilles; however, green card holders from visa requiring nations are not exempt for the French territories.

But for all practical purposes isn't the island contiguous? There are no borders or immigration checks between the two halves? If so, can't one freely travel between the two halves?

Any informed advice would be most welcome. If necessary or the correct thing to do, I will then get a French visa.

And of course, as importantly, if anyone can recommend particular spotting locations by the airport, that would be lovely too.
 
airportplan
Posts: 319
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 12:36 am

RE: Question About Travelling To St. Maarten Vs Ma

Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:49 pm

Thre are no borders or check ponts between each side of the island.
 
AT
Topic Author
Posts: 882
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: Question About Travelling To St. Maarten Vs Ma

Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:00 pm

Yes, that's what I read and was told.
But then it makes scarce sense that one would require a visa for only the French half.

Our hotel is on the Dutch side, but we will be (presumably) going frequently to the beaches/restaurants etc on the French side. Would I be violating any rules or laws if we did that?
 
747girl
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:56 pm

RE: Question About Travelling To St. Maarten Vs Ma

Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:02 pm

No checkpoints between the Dutch and French sides. When I was there at Easter, we hired a car for the week and this was a great way to easily get around the island. I recommend the ferry trip to nearby Anguilla, but you will need your passport when you arrive there.

As I'm sure you will see on lots of photos on here, Maho Beach is the place to do some spotting. Great fun!
 
AT
Topic Author
Posts: 882
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: Question About Travelling To St. Maarten Vs Ma

Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:19 pm

I understand the no checkpoints. But even if there are no checkpoints does that mean one can travel freely across the two halves, or is one supposed to stay on the Dutch side since technically that is the only side that requires no visa?

Sorry if these are silly questions- it's so odd to have a small island split between two countries.
 
AT
Topic Author
Posts: 882
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: Question About Travelling To St. Maarten Vs Ma

Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:18 pm

Hello all,
I checked with the French and Dutch consulates this morning and seem to be getting conflicting advice. Lovely!
The Netherlands consulate says if traveling to the Dutch side, and landing in SXM (Dutch side), you need to meet criteria for entry into the Netherlands Antilles only. Therefore I do not need a visa.

However, the French consulate says that you must meet criteria for the French side EVEN if you are only going to the Dutch side.

When I conveyed this information to the Dutch consulate they said that the France has no jurisdiction over Dutch immigration.

Can someone who has actually been through SXM immigration on from a US-originating flight clarify? Are there both separate Dutch and French Passport/Immigration controls at the airport?

It is confusing when even the consulates do not have a cohesive answer!!!
Many thanks.
 
NASBWI
Posts: 919
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:12 am

RE: Question About Travelling To St. Maarten Vs Ma

Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:23 pm

AT, don't stress yourself out too much   . I think the French criteria must only be met if you are arriving at one of its ports-of-entry (a dock or airport). If you were to fly, say, into Guadeloupe, then fly from there to St Martin (French side), you would need a French visa. However, that being the case, it would have been checked upon entry to Guadeloupe, hence making your connection to St Martin a domestic affair.

If there are no immigration checks within the island, then it's quite easy to get around without being harrassed about immigration. No need to worry unless you're flying directly to St Martin. Cheers!
Fierce, Fabulous, and Flawless ;)
 
Julian773
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:39 pm

RE: Question About Travelling To St. Maarten Vs Ma

Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:50 pm

I arrived SXM from CLT and it was easy to get through. They don´t have separate Passport/Immigration controls.

I don´t think it should be a big deal for you.

Have fun!

Cheers

Julian773

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