What is the difference between Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba short and long-term Visa?

Roxana Acosta Sosa 18 August 2021 394 views 4 min. read
Where is Bonaire

? The islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba are known as the Dutch Caribbean despite being located in South America. These islands are considered as public entities within the Netherlands and as overseas territories although they do not belong to the European Union, not forming part of the community territory or the customs union or the Schengen area. The island of Bonaire is located off the Venezuelan coast while Saint Eustatius and Saba are located in the Lesser Antilles, south of Sint Maarten and north of Saint Kitts and Nevis. view of bonaire capital These islands keep their riches of fauna and flora intact and are a great place to even obtain a Bonaire retirement visa. The three islands offer a lot of outdoor activity such as diving, snorkeling to see the coral reefs, also hiking, and if you want, you can visit the historic part of their towns. There are a lot of things to explore out there and fell in love with their natural landscapes. Also, it is good to mention that although these islands are located in South America, most people here do not speak Spanish, the national language is Dutch on all three islands. After this introduction, I am sure you are wondering what are visa requirements for Bonaire for US citizens. Do not worry, now that you know where is Bonaire, I will explain all what you need to know about the Bonaire visa policy.

Do I need a visa for Bonaire?

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If you are wondering if do I need a visa for Bonaire, I suggest you to check this Bonaire visa policy because the island are not a legal part of the Schengen Agreement and there are many countries that do not need a visa to visit these beautiful islands.

What are visa requirements for Bonaire for US citizens?

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If you have a passport from any of the countries mentioned in the previous list, you will not need a visa as long as your purpose of the trip is for tourism and your stay on the Dutch islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba does not exceed 30 days. And you wonder but if my visa is 90 days, how is that possible? Yes, the visa is valid for 90 days within a period of 180 days, this means that after 30 days you will have to leave the islands and within 180 days you will be able to return. It is a multiple entry visa so you can enter and leave the islands without problems. Regarding the question what are visa requirements for Bonaire for US citizens? If you have a US passport, you can stay on the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba for a period of 180 days without any visa; this also applies to Dutch citizens. On the other hand, if you already have a Schengen visa or residence for the Netherlands as a foreigner (French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Mayotte, Reunion), visa or residence permit for the United Kingdom, Ireland, USA and Canada, you will not need a visa for Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba either. On the other hand, if you are on a cruise and your ship must make a stopover in Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba for a period of no more than 48 hours, then you will not need a transit visa. However, if you plan to go to the Netherlands or any Schengen destination, you must process the visa corresponding to those countries since the Bonaire visa requirements are different, i. e., you will not be able to enter the Netherlands with the Caribbean visa. So if you are a US citizen, just need to submit the following documents: • Valid US passport. • Birth certificate. • A valid ID card. • Green card in case you are a non-USA citizen. • A valid driver’s license. Keep in mind that even if you do not need a visa, the immigration authorities have the authorization to grant or deny entry at the border. In other words, entry can be rejected if all the requirements are not met or if the tourist appears on the list of people who are not admitted to Bonaire.

Short-Term Bonaire visa requirements

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If your country does not appear in the list mentioned above, then you should apply for a short-term visa. This visa has duration of 90 days within 180 days and in addition, as mentioned above, it is a multi-entry visa. The Bonaire visa requirements are: • The passport must be at least six months old and must be valid for the entire stay. Also, the passport must have unused visa pages to affix the entry and exit stamps. • Complete the visa application in the Ministry of Foreigner Affair website (Consular services official website). • 3 photos with white background. It should be actual and with your face clear. • ID card and its copy. • Residence permit and its copy. • Proof of flight tickets reservations. • Proof of hotel reservation. • Proof of your financial means to pay for accommodation and maintenance expenses during your stay. • Medical insurance with a minimum of USD 15,000 coverage. • Pay the visa fee (it depends of your country of origin). In case you need to carry out another activity that is not tourist for a period of 90 days such as work, sports, business, etc., then you must present documents at the Embassy that prove said activity, such as being an invitation letter from an organization present in Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, among others. For more information you can visit the Official Website of Netherlands. On the other hand, if you want to go to Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba because you think it is a good place where would you like to live after your retirement, then you will need a Bonaire retirement visa or long-term visa, I will explain these points below.

Long-Term Bonaire visa requirements

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The long-stay visa in Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, i. e., to stay on the islands for more than 90 days (with the exception of American and Dutch citizens who can be more than 180 days) will need a Residence Permit. The Bonaire visa extension in this case is not available. This type of visa does not allow a visa application as occurs with the short-stay visa since the long-stay visa is only granted by companies or enterprises through a legal contract where it is necessary that you stay on the islands for more 90 days. On the other hand, it is also possible to grant it to foreign citizens who have married a native of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba and then apply for permanent residence. So is your spouse or company’s employer who should follow the visa application on your behalf.

Bonaire visa extension

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In case you want a Bonaire visa extension, you will need to call the Immigration Office on Bonaire +599-715-8330 to get more information.

How to retire in Bonaire?

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The Bonaire retirement visa is available for USA, Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Vatican City, South Korea and Switzerland citizens who wish to stay more than one year in the islands. It is necessary to apply for a permit residence in the Immigration and Naturalisation Service by submitting the required documents an paying the permit fees.