Saint Martin Property and Citizenship Guide

0
245
Advertisement

 

Where do you find a tropical paradise with pristine turquoise waters and sunny clear skies, as diverse as any cosmopolitan city yet as welcoming and familiar as your hometown? Where laid back island energy transforms into vibrant rhythms and finger-licking dining, and where European Culture blends so effortlessly with Caribbean Flair.

                                                                           

Government: Saint Martin (French)– Parliamentary democracy (Territorial Council). An overseas collectivity of France.

Sint Maarten (Dutch)- Constituent country within the Netherlands. Full autonomy in internal affairs granted in 2010. Dutch Government is responsible for defense and foreign affairs.

Capital:  Saint Martin: Marigot

Sint Maarten: Phillipsburg

Advertisement

National Day: Saint Martin( French)– Fete de la Federation, 14 July 

Sint Maarten (Dutch)- St. Martin’s day, celebrated on both the island on November 11th. 

Population: Saint Martin (French)– 32,556 (July 2020 est.), Sint Maarten 

Sint Maarten (Dutch)- 43,847 (July 2020 est.)

Total Area: Saint Martin: Total 54 sq km

Sint Maarten: Total 34 sq km

Languages: Saint Martin: English and Dutch.

Sint Maarten: English (official) 67.5%, Spanish 12.9%, Creole 8.2%, Dutch (official) 4.2%, Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 2.2%, French 1.5%, other 3.5% (2001 est.) 

Climate: Saint Martin (French)- Temperature averages 27-29 degrees Celsius all year long; low humidity, gentle trade winds, brief, intense rain showers; hurricane season stretches from July to November.

Sint Maarten- Tropical marine climate, ameliorated by northeast trade winds, results in moderate temperatures; average rainfall of 150 cm/year; hurricane season stretches from July to November.

Ethnic groups: Saint Martin (French)- Creole (mulatto), black, Guadeloupe Mestizo (French-East Asia), white, East Indian

Saint Maarten (Dutch)– 29.9%, Dominican Republic 10.2%, Haiti 7.8%, Jamaica 6.6%, Saint Martin 5.9%, Guyana 5%, Dominica 4.4%, Curacao 4.1%, Aruba 3.4%, Saint Kitts and Nevis 2.8%, India 2.6%, Netherlands 2.2%, US 1.6%, Suriname 1.4%, Saint Lucia 1.3%, Anguilla 1.1%, other 8%, unspecified 1.7% (2011 est.)

Religion: Saint Martin (French)- Roman Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, Protestant, Hindu

Sint Maarten (Dutch)- Protestant 41.9% (Pentecostal 14.7%, Methodist 10.0%, Seventh Day Adventist 6.6%, Baptist 4.7%, Anglican 3.1%, other Protestant 2.8%), Roman Catholic 33.1%, Hindu 5.2%, Christian 4.1%, Jehovah’s Witness 1.7%, Evangelical 1.4%, Muslim/Jewish 1.1%, other 1.3% (includes Buddhist, Sikh, Rastafarian), none 7.9%, no response 2.4% (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy: Saint Martin: Total population: 80.2 years

Male: 77 years

Female: 83.4 years (2020 est.)

Sint Maarten- Total population: 78.8 years

Male: 76.4 years

Female: 81.3 years (2020 est.)

Currency: Saint Martin uses euros as its currency, while Sint Maarten uses the Netherlands Antillean guilder, pegged at 1.79 per US Dollar.

GDP (Official Exchange Rate): Saint-Martin: $304.1 million (2014 est.)

Sint Maarten: $304.1 million (2014 est.)

GDP per capita: Saint-Martin- $19,300 (2005 est.)

Overview 

Saint Martin or St. Maarten are two halves of the same island located at the northern end of the Leeward group of the Lesser Antilles, northeastern Caribbean sea. A border divides the French administered and Dutch administered portions of the IslanOver the years, it has transformed from being just a tourist destination to a place where people love to live and work, making it a cultural melting pot.

History

Arawak and Carib were the first inhabitants of the island. Post this, Christopher Columbus was the first European to sight this island during his second voyage in 1493 to the West Indies. He named it after the feast day of St. Martin of Tours as Isla de San Martín. Although Columbus never landed there, he claimed it as a Spanish territory. 

St Maarten remained primarily uninhabited until the Dutch state initiated a settlement in 1631, forming Fort Amsterdam on the headland between Great and Little Bay, south of the island, close to modern-day Philipsburg. The Dutch East India Company then started salt mining procedures on the island, and as an outcome of British and then further French curiosity, the Spanish started to consider it as well. Furthermore, they decided to wield authority over their claim from 1493. 

Important Facts

  • St. Maarten is the smallest island in the world divided between two countries, the Netherlands and France. So, the total area of the island is limited to 34 square miles.
  • The island is shared by the Dutch and the French since 1648. As a result, the island has an exceptionally diverse and cosmopolitan feel in it. 
  • The northern French-occupied island is called Saint Martin, and the southern Dutch territory Sint Maarten is an overseas collectivity of France. 
  • The cultivation of sugar cane introduced African slavery to the island in the late 18th century. Finally, the practice went abolished in 1848.
  • The Dutch occupied side has a slightly higher population (39,689) than on the French side (31,754).
  • The island was divided between France and the Netherlands in 1648, under the Treaty of Concordia. Oral history indicates that the land splitting began with a walking contest between a Dutchman and a Frenchman. Before they started, the Frenchman drank wine while the Dutchman went for Dutch gin, allowing the Frenchman to receive more territory and occupy more land. (The Dutch claim he cheated.)

What makes it interesting?

  • Saint Martin is one of the most captivating islands in the world. For instance, the bright Caribbean sun and clear turquoise water make it an incredible tourist attraction. 
  • It is referred to as a true tropical paradise, combining elegant European charm with vibrant island culture. 
  • The Dutch side of Sint Maarten is known for its festive nightlife, jewelry, beaches, drinks prepared with native rum-based guava-berry liquors, and casinos. The French part is well known for its clothing, outdoor markets, island-wide duty-free shopping, gourmet European restaurants, and Indian and French Caribbean cuisine.
  • Saint Martin is also known for its Butterfly Farm. The place is swarming with hundreds of species of butterflies. It is an incredibly gorgeous sight.
  • Both the Dutch and French sides have attracted people to its shores, looking for various opportunities. Approximately 470,000 jet set tourists visit the island each year. These visitors are often from the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, and the other parts of the Caribbean. 
  • The island is located at the south of Anguilla, separated from the British territory by the Anguilla Channel. Tourism is the primary sector on the island, which invites over one million visitors every year. About 85% of the workforce is associated with the tourist industry.

The real reasons for investing in Sint Maarten/Saint Martin

No fixed controls on foreign exchange

Foreign exchange controls are different forms of restraints enforced by the government on the sale/purchase of foreign currencies by residents or on the sale/purchase of local currency by nonresidents. There are no fixed governmental impositions on USD and Euro commercial bank accounts in Sint Maarten for the investors. The official currency on the Dutch side is Netherlands Antillean Guilder (NAF) but, the US Dollar is commonly used and accepted in all parts of the island. On the French side, the official currency is the euro but accepted on both sides.

Zero property tax

St. Maarten imposes no capital gain taxes, property taxes, goods and services taxes, sale taxes, or harmonized sale taxes, reducing the overall cost of living and boosting investment returns.

Duty-free on imports

St. Maarten has no customs duties on imported or exported materials, so you can easily import or export your goods or bring your personal belongings, such as your furniture, car, boat, etc.St. Maarten has no customs duties on imported or exported materials, so you can easily import or export your goods or bring your personal belongings, such as your furniture, car, boat, etc.

High standard of living

The living standard in St. Maarten is relatively high compared to other neighboring islands. Liquor and Entertainment are remarkably affordable on the island, and all kinds of groceries and essentials are widely available. The availability of products includes a vast range of North American and European products.

Multicultural

St. Maarten is a small island and has a diverse and multicultural society with people visiting from over 100 countries. Dutch and English are the official languages on the Dutch side and french on the French part of the island. 

Residency by Investment:

Government Rules

If you are willing to purchase land or residential property in St. Maarten, a permit of the investor is a viable option for obtaining residency. Documents necessary for this application include:

Model I needs to be filled out and signed by the buyer.

Original Police Record not older than 6 months (if not issued in Sint Maarten must be translated into English or Dutch by a certified translator, and all translations require legalizing with a stamp)

 If married, the original marriage certificate date of issue cannot be older than 3 years legalized or with an apostille not older than 3 years (translated to Dutch or English). Or a detailed registration form from the Census Office (if the marriage registered at the Census office)

 School registration letter for the children 

 Parents of one or more children staying in the country of origin need to have a consent letter and children custody proof.

Bank references of two international banks with at least one located in the country of origin (not older than three months)

A statement by a local bank in which the bank declares that the applicant has the intention to make a business investment or acquire real estate in Sint Maarten with a total value of NAF 900.000,00. Moreover, this intention needs fulfillment within 18 months.

Full proof of the required investment.

Permanent residence 

You will be able to receive permanent residence after five years of residency. 

Property Investment Factors(Dutch and French)

  • The real estate markets on the French side of the island and the Dutch side of the island are both well established and have long fascinated both North American and European property investors. 
  • The Dutch side recognized as Sint Martin renders an appealing investor permit (RBI scheme) to foreigners. It gives them a way to receive a permanent residency and then access to Dutch citizenship. 
  • Foreigners require at least USD 500,000 for business investment or real estate investment on the island. 
  • Property buyers enjoy various advantages. The property purchasing process is relatively simple and, on the Dutch side of the island, there is no capital gains tax.
  • On Dutch Sint Maarten, places to invest in include Cupecoy, Simpson Bay, and Maho on the western coast and Guana Bay and Orient Bay on the east. 
  • The real estate market on the Dutch side of the island offers a more diverse range of properties for sale, including apartments, villas, and condos on the waterfront.
  • The Terres Basses (lowlands) area, on the French side of the island, is the setting for some of the most magnificent luxury homes. 
  • Splendid houses and villas are nestled into hillsides and along the exquisite beaches at Baie Longue and Baie Rouge. 
  • The northern coast known as Orient Bay is renowned for one of the most captivating beaches on the island. It is also a popular place to own a home on French Saint Martin. 

Options for foreigners in Property Investment 

Foreigners are eligible to buy property in Sint Maarten or Saint Martin as the island accepts investment from overseas investors.There are no restrictions on foreign investors obtaining real estate in Sint Maarten or Saint Martin. Unlike other islands in the Caribbean, non-citizens do not require a permit or license to purchase property on the island. Besides, one can buy island property on the Dutch side in the name of a corporation or an individual. 

Buying Procedures

Buying property in Saint Martin and Sint Martin too is a relatively simple process, which involves the following steps:

  • Start with your property search. 
  • Find your dream property to make an offer. 
  • Properties are available for purchase on both Dutch Sint Maarten and French Saint Martin, through a long lease (Private or Government)
  • The process does not necessarily call for an attorney because a civil law notary takes responsibility for performing a title search or ensuring a clear title transfer. 
  • The investor needs to pay a deposit, which usually amounts to 10 percent. 
  • The notary prepares the necessary legal documents, which need to get signed by the seller or buyer. 
  • It takes around 4-6 weeks to complete a transaction, and the investor is responsible for paying a notary fee of a one-time transfer tax.

Notary Fees and Transfer Tax 

  • The transaction costs are 10 percent on the French side of the island. These costs include notary and transfer fees. 
  • On the Dutch side, the transaction cost, including notary fees and transfer fees, is approximately 5-6 percent. 
  • There is no capital gain tax on the dutch side except for a 33.5 percent capital gain tax during the property sale. 
  • Dutch Sint Maarten has no annual property taxes. 

To get more information or for assistance for investing in Saint Martin, please submit the form below and our specialist will get in touch with you at the earliest.  

Advertisement

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.