All travelers arriving at Princess Juliana International Airport (Dutch side) must have a passport, maybe a visa, and must fill in an immigration form before arrival. This form is usually handed out on the plane. Before arrival, you will need to know the exact address of where you’ll be staying on St. Martin. It is possible to travel with a pet. Pets over the age of three months are allowed, as long as you have a recent certificate of good health, issued by a vet, and proof of vaccination that is up to date (especially the rabies vaccine). Remember to check with the airline to find out about transport conditions and necessary formalities.
For French citizens traveling from Paris, you will most likely be arriving on the Dutch side of the island, at Princess Juliana international airport (code SXM). French citizens must therefore present a valid passport and a connecting flight or return ticket. Sint-Maarten is not considered as European territory. It is not part of the Schengen area, it is an independent state that is connected to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
For French citizens arriving at the Grand Case Esperance airport (code SFG), on the French side, a valid identity card is sufficient.
Citizens of the European Union must have a valid passport (no visa needed), and non-citizen residents must have a valid French residency permit when arriving at Grand Case airport.
American or Canadian citizens must present a valid passport and a connecting flight or return ticket. For naturalized citizens, you will need an original naturalization certificate with an identity photo. The maximum authorized stay on St. Martin for tourists is 3 months.
For people from most other countries, a visa is necessary when traveling to St. Martin. Before leaving, make an appointment with the embassy in your country of residence, to apply for a visa to come to the island of St. Martin. You will also need a valid passport and a connecting flight or return ticket. No official vaccinations are required.
There is no physical border between the French and Dutch sides of the island. The circulation of people and goods is completely free.
When traveling to or from the French West Indies, you must declare the goods you are carrying and pay any taxes if necessary (VAT, dock dues, and regional dock dues). However, you can carry a certain value and a certain quantity admitted duty-free for the products indicated below. You will not have to pay any dues or taxes on these goods as long as you respect the maximum quantities per person and the necessary formalities required on St. Martin territory:
- Value of goods purchased or received admitted duty-free: €1,000.
- Tobacco: 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 g of smoking tobacco.
- Alcoholic beverages: 4 liters of still wine (under 18%) or 16 liters of beer or 2 liters of alcohol over 22%.
The above limits cannot be combined within the same product category. These amounts may vary, make sure to contact the customs authority directly in your country.
For a civil service, the wedding must take place in the St. Martin town hall buildings (wedding hall) in Marigot. A letter should be addressed to the Chair of the Local Authority, with the date of the wedding and the names of the bride and groom: Collectivité de Saint-Martin – rue de la Mairie – Marigot – 97150 Saint-Martin – Telephone: +590 (0)590 87 50 04.
For a wedding between two French citizens, either the bride or the groom must have been a resident of St. Martin for at least one month before the wedding date. For a wedding between one French citizen and one citizen of another country, either the bride or the groom must have been a resident of St. Martin for at least one month before the wedding date. Finally, for a wedding between two foreign nationals, according to article 58 of the law of May 27, 2009, (exemption under article 74 of the French Civil Code) “a wedding between two foreign nationals who do not reside on national territory cannot take place, either the bride or the groom must be a resident.”
Prior to the wedding, the following formalities must be completed on St. Martin:
- The necessary wedding documents must be compiled (see below for the list of documents needed)
- These documents must be validated by the registrar
- The banns of marriage must be published for 10 days.
The wedding can then take place 10 days after the banns have been published.
You are then free to plan your wedding as you see fit. On St. Martin, anything is possible. Make your dreams come true here and get married on the beach, on a boat, in the tropical forest, or in a luxury house. You can organize your day and your honeymoon yourself or you can get help from a professional event planner, such as a wedding planner. Say “I do” for life!
- Photocopy of the bride and groom’s proof of identification.
- Full copy of an official birth certificate dated less than 3 months prior (for foreign national, less than 6 months and a French sworn translation)
- Photocopy of proof of residence (water, electricity, or telephone bill)
- Photocopy of the witness’ proof of identification (address and profession)
- Prenuptial agreement (if required)
- Certificate of national custom (only for foreign nationals) detailing the marriage laws in that country
- Certificate of celibacy, dated less than 3 months prior (only for foreign nationals)
- Full copy of the death certificate of a previous spouse (if widowed)
- Full copy of any previous wedding certificates with the mention of a divorce or divorce proceedings.
- Authorization to marry from a superior (military)
Don’t forget to check you have included all these documents before sending them.