The increase in number of travelers traveling to and from the Caribbean Netherlands increased significantly in 2022 compared to the previous year. This was reflected in the activities of the Marechaussee, among other things, in an increase in the number of persons denied entry to the Caribbean Netherlands, but also in the number of registered aliens who stayed too long within the Caribbean Netherlands.
The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (Koninklijke Marechaussee, KMar) is responsible for border control. The KMar checks, among other things, for what purpose travelers come to the islands and whether they have not stayed too long within the Caribbean Netherlands at departure. . When travelers, who are not residents on Saba, St. Eustatius or Bonaire visit one of these islands, the purpose and duration of the trip, among others, are examined upon entry. In doing so, the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee checks that a traveler does not intend to stay longer than legally permitted.
It is also checked whether people are coming to the Caribbean Netherlands with a lawful purpose, or whether there is a risk of them being forced into illegal employment or crime. With the increase in the number of arriving passengers, the number of persons denied entry to the Caribbean Netherlands also increased; where 68 persons were denied entry in 2021, this occurred a total of 115 times in 2022.
The KMar furthermore checks upon entry whether one has sufficient financial means to support oneself during a stay. If a person cannot plausibly demonstrate this, conditions may be attached to the admission, such as, for example, an obligation to report to the Immigration Department of the Dutch Caribbean Police Force (Korps Politie Caribisch Nederland, KPCN). In 2021, 121 persons were admitted under special conditions; in 2022, it was more than twice as many, with 256 people.
For departing passengers, the KMar checks that they have not overstayed and thus exceeded the free period. This free term, which determines how long someone may stay as a tourist within the Caribbean Netherlands, differs per nationality. For example, people with US or Dutch nationality are allowed to stay 180 days in a 365-day period. Depending on the nationality, a free period may also be 90 days for every 180 days or a visa requirement may apply. If the free period is violated, a fine may be issued. The amount of the fine depends on the number of days by which the free period is exceeded.
The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee stresses the importance of good preparation when traveling and encourages everyone to carefully research the conditions of entry of their destination. More information about traveling to the Caribbean Netherlands and the free period per nationality can be found at www.rijksdienstcn.com.