Expat Guide to Caribbean Netherlands

Image for Expat Guide to Caribbean Netherlands

Welcome to our comprehensive guide for expats considering a move to Caribbean Netherlands, a unique part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands located in the Caribbean. With its tropical climate, stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and diverse community, Caribbean Netherlands is an exciting destination for those seeking adventure and a new beginning. In this article, we'll cover the essential steps and information you need to know to make your transition to life in Caribbean Netherlands as smooth as possible.

Visas and Residency

Before you pack your bags and book your flight, it's important to understand the visa requirements for living in Caribbean Netherlands. As a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Dutch citizens and those with European Union (EU) passports do not require visas to enter or live in the country. For non-EU citizens, there are several types of visas available, including the Mobility for Highly Skilled Workers permit, the Temp Work permit, and the Schengen Visitor Visa. Be sure to research which visa is right for you and follow the application process to ensure a successful move.

Finding Housing

Finding the perfect place to call home is an essential part of the relocation process. In Caribbean Netherlands, you'll find a mix of modern apartments, traditional houses, and villas. Popular areas for expats include Kralendijk on Bonaire, Oranjestad on Aruba, and Philipsburg on Sint Maarten. Depending on your personal preferences and budget, you may choose to live in a bustling city center or a more peaceful suburban area. Be sure to consider factors such as proximity to work or school, safety, and access to amenities when making your decision.

Establishing a Career

Caribbean Netherlands offers numerous opportunities for expats seeking employment. The country is home to a diverse economy, with key industries including tourism, agriculture, and offshore business services. To find job openings, you can search online job boards, contact local recruitment agencies, or directly apply to companies in your industry. Keep in mind that many employers in Caribbean Netherlands prefer candidates who speak Dutch, so brushing up on your language skills could give you a competitive edge.

Cultural Considerations

Living in a new country means adapting to new customs and traditions. In Caribbean Netherlands, you'll find a unique blend of Dutch, Caribbean, and African influences. Some common customs include greeting others with a handshake and a warm smile, maintaining a relaxed attitude, and respecting community and family values. You'll also find that the local cuisine is a delicious fusion of European and Caribbean flavors, with staples like funchi, kibbida, and stoofvlees being local favorites.

Making Connections

Making friends and building a network in a new place can be challenging, but there are several ways to connect with others in Caribbean Netherlands. Joining expat groups, attending community events, and volunteering are great ways to meet new people and get involved in your new community. Additionally, consider using social media platforms like Meetup and Facebook to find local groups and events related to your interests.

Travel and Transportation

As a smaller country, getting around Caribbean Netherlands is relatively easy. Taxis and rental cars are popular options for getting from one place to another, while buses and ferries are available for longer trips between islands. If you're planning to travel further afield, consider purchasing a Schengen visa, which allows you to travel throughout the EU and the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

Health and Well-being

Your health and well-being are important considerations when relocating to a new country. In Caribbean Netherlands, you'll find a range of healthcare services, from clinics and hospitals to pharmacies and dental offices. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for Dutch health insurance or international insurance. Be sure to research your options and choose the best plan to meet your needs.


Relocating to Caribbean Netherlands can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it's important to be prepared for the journey ahead. By understanding the steps and considerations outlined in this article, you'll be well on your way to building a new life in this vibrant, diverse, and beautiful corner of the world. From all of us here at Expat Coffee, we wish you the best of luck on your expat adventure!