Onward or return ticket needed?

Sep 1st, 2010, 07:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 2
Onward or return ticket needed?


I'm wondering if anyone can help, I have a Dutch passport and will be flying to Princess Juliana Airport this November 2010. I've read that I need a return or onward ticket.

I will be going straight to Grand Case on the French side and I'm not sure what my plans are from there. I am going to do some diving, maybe stay for a month or 2.

I understand that if I wish to stay for more than 30 days, I will need to report to the local police to obtain a long-stay permit.

But do I really need an onward ticket?

Thanks for reading
micdevil is offline  
Sep 1st, 2010, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,590
In 20 years of travel to the Caribbean (with multiple trips to St. Martin) I have never once been asked to show an onward ticket even though almost every island I visited had some sort of regulation about onward tickets "on their books".

I'm no expert but I think that since you are traveling with a Dutch Passport and landing on at an airport on the Dutch side of the island you have every legal right to be and stay there indefinitely. FYI - there are no "border crossing control" points between the Dutch and French sides of the island - anyone can travel freely between sides.
RoamsAround is online now  
Sep 1st, 2010, 07:32 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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Thanks for your reply! You've been a great help!
micdevil is offline  
Sep 1st, 2010, 12:59 PM
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Posts: 3,712
Have you already picked a place to stay? Because 1 time flying into St. Martin, we were going straight to Anguilla on the ferries. Long story short, we were delayed enough to miss the last ferry. Of course, not planning to stay in SXM, we hadn't reserved any places to stay. They weren't going to let us in until we picked one, with no list or no idea, so we just picked one by the airport I knew about. If not, they would not let us in.

Also on the Immigration form, it does ask how long you plan to stay. So you have to decide before immigrations. Most immigration cards also have a small perferated portion that must be returned when you leave--they might write when your trip expires on that.

So no, they've never asked to see return tickets, but with those questions on Immigration forms they don't have too--unless you don't fill them properly. (and don't lie, you'll be arrested.)

So while they don't ask to see them, you still have to have them. Another thing too-since the island is split with no passport check, even being Dutch you have to have everything proper, they don't want people coming in, going to French side without documents in the first place.

You can't go to any Caribbean island indefinitely--it's illegal. For longer stays than 30-60 days you have to go pay at Immigration to extend it, and you have to know where you're staying before they let you in.

RoamsAround, they probably never asked you because you stated how many days you're staying on your immigration card, and where you are staying. (or came by sailboat!)
blamona is offline  
Sep 1st, 2010, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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PS St. Martin is not a great diving destination, it's more about food, atmosphere and fun.

You might want to consider other islands, such as Bonaire for diving.
blamona is offline  
Sep 1st, 2010, 01:35 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,590
blamona - usually your advice is spot on but I think you are mistaken about when you say "You can't go to any Caribbean island indefinitely--it's illegal". That may be true for citizens of the US but St. Martin/Sint Maarten are both part of the EU and under the Schengen Agreement citizens of EU countries are free to travel and work within those countries for as long as they want.

In this case micdevel says he's traveling under a Dutch passport. That gives him the right to travel/stay in any Schengen country or territory for as long as he/she wants.
RoamsAround is online now  
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