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laceyann87 Nov 2nd, 2010 06:31 PM

st maarten
my boyfriend and i are moving to st maarten in may. he is going to go to medical school there, whereas he has had cousins do this in the past. they informed him since i wont be attending school i can only get a visa to live there but not a work visa. i have to have a job there to help with the costs of living. any ideas? a resort or bar would be great, i have experience as a bartender and server, but i cant find openings online. please let me know!!!!

RoamsAround Nov 3rd, 2010 06:59 AM

Sorry, unless you are a citizen of an EU country you cannot legally work in St. Martin. If you are caught working you will be deported, it's a simple as that! As a non-documented worker I doubt you'd find any one willing to risk taking the chance on hiring you as employers can be assessed big fines for hiring illegals.

FYI - I've read on other forums unemployment on St. Martin is currently very high with many locals out of work so even if you could work legally it would be very difficult to find a job.

Sorry, if this is not what you want to hear but it's a fact of life no only in St. Martin but on most other Caribbean islands.

RoamsAround Nov 3rd, 2010 07:11 AM

Let me clarify one point. As a foreign national you can apply for a work permit if you were able to find an employer willing to sponsor you. Generally speaking to this you must posses a unique skill (sorry bartending and serving won't qualify as a unique skill) and your potential employer must prove that there are no qualified locals available to fill the position. The process is a bit complex can take anywhere 3 to 6 months during which time you may not reside on the island. There are never any guarantees the permit will be granted. If it is the permit is good only for that job and usually must be renewed annually, again with no guarantee it will be renewed.

Lastly, assuming you had some unique "in demand skill" you'll discover most potential employer will not hire someone unless they are actually "on island" so finding something online is a long shot at best.

i'm afraid you are pretty much "out of luck" as far as finding temporary employment is concerned.

blamona Nov 3rd, 2010 07:45 AM

To add to the above, work permits which need to be renewed annually actually also cost money, depending on the trade can average between $2000-$7000 annually, just for the right to work! Sometimes the cost is covered by whoever hires you, but usually they hire you and send you to St. Martin, (or other Caribbean island) not the other way around.

Your best bet is to work like crazy in the States, save all of your money, and go visit him for a month here and there.

DavidSXM Nov 3rd, 2010 09:03 AM

The above responses are definitely correct in relation to the DUTCH side of the island, but I don't know whether things would be easier for you on the French side.

Maybe you should make enquiries about any possibilities there. Though I live there myself, I don't know the answer, but perhaps I can find out. If I can, I will let you know.

Anyway, it would be difficult for you to get a bar / waitressing job in May - particularly if you are not here to present yourself in person - as the 'season' which ends in June will be almost over, and bars / restaurants / hotels will be unlikely to be hiring new staff at that time.

RoamsAround Nov 3rd, 2010 10:10 AM

Unless the laws have recently changed there are similar work restrictions on the French side. As I understand it, it's a Department of France and follows the same immigration/work rules as France.

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