Immigration policies have not changed.
PHILIPSBURG: — Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman made clear on Wednesday during the Council of Ministers press briefing that St. Maarten will not be an open supulcha (free for all), this message was directed to the SHTA and SMMTA. Minister Boasman said that the articles that appeared in the news is misleading and the most of it is not accurate.
The Minister of Justice was referring to the immigration policies that are now on paper for everyone to follow. Boasman said the immigration rules have not changed, these are the same rules that were in place since the Netherlands Antilles and the only difference now is that it is on paper with some added details.
Boasman said that the idea that is given that the new policy will affect the upcoming Heineken Regatta. The Minister said that the immigration department contacted the organizers and asked them for the list containing the names of boats and its crew members that will be visiting the island. He said the organizer provided the list with the names of the boats but not the crew members, they were also asked to give a guarantee letter for the persons who do not possess a visa to enter St. Maarten.
The Minister of Justice said that persons that are visiting and has the necessary visas will not be affected in any way and in order for the immigration department to issue a waiver for persons attending or participating in the regatta then a guarantee letter is needed.
As for the 90 days period that is mentioned the Minister said that the policy goes into effect as per this month and will last until the end of the season, which is the end of June. He said that during the slow season discussions will be held to see how the immigration will handle the boats and it’s crew members that will be staying longer than 90 days.
The Minister of Justice made clear that border control has a job to do which is to protect the country and ensure they know exactly who is on the island. “St. Maarten and its people cannot take things for granted, and think that what is happening in other countries cannot happen here we have to get real and wake up.” The Minister further explained that the topic on who enter St. Maarten by sea has been a discussion for a long time. He further stated that meetings were held with stakeholders and they also agreed that the rules will be documented. He said they agreed that the rules will not be changed.
The Minister said that the Ministers in office will not do anything that will affect the economy on St. Maarten.
Source: St. Martin News Network
St. Maarten will not be an open “supulcha” — Minister of Justice.