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All Dutch nationals have the right of abode in the European Netherlands, however only those with a connection to the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom have the right of abode in the Caribbean Netherlands. So is it possible for Dutch nationals of European origin to somehow "internally" naturalise as citizens of say, Curacao?

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Summary: The islands have slightly different rules, but they all require a residence and working permit if you want to live and work there. The permits have some requirements (such as having an employer), you can apply for admission by right, which can last as long as you meet the requirements.


European Dutch can at most stay 90 days:

Foreign nationals who intend to stay in the Caribbean Netherlands, Aruba, Sint Maarten and Curaçao for a period longer than 90 days in total or 30 days per island need to apply for a residence permit.

For Aruba, Sint Maarten and Curaçao:

  • The applicant applies for a residence permit directly with the island authorities
  • One of the requirements is that the applicant needs to submit proof of his/her financial means to cover the intended stay.
  • The future employer needs to initiate the application for the work permit.

And for Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba (BES-Islands):

  • The applicant applies for a residence permit directly with the respective island authorities.
  • The future employer will need to initiate the application for a work permit through the respective island authorities (if applicable).
  • You must apply for a "Verklaring van Rechtswege".

Depending on the island you can apply for a admission by right:

  • Aruba:

    After five years of residence in Aruba on the basis of a temporary residence permit, Dutch citizens are eligible for admission by right (toelating van rechtswege). ... Admission by right is granted for an indefinite period of time as long as certain requirements are fulfilled.

  • Bonnaire, Saba, and St. Eustasius:

    An application for admission by right is granted to Dutch citizens under the following conditions:Certificate of good conduct; Housing; and Sufficient means of support.

  • Curacao, St. Maarten:

    Dutch nationals applying for admission by right are granted admission ... for an indefinite period of time as long as they fulfill certain requirements. Depending on the purpose of the residence, admission by right may be granted for a certain period.


For more information:

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