Saint Martin

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Risk level(s)

Risk level(s)

Saint Martin - AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL

Avoid non-essential travel to Saint Martin, due to the damage caused by Hurricanes Maria and Irma. See Natural disasters and climate for more information.

Travel Health Notice - Zika virus

The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Saint Martin. See Health for more information.

Safety and security

Safety and security

Crime

Petty crime occurs. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Avoid unpopulated areas and unpatrolled beaches after dark. Check with local authorities to determine which beaches are safe.

Road safety

Take particular care when renting vehicles, especially when arranging for insurance and liability. Obtain detailed written information regarding your personal responsibilities before finalizing any rental arrangements.

Public transportation

Taxis are plentiful and are a convenient way to get around during short stays.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Learn more about foreign domestic airlines.

Princess Juliana International Airport serves both sides of the island and is located in Sint Maarten (Dutch side).

Entry/exit requirements

Entry/exit requirements

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the French authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond the date you expect to leave from Saint Martin.

Official Canadian Passport

Different entry rules may apply.

Learn more about official travel.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.

Find foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.

Learn more about Canadian passports.

Visas

Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Long-stay or residency visa: Required for stays more than 90 days
Professional visa: Required
Student visa: Required

A departure tax is charged for all international departures from Princess Juliana International Airport (Sint Maarten) and by sea. There are no departure taxes from L'Espérance Airport.

Other entry requirements

Customs officials may ask you to show them a return ticket or a connecting flight.

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Health

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.

Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
  • There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.

About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in the Caribbean, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Caribbean. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher for children, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in the Caribbean, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, malariaWest Nile virus and Zika virus.

 

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

There is currently an outbreak of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a viral disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly around sunrise and sunset. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Dengue fever
  • Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.  
  • The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection

Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.

Travel recommendations:

All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.

Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly).   Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.

Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:

  • Should avoid travel to this country
  • If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
  • Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
  • Use condoms or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
  • Female travellers:  wait at least 2 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
  • Male travellers: wait 6 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive.  Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.

See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
 


Malaria

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in the Caribbean, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.


Medical services and facilities

Good-quality medical services are available. Two hospitals are found on the island, one in Saint Martin and one in Sint Maarten. Not all doctors speak or understand English. Payment in advance is often expected.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

Laws and culture

Laws & culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Canada and France are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (Counsil of Europe). This enables a Canadian imprisoned in France to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and French authorities.

Driving

You may use a Canadian driver’s license to drive in Saint Martin and Sint Maarten.

Investments

If you are interested in purchasing property or making other investments in Saint Martin, seek legal advice from appropriate professionals in Canada and in the Caribbean before making commitments. Disputes arising from such activities could be prolonged and costly to resolve.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in France.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of France, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

Learn more about travelling as a dual citizen.

Money

The currency in Saint Martin is the euro (EUR).

Natural disasters and climate

Natural disasters & climate

Hurricane season

The hurricane season extends from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.

If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:

  • know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities

Learn more about hurricanes and hurricane preparedness and how we can help in case of a large-scale emergency abroad.

Active storm tracking and hurricane watches and warnings – United States’ National Hurricane Center 

Hurricanes Maria and Irma

Hurricane Maria passed through Saint Martin as a major hurricane on September 19, 2017. Hurricane Irma swept Saint Martin as a major hurricane on September 6, 2017, causing significant damage to buildings and infrastructures on the island. Emergency and medical care, and water and food delivery have also been severely affected. Transportation routes, power and telecommunications systems have been restored in most regions. None of the resort facilities on the island are operational. Expect limited tourist services. Contact your travel agent to determine whether the situation will disrupt travel plans. Avoid travel to the affected regions.

Assistance

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 112 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

There is no resident Canadian government office in Saint Martin. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the Embassy of Canada in Paris.

Paris - Embassy of Canada
Street Address35 Montaigne Avenue, 75008 Paris, FranceTelephone33 (0)1 44 43 29 00 / Consular services: 33 (0)1 44 43 29 02Fax33 (0)1 44 43 29 86Emailparis-consulaire@international.gc.caInternetwww.france.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookEmbassy of Canada to FranceTwitter@CanEmbFrance

For emergency assistance after hours, call the Embassy of Canada in Paris, France, and follow the instructions. You may also make a collect call to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 613-996-8885.


The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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