This treaty, signed in 1954 between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United States gives American citizens in St. Maarten the same rights as European Dutch citizens. They are allowed to be in St. Maarten – for any reason – as long as they are able to support themselves, have a roof over their head, medical insurance and a clean police record.
In spite of that the attorney for the Ministry of Justice, Amador Muller, stuck to the old argument that the treaty’s objective is to simplify trade between the Kingdom and the United States. Americans are allowed to be in St. Maarten to trade or to run a company in which they have invested significant capital. Because of this persons requests have been denied.
Muller furthermore stated, based on the treaty, that Americans are not entitled to a treatment that is more favorable than that for European Dutch citizens.
In its verdict, the court confirmed the findings from earlier rulings. “The court has already in several consistent rulings established that the articles of the Friendship Treaty and the Protocol can only be explained so that for American citizens the same rules apply as for European Dutch citizens.”
The court furthermore confirmed that American citizens must be admitted if they want to reside in St. Maarten “for other purposes” (other than investing or working in key functions) and that the rules that apply to European Dutch citizens also apply to Americans.