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Expat guide to living in The Netherlands Antilles

Expat guide to living in The Netherlands Antilles

Living in The Netherlands Antilles

The Netherlands Antilles dissolved into six autonomous islands: Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Maarten and Sint Eustatius. If you’re looking into taking a trip down to these Caribbean hotspots, take a look at our handy guide.

The Netherlands Antilles

Expat Clubs

American Women's Club of Curacao
The primary goal of the organization is to provide regular monthly contact for Americans residing in Curaçao. We welcome all women who are either U.S. citizens, or whose husband or children are U.S. citizens. Canadian women are also invited to join our club. The Curaçao chapter of the American Women’s Club is also a proud member of FAWCO, the Federation of American Women Overseas.
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Website: www.awc-curacao.com

International Schools 

International School of Curacao
The International School of Curacao (ISC) educates students from diverse cultures to have the skills to think creatively, communicate effectively, reason critically, and act compassionately.
Address: Koninginnelaan z/n, Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles
Tel: +599 9 737 3633
FB: www.facebook.com/pages/International-School-of-Curacao/165841180104772
International School of Aruba
Offers an American-based curriculum preparing students for universities and colleges in the USA, Canada, the Netherlands, and elsewhere in Europe.
Curriculum: American
Address: Wayaca 238A, Oranjestad, Aruba
Tel: +297 583 5040
Website: www.isaruba.com

Local News in English

Curacao Chronicle
A local newspaper in English that serves investors, local English speaking residents, stays over tourism and generally al residents of Curacao.
Website: curacaochronicle.com
The Morning News Aruba
Delivers local news in English.
Website: themorningnewsaruba.com
Aruba Daily
Aruba Daily is the fastest growing English newspaper in Aruba.
Website: aruba-daily.com
Bonaire Reporter
Bonaire Dutch Caribbean news in English.
Website: bonairereporter.com

Country Information 

Location: South America
Capital City: Willemstad    
Currency: Netherlands Antillean gulden
Language: Dutch
Calling Code: Curracao, Bonaire +599; Aruba, +297
Internet TLD: .an
Electricity: The Netherlands Antilles runs on 127/120V 50Hz.
Emergency Numbers:
Medical: 112
Fire: 112
Police: 112
Country Information

Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Nationals from certain countries including all of North America, the EU, Australia, and most of Central America and South America may enter the country and stay for 30 to 90 days. Other countries not included must apply for a visa at a Dutch embassy or consulate in their home or host country.
For extended stays, a temporary residence permit and/or a work permit (if intending to seek employment) should be applied for at a Lieutenant Governor in the specific island the expat resides. This must be done in person. Proof of sufficient funds is necessary and the process takes about three months.


The islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao are the more populated ones in the Netherlands Antilles. Aruba’s accommodation options are mostly hotels, which are range from budget to stellar prices. Bonaire and Curacao have most rental listings. Houses are the most common type of rental accommodations in the islands.
Foreigners will find that rentals in the Netherlands Antilles, in these three islands, are expensive, with long-term rentals of houses will cost not less than $2,000+ per month.
Here are useful real estate sites:

Real Estate Curacao
Website: www.realestate-curacao.com/en
Renthouse Aruba
Website: www.renthousearuba.com

Driving License

Expats may use their domestic license or an international driving license in the Netherlands Antilles. However for extended stays, they must exchange their domestic license for an Antillan license.
This has to be done through the Local Chief of Police / Lieutenant Governor.
Documents Required, but not limited to:
  • Copy of domestic license
  • Request letter to the Lieutenant Governor / Chief of Police
  • Signed medical form
  • 2 passport pictures
  • Copy of temporary residency permit


Facilities and services in the Netherlands Antilles are good and adequate. The level of healthcare is classified by three classes, depending on insurance covers. First class assigns one patient per room; Second class two to six patients in a room; and Third class 15 to 30 patients in open dormitories. Comprehensive health insurance is advised.
Insurance Companies
United Insurance
This is one of the largest general insurers in the Caribbean, including the Netherlands Antilles.
Address (Curacao): Schottegatweg O. 60, Curacao
Tel: +5999 737-4005   
Fax: +5999 737-4006
Address (Aruba): V. Hugostraat 10 – 2, Aruba
Tel: +297 583-6014     
Fax: +297 583-8240
Website: www.united.an
St. Elisabeth's Hospital
Address: Breedestraat 193. Otrobanda, Curacao, Netherland Antilles
Tel: +599 462 4900
Centro Medico San Nicolas
Address: Bernardstraat 75, San Nicolas, Aruba
Tel: +297 848833

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