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Moving to Suriname & settling in guide for expats

Moving to Suriname & settling in guide for expats

Living in Suriname

Suriname owes its multi-ethnic, diverse and colorful heritage to the past acquaintances (and colonization, namely the Dutch). Part of the Amazon, this tropical gem in South America is proudly promoting eco-tourism that not only brings in peoples from the world over but also bring awareness to the current situation of the forests in this part of the continent. Expats will definitely huddle in the capital Paramaribo, but will eventually be drawn to the sights and sounds of the Surinamese forests. Before you pack your hiking gear, here’s a bit of info for your trip.


Expat Clubs

There are no expat meet up clubs as such in Suriname and most expats communicate online through websites such as ExpatWoman.com.

International Schools 

Suriname International School
Suriname International School is a private, non-profit organization that was founded in May of 2010 by a group of dedicated parents. The goal was to offer a quality school in Paramaribo that provided both Surinamese and International families with a true multicultural educational experience in English. Their students come from many different countries with several different native languages spoken.
Curriculum: American
Address: Flora, Paramaribo, Suriname
Tel: +597 810 5557, +597 432 000
Email: info@suriname-internationalschool.com, director@suriname-internationalschool.com
Website: suriname-internationalschool.com
International Academy of Suriname
The International Academy of Suriname (IAS) is a non-profit, private day school supported by tuition and fees. The program is co-educational, non-residential, non-denominational, and extends from pre-kindergarten (age 3) through grade 12. IAS serves the country of Suriname and its international community by offering an accredited North American education. The school is staffed by a caring community of professional educators. Reflecting the diversity of Suriname, the school is open to students of every race, nationality, and religion.
Curriculum: American
Address: Lawtonlaan 20 Paramaribo, Suriname
Tel: +597 499 461
Website: www.iasuriname.org
AlphaMax Academy
The Academy, which is registered in the Republic of Suriname and recognized by the Suriname Ministry of Education, was started in 1998 by a group of academics in Suriname who saw the urgent need for an institution of learning to make a positive difference in the education of children within the wider context of eroded scholastic standards.  From the inception, there has been a strong emphasis on academic excellence – and the directors of the fledgling school chose to enshrine this idea not only in the school’s motto, but also in the method of teaching – small classes where students are guaranteed individual attention in a highly interactive academic environment to ensure quality, good student retention, and an insistence on good performance on internationally-accepted, external, American examinations.
Curriculum: American
Address: 4 Scabiosastraat, Zorg-en-Hoop, Paramaribo, Suriname
Tel: +597 400588, +597 401356
Fax: +597  401356
Email: info@alphamaxacademy.com
Website: www.alphamaxacademy.com

Local News in English

This is an English language site that covers local news and events.
Website: www.devsur.com
Caribbean News Now! – Suriname
This is a dedicated webpage for Suriname. Caribbean News Now delivers news from all over the region, including sports, business, and culture.
Website: www.caribbeannewsnow.com/suriname.php

Country Information 

Location: South America
Capital City: Paramaribo
Currency: Suriname Dollar
Language: Dutch
Calling Code: +597
Internet TLD: .sr
Electricity: Suriname runs on 127V 60Hz.

Emergency Numbers:   
Ambulance: 113
Fire: 112
Police: +597 47 11 11

Country Information  

Embassy Information

Looking for your local embassy in Suriname? We found this website really helpful and hope you do too...

Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Nationals from certain countries may enter and stay in Suriname visa free for up to 90 days. The Surinamese embassy in Washington DC website has a list of countries that are exempted from visa restrictions:

Other nationals are required to obtain a visa through a Surinamese embassy or consulate in their home or host country. The types of visas are tourist visas and business visas.

Tourist visas are multiple entry permits which last from 2 months to 12 months. A 3 year tourist visa is only applicable to foreigners of Surinamese origin.

Business visas are also multiple entry permits which can last from 2 months to 24 months. Diplomatic and Official passport holders fall under this category.

Documents required:
  • Valid Passport must be submitted
  • Passport must be signed and valid for 6 months from the date of intended travel
  • Copy of itinerary and/or round trip ticket
  • One completed Application form
  • Business Letter for business visa
  • One (1) recent passport photo


The capital Paramaribo is the best place for expats to live in Suriname. It’s multi-ethnic, embracing different cultures for example the many different churches, temples, mosques and synagogues in the city. It’s move towards eco-tourism has received a number of visits from foreigners; expats will find that the demographic is diverse. The colonial heritage of Parimbo is also very distinct and pronounced especially with the architecture.

Apartment rentals in Paramaribo ranges from $330 to $370 per month for a single bedroom apartment; for larger accommodations it would normally cost between $692 to $730 per month, depending on how close the area is to the city center. Paramaribo is also perfect for expats with children, as international schools are situated here. 

Driving License

An international driving license is valid to drive legally in Suriname. Alternatively, if the expat has a domestic/foreign license, they may obtain a Suriname license, which is valid for 1 year and renewable. This validity will not exceed the one on the domestic/foreign license. Application should be coursed through the Bureau Nieuwe Haven in Paramaribo.

Documents Required:
  • a valid foreign (national) driver's license and a official translation thereof (ex.Dutch)
  • a passport, with proof of legal stay in Suriname (visa or residence permit)
  • a confirmation of a bank payment of a fee to the amount of SRD 150.-- (ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY SRD) to be paid at the "Centrale Betaaldienst" at Kerkplein 1 (building of main Post Office) or at the "Sub-Betaaldienst" at the Mr.J.Lachmonstraat 167 (building of the Ministry of Public Works).
The category/categories of vehicle(s) you are allowed to drive will be mentioned in the permit.

For more information please visit: www.consulaatsuriname.nl


The medical care in Suriname is limited to major areas and are also below Western standards. Emergency services are available, but also limited. Most hospitals are not air conditioned, but private rooms usually are, at and added expense. Outside the capital, there are few to no medical facilities. Precautionary vaccination is recommended, most especially Yellow Fever and Rabies. Expts are advised to obtain health insurance that can cover or reimburse the cost of treatments including repatriation.

Insurance Companies
Globalsurance offers expats international medical insurance coverage in a number of countries including Suriname.
Website: globalsurance.org/resources/suriname
Academic Hospital Paramaribo
The Academic Hospital Paramaribo offers a range of services that include Anesthesiology, Cardiology, Surgery, Intensive Care, Dialysis, Rehabilitation and emergency services among others.
Address: Flu street, Paramaribo
Tel: 442222
Fax: 440022
Emergency: 113
Website: www.azp.sr
Diakonessenhuis Hospital
Address: Zinniastraat 64, P.O.B. 1814, Paramaribo, Suriname
Tel: +597 499 644
Fax: +597 499 224
S'Lands Hospital
Address: Gravenstraat 64, Paramaribo, Suriname
Tel: +597 471 403
Fax: +597 470 691

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