"Aruba liberalizes immigration policy
10 Nov, 2009, 07:10 (GMT -04:00) http://www.amigoe.com/artman/publish/artikel_64954.php
ORANJESTAD — Foreign employees will not be deported after three years. In this, the cabinet will put an end to the so-called Swiss model in which immigrants have to leave the island after three years. Dimas and Iasa have already been informed in writing not to deport any people for the time being.
The government first wants to change the legislation so that foreign workers could stay longer than three years if the labor market permits such. Minister of Integration, Benny Sevinger (AVP), states that Arubans of course are given preference regarding vacancies. However, if these are not available, foreign immigrants are allowed to stay as long as necessary. This could also imply that immigrants could apply for the Dutch nationality after their stay of five years. Sevinger stated before the World Broadcast that the cooperation agreement between Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles would finally be implemented. Antilleans will be accepted automatically once they have found a job and residence. The Minister also states that he wants to liberalize the policy for the admission of citizens from other parts of the Kingdom. They will receive a permit as soon as have found a house and job on Aruba. Moreover, Sevinger states that Kingdom members would be given preference to work on Aruba than for example Columbians and Venezuelans.
Former minister of Aliens Department, Booshi Wever (MEP), currently party-leader of MEP, has meanwhile responded furiously on the decision of the new government. He states it is dangerous for the community now that the government ‘has opened its borders without a plan’. Wever states that once it becomes known abroad that no one will be deported, Aruba could expect a substantial flow of people, including criminals or people with undesired diseases. He also fears that illegal foreigners already on the island and deliberately violating the law will profit from the new policy. According to Wever, this will put extra pressure on the infrastructure, education and AZV. “As party, we will certainly be questioning the government on this issue. One can simply not grant a general pardon, as offenders will make use of this opportunity as well.” Wever estimates the current number of illegal foreigners somewhere between the five and eight thousand.
However, Minister Sevinger emphasizes that illegal foreigners are still being deported. Only those foreign employees who are applying for a residence permit for the fourth time, or not qualifying for such and instituting legal proceedings against such, are allowed to stay for the time being. “It is unacceptable that a company would invest and train a foreign employee for three years, and that he/she would have to leave the island afterwards” according to the Minister. He also emphasized that Aruba needed employees now that statistics prove that fewer Aruban youngsters return to the island after their study abroad to find employment on the island. However, according to him that does not mean that the borders are simply opened. “I will consult with the Ministers of Tourism and Economical Affairs to come up with a policy. We will first consider the situation regarding the promises, which the former government had made for new shopping centers, apartment complexes and hotels, and then find out how many people are unemployed on Aruba. Only then can we determine whether additional foreign employees are necessary.”"
Arubalisa, thanks for this information. Do you have any information about foreigners that come and can provide for themselves, meaning, they have the income to support themselves while on the islands? I did read a post a while back, a gentleman from, I think it was Europe, complaining that he wasn't allowed to stay after 90 days.
What I posted is a direct translation from a Dutch newspaper which covers Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. From reading the various posts here on the forum, I am sure you are aware that Aruba has a new government in power. The new government is changing policies, some of which according to the article, are taking immigration into account. As you can imagine, this has been a long standing "issue" on the island.
For further information I would contact Aruba's version of Immigrations http://www.dimasaruba.com/ Departamento di Integracion, Maneho y Admision di Stranhero (DIMAS)
Also be aware of the following info Liz, as a U.S. citizen living on the island, mentioned previously, again keeping in mind that this is a situation in flux. Her statement of "DIMAS (residency) requirements seem to change every year", as evidenced by the above article, is the truth.
Thanks Arubalisa. I know you're doing everything to help people like me. Thanks to you, Andrea J & Lizzardo, what would we do without you! You guys are great! Again, thanks!
I guess my situation is different than most. I'm looking for the pensionado program. Belize, Costa Rica...have them, you can live in these countries as long as you have a monthly income of at least $2k USD monthly - I don't want to go to either of these countries.
I also wanted to know if I would be given the chance to stay for at least 6mos - 1 yr if I decided to move/stay there. Moving is hectic, LOL!
I came here, invested in property and am currently trying to get residency as a retired person. Shall I say it has been a challenge to say the least. If I can give you any advice - when you go to DIMAS take two copies of everything – make sure they stamp a copy for your recorded so you can prove that they received it. Also if DIMAS tells you something get it in writing. If they tell you they can not accept your paperwork – get them to put that in writing. Either accept it and stamp it or put in writing that you will not accept it. It will save you a lot of time and money later.
You need to apply for residency if you intend to live here over
6 months a year. There is an issue of the '90 day tourist
extension" but I am unsure if that is just if you are staying
in a hotel or not. The form is in english and you would have
to go to dimas after 2:30 and just submit the forms. It's simple
and not much is asked for in terms of documentation.
I am living here as a full time retiree. The first time - you do need a lot of
documentation and a UN notarization (apostile sp?) -
We went thru a lawyer the first time (but was not a great experience)
- so I have done it by myself all for all the renewals (now up to year 5)...
I know of a lot of people who file themselves.
It takes a little patience but you can find the forms (PM me if you
want to know the forms) and put it thru an internet translation
from dutch to english. You can make an appointment on line
There is a "income" amount you have to make every year but
that does change from year to year which is understandable.
But I find if you translate the checklist and application -
it's pretty straightforward on what you need to do.
"Foreign employees will not be deported after three years. In this, the cabinet will put an end to the so-called Swiss model in which immigrants have to leave the island after three years. Dimas and Iasa have already been informed in writing not to deport any people for the time being.”"
Sorry, but I just wanted to clarify? Does this mean foreign employees can stay there for an unlimited amount of time? What happens if a new government comes in (I don't know when that would be), but would they make the foreign immigrants that have been there for 3+ years leave?
What happens if a new government comes in (I don't know when that would be), but would they make the foreign immigrants that have been there for 3+ years leave?
Thanks in advance for the info
As far as I have ever been aware, new governments always have the option of changing the laws, rules and regulations just as they do in US and many, but not other places in the world.
The new Aruban government is changing things as they see fit and their voters voted them in to do. That is, following up on their campaign promises. IMO, no one could guarantee the immigration policy will stay in place for an unlimited period of time.
The previous policy was that you could work on the island with a working
permit but had to leave in 3 years. That was to try to not encourage
people to 'put down roots here' and also that they would not qualify
for perm. residency. What the new policy will be is unknown at this
point. Remember that the new gov't only came into office in the
Nov. timeframe and issues like this are complicated. Plus they,
like most other govts, have their hands full with other issues
like the economy, health care and other issues that need
Now they are looking at that policy as businesses have complained
that they get someone trained and then they have to leave and
they have to retrain someone anew.
Your working permit is still at the discretion of who you are working
for because they have to 'sponsor' you to the gov't. Just like
in other countries. The business also has to still provide the
gov't with how they looked for an Aruban to fill the vacancy
and couldn't find one.