Source: The Daily Herald
PHILIPSBURG — A total of 3,908 persons have been de-registered from St. Maarten’s Civil Registry as part of the clean-up process of the registry.
Members of Parliament (MPs) received the information from Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, who was responding to a question during the public meeting of Parliament on the 2023 budget last week.
Jacobs said the project to clean up the Civil Registry began in September 2022 and entails the clean-up of the basic administration system. This includes ensuring that persons registered in St. Maarten as living in the country are actually residing in St. Maarten and are actually among the living and have not died abroad.
As a result of actions undertaken by the Department, a total of 10,220 letters were mailed to citizens as to their “whereabouts,” of which approximately 150 were presumably deceased persons who were still registered as being alive in the registry, while they had passed away abroad.
“The result of this was the requested two death certificates of presumably deceased persons from Curaçao were received. Thirteen of the 21 [death certificates – Ed.] requested from French St. Martin were received. No assistance has yet been received from the Dominican Republic Embassy in obtaining some 29 (presumed) death certificates,” Jacobs explained.
She urged family members of persons who are aware that their family member, who is registered in St. Maarten’s basic administration and have passed away abroad to take in the original death certificate with the necessary apostille to the Department of Civil Registry. “Based on our clean-up thus far 3,908 persons have been de-registered from our registry,” Jacobs explained.
She said also that a query was made for an overview of expired residence permits starting from 2003 to 2016. “They are not halfway with that as yet. And for that period, (2003-2016) some 3,741 persons registered had [residence] permits that were expired. For these reasons the Civil Registry is contacting these citizens to know if they are still living on St. Maarten or have left the country. The Civil Registry wants to encourage the citizens, whenever they have changed to a new address that it is mandatory to come into the office and update their profile. The clean-up project is a very tedious process; however, the Civil Registry is seeing great progress,” explained Jacobs.
“We want to be able to determine the correct number of citizens living on the island and I look forward to those persons bringing in their updated addresses as well as if they have deceased family members, notifying Civil Registry so that we can have an accurate count when the time comes, which also helps with our planning and preparation in terms of taking care of who is actually on the island,” she noted.