Working on the BES islands

Do you want work on the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius or Saba (BES islands) as a dentist, doctor, midwife or pharmacist? Then you will need an exemption. The BES exemption is issued for a maximum of 4 years.

Who needs a BES exemption?

On the BES islands, the professions of dentist and doctor are called ‘geneeskundige’ and ‘tandheelkundige’. You will also need a BES exemption if you want to work on the BES islands on an incidental or temporary basis.

Processing time and costs

No costs are involved in applying for a BES exemption. Verification will take place after you submit your application. The processing time for an application with a BIG registration or diploma that appears on the list of designated diplomas will take 8 weeks maximum.

If you do not have a BIG registration or foreign diploma, you may have to apply for a Declaration of Professional Competence BES (VVB). The processing time for a VVB is longer. The precise details of this procedure depend on your situation.

Apply for a BES exemption with a BIG registration

  1. Fill in the Application form exemption BES islands;
  2. Print the form and sign it;
  3. Scan the signed copy;
  4. Send the scanned form to

Apply for a BES exemption without a BIG registration

If you an international qualification but you do not have a BIG registration, you may need a 'Certificate of competence BES’. The processing time for this exemption may take longer.

Contact the client contact centre via In the email, state your name, the country from which you received your diploma, the exact name/title and date of your diploma and your telephone number.

Costs and processing time

The application for a BES exemption is free. The processing time is a maximum of 8 weeks when you have a BIG registration or when your diploma is listed on the List of approved diplomas.