Emigration – Dominican Republic
Besides Cuba, which is due to its different political perspective not jet an option, the Dominican Republic on the Hispaniola Island is the second largest country in the Caribbean Sea. Due to the considerable size of the island you will never really feel like you are isolated. There is plenty of diversity, culture and outdoor activities. High mountains, large plains, tropical forest, big cities, small romantic villages, rivers, lakes waterfalls, caves, and of course countless gorgeous beaches. We have lived here for many years. We also love to travel, and have not yet managed to see all the beauty this country has to offer. The climate is tropical but gentle and thus has a very positive and pleasant impact on your health and spirits.
You find all amenities, Shopping, Restaurants, Hospitals, Schools, Insurances, international banks, Theaters, Concerts, museums, and exhibitions, direct daily flights to Europe, North America, South America and the other Caribbean islands.
Dominicans are friendly and open towards us foreigners. You find little racism and get easily accepted amongst the locals, unlike on many other island paradises on this planet.
The island is still quite inexpensive compared to Europe and the US.
Almost every commodity from your home country is also available here. Whatever has not been imported yet can easily get transported here by ship or airfreight cargo.
The island maintains a more or less stable economy, monetary system and political leadership.
Check out the Dominican Rep. on The Economists World in Figures website
We count more than forty nationalities residing permanently on the Dominican Republic north coast.
Besides the sunny weather, and the friendly people we also appreciate the personal freedom you still have here. Unfortunately not everybody can handle this so please be aware of some people who take advantage of this. Driving for example is one of the things where too much of exercised freedom can quickly turn into serious issues for others. In certain areas some might wish the law should be a bit stricter and better executed. Overall your lifestyle here is not limited by too many laws and restrictions. In general people can live their lives here pretty much as they desire, without getting others interfering.
Due to its influx of foreigners from all over the world, you can hear all kinds of different languages.
With English you get by just fine in the major cities, such as Santiago or Santo Domingo. But when it comes to local daily life outside these big cities it is helpful to speak at least some Spanish. With Italian and French you can probably go a long way too.
In dealing with the local authorities it is absolutely imperative to speak Spanish, the official language, and French for the Haitian part of the island.
Bank employees are sometimes bilingual (Spanish and English), but not always. However, usually they have someone on site who speaks English good enough to assist you with your inquiries.
As for the night life, you most likely find a hang out spot owned by someone from your home country and hence you won’t have issues communicating.
From Europe you find a decent amount of relatively inexpensive charter flights, departing from most major airports. Most travel agencies in Europe offer a variety of tourist travel packages to the island. As for entering the Dominican Republic a lot of countries do not need a visa, such as the USA, and all of the EU member countries. However, to be on the save side, please check the visa requirements before coming here. All visitors are required to purchase a 10 USD tourist card at the port of entry. The tourist card provides a right of entry for 30 days to the country. If tourists desire to stay longer they may extend the visit by paying further fees at the time of departure, proportionate to the additional length of stay.
If you are a national of a country listed below, you need a Tourist Card, and a valid passport to enter the Dominican Republic. Passports must be valid for at least twice the length of your stay.
Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France (& overseas departments including Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique and reunion), Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands (including curacao & St Marteen), New Zealand, northern, Mariana is Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, St.Lucia, St.Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Turks & Caicos, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States (including Puerto Rico & the virgin islands), Vanuatu, Venezuela.
Nationals of the following countries do not need either a Tourist Card or a Tourist Visa to enter the country: Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Israel, Japan, Perú, South Korea and Uruguay.
Nationalities to which this applies:
South Africa, Europe, North America, (generally with a few exceptions those rules apply to all nationalities).
You will need to bring just the following items along:
A valid passport with an expiration date 2 years or more after the date of entry
A birth certificate, (can be translated here into Spanish)
A bank statement from your bank account in your home country showing you have at least 50’000 USD in cash available.
It takes about 1 to 2 month plus approximately 1200.- USD for legal and handling fees, and you will be a legal resident in the Dominican Republic.
Once you have found or constructed your perfect place to live, you might want to move your personal belongings to the island.
In the first year of residency you are entitled to bring your personal belongings into the country mostly tax-free.
Maritime transportation and the handling of a 22ft container could cost you roughly 2000 – 3000 USD, depending where you are shipping from.
Once arrived here, let us do the talking with the customs authorities, to get your personal belongings in as smooth and inexpensive as possible. Local port agents often share the same interest as the customs officers. Therefore it is not always wise to let them handle your shipment without any supervision from your side. Regarding your vehicle, which may be is very specific to you, we recommend to selling it in your home country and obtain an adequate equivalent here on the island. All brands are available here. Economic cars will cost about the same as anywhere else. Luxury models are about 30% higher than in the US or Europe.
But be assured we have managed to get anything in here without problems, such as exotic parrots or even a wolf.
While you are here take a look around and decide where you would like to live, town, village, countryside, hill or right on the beach.
Whatever your preference may be we will help you to find the perfect spot for you and assist you while you settle down and get accustomed to paradise.
You will probably find the domestic loans and mortgages with interest rates from 12 to 25% not very interesting, therefore you will find the best bargains and buys with a cash offer. Besides, local bank will not grant mortgages to foreigners. Even if you are lucky enough to get it done somehow it will take a very long time and excruciating efforts.
There are almost zero distressed properties as almost everything is paid off in cash. If you shop around a bit you might be able to find some amazingly inexpensive properties. Hence be sure to check our latest “Specials” for some low priced deals.
If you don’t find what you are looking for, you can always decide to build your own home from scratch. Once you have found the right location, and you purchased the land, we suggest meeting with our architects in order to design your house. During the construction period we can provide accommodation close to the construction site. This way you can follow the progress step by step and assure yourself that everything is going as planned.
Construction can take somewhere between three to twelve months depending on the location and the type of property.
Construction costs are approx. from 500 and 800 USD per m2, or 50 to 80 USD per sf of living area.
Land prices: There are more than twenty residential communities on the 15 km coastal strip between Sosua and Cabarete. Lot prices vary from about 10 USD to 200 USD per m2, depending on the proximity to the beach and town.
To give you an idea, you can have your own house on a 2000 m2 piece of land with nice ocean view, less than five minutes from the beach or town by car, 120 m2 of living area, with 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, kitchen, living area, parking, swimming pool and landscaping, ready to move in, starting from 100’000 USD.
We recommend all your purchases here on the island to be done by a certified and lawyer. He/she will guide you through the process and will assure that property purchases and constructions are 100% compliance with the law. Legal fees are about 1% of the total transaction sum.
A typical purchase consists of a promise of sales, which will be conducted, once you have found the right place or object.
These agreements points out the condition of a later sale between a seller and a buyer in all the details. Approximately a 10% of the transaction sum will have to be deposited on the transaction lawyer’s account (similar to an escrow account). Then the property will be reserved, the lawyer does a title search in order to check that all taxes were paid and that there are no liens on the property, before the title can be transferred. This might take between two weeks to two months depending on the complexity of the object that changes its owner.
A lot of houses and properties are shareholder companies, which makes it easy and cost-efficient to transfer the shares into a new ownership. Once all the paper work is 100% cleared an in order, then the rest of the payment is due and the tiles or the shareholder company changes hands into a new ownership. This way you can be sure the funds are transferred to the seller only once you have received 100% of what you paid for.
Maybe you have heard that there are no property taxes here. Well, that is a myth. Like in most countries, taxes do exist. If anybody pays their taxes is a different question. Local authorities are lacking the recourses to enforce on-time tax payments. To compensate for missing out on property taxes they have introduced a VAT or ITBIS.
Without getting into further details, you actually pay very little in property taxes on the island. On the other hand, as the country is lacking secured tax revenues, the infrastructure or legal system may not be up to the same stand as you are used to from your native country. Most basic needs such as electricity, water, security, TV and so on, are managed and provided within the residential community in which you decide to live in.
You will find many international insurance companies on the island which insure anything as in your home country.
Once you checked the coverage details and deductibles, you might be surprised by the very low premiums.
You can insure the purchase of the land title, the house you are living in, your liability insurance for your car, your health and life insurance, your cell phone and your business, just like in the US, or Europe.
The Island is so inviting and full of nice adventures, waiting for you, that you most likely want to retire here. Not all of us can afford this, or are ready to retire just yet. An excellent communication system provides you the latest technology and an amazingly good internet infrastructure. If you have an online business and you are not specifically bound to the countries your customers are located in, than this may be the place for you.
If you are not into this computer stuff, but have a profession in which you are good in, there will be most likely a need for it, somewhere on this island. Maybe you find yourself in a complete new challenge engaged in the most important industry this country has to offer, the tourist industry.
Renting rooms or vehicles, running a bar, a restaurant, a massage center, wellness center or a zoological or botanical garden, providing adventure trips, amusement park, dive center, windsurf school, a golf course, or a dolphinarium, just to name a few.
Business opportunities here are virtually endless and depend entirely on your eagerness to succeed.