first question that you probably have is: Why
The Dominican Republic? After all, there are
many other beautiful Caribbean islands to consider as a
destination for retirement, doing business or even for a
second home in terms of residency and citizenship.
However, there are some important issues to consider that we
think set the Dominican Republic apart:
1. The Dominican Republic is located on the second largest island in the Caribbean. In terms of size and topography, it is about the physical size of the US state of South Carolina. The country offers a diverse topography including pristine Caribbean beaches, mountain regions (one in particular is known as the Alps of the Caribbean) and valleys or flat lands as well. With almost 11 Million people in population and a capital city approaching about 4 million, this is not your typical small sleepy Caribbean destination. A wide variety of modern services including hospitals, schools (some private schools are bi-lingual or English only), shopping and retail stores, a national theater offering ballet and opera, Internet, golf courses plus many other leisure activities as well.
2. The Dominican Republic has demonstrated continued positive GDP growth over the past 10 years and recent figures for 2015 indicate the economy is still growing at about 6 percent annually. While some smaller islands are dependent upon tourism only, the Dominican Republic has a more diversified economy with banking, construction and telecommunications as major segments aside from tourism as well. The Dominican Republic is self sufficient in food production for it's citizens and exports rice, chicken and other agricultural products also. In addition, cement production and other building materials such a PVC and metal piping are also fairly sizable industries. The Dominican Republic is reported to have the largest economy in the Caribbean and the ninth largest economy in Latin America.
3. The Dominican Republic offers a very attractive residency process for retirees and investors, one that permits such applicants to apply for naturalized citizenship 6 months from issuance of these special status residency cards (note that the ordinary residency process does require a 7 year wait before the applicant could apply for naturalized citizenship). So, if you compare this to say some of the economic citizenship programs being offered in other Caribbean islands, which can require a US$250,000 payment to those governments or a US$400,000 real estate purchase – the process in the Dominican Republic is VERY affordable and much, much less expensive.
4. Real Estate in the Dominican Republic is a bargain compared to many other Caribbean destinations. In fact, homes prices including higher end condominium apartments will cost HALF of what a similar property would cost in Panama, Antigua, Puerto Rico, BVI, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Trinidad & Tobago and Curacao. And annual real estate taxes are reasonable as well, with about the first US$100,000 exempt from taxation and then 1 percent of the value above and beyond that amount. But, do keep in mind that if you are looking at a property priced in the US$300,000 range and up, this is a high end property. One bedroom condo apartments (new construction) in Santo Domingo are priced about US$120,000 currently (as of August 2015) and a higher end 3 bedroom unit anywhere from US$160,000 up to perhaps US$225,000. A upper scale 3,000 square foot single family home with 4 bedrooms and swimming pool will run in the area of about US$350,000 to US$400,000.
With regards to our firm and groups of services in the Dominican Republic, we have been assisting clients going on 17 years to date and of course we maintain offices in Santo Domingo. Our firm assists clients with the residency application process, the naturalized citizenship process, company formation services and banking – investment assistance as well. In addition, we also provide legal services as it pertains to real estate matters (sales contract review and or preparation, title search and title transfer plus legal representation at closings).
Our business philosophy is to do to a few things extremely well, rather than trying to do a large number of things poorly. And for that reason, we only offer services where we are located (we do not offer any services or programs in other countries via third parties). Clients are welcome to visit us in person, and of course we have locally licensed attorneys on our staff who handle all legal services for clients. Personal attention and value added assistance is always our goal for clients. Knowing that entering and doing business in another country, in another language, can be daunting and as such it is our aim is to make the transition and experience as easy as possible.
Please feel free to use our reply form for more detailed information about the residency application process or any other services we provide. Also, you can follow us and read some of our other articles on Google+ (see below).