Why Retire In The Dominican Republic And Why Seek Residency

Immigration InterviewsA growing concern of Americans, Canadians and Europeans that are of retirement age is where to retire.  With the current financial crisis affecting many countries, retirees are looking for alternative destinations in order to make sure they can live comfortably on their pension income, social security or savings.  Adding fuel to the fire, many of these same people are finally waking up to the reality that their home governments are on a furious path to restrict their freedoms and hike their taxes in order to try to deal with out of control deficits and unfulfillable social benefit promises.

There are plenty of countries offering a fulfilling retirement lifestyle without the high costs at home.  Some of these popular expat havens are approaching maturity with corresponding higher costs of living, like Costa Rica.  Others are in the early stages of development with corresponding lower costs of living.  On the lowest end of the spectrum are Ecuador, Nicaragua, Columbia and perhaps Uruguay.   The Dominican Republic is sort of in the middle, with plenty of bargains still available.


Barry:  From a legal and government perspective, are there incentives and benefits to foreign nationals that choose to retire to or live in the Dominican Republic….


Attorney:  Absolutely.  The Dominican government wants to attract expats to live in the DR and they have created various incentives to make the move more palatable.

Barry:  Can you give me any specific examples of government incentives for retires coming to the DR.

Attorney: Sure. The Dominican Republic offers many incentives to those who wish to retire in the country, including these:

  • Permanent residency in 45 days

  • Qualify for citizenship within six months of being issued a residency card

  • 50% tax exemption on properties

  • Exemption of taxes on income earned from pension

  • Exemption from taxes levied of the payment of dividends and interest earned

  • Exemption of taxes of home furnishings and personal property

  • Partial exemption of vehicles taxes (transfer taxes on the purchase of vehicles)

  • Exemption of 50% of the capital gains tax, as long as the annuitant is the main shareholder of the company and that company is not engaged in commercial or industrial activities

Barry:  Are there any other incentives for expats to invest in real estate in the DR?

Attorney: In addition to the ability for many real estate investors to qualify for the fast track immigration program, there are some obvious incentives.  For those looking to build a home to retire in, the cost of land in the Dominican Republic is very reasonable.  For example, in a town like Cabrera, you can purchase property with a million dollar view at a very affordable price.  The cost of new home construction is also very low in small towns like Cabrera.  I would guess anywhere from 50% to 75% savings are possible compared to American cities.  This is of special interest to foreigners coming to the DR on a budget.  After all, not everyone can afford to purchase million dollar villas in the most exclusive areas.  But in this diverse island everyone can have their dream house in the perfect spot at an accessible cost.

Barry:  In addition to the incentives you’ve mentioned, are there other reasons that an expat retiree would want to apply for residency as soon as they can?

Attorney: For those retirees that do choose to retire in the DR, residency is a must if you want to stay legal, avoid having to leave the country every 60 days to renew visas, and to avail yourself to the protections and due process of law that is necessary to protect your assets and your liberties in the DR.

In a future article we will dig deep into the daily costs you can expect if you should choose to retire in the Dominican Republic.address that subject in detail.

For now though, we urge you to click on the blue PassportDR banner near the top of this page to request your FREE consultation with one of the immigration specialists.  They are best prepared to explain what is involved in securing a fast track residency, naturalization and 2nd passport and also explain what is involved and what it costs.

Christopher March 5, 2016 at 5:50 pm

Barry nice article as we discussed I am serious about a second residency and will keep researching the right place for me. When my money is enough, then hopefully a second home. Of course the DR is at the top of the list because of the natural beauty of the north coast among other factors and my friends that I thoroughly enjoy. I didn’t realize there were the tax benefits as Maria discussed.

Barry March 7, 2016 at 12:09 am

Christopher like I always mention. No place is for everyone. For us and a growing number of others the DR seems to fit best. People have to find their own way but the one thing I can say with certainty is is this. The flood gates are opening big time and in several nations. Flood gates have two purposes. They let in an element or they allow an element to exit. A prudent observer would perhaps take a close look at both elements. The element of what’s coming in as well as a close look at the element that’s going out. Could determine to a large extent the future quality of the element residing in that nation. The worst possible case I can think of is being stuck on the wrong side of that flood gate once it closes. I rest my thoughts.

Sue March 5, 2016 at 10:54 pm

So good to “see” you both again … even if only via the web! Great article, Maria! Barry, looking forward to the follow-up article on costs of living in D.R. I’ve recently been reading about D.R. versus other locations. The fact that D.R. for most part does NOT do “double-taxation” – meaning if USA citizen with residency overseas, you get taxed by USA, and again by the host country on the same income (so taxed twice) – kind of a BIG deal!

Barry March 6, 2016 at 11:56 pm

Yes it’s a benefit for sure. Nice to know your first 100,000 plus is tax excempt.

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