The Dominican Republic has the largest economy in Central America and the Caribbean, and it’s known for encouraging foreign investments. According to The World Bank, it was ranked as the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) recipient in the Caribbean in 2012. Investments in electricity, manufacturing, and mining as well as export processing, tourism, and real estate have made this possible. If you’re looking for a place to invest overseas, there are some decent opportunities in the Dominican Republic.
Dominican Republic Investor Visa
There are two ways to apply for the investor visa. You can apply as a commercial investor or as a rentier investor. For the commercial option, the investment is placed in a local company, bank deposit, commercial bond, etc. and the minimum amount of the investment must be $200,000 USD.
For the rentier option, you must open a local bank account and transfer a minimum of $2,000 USD each month into that account. You can then use the money however you please.
You can gain permanent residency through qualifying for the investor visa under either of these options. Every foreign citizen who wants to apply for this type of visa and wishes to gain citizenship after 18 months of permanent residency must be willing to invest at least $200,000 USD or generate or receive monthly income from a source outside of the Dominican Republic in the amount of at least $2,000 per month.
Dominican Republic Real Estate Market
There are no restrictions on buying Dominican Republic real estate. You don’t have to be a resident or a citizen to do so, although many choose to become a resident since it’s necessary in order to stay in the country for more than 90 days.
Thanks to the rise in tourism over recent years, real estate prices have been rising in the Dominican Republic. Although prices have been rising steadily at about 10 percent each year, this country is still one of the most affordable housing markets in the Caribbean. In cities like Puerto Plata that bring a lot of tourism and a lot of expats, real estate values are appreciating rapidly.
Prices for apartments and hotel-style developments are rising more quickly than those for houses. A condo on the oceanfront in one of the major cities might run at about $120,000, while properties in the hotel-style developments are more likely to run at about $250,000. Real estate prices are generally advertised in U.S. dollars.
Always use a good Dominican Republic real estate agent to guide you through the process of buying or renting real estate in the Dominican Republic.
You can count on oceanfront residential properties listing for about $1,700 to $2,500 per square meter. With the market appreciating as it is, international real estate investments are bound to pay off in the Dominican Republic. This is especially true since, once you get the rentista visa, you can qualify for special tax benefits on any future real estate purchases in the country.
The Dominican Republic is famous for its wide variety of natural resources. The country’s main resources are gold, silver, nickel, and bauxite. Top exports are gold, medical instruments, tobacco, low-voltage protection equipment, and textiles. Top export destinations are the United States, Haiti, Canada, India, and Germany.
This country is the 85th largest export economy in the world, and the 69th most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). In 2015, the Dominican Republic’s GDP was $68.1 billion and the GDP per capita was $14.2k.
Of course, before choosing foreign countries in which to invest overseas and diversify your portfolio, you want to make sure you’re making a secure decision, and the country’s political landscape plays heavily into this. The Dominican Republic is a democracy with a president and three branches of government, much like that of the United States. Laws are passed by Congress and the president heads the cabinet and is commander in chief of the armed forces. There is a multi-party political system, and there hasn’t been any unrest for some time.
Administrations in the earlier 2000s were once accused of corruption, but that administration – that of Leonel Fernandez from 2008 to 2012 – is no longer in power. It was the same administration that was credited with initiatives that helped grow the country and pull it out of difficult economic times from the years 2000 through the time of the administration’s leadership. Such initiatives included the construction of the country’s metro system.
Overall, the Dominican Republic is best known as a haven for entrepreneurs. If you choose to invest overseas in this country, of course real estate and/or natural resources are great options, but entrepreneurship opportunities are what the Dominican Republic is so famous for offering. Available tax incentives can help you gain immediate permanent residency by starting a business in this country through the investor visa as well.
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