Expat Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has had its ups and downs in recent years, but it is currently thriving. Although most parts of the Dominican Republic are undeveloped and under the poverty level, many areas are well developed with above average infrastructure and services. Expats looking for a low cost of living, subtropical climate, and warm people with a colorful culture should certainly take a trip to the Dominican Republic.


The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. It is located in the Caribbean Sea. The Dominican Republic has a subtropical maritime climate with warm temperatures that range from the 70’s to the 90’s throughout the year. There are lower temperatures at higher elevations like Mt. Constanza, where temperatures can drop to freezing. There is a rainy season from May to November, and the island can see some hurricane activity during the late summer months.


The Dominican Republic shares Hispaniola with Haiti and is located in the Caribbean Sea. While the Dominican Republic has had a difficult time with poverty and political instability, it now has a representative democracy and a flourishing tourist industry.

Someone who wishes to enter the Dominican Republic must either request a visa or purchase a tourist card for $10 at the Dominican port of entry. A tourist card allows the visitor to stay in the country for up to 60 days. One’s duration of stay may be extended at the Migration Department in Santa Domingo. Anyone who overstays on their visa will be asked to pay a surcharge when leaving the country. There is more information about entry and exit requirements at the Directory General of Immigration.

Tax System

Taxes in the Dominican Republic are considered to be moderate. Individual income tax rates can be as high as 30%, and Corporate income taxes are usually about 30% as well. There is also a Value Added Tax (VAT) and a tax on dividends.

Medical Care

Medical care in the Dominican Republic is limited, epecially outside the major tourist centers or main cities. There is a private ambulance service and a few private clinics on the island that mainly cater to foreigners. Persons who are seriously injured or become seriously ill are usually evacuated to the United States. It is very important for expats living in the Dominican Republic to have some type of private insurance with a medical evacuation component.

Real Estate

Buying real estate in the Dominican Republic is usually straight forward. However, it is still necessary for foreigners to retain a real estate attorney to protect their interests. The good news is that there are no restrictions for foreigners buying property in the Dominican Republic, it is in fact encouraged. Prospective buyers should consult with a real estate attorney regarding any paperwork that needs to be filed with the government and any fees or taxes that must be paid when purchasing property.

Real estate prices in the Dominican Republic are relatively affordable. However, there are high priced luxury estates and condos in key locations. Individuals on a small budget can find homes and apartments for prices that are much lower than in the United States.


Shopping in the Dominican Republic is quite limited. While many tourist areas have great items including hand crafts and luxury goods, other parts of the island have trouble providing their residents with the basic necessities.

The Dominican Republic has many entertainment choices, especially in the tourist areas. There are many water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, boating, etc. available for everyone’s enjoyment. There are also plenty of great beaches to sunbathe on. The growing tourist industry  has resulted in an increase in great restaurants and nightclubs and many younger aged people are attracted to this island because of the great choices in entertainment.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in the Dominican Republic is extremely affordable. The currency is the DR peso and it is traded for about DRP30 to US$1. An apartment in the main towns costs about DRP 6K -7K and about 50% more for a furnished home with all the amenities. Labor is extremely cheap as it costs a mere US$100 per month for a live in maid. Many families employ a live-in maid to care for the children when the parents are out of the home for work, business or entertainment. Food is usually cheap as well, but restaurants can be expensive.

Firearm Rights in the Dominican Republic

Firearm rights in the Dominican Republic are governed by Law No. 36 of 1965.

To legally obtain a firearm, you must first obtain residency.

Centerfire rifles are not allowed, nor are .45 caliber handguns.

Shotguns and other centerfire caliber handguns are allowed.

Extradition from the Dominican Republic

The extradition treaty between the Dominican Republic and the United States of America entered into force on 2 August, 1910.

As is typical of extradition treaties of that time, this treaty lists specific offenses for which extradition will be granted. As such, extradition is only possible under this treaty for real and serious offenses.

Web Sites for Expats in the Dominican Republic


DR1 is the world’s largest Dominican Republic related online community. Over 30,000 members from around the world come to discuss all issues related to the Dominican Republic in over 58,000 posted discussions with more than 500,000 posts.

Blogs from Expats in the Dominican Republic

The Chiri Chronicles

The chronicles of an expat in Santo Domingo.

Map of the Dominican Republic