Living in Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation on the island of Hispaniola which is well-known for its unspoiled beaches, resorts and areas to play golf in. The country is the most visited destination in the Caribbean and is home to the area where the first cathedral, castle, fortress and monastery were built in the Americans. Aside from over 500 years of Spanish influence, the country boasts of fine mountain scenery, deserts to explore and sunny beaches which make it a hit for those who want to work and play in the Dominican Republic.
Before the boom of Dominican Republic’s tourism and services sector, the country relied heavily on export business as the economy’s driving force. Dominican Republic has been a main exporter of sugar, coffee and tobacco for several years now. Since the establishment of free trade zones in the country, Dominican Republic’s economy experienced a momentous breakthrough.
Having the second largest economy in the Central American region and Caribbean, and the ninth largest economy in all of Latin America, the Services sector of the Dominican Republic provides the main source of employment for Dominicans. With an estimated population of 10,219,630, the total labor force of the country is at 4,633,318. Foreign nationals hoping to find employment in the Dominican Republic do not have to possess a work permit, unlike in other countries. Most foreigners can go to the country for work purposes under a work visa or business visa. However, since the current unemployment rate of the Dominican Republic is quite high, expats should expect a bit of competition from Dominican nationals also looking for a job. It is recommended for foreigners to do some research first before actually moving to Dominican Republic to get a better assessment of the job market in the country. Unless an expat plans to work in the Tourism sector, a working knowledge of Spanish would be a great advantage as it is the official language of the country.
The Dominican Republic has a standard work week of forty-four hours a week, or eight hours a day. All employees are entitled to 12 public holidays, 14 working days of paid vacation leave, and 36 consecutive hours of weekly rest. The minimum wage in Dominican Republic is set by the National Salary Committee of the Ministry of Labor and depends on the sector an employee works in. Meanwhile, income tax of workers is on a sliding scale and starts from 15% up to 25%.
The most common employment opportunities for foreign nationals in Dominican Republic are call centers and English teaching. Expats can also try in the services sector since this is the industry that employs most of the citizens in Dominican Republic, or the tourism sector if one does not have a sufficient knowledge of Spanish.
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