Relocation to Dominican Republic



Occupying the eastern side of Hispaniola Island and Haiti on its west, the Dominican Republic is a sovereign state in the Caribbean Nation famous for its crystal-clear beaches. It is becoming a favourite country for expats who are relocating to improve their career and financial status since the Dominican Republic is considered to be the fastest growing economies in the Americas. Aside from its seaside attractions, you will find this country able to take your breath away with its abundance of savannahs and rainforests which you can explore with your family after a busy work week. Moving to another country is a lot of work and planning, here are some of the points that can help you make a smooth transition.


One of the ways to start your search is to go around the city and look for signs outside buildings that say ‘se alquila’ which means ‘to let’. A majority of the locals speak English, but if you know how to speak Spanish, you can ask around or contact corredores (realtors) that can assist you in finding the right property based on your budget and needs.

Some landlords do not include the utilities in the monthly rent so be sure to ask before committing. The average monthly cost of essential services like water, gas and electricity in the city is €60. Internet connection is around €45 per month, and the local prepaid mobile call is billed roughly €0.16 per minute.

House and Apartment Hunting

It is suggested that you rent instead of buying a property in the Dominican Republic since the process of buying real estate includes a lot of process and time. You have the flexibility to choose between short term (month to month basis) and long-term rental agreements. Finding high rise buildings and apartments in the Dominican Republic is rare. The most typical type of housing in the country is the barrio or neighbourhood where you can find a 1 or 3 bedroom houses with a small living room, bathroom and a kitchen. There are also properties that include driveways, lawns and fences but these are mostly found in uptown areas.

Santo Domingo is the capital of the Republic and where you will find most of the expats. It is located just next to the Caribbean Sea and where most of the restaurants, shopping malls and supermarkets are. The business district is also in Santo Domingo so it is a convenient place to live in given you will be close to the offices. The average monthly rent for a one bedroom house is €300 while a three bedroom unit is €700.

If you are relocating with your family, a more considerable option for you is the city of Puerto Plata. Here you will find houses inside gated communities and a peaceful environment. A one bedroom house in Puerto Plata starts at around €200 per month while a three bedroom’s rent starts at €250. 

International and Local Schools 

You can enrol your children in Pre-school (NivelInicial) as soon as they reach the age of three. It is compulsory in the Republic for children ages 6-14 to be in Primary School or Standard Education (NivelBasico) while those between the ages of 14-18 though not mandatory, should be in Secondary School (Nivel Medio).

You can look for international schools where the curriculum is designed to address the needs of your expat children. There is the International School of Santo Domingo and the Cathedral International School. Several local schools can be found across the Republic like the University of Santo Domingo, a state-owned tertiary school where the students get their education for free because it is completely funded by the government.

Moving Your Belongings

It is always helpful to contact professional shipping and removal companies to help you move your belongings to the Dominican Republic. The cost of the service is based on factors like the weight and quantity, distance, type of furniture and how many personnel are required to complete the job. Average delivery time to the Republic is within 16 days for standard shipping and within five days for express shipping, still depending on the country of origin. Containers will arrive either in Multimodal Caucedo Port or Haina Occidental Port where the cargos will be inspected by customs.

All pets entering the Dominican Republic must be vaccinated for rabies between one month and twelve months before arrival. You should also ask your veterinarian to issue you a Veterinary Certificate for the Dominican Republic. Failure to provide these requirements upon import means that your pet will be put into quarantine for 8 to 30 days, depending on your country of origin.

If your car is more than five years old, you don’t stand a chance in bringing it to the Dominican Republic. Other things that you have to be aware of is you must own the car and its registered for at least one year, you have to be present at the customs pick up, and only one car is allowed for you to import. These documents are also required:

  • Title
  • Invoice
  • Registration
  • Driver’s License
  • Residence Visa
  • Passport

The Dominican Republic is a country blessed with a tropical climate, pristine waters and multi-cultural community. A place in the Caribbean that you will quickly call a home away from home.



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Continue reading:

Relocation Guide

Expat Housing Services in Dominican Republic

Moving Services in Dominican Republic