In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
with Maria Abreu
Sometimes our Readers will
ask us about residency in another country and what the benefits might be. Others
like the idea of obtaining a second passport. We are delighted to present to you
an interview with an immigration attorney for the Dominican Republic, Maria
Abreu. She shares her expertise with you and sheds light on the topic of
Maria Abreu, Immigration
The stress of living in
the States can take its toll on your health. People say that living in
Mexico adds ten years to your life and we believe it. The relaxed
Mediterranean lifestyle, clean air, great food, friendly people and just
plain fun is bound to extend your life.
REL: Maria, could you tell us
a little about yourself? We understand that you
are American born and that you speak Spanish fluently is that correct?
Maria Abreu: I was born in the
U.S. and I have been living in the DR for the last ten years. I
established a law firm five years ago, and have offices in both the Capital,
Domingo and Cabrera,
a town on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. Yes, I was
born in the U.S. in the state of Delaware and lived most of my life in New York. I speak fluent Spanish.
REL: Where did you go to law
MA: I went to St. Johnīs
University in New York and UAPA in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Juan Dolio Beach
just outside the capitol city of
REL: What brought you to the
MA: My husband and I
wanted to have a better quality of life and to invest in a country with a
growing economy. This is a country where you can live well with all of the
comforts with a minimal amount per month. We love the culture and the country
is beautiful so it was not difficult to make the decision to move here.
REL: How long have you been
practicing law and what sort of law do you
specialize in while living in the Dominican Republic?
MA: I have been
practicing for twenty years and I specialize in immigration law.
REL: What are the benefits of
having residency in the DR?
MA: There are
many benefits. A resident may enter the country without the need to buy a $10.00
tourist visa upon arrival. Non-resident beneficiaries must pay a 50% surcharge
on estate taxes whereas a resident does not have to pay this surcharge.
If you are a resident,
you are allowed to bring in your household items, ranging from kitchen
appliances to furniture tax-free and can import a vehicle with tax exemption.
Residents can travel
without a round-trip ticket and they can obtain a Dominicanís driverís license
as foreign driverís licenses are only valid for 90 days.
REL: How long would one
expect to wait to have their paperwork finished to become a resident of the DR?
MA: This process
takes six to eight months.
Dominican Republic is a short distance off the coast of Florida
REL: Tell us the benefits of
having a second passport.
MA: With a Dominican
Passport you can invest in offshore unit trusts or mutual funds and you can buy and rent
out property wherever you choose without punitive taxation. U.S. citizens
are subject to tax wherever they work and live in the world. But a second
passport can open opportunities for sheltering income and protecting assets.
REL: How long would one
expect to wait to have a second passport issued to them?
MA: The wait time varies.
The requirement to get a second passport is that the applicant holds permanent
residency status for two consecutive years, since retirees qualify for permanent
residency based on their monthly income, they can qualify for a second passport
within two years of obtaining residency.
REL: Does one have to live in
the DR to obtain residency or a second passport?
MA: No, in fact most of
my clients who are permanent residents and/or citizens do not live in the
REL: What kind of income does
one need to have to be able to qualify for residency in the DR? Any other
MA: In order to qualify
for permanent residency as a retiree, the applicant must earn a minimum of
US$1,500 per month (US$250 for additional family members such as a spouse). An
applicant may also qualify as a foreign investor by proving an income of
US$2,000 per month from investments such as property rental, shares in a
private company, annuities, etc. Or they can become domestic investors by
investing a minimum of US$200,000 in a Dominican company or financial
institution such as a bank (for instance, a five year CD). All others may qualify for
Adventurer's Guide to the Possible Dream
REL: What is the cost for
residency or a second passport? What about renewals?
MA: The cost for
residency oscillates from US$2,800 to US$3,000 depending on the category
of residency applied for (permanent or provisional). This is the total cost for
the process which includes legal fees. Provisional residents will be required to
renew annually for four consecutive years until the fifth year when they can
apply for permanent residency which is renewable every four years. Renewal of
provisional residency is US$650 per year. Permanent residency as a retiree or
investor is renewable every two years and the cost us US$700.
The cost for the
naturalization process (second passport) is US$2,500.
Adventurer's Guide to Destination Choices
at Retire Early Lifestyle would like to thank Maria for her time in answering
all our questions about residency and a second passport and we thank her for
sharing her expertise.
The views and
opinions expressed by Maria Abreu are not necessarily those of Retire Early Lifestyle.
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on the Dominican Republic, Click
About the Authors