Southern coast retirement

Hi all, I’m just getting my residency visa this week and I’ve been researching mostly the northern coast, Sosua, Las Terrenas etc. I was wondering if anyone could suggest good retirement sites on the south coast. Where do most expats retire on the southern coast...Punta Cana, La Romana, Bayahibe, Juan Dolio etc?

Hi Rick!  We have a home in Las Terrenas 75 yds from the punta popy beach.  Paradise here and the people are wonderful.  Very international population with many excellent restaurants.  Gary. 🇨🇦

If you exclude Punta Cana which is East Coast, you have Bayahibe and La Romana, Juan Dolio and worn out Boca Chica and then the capital (where many expats reside of all nationalities but where few retire).

Going west you will find a much smaller expat presence. I know of expats living south of San Cristobel in small towns with beaches such as Palenque, and then a bit further west in Peravia and Azua in places like Las Calderas and Palmar de Ocoa. And even further west and beyond Barahona there is a small expat growing community around La Cienega, Paraiso and Los Patos in what is a very beautiful peaceful part of the country.

Good to see people investigating the whole country and not just the well known locations. Perhaps you should also look at the mountain towns too especially Jarabacoa.

I agree with the above post! 

La Romana isn't overly tourist. Bayahibe is more a tourist / retirement community

Juan Dolio is lovely, small and fairly quiet except Dominican long weekends and Easter week

Boca Chica is a different kind of small town. It has a reputation and not without reason.

Very few retire to Santo Domingo, big congested capital city.

The south west is beautiful but not touristed..... Yet!

How easy is it to find a long term rental I can’t afford to buy.

It's easy honey. Best way is boots on the ground. Get a short term rental and check out the areas you may want to live in.  Most rentals are a sign on the side of the building!

So between Juan Dolio and Bayahibe which would you recommend for a retirement location? My main concerns are hi speed internet and possibly some affordable golf in the area. Casa de Campo golf is to expensive

Have a look at Guavaberry Golf Course and Country Club next to Juan Dolio

http://www.1golf.eu/en/club/guavaberry- … ntry-club/

and Metro again in Juan Dolio

http://www.1golf.eu/en/club/metro-country-club/

GCL1221 - How would you say Las Terranas compares with other North Coast areas in terms of cost of living?  Rent, restaurants, groceries, etc.

Also, that area is famous for european tourists and residents. I recently read there is starting to be a larger number of U.S. and Canadians moving there - how is the communication/language barrier? Can people who speak English get by there?

I've been watching a web cam of the beach at Playa La Bonita. It just looks so beautiful there - like paradise.....

Very nice from Barahona, all the way down to Pedernales.  Its good to avoid the overcrowded, overpriced , gringo tourist traps.  In any case.....move to the tropics to be with other gringos........and many of whom you wouldnt give the time of day to back home, but wpould avoid like the plague?

I did all the paperwork for a residency visa with the consulate here in New York City and have been approved. Can you give me an idea what a lawyer in the D.R. will charge to finish my paperwork in the DR?

I have lawyers who will do it for  US 1,200 honey.  Be careful of anyone who does it too cheaply as well as anyone charges way too much.   

I can recommend  Lily Baez Mejia,  she speaks perfect english and learned in a large lawyer firm. She is very good  1-809-860-1231  which is also her whatsapp honey. She is in Santo Domingo honey.

Or you can use Billy Rood wilsonrood[at]gmail.com  He also speaks perfect english and he is in Punta Cana

Darlene

If it was done , and approved, in NY, what will your recommended lawyer actually do?  Give a second approval...for $1200?

MXT.Jones

I'm going through the same process as you, Residency via Retirement,  which I've been told will be good for 10 years.  Mine has been submitted to the appropriate DR Consulate in the US, awaiting approval there.

What the Consulate Approval really does is:
a) Makes sure you have a complete package pulled together, properly translated and documented, etc.
b) Approves you for the VISA necessary to enter the DR to COMPLETE the Application there.
c) You have 60 days from ViSA and package approval to travel to DR and complete the in-country requirements and final application.

So, Consulate approval only means you've completed the FIRST PHASE of the Residency application process.  You haven't completed the entire process.

Once in the DR under the Visa, we'll have some steps to complete the Residency application there.    I understand this to include some additional forms, a short interview to confirm you're really the person that submitted the application, are truly interested and not a grifter, and probably a lot of other implicit evaluations.  Plus a medical exam which must be done there, apparently.  They'll get some photos, also. 

Assuming we're talking about the same Residency process...you haven't actually "completed" your Residency application until you travel to DR and complete those steps. 

Depending on the lawyer/service you engage in the DR (which we did, at the very beginning), you can get a wide range of services, depending on how much you pay.  In theory, they will include at least some of the following:
-- Expertise in pulling together your initial package...hopefully, providing good advice to help you avoid common pitfalls.   For example, advising on Apostille requirements and processes. 
-- Review of your materials as you complete them, assuring proper completion.
-- Translation of your documents.  (not all lawyers do this).
-- During in-country visit for med exam/etc., perhaps local transportation with a Spanish-speaking aide to assist you through the bureaucracies and Santo Domingo traffic.  (Not all provide this). 
            --This service is probably most important for those with no Spanish skills at all, and/or limited time in-country.
-- IN THEORY, the lawyer/agency will also have access to "Uncle Fernando" or a friend in the appropriate Ministries to help grease and track your application, making sure it doesn't fall behind the filing cabinet.  This is a very squishy "benefit" as I'm sure every lawyer will at least infer they have great connections of some type...whether they do or not. 
-- Should difficulties arise after you leave the country post-DR trip to complete application for residency, in theory, they will assist in resolving said difficulties, hopefully without a second trip back to complete.

                                                         OR

The Lawyer won't do much except review your docs quickly and give you the address of where to go next.   In theory, Higher Prices should provide Higher Service...but there's a wide range of service.   If you're going to utilize a lawyer, I'd strongly recommend using one recommended by planner/Darlene, or at least a lawyer recently used by another person that completed a similar application as you're pursuing.

I've read where most people complete the Residency Application process in the DR, then depart back to their home countries to await approval.  ONCE RESIDENCY IS APPROVED, you then have 1 calendar year to return to pick up your documents/cards.   OTOH, I've also read where folks showed up to complete the Residency application, and then just hung around till it was approved.   Since by most accounts the residency application VISA is only for 60, and waits for completed residency approvals is running more then 60 days for most folks, I'm unsure of the legal status if you overstay this VISA waiting for the approval.  Some indicate it isn't any problem, others advise it is a good way to give yourself a problem.
For us, it doesn't matter, as we can't spend that long in the DR this year, meaning we'll have another trip to make later this year or early next. 

Now...I'm sure I've gotten a few details wrong here.   Please, everyone, correct me!!  I'll try to update this post for future posterity.

WHAT ELSE I'VE LEARNED FROM expat.com and other websites.

The DR immigration process is CONSTANTLY EVOLVING AND CHANGING.   Not just in terms of the baseline laws (which have changed considerably in recent years), but also due to variations in implementation in Consulates and Ministries, often-changing interpretations and even whether you're being assisted by someone who had a really, really great night and are still hung-over.  Or maybe they're just mad at their boss, and they'll take it out on their customers that day.  Demanding, bossy clients may perhaps get better service...or their file may get lost behind the radiator. 

Thus, there seems to be as many different processes as there are applicants. Each one tends to be unique, already, depending on country, circumstances and backgrounds.  Then add in variations as simple as which clerk you saw, or on which day/week/year you visited their office. 

Patience is required...especially for those emigrating from more "efficient" countries and cultures. 

Okay, that's the limit of my expertise at the moment... we haven't even received Consulate approval, so we're still mid-stream.   Maybe we'll be smarter or better informed once we get final Residency approval.

Thank you for posting the above and becareful what lawyer you use. I've used one of the lemons that float around here and currently over a year later with zero results to show just a denial and now appeal not realizing I could have done the same work myself and saved myself money and aggravation of a unresponsive lawyer.

Also, thank you for Planner for showing costs.

I was told in NY at the consulate that more paperwork has to be done in the DR when I arrive. The visa I get in NY is only for two months and the paperwork in the DR extends it to a year and for that I’m told I neeed a lawyer to avoid any mistakes and because it all has to be done in Spanish and my ability in Spanish is very limited

A lawyer who specializes in residency knows how to make it happen and will make sure you do it the right way.  Most important they will push it through the process as much as they can.   Without contacts and insiders it becomes very slow. Even good lawyers can only do so much.

I do not recommend doing it yourself.  The rules do constantly change, additional info is needled or they want it in a different form. 

Expatrusher - thank for excellent info.

I will be doing a survey this week and posting costs for residencia with various lawyers.

Actually should clarify what I said. If I were to start over, the first phase would do by myself with the consulate in your own country and use the lawyer for the second phase but never got to that point  :|

I think that is what most people do.  I would however, talk to the lawyer as you are going through the first phase. They offer valuable insight!  But really, do that part yourself!

Hello
Would love to know your thoughts on where you are moving
Tammie

Hi Gary,

My husband and I plan on moving to Las Terrenas in a few weeks.  Have you already applied for residency?  We are in the middle of the process right now and would love to hear any tips you can provide.

Also, would love it if you could share any little "gems" - places we absolutely need to make our favorites as well as any places we should stay away from.

Thanks in advance.
Tracy

Tammie I still don’t know. I’m having a hard time deciding but most likely Las Terrenas or Sosua

Hi Expats and Expats to be. I just received my Residency Visa stamp from DR Embassy in Washington, DC. Early retirement path. I had zero problems with the process being delayed by their bureaucracy. I was the one that slowed down the process because I just threw together a package along with my money order and a FEDEX overnight return package as well. I overnighted it to the embassy on the 20th of February. I looked at the tracking the next day and it was overnighted back to me. I was jumping with joy, and bestowed all lavished praises to the Embassy for it's lightning turn around time. Received the package at my door and even offered a tip to the driver. I opened the package and my jaw dropped. They sent back a list detailing what I needed to do. So I followed that list and overnighted it around the second week in March, and then I received an email from the embassy stating that my North Carolina birth certificate had an error. So I had to go and get another birth certificate and have it Apostilled, and overnighted it back to the embassy around the 24th of March and I got my approval last Wednesday. So my girlfriend is Dominican, and we will be living in San Pedro de Macoris, which Is where she is from. I don't want to be around any tourist or tourist areas or any other areas where Expats are congregating. That defeats the purpose.

Hi Expats and Expats to be. I just received my Residency Visa stamp from DR Embassy in Washington, DC. Early retirement path. I had zero problems with the process being delayed by their bureaucracy. I was the one that slowed down the process because I just threw together a package along with my money order and a FEDEX overnight return package as well. I overnighted it to the embassy on the 20th of February. I looked at the tracking the next day and it was overnighted back to me. I was jumping with joy, and bestowed all lavished praises to the Embassy for it's lightning turn around time. Received the package at my door and even offered a tip to the driver. I opened the package and my jaw dropped. They sent back a list detailing what I needed to do. So I followed that list and overnighted it around the second week in March, and then I received an email from the embassy stating that my North Carolina birth certificate had an error. So I had to go and get another birth certificate and have it Apostilled, and overnighted it back to the embassy around the 24th of March and I got my approval last Wednesday. So my girlfriend is Dominican, and we will be living in San Pedro de Macoris, which Is where she is from. I don't want to be around any tourist or tourist areas or any other areas where Expats are congregating. That defeats the purpose.

Welcome to the forums.  Your post made me laugh honey.  It's important to follow their instructions.

Glad it all worked out. Keep us posted on your progress.   Enjoy San Pedro de Macoris!

Welcome. I will only say a couple of things. Enjoy your your time in the the tourist free zone. I am of the same same mind set and live in Moca where my wife is from. However, once you are settled here, it is nice to head over to the coast area, or anywhere for a meet up with Expats every so often. After chatting here in the forum threads, getting advice etc, it's great putting a face to the names. My wife , who speaks no English, had a great time and smiles every time she sees the pics of our first gathering in Sosua. THere's a bunch a great folks here....cheers!

Yes  great advice.  I am in Santo Domingo and head to more expat dense areas once in a while......  I also enjoy putting faces to the names......  But damn I get confused with screen names and real names all the time!!!!

Good to hear of a positive experience applying for residency, and I do hope everything works out well with your new life going forward in SPM.

You've got Juan Dolio on your doorstep if you do need to mingle with expats from time to time, but perhaps like you, as a travelled expat I am of the mindset that living surrounded by expats and expat lifestyle dilutes most of the real value of living in your new home, and DR is a very vibrant and diverse country which is great to experience to the full and explore.

Thanks Planner. I certainly will keep everyone abreast of my progress. I am trying to get out of North Carolina as soon as possible. I'm going to the shipping topic now, because I need you guys advice regarding shipping companies. I only have less than a 1000 lbs to ship, and nothing that can be easily broken, but I can't get anyone to call me back. HELLLLPPP!

Thanks you very much. I visited my girlfriend about 6 times last year staying 30 days each visit in SPDM. We visited various playas including JD. I asked this Italian lady who owns a restaurant their about good fishing spots, she looked at me and laughed. Then she said, "this place is too fancy for fishing." Her friends chuckled, including a Donald Trump lover who claimed he owns a 38 million dollar Resort down the street. My girlfriend and I were the only people of color there besides her employees. I laughed and said, do you guys realize how much Dominicans hate you? Well the news spreaded quickly, and people started calling me President Obama, and my girlfriend the first Lady Michelle.

Sadly racism is alive and well.

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