While it IS possible to work via a remote job in the DR, there are virtually NO jobs available “on the ground” locally in the Dominican Republic which foreigners can do (legally or otherwise). Here are a few points I want to make right off the bat:
- salaries are about $3-400 US dollars per month,
- you need a WORK visa to be legally entitled to work (see important details on this below),
- Dominicans themselves are competing fiercely for those jobs already,
- you probably don’t speak sufficient Spanish to compete effectively for those jobs anyways
- the economy in 2021 and the pandemic has made the jobs situation awful all around
Work Visa Issue, and Some Exceptions to the Rule
There are quite a few foreign national real-estate agents operating out of various north coast cities working/selling properties illegally. I am well aware of this. I don’t personally care if they are legal or illegal, and I don’t sell real-estate myself. (While I’m on this point you can go to this site here for rental or sale properties in Sosua.). The question becomes: are those real-estate agents working illegally? Most of them probably are. I am aware that there are a good number of expat owned companies that are fully legitimate. Nonetheless, there are undoubtedly a good number of the lower level salesmen and women of foreign nationalities who very likely do NOT have the required visa. And I am also cognizant of the fact that most of the time the Dominican authorities don’t crack down or otherwise try to “catch” these illegal workers.
The point is this: the DR government welcomes retirees or those who want to LIVE here full-time and spend their money, but it does not support people coming here to WORK. That is the key. You can come here and stay, hang out, live your life, and walk down the street fully unmolested whether you have legal residency or not. Nobody in the Dominican government cares. There is an officially published list of “fines” that you pay for each year you reside in the country beyond the terms of your original “airport visa” that everyone gets the instant they get off their plane and hop in a taxi at the airport.
English Teaching in the Dominican Republic: Forget about that.
For any of the decent teaching jobs you need a visa and a good bit of provable experience as an English teacher at reputable institutions prior to your application. As a local Dominican friend of mine (who has 25 years in-country English teaching experience, mainly in Santiago) has told me: now only people with visas are accepted. It used to be different, but things have changed. There are some schools that will still hire you if you are willing to work for $500 USD per month, especially teaching kids in the Campo. But you can’t get by on a salary like that, again: forget about it. HOWEVER, if you came here with a good bit of savings and were committed to finding private clients (ie wealthy people in cities like Santiago and the capital Santo Domingo), then you COULD get enough private students and teach them in their homes etc.. Probably the main authority in this area that I know of is a guy named Chris Dogan who has over a decade of experience teaching English in Santo Domingo (here is his youtube channel).
In 2018 I met an American guy who was working in a call center in Santiago. As I understand it they only pay about $4.00 USD per hour. No way: the salaries are incredibly low. Forget about that, and you STILL need a visa. So, most companies/agencies will not even seriously consider you.
Selling High-Quality Services to Expatriates and Retirees on the North Coast
There are some people who sell professional services in a developed-world way, in sync with developed-world quality standards, to retired people living along the north coast of the Dominican Republic. You know the cities: Puerto Plata, Sosua, Cabarete, Cabrera etc.. There is a demand for optometrists, electricians, IT security consultants, some types of doctors, and even mechanics up in those parts that offer a level of service along the lines of which foreign expatriates are accustomed to receiving back in their home countries of the US, Canada and Germany etc.. If you’ve got a specialized skill to sell their is decent possibility that you could sell your wares up on the north coast. It would take a good while to build up reputation and word of mouth but it could be done, and in fact is being done by a number of Germans, Russians and Americans.
Work Remotely Online: This will work!
The real option is working for an American, Canadian or other first world country but doing so over the internet while living in the DR. This is the new post-pandemic possibility. There are already many doing it. It could be managing social media accounts, handling SEO for a company, building websites, making sales calls, or anything else that one might have previously performed physically in an actual office. Even the youtuber Chris Dogan I mentioned above, as I understand it from his videos, is teaching English online. There are many people starting to do that.