Ok, so I'm in college right now so I need to get my degree and get my bearings first (IE work a few years after I graduate to wipe out personal debt) but I would like to open my own dive shop after college, and although I haven't been there, I have heard plenty about the Netherland Antilles islands and specifically Bonaire & Aruba.
I was wondering how hard (or if it's even possible) it would be for a U.S. citizen to move to Aruba and open a business? I'm aware that I need to apply for a residence permit while still in the U.S., and once it's approved, live without interruption in Aruba for 5 years and learn one of the local languages to level 2 or higher before I can apply for citizenship status. However, I can't find much information on opening a business.
What is the general economy of Aruba like? Is the diving there already saturated with dive shops? How hard is it to find a job? What is the normal pay rate? What kind of labor laws are there? What is the cost of living? Taxes? Sorry about so many questions but I can't make a good decision unless it's an informed one. Thanks!
Tim Thompson, NREMT-B, PADI Open Water Diver
University of California Davis, Managerial Economics Class of 2010