How long can I stay? 3 months? 6 months? indefinite?
I would like to understand what it takes to stay on the island indefinitely. Either as a resident or a non-resident. I have a job where I can work anywhere there is an Internet drop. I could buy a home for cash on the island if necessary but I could be happy renting as well.
Assuming my US based income is substantial enough to meet the income requirements and my bank account is large enough to meet the Aruban savings obligation, what are the restrictions?
Andrea is correct, check with DIMAS. Only because I can tell you that you'll get mixed information from contacts on the island, as I have. My understanding is that if you want to stay on the island full time, you need a Residency Permit. As a tourist, I think you're allowed 180 days out of the year, with extensions granted after the first 30 days. I've heard, read, that it's either 90 days max at a time or the whole 180. If you own property as a tourist I believe It's 180 Max with no interruption. I 'd be interested to hear what you find out.
Recently a press release was published regarding the maximum amount of stay in Aruba. This information was not well understood in the timeshare industry and among other visitors with property on island.
By means of this press release, the Ministry of Urban Development, Infrastructure and Integration together with the Ministry of Tourism, Transportation, Primary Sector and Culture would like to clear up this misunderstanding.
Aruba has a large percentage of loyal visitors that have property in Aruba (Time Share, Condominium, Residence, Apartment). These are valuedvisitors of Aruba and the Government of Aruba maintains a friendly policyforthesevisitors.
Visitors that do have a property in Aruba (Time Share, Condominium, Residence, Apartment) or a yacht in territorial waters of Aruba with a minimumlength of 14 meters or more, or those with a Dutch nationality, are the only visitors that can be admittedfor a period of a maximum of 180 consecutivedays and a maximum of 180 days per calendar year.
The Minister in charge of Integration and theMinsiter in charge of Tourism have sent a lettertoallairlinestoclarifythis government policy to avoid that visitors with a valid airline ticket with a round-trip ticket beyond 30 days, are challenged by the airline.
The visitor can indicate the amount of intended days (maximum 180 consecutive days, not to exceed a total of 180 per calendar year) on the ED card. The visitor must have the documents to prove property ownership, a validpassport, a valid round-trip ticket, proof of sufficient funds for the amount of stay on the island. If the immigration officer gives the amount of days requested, the visitor does not have to go to DIMAS torequestanextension of his/herstay.
As an example, if a tourist shows to the Aruba immigration that he has 60 days of time share, he/she can receive a permission tostay 60 days. If the visitor cannot show this at immigration, he/shealways has theoptiontorequestanextensionfrom DIMAS. Again, the total stay cannot surpass 180 days in a calendar year.
For tourists that do NOT own property in Aruba, other rules apply. Tourists without property can remain a maximum of 90 consecutive days in Aruba and a maximum of 180 days per calendar year.
In general, immigration would give 30 days at the border. For an extension, the tourist can apply at DIMAS (60 additional days).
The total amount of days a tourist can stay on the island cannot surpass 180 days per calendar year.
I've read that one needs to purchase medical and liability insurance for stays beyond 30 days. This is what's written on paper. However I know a woman (non resident property owner) who has been going back and forth between Aruba and the US for years (6 months on island/ 6 months US) and has never gone to DIMAS or gotten any kind of insurance; whatsoever. She even claims to have stayed for stretches beyond 180 days (up to 8 months) ,once or twice, and there was never an issue. It seems like Aruba is lax in enforcement of their rules.
That being said, I wouldn't recommend staying beyond 180 days per year; as a non resident.
Having been a resident 5 years ago a lot has changed with staying in Aruba. If you want to stay longer than 6 months, you must file for residency. Residency requires certification (in the form of a stamp on the form) to say you have paid all your Aruba taxes. Additionally, you will pay AZV tax for socialized medicine. You can use it. It is good to get some kind of 'catastrophy' insurance in case you have to be medivaced off the island. We did not have this and my mom had to go to a hospital in Florida because of the care she was getting - it cost somewhere around 15K.