Getting Ready to Move To Puerto Rico
Updated: Mar 30
Let’s say you’ve officially decided to make the move to Puerto Rico. Congratulations! So, what’s next? Before you head over to the island, there’s a few things you’ll need to make sure you do. When I was first moving, I really had no idea of where to begin but thanks to a friend who had already been living on the island, I was able to find out all of the necessary information. Below are ten things to know and focus on when officially getting ready to move.
1. Talk to A Consultant
When I first decided to move to Puerto Rico, my friend suggested that my business partner and I work with a consultant who would help make our move a bit easier. I had never heard of doing this before, but because not everything in Puerto Rico is exactly like moving to a different state in the U.S., talking to someone who is an expert in relocating can be incredibly helpful. I always advise anyone who’s moving to Puerto Rico to go through relocatepuertorico.com. The company is a done for you service that is especially helpful for Americans who don’t speak Spanish. The company was started by two successful entrepreneurs who moved to Puerto Rico several years ago and decided to help others who are looking to do the same. You can schedule a free call with them before you commit to using their service. Even better, the company handles everything from taxes, transferring your business to the island, passing a residency test, and more.
Assuming you’ve gone through a service such as Relocate Puerto Rico, you’ll have a much better understanding of how to get your move started. However, if you decide not to - or even if you do - you’ll need to explore your options for housing. I have friends who moved to Puerto Rico and immediately bought a house, and others who decided to rent. Regardless of what you decide to do, it’s important to note that the easiest and fastest way to get Puerto Rico’s tax benefits, is to make the island your official new residence. That usually means selling your home in whatever state you’re moving from. I have spoken to people who have decided to keep their home in another U.S. state and then rent it out while they live in Puerto Rico. However, I really advise against this, as your chances of getting permanent residency in PR will most likely be inhibited by this. I personally decided to rent when I moved to Puerto Rico, which is always a solid and easy option - especially if you want to explore different areas on the island before you commit to buying. The two areas that I always advise English speaking people to look at are San Juan (where I live) and Dorado. Dorado can be a bit more expensive, however both areas are beautiful and filled with English speakers.
An important thing I always tell anyone looking to move is to - no matter what - not skimp out on housing. To live in a nicer building in one of the two areas mentioned can be a bit more costly. However, due to Puerto Rico’s older infrastructure, it’s important to live in a building that is safe and in a good location.
3. Getting A Car
There are plenty of companies that can help you ship your car or cars to Puerto Rico. However, when I moved from Las Vegas a couple years ago, I decided to sell my car before I moved and then buy one in Puerto Rico. Although you definitely don’t have to do this, it can help you secure your residency in Puerto Rico faster, and in turn, benefit from their tax cuts. If you do decide to ship your car, the process works just like it does shipping your car in between states. Once again, a company like Relocate Puerto Rico can help you with this and give you specific companies to make your shipping experience as easy and stress free as possible.
4. Register Your Things in Puerto Rico
As I mentioned before, if you do want to establish residency in Puerto Rico, the best way to do it is to register everything in Puerto Rico. That means signing a lease or a mortgage in Puerto Rico, signing up for utilities, and even registering you car there (although as I said above, you can ship your car). It takes 183 days to officially have a residency in Puerto Rico, which can be proven by a lease, a mortgage or if you buy something large (such as a car). So, once again, the more you have registered to the island, the easier it’ll be for you to secure the tax benefits that you most likely moved to the island for.
5. Take A Leap of Faith
When I first decided to move to Puerto Rico, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I hadn’t even visited and only knew about two people who had been living there. However, what I did know is that I was ready to experience something new and excited for the business opportunities that Puerto Rico offered/offers. That’s why I decided to sell everything I owned in Las Vegas - including my house and my car - and take a leap of faith. It was a bit nerve wrecking, but with the help of a consulting company, my business partner and my friends, I knew I was making the right decision. And the right decision it was. Today, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to move to Puerto Rico. Not only am I saving a LOT of money, but I’m also experiencing a new way of living, connecting with entrepreneurs from all over the world, and living in what literally feels like a tropical paradise.
If you’re unsure about moving to Puerto Rico, I encourage you to do your research and talk to someone who lives there and knows how the process of moving there works. Relocating can be a scary thing, but I promise that if you are in any way thinking of moving to Puerto Rico, it will be one of the best decisions of your life. I’m so incredibly grateful I took a leap of faith and trusted my gut to move here. I’m living my dream life - not only from a financial standpoint - but from a social and emotional one as well. If I hadn’t made this move, I never would have known what I was missing out on and the unlimited opportunities that have come to me from taking a leap of faith.