Aruba Realestate

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Living in Aruba

The Census Office ("Bevolking" or "Censo")

The Aruba Census office is generally known as "Bevolking" in Dutch or Censo in Papiamento. The Census office handles registration of all persons residing on Aruba. Once you are registered you can then request an extract known as the "proof of registration", which can be used along with a valid ID to show you have permission to live on the island. The extract will also be necessary for the following purposes:

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Living in Aruba

Currency

Aruba's currency is the florin denoted by the letters `Awg.` but also widely known as `Afl.` The official rate at which banks accept U.S. dollar banknotes is Awg. 1.77, and checks at Awg. 1.78.

The rate of exchange granted by shops and hotels ranges between Awg. 1.75 - Awg. 1.80 per U.S. dollar. U.S. Dollars are widely accepted in Aruba, and banks may exchange other foreign currency. Major credit cards are accepted at most establishments while personal checks are normally not accepted.

The Aruban florin is divided into 100 cents and there are coins of 5, 10, 25, 50 cents, 1 florin (100 cents) as well as the 5 florin coin. The square shaped 50 cent "yotin" coin is probably Aruba's best-known coin.

Banknotes are issued in denominations of 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500 florins.

Cash may be obtained with MasterCard, Visa and American Express cards at banks, in some casinos and via Western Union. ATM cards and credit cards are accepted by ATMs of Aruba Bank, Banco di Caribe, RBTT Bank, and Caribbean Mercantile Bank. The card must have either a Cirrus or Visa Plus logo. ATM instructions are normally given in Dutch, English, Spanish and Papiamento. Cash is normally dispensed in local currency.

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Living in Aruba

Shopping

Not only can you find the best deals on Aruba, but you also have a variety of shopping districts to browse and compare prices.

Shopping in Aruba is most known for its various selections of shops devoted to jewelry, table linens, perfumes, leather goods, designer fashions, electronics, locally made handicrafts, Cuban cigars, Dutch Delft, Dutch Cheeses, and many more superior and favorably priced goods. Stores are open Monday - Saturday from 9:00am - 6:00pm and some stores are closed for siesta during the hours of 12:00 noon - 2:00pm.

Grocery shopping

In each district you will find "mom and pop" mini markets or groceries. The bigger supermarkets such as Ling and Sons, Certified Mega Mall, Super Food, and Kong Hing offer a wide variety of food products, fresh produce, canned goods meats and fish. Grocery stores are open from 8:30am - 8:00pm Monday - Saturday and on Sunday's until 2:00pm

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Living in Aruba

Education

Education plays a key role in the development of Aruba and more than 80 schools offer the opportunity for an average of 22,000 students on a daily basis to discover their own potential, to develop and grow.

In the public schools the education system follows the Dutch Curriculum and most schools are partially subsidized by the government, with the exception of The International School of Aruba and Basisschool De Schakel (Dutch), which are both private schools.

The International School of Aruba

This school provides an American-based curriculum with an international dimension for children ages 3-19 that includes academics, the arts, activities, and athletics. Opportunities related to Aruban culture are also integrated into curriculum at both elementary and secondary levels. Additionally, they put an emphasis on community service via student organizations, activities, and with teachers as models who are actively engaged in the community.

University

The University of Aruba, offers Bachelors and Masters degree courses in Law, undergraduate studies in Finance and Economics, a Bachelor program for Business Administration in Hospitality & Tourism Management Aruba. and the Faculty of Art and Science offering undergraduate and graduate studies.

Xavier Medical

The Xavier University School of Medicine at Aruba was founded to train students in the art of medicine using a US based curriculum. The entire focus of their program is to ensure students receive the knowledge they need to successfully enter residencies in the United States as competent physicians.

The Xavier University School of Medicine at Aruba (XUSOM) is a prime choice for foreign students to pursue their medical education overseas in the Caribbean. Their medical school offers studies in the Caribbean with guaranteed clinical rotations in the United States. Best of all, there are no MCAT required for admission.

De Schakel

The Schakel is a private school, where the curriculum is based on the Dutch system.

They provide different levels of education starting with Kindergarten, secondary education and College. They are strictly a Dutch school but with a strong focus on an International outlook.

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Living in Aruba

Utilities

In Aruba, the utilities companies are largely privatized but the government is still responsible for providing these basic facilities as majority shareholder and is closely involved with the delivery of these services.

The following utilities operate in Aruba:

Water

Water is produced and delivered by WEB Aruba NV (water and energy). WEB uses desalination for water production, and electricity is produced using boilers. Tap water in Aruba is of a very high quality, and excellent taste, often indistinguishable from bottled water.

Electricity

Elmar is responsible for the distribution of electricity. The electricity voltage is 110 v AC at 60 cycles. Approximately 33,000 households are connected to the electricity grid.

Cable television

In Aruba, there are cable television and cable Internet services available. Cable television and cable Internet services are provided by Cable TV Aruba NV. To be connected to the cable TV and cable Internet you must register in person at the office of Cable TV.

GAS

The Aruba Gas Supply Co. Ltd better known as "Arugas" carries and delivers gas for domestic use. Propane gas is supplied in cylinders of 100 lbs. To become a customer, you must personally sign in at Arugas. The following documents must be submitted:

Gas is always supplied in two tanks, one bottle is connected, the other says 'standby'. A deposit should be paid for both tanks. For an extra tank request an additional charge will be requested.

Telecommunications

Telecommunications service is provided by Setar NV. In addition to fixed telephony; mobile telephony and internet services, Setar has also a variety of data communication services such as:

For connection to a home phone, mobile phone, and DSL Setarnet, you must personally sign the following documents:

Another cellular provider on Aruba is Digicel.

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Living in Aruba

Household waste

On Aruba At least 96% of household waste is collected by Servicio di Limpiesa Aruba (SERLIMAR). This is based on fixed schedules and fixed itineraries.

The removal of household waste is considered a public responsibility. This duty, geared to health and environmental management, means that the government has a duty to at least one (1) time per week to collect household waste. This task is for the government, conducted by Serlimar.

Household waste is collected weekly according to the collection schedule.

Another service for waste disposal is Ecotech (part of the ATCO group of companies) which is a paid service.

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Living in Aruba

Septic services

In some cases the septic tank may need to be cleaned and there are different septic companies that can be called for the service.

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Tourists

Tourists may enter Aruba without a written permit and may remain for a period not exceeding 14 days. For tourists who are subjects of countries which have an agreement with the Kingdom of the Netherlands to abolish the visa obligation - this agreement also being applicable to Aruba - the aforementioned period is three months. Citizens of the Netherlands or the Netherlands Antilles may stay up to six months.

For entering Aruba tourists from the United States of America must be in possession of ONE of the following:

Tourists are not allowed to work, look for or accept any work during their stay, neither are they permitted to do business or participate in any business on the island.

Tourists should have in their possession:

  1. a return ticket, or a ticket to travel elsewhere outside Aruba
  2. the necessary documents for returning to the country of origin, or for further travel elsewhere (visa, etc.)
  3. sufficient means at their disposal to be able to support themselves during their stay in Aruba and must be able to prove this, if requested. upon arrival in Aruba

More information on Aruba visas , Aruba entry requirements and Aruba residence permits

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Temporary Permits

The same conditions stated above are required for a temporary residence-permit. The persons concerned are not allowed to work, to look for or accept work without the explicit consent of the authority who issued the (written) temporary residence-permit. Neither are they permitted to do business, participate in any business, or start any business on the island.

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Permanent Residence Permit

When requesting a residence-permit without a working permit, one must submit:

Persons desiring a permanent residence-permit must be in possession of:

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Temporary or Permanent Work Permit

Any foreigners who want to exercise a profession must have a work permit. The work permit will normally be granted only if there are no qualified persons locally available. In general, requests for work-permits will only be taken into consideration if filed through a local employer, who has to accept full responsibility for any possible expenses to be made by the government relative to the employee(s).

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Written Permits

With the exception of tourists, all other persons should have a written permit to prove their legal presence on the island. This means that one (unless a tourist) should not travel to or be on the island pending a request for a residence-and/or work permit.

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Information

Application forms (for written permits) can be obtained free of charge by writing to:

Departamento di Integracion, Maneho y Admision di Stranhero (DIMAS)
The Directorate of Alien Integration, Policy and Admission

Wilhelminastraat 31-33
Oranjestad, Aruba
Phone +297 522 1500
Fax +297 522 1505
Call center: +297 522 1590
Appointment line: +297 522 1502
Fax short stay department (visa): +297 522 1501
Click here to email

website

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General finance tips

When deciding on buying or building, the first important aspect would be to find out what is affordable to you. What you can afford depends on your income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, down-payment and the interest rate.

It is best to begin by checking which financial institution has better interest rates, ask about the different types of insurance associated with buying or building a home, and shop around for the best mortgage deal.

When approaching any financial institution, call first and ask what necessary paper work is required so that once you get to there you are ready. Making an investment such as buying a home, this for some people is a once in a life time investment so you will want to ensure that your needs fits your budget.

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Finance requirements for residents

Most financial institutions, require the following:

The person(s) applying for the mortgage must be 21 years and older.
Must be employed about 2 years or more.
Last two to three months payslips,
Valid ID, whether it's an ID card, passport or driver's license.
A letter of recommendation from your current employer.
If constructing a Taxatie report validated within six(6) months.
If buying a home, an appraisal report validated within one (1) year.

Aruba Bank

CMB

RBTT

Banks and Financial Institutions in Aruba

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Finance requirements for non residents

As a non resident that would like to buy or build a home, most financial institutions require a deposit. The deposit amount may vary depending on the bank or financial institution, and the borrowing amount cannot exceed the execution value of the house. In additional to the above requirements as a non resident you will also need:

Proof of income if retired
Two(2) bank reference letters
Local Insurance.

Each bank has different requirements, terms and conditions.

Aruba Bank

CMB

RBTT

Banks and Financial Institutions in Aruba

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General Insurance Tips

Once you have filled in the forms for your mortgage you will now need to fill out forms for Insurance. It is mandatory to have Life insurance coverage. If your mortgage was approved on a couple's income then both applicants would have to take out life insurance policies.

For Non Residents applying for a mortgage it is a must to get insurance locally in order to purchase or build a home.

There are different types of insurance coverage available in Aruba such as Life Insurance, Personal Liability Insurance, Savings Insurance, Term Insurance and Endowment Insurance.

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Life Insurance

This is coverage, in case you or your partner pass away before the home is completely paid off, the insurance will pay the balance owed on the home to the bank and additional funds will be paid to your heirs.

Personal Liability Insurance

Covers you in the event of an accident and due to the accident you have been deemed disabled to work. With Personal Liability Insurance depending on the severity of your disability, the insurance company will pay the bank or you a percentage of the total amount for which you are insured.

Savings Insurance

This is a combination of savings insurance and a part that covers risk. In Aruba this is referred to as Spaar (save) Verzekering (insurance)

Term Insurance

This is coverage for a period of time or specified "term" of years. If the insured passes away during the time period specified in the policy and the policy is active the amount for which you are insured will be paid to the bank or your beneficiaries.

Endowment Insurance

This is a type of life Insurance that gets paid out once the policy matures. The amount for which you are insured will be paid to the bank whether you are alive or not.

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Types of Property Insurance

Protecting your home against Fire and other Damages is your responsibility as a homeowner. All banks require homeowners to have Fire Insurance. Other property insurance is not required by the bank but it's recommended.

Fire Insurance

It is a requirement that every home buyer should have Fire Insurance. Should your home burn down, depending on the nature of the fire, the insurance company will pay you or the bank the insured amount of your home.

Demolition Damage

This is coverage against, theft, floods, earthquakes etc. This insurance is not insisted upon but it's recommended. Some Insurance agencies offer coverage against both Fire and Demolition together in one.

Construction All Risk Insurance

Construction all risk insurance is a one time payment that is obligatory when building a home. This type of insurance protects the property in case of fire, theft or other natural disasters. The cost of the insurance will depend on the size of the house, the value of the house, materials to be used and the time it would take to complete the house. The contractor has to be registered at the Chamber of Commerce for this type of insurance to be in full effect. If however, your contractor is not registered to do business, then during the construction phase only coverage against fire can be obtained. For construction all risk insurance ask your broker for more information.

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