Visa, Residency, and Citizenship in the Dominican Republic – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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Table of Contents
I have already mentioned in a previous post the popularity of the Dominican Republic. Over recent times, it is being recognised as one of the most popular retirement destinations.
I have previously provided two detailed guides for expats in the Dominican Republic. You can access those two guides by clicking on the links given below.
Even though I have provided information related to visas, the information provided is limited. Therefore, today I will shed some light on visas, residency, and citizenship in the Dominican Republic.
Let us begin.
First of all, you should remember that individuals from the following countries don’t need a visa to enter the Dominican Republic.
— All EU citizens
— Antigua and Barbuda
— Bosnia and Herzegovina
— Costa Rica
— El Salvador
— Hong Kong
— Marshall Islands
— New Zealand
— North Macedonia
— Papua New Guinea
— Saint Kitts and Nevis
— Saint Lucia
— Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
— San Marino
— Solomon Islands
— South Africa
— South Korea
— Trinidad and Tobago
— The United Arab Emirates
— The United Kingdom
— The United States
— Vatican City
Probably, you won’t be needing a visa to enter the Dominican Republic from many countries.
I have mentioned that the people from the above-mentioned countries do not need a visa. Even though there is no requirement for a visa, they would still need to get a Tourist Card.
This is a Visa waiver. This allows citizens from those countries to enter the Dominican Republic without a Visa.
The Tourist Card is for people who intend to stay for a period of 30 days maximum. You can apply for extensions by paying a fee, which should be verified at the border upon arrival.
People from a country, which is not on that list need to apply for a Visa. If your country is not on that list, it doesn’t mean the process gets extremely complicated. It just indicates that the process for you will require some extra steps.
There are two different types of Visas related to tourism in the Dominican Republic, which are:
— The Simple Tourism Visa (TS)
— The Multiple Tourism Visa (TM)
The Simple Tourism Visa costs around $95 and allows single entry to the country.
The Multiple Tourism Visa costs around $125 and allows multiple entries to the country.
People who stay longer than 30 days will be charged an additional fee upon departure. This fee is calculated on a sliding scale, which depends on the total length of your stay.
The duration of your stay in the Dominican Republic depends on the type of visa you apply for. This can either be a short-stay visa or a long-stay visa.
With a short-stay visa, you can stay in the Dominican Republic for a period of three months. However, people with short-stay visas cannot apply for a residence permit.
On the other hand, a long-stay visa allows you to stay in the Dominican Republic for a period of one year. You can apply for a long-stay visa by consulting the nearest embassy/consulate of the Dominican Republic.
This can be in your country, and if your country doesn’t have one, you can apply in the neighbouring country. Additionally, there are different long-stay visas available for you to choose from depending on the purpose of your stay.
Different types of long-stay visas are available in the Dominican Republic for the following purposes.
— Family Reunion
If you intend to extend your stay for more than 30 days, visit the Department of Immigration website. You can then find the relevant fees and document-related information.
The processing time for a visa can take around 10 – 15 business days. Anyhow, this depends on the country from where you are applying for your Visa.
Dominican Republic E-Ticket
The Dominican Republic opted for an electronic system which combines the following details into a single form.
— Traveller’s Health Affidavit
— Customs Declaration
— International Embarkation/Disembarkation forms
Because of this, you will be needed to fill out and submit your digital documents through the Electronic Ticket Portal.
This can be done either before or upon arrival in the Dominican Republic. And this applies to all the flight passengers who are entering and departing the Dominican Republic.
Given below is the link which will redirect you to the e-ticket portal.
The requirements for getting a visa in the Dominican Republic are as follows:
— Visa application form.
— Passport-Size Picture.
— Valid passport.
— For minors, permission from the parents or guardian (in the absence of the mother or the father).
It is required to submit a document that is translated into Spanish and apostilled.
— Proof Of Financial Solvency.
— Health Insurance.
— Letter of Invitation, which can be from a friend or a relative living in the Dominican Republic.
— Photocopy of your National ID proof and Permanent Resident Card.
— Copy of hotel details (booking confirmation).
— Copy of flight details.
— Copy of a previous Dominican Republic Valid Visa or a Dominican Republic residence card (if any exists).
— Criminal record certificate. Again, this document should be notarized and translated into Spanish. Adding to that, both the original and the translation copy are to be Apostilled.
— Civil Status Documents.
There are also specific requirements for the passport-size picture, which are as follows:
— Photo Dimensions: it should either be 3cm x 3cm or 2 inches x 2 inches.
— In the case of electronic pictures: the format should be in the JPG format up to a maximum of 150Kb.
— A clear white background.
— It should be taken recently.
— In the picture, you must stare straight, and the entire face should be visible.
— A neutral facial expression.
— No headgear or glasses. You’re allowed to wear headgear for religious reasons. Yet, eyeglasses should be avoided as they obstruct your eyes or face.
— If you wear headgear for religious purposes, try to wear it in such a way that it does not cover your face.
The passport must be valid for at least another six months while having two remaining blank pages for visa stickers. If the passport is not valid for the time mentioned, get your passport renewed before you begin the application process.
Copies related to your bank statements or credit card statements are to be submitted as proof of financial solvency. This is to endure that you have sufficient funds to cover your stay in the Dominican Republic.
Given below are the simple steps on how you can apply for a Visa in the Dominican Republic.
— Gather necessary documents
— Complete the online application form
— Make your visa appointment
— Attend the visa appointment
— Wait until visa is processed
— Upon approval, get your visa
After successful approval, you will receive an email or SMS from the embassy/consulate. This would be the same embassy or consulate to which you have submitted the documents.
Information regarding your visa result is expected to be provided within 10 to 15 working days.
If you wish to stay longer than one year, you can apply for a residence permit. This temporary residence permit is also offered for the purposes mentioned above. You can apply for it at the Migration Directorate of the Dominican Republic.
The process of getting a residency permit in the Dominican Republic is easy. Yet you are required to go through a significant amount of paperwork. If you want to relocate to the Dominican Republic, then you should obtain a residence visa. This is to be acquired from a Dominican consulate abroad (in your country).
Only then you can apply for a provisional residence permit with the Department of Migration. This can be done after entering the country but should be done within 60 days of arriving. All the necessary documents must be translated into Spanish and both the originals and translations must be notarized.
The documents needed for applying for a residence permit in the Dominican Republic are the same as those for a visa. Foreigners cannot obtain a residence permit under the following circumstances.
Residency through Pension, Rental Income and Investment
Those who wish to get residence in the Dominican Republic have three lucrative options. They are:
— Pensionado Visa
— Rentista Visa
— Investor Visa
To apply for the Pensionado Visa, you must submit your proof of a pension. This should comprise an amount of at least $1,500 per month, along with an extra $250 per month per dependent.
The process usually takes around 45 days for approval, before getting the Pensionado visa. This residency program does come with other benefits and tax advantages as well.
Individuals still receive their social security benefits regardless of their citizenship status. Such benefits are delivered to your address located in the Dominican Republic.
In general, residents are required to pay taxes on their global income after three years of residency, pensions and social security benefits. However, people with a Pensionado visa in the DR (Dominican Republic) are exempt from this rule.
For the Rentista Visa, you must prove that you get a monthly income from abroad for renting out a property. You’ll need to provide the rental agreement copy for that particular property.
This is a statement proving that you received rent from the person renting the property, and a bank statement. The proof of income for this visa should amount to at least $2,000 per month.
The Rentista visa is valid for two years, and following that, it can be renewed easily. The process is so simple that you have to provide a standard letter from the bank.
This letter should indicate that you have an account and a Buena conducta from the Procuraduria Office. People having the Rentista visa are only taxed on Dominican Republic income.
There are no taxes on global income as you would be taxed under a standard residency abroad. Based on this, your rental income is safeguarded from double taxation in the DR.
Additionally, you are also offered some tax benefits for purchasing property in the Dominican Republic.
The Investor Visa is offered to people who can invest in the business or financial instruments based in the DR. The businesses in which you can invest include free zones and government contracts as well.
You can alternatively make a CD deposit at a bank or purchase a property through a company. The minimum amount to be invested to get the Investor Visa in the DR is $200,000.
Alternatively, you can even put the same amount in a bank account in the DR to get residency. Nevertheless, which option you choose for the residency through investment, you must rent/buy a house for accommodation.
The steps for attaining residency in the DR through investment are set forth as follows.
First, you must register a company in the country. The next step is to open a corporate bank account and deposit USD 200,000 in the account.
As an alternative to that, you can purchase real property that is worth at least USD 200,000 under your company’s name.
Following that, you can apply for permanent residence in the DR with the help of an embassy/consulate in your home country.
If there is no Dominican embassy or consulate in your country, you can apply at the nearest embassy. This can usually be from any of the neighbouring countries that have an embassy or consulate.
You can expect to receive the residence permit within 2 to 4 weeks if everything goes well.
The following documents are considered to be crucial while applying for residence through this method.
— An international passport. This passport should be valid for at least 18 months.
— A photograph, which must be of the dimensions 4X5 cm.
— A medical certificate, which should include a copy translated into Spanish.
— A bank statement, which provides your account turnover for the past six months. This is also required to be translated into Spanish along with the provision of the original copy.
— Your birth certificate also needs to be translated into Spanish and apostilled.
— A police clearance certificate, which also needs to be translated into Spanish and apostilled.
— A marriage certificate (if applicable), which also needs to be translated into Spanish and apostilled.
During your stay in the Dominican Republic, you will have to visit the Immigration Service. This is regarding the process of filing an application for a temporary residence permit.
This is also known as cedula and is valid for a period of one year. Right after the one-year temporary residency, you can apply for permanent residence in the DR.
In this way, the individuals first get a temporary residency permit in the DR by making an investment. Following that, they can obtain a permanent residence permit.
There is no mandatory requirement for you to spend all your time in the DR to keep your residence permit.
The local legislation helps in filing an application for full citizenship of the country after two years of living there. In those two years, you must be staying in the DR with the help of a permanent residence permit.
Given below are the necessary requirements related to the residency methods, we discussed above. The applicant should not be suffering from a contagious disease or a mental illness altering their behaviour.
The applicant should possess a clean criminal record, which guarantees no involvement with criminal activities.
A letter, which is duly signed before a notary by a citizen or permanent resident alien in the Dominican Republic. This letter should guarantee that the applicant will (at no time) become a burden to the Dominican State.
In addition to the expenses of relocation, there is also a requirement for proof of an insurance policy. This letter should also include the information of any dependents as well.
A bank letter, which declares that the applicant has a bank account at a Dominican bank.
A receipt of foreign currency income, which is brought into the country. Along with that, an original certificate from the receiving bank in the Dominican Republic is also needed.
The following details are necessary for foreign bank deposits or foreign financial institution remittances.
— Account number
— Average annual balance
— Account history, which should include information on how long the account has been open
— A certified copy, which is related to the investment certificate (if any exists).
For investments made in foreign entities, applicants are required to provide a certificate issued by the company. This certificate should make sure that the investment income is stable and permanent for at least 5 years.
It should also mention the details proving that you as a shareholder or owner of that entity.
For foreign-based real estate income, information stating permanent income from abroad for at least five years should be provided.
This can be done through an original of the contract of rent providing rental income. Alternatively, a copy of the original title of the property should suffice.
For securities based in foreign currencies, a certificate issued by the financial institution is needed.
This should prove authorization to operate in the Dominican Republic.
It should also certify that these interests provide you with a stable and permanent income for at least five years.
For Dominican Republic/foreign currency securities, a certificate issued by an institution is needed.
This certificate should ensure that the profits from investment in securities are stable and permanent for at least five years.
Besides that, a copy of the securities issued in foreign and/or national currency is also required. In such a situation, the capital should have been generated abroad.
For the Dominican Republic, real estate, certification from deed registration on the property is needed. Such a property should be purchased in the Dominican Republic.
Along with these, a copy of the deed is also necessitated.
For real estate investments offering yields, dividends, and interest, a certificate related to the investment is needed.
For rental income, applicants should deposit the lease duly registered or legalized.
This should be provided in addition to proof that the money invested in real estate investment is from foreign sources.
A receipt of currencies to the country is required.
This can be done through a copy of checks or notice of transfer related to the financial institution established abroad.
Citizenship in the Dominican Republic
In the Dominican Republic, you can apply for dual citizenship. This means you won’t have to renounce your previous citizenship to become a national.
Through residency, you can obtain citizenship in just two years, which is great compared to other countries. In general, most countries require 5 to 10 years of permanent residence before applying for citizenship.
That’s not the case with the Dominican Republic as you can just apply for citizenship through two years of permanent residency. If opted for the general temporary residency program, you would have to wait for at least five years of permanent residency.
Nonetheless, people with a Rentista visa, Pensionado visa, or Investor visa can obtain it faster. Therefore, these options for attaining citizenship are deemed fast-track options.
Upon qualifying for one of the fast-track options, you’re provided with permanent residency status. Under the traditional residency program, applicants are required to renew their status every year. This is mandatory for the first four years they remain a temporary resident.
With fast-track options, you don’t have to renew annually and you can renew it every four years. You don’t have to spend any mandatory time in the country either on an ongoing basis or annually.
You can just return every four years during the renewal time and still become eligible. With the traditional residency in the Dominican Republic, it can take up to three years for citizenship.
However, under the fast-track residency option, you can begin the naturalization process right after six months after receiving your permanent residency card.
Following the six-month residency period, the application process and approval time might take up to another six months.
You’ll need to have an interview in Spanish, for which you must qualify. Nonetheless, the process is easy and less troublesome compared to many other jurisdictions.
In this post, I have covered all the information related to visas, residency, and citizenship in the Dominican Republic.
There is a good chance for the information to change or get outdated by the time you read this. Therefore, the information in this post should be considered for reference purposes rather than actual process details.
I highly recommend using the services of a lawyer or relevant professional during the immigration process. If you need help with Portugal Golden Visa, I can be of assistance and I’ve already helped many people get their visas.
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