Obtaining Residency Status in the Dominican Republic

Introduction

Foreigners wishing to live or work permanently in the Dominican Republic are required to obtain residency status. Obtaining permanent residency in the Dominican Republic is a three-step process:

  1. First, the foreign national must apply for a residence visa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ("Secretaría de Estado de Relaciones Exteriores").
  2. Once the residence visa is obtained. the applicant must file within the next two months for his provisional residency at the Immigration Department ("Dirección General de Migración"). The procedure at Immigration usually takes approximately four months before provisional residency is granted for one year.
  3. Finally, after the expiration of the provisional residency, the applicant may file for his permanent residency at the Immigration Department.

Residency Visa

The required documents for a residency visa application are:

  • Birth certificate (a true copy translated into Spanish by a Dominican official translator);
  • Marriage certificate (if spouses are applying jointly);
  • Passport (two complete photocopies);
  • Tourist card or business visa with evidence of the applicant's last date of entry into the Dominican Republic;
  • Evidence of solvency such as bank deposits, property titles, vehicle registrations or a work contract;
  • Notarized letter of guarantee from a Dominican person or corporation or a permanent resident;
  • A certificate of good behavior from the Dominican authorities;
  • Medical exam performed in the Dominican Republic ((blood test and chest x-rays);
  • 4 photos 2 x 2 (front);
  • 4 photos 2 x 2 (profile);
  • Completed application forms.

The foreign national may submit his or her application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while visiting the country on a tourist card, tourist visa or business visa.

Provisional Residency

The required documents for a provisional residency application are:

  • Two copies of the residency visa or the tourist card;
  • Birth certificate (a true copy translated into Spanish by a Dominican official translator);
  • Marriage certificate (if spouses are applying jointly);
  • Notarized letter of guarantee from a Dominican person or corporation or a permanent resident;
  • Affidavit regarding the solvency of the guarantor backed by evidence of solvency such as bank deposits, property titles, etc.;
  • Work contract (if the applicant works in the country);
  • A certificate of good behavior from the Dominican authorities;
  • Medical exam performed in the Dominican Republic ((blood test and chest x-rays);
  • 4 photos 2 x 2 (front);
  • 2 photos 2 x 2 (profile);
  • Completed application forms.

Once the application is approved, the applicant receives a Provisional Residency Card and an Identity Card ("Cédula de Identidad").

For many years now, the Immigration Department has waived the requirement of a residency visa to apply for residency for those applicants who have entered the country with a tourist card or visa.

Permanent Residency

The required documents for a permanent residency application are:

  • Three photocopies of the provisional residency card;
  • Affidavit by two residents of the Dominican Republic regarding the good morals and good behavior of the applicant;
  • Notarized letter of guarantee from a Dominican person or corporation or a permanent resident;
  • A certificate of good behavior from the Dominican authorities;
  • Medical exam performed in the Dominican Republic ((blood test and chest x-rays);
  • 4 photos 2 x 2 (front);
  • 2 photos 2 x 2 (profile);
  • Completed application forms.

After approval of the petition, the applicant receives a Permanent Resident Card valid for a two-year period, renewable for additional two year periods.

New Immigration Law

Immigration Law #285-04 which changes much of the present system was enacted in 2004 but is not yet in force.


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