Getting Your Dominican Republic
A foreign national who wishes to remain in the Dominican Republic indefinitely and long-term must obtain legal residency status. This affords the person certain rights, such as access to a national identity card (which is needed for everything from getting a driver’s license to accessing half price golf). To properly become a resident, foreign nationals must apply with the Registry of Foreigners and have to be eligible. How to do you go about getting your Dominican Republic residency?
Eligibility is pretty straightforward. The first step in becoming a resident is to obtain temporary or provisional residency – the application for which is sent to the Dominican Migration Department and which will allow you to legally live (and work) in the country. The temporary residence is awarded for one year which can then be easily renewed for another year upon expiry. This buys you some time as you get settled in your new life.
After you have lived in the Dominican Republic for 5 years as a temporary resident, you can then apply to change your status to permanent.
Note that temporary residency visas can take up six months to process so you will need to make time for that to arrive and we suggest that you get on it as soon as you possibly can. The requirements for application for your temporary residency in the Dominican Republic are plentiful but not impossible to fulfill if you stay organized. You require:
- A letter addressed to the Minister of Foreign Relations which contains your full legal name, nationality, place of residence, and what you will do while in the Dominican Republic (work, retired,etc) You should also explain your connection to the country and offer proof of your economic solvency, meaning your ability to be financially independent if you are neither Dominican by origin or relationally through marriage. This letter will need to officially be translated into Spanish and submitted with the following documents:
- The visa application form
- A valid passport photocopied and translated
- Translated birth certificate, also photocopied
- Translated and notarized medical certificate
- Police certificate including an official criminal record certificate – translated and notarized
- Certificate from the Department of Migration with proof of last entry into the Dominican Republic and a photocopy of the entry card
- Work contract or certificate, if applicable
- If married to a Dominican, a copy of the marriage license must be included and translated where necessary
- 3 photos of the applicant, 2″ x 2″ on a white background
Four copies of everything noted above plus the originals must be submitted along with the fee for the visa which is approximately $125.00 USD. Once you receive your visa (3 to 6 months later) you will be required to submit additional documentation, including:
- A completed temporary residency form
- A valid passport plus two more photocopies
- Proof of the residence visa
- Medical examination (performed in the Dominican Republic this time with a doctor recognized by the Ministry of Migration)
- Four more recent photos (2″x 2″), two facing the front and two facing the side on white backgrounds
- An insurance policy recognized by the Department of Immigration
- Sworn affidavit signed by a Dominican resident or legal permanent resident that they will act as your guarantor (meaning that in the event that the applicant doesn’t follow the rules and regulations of the Dominican Republic and is deported, the guarantor incurs all related costs and debts). This must be signed by two witnesses and notarized.
- Your fingerprints
- Four copies of everything
After you have obtained residency, anyone over the age of 18 can apply to become a citizen of the Dominican Republic which would allow them to vote in elections and have a say in the political process locally. Most of our buyers don’t choose to become citizens of DR, just legal residents. It’s important to know that a Dominican residency in no way affects your legal status or citizenship in your own country. It’s simply a legal status in DR. After five years as a temporary resident, as we said, you can then apply for permanent residency. Following two years after that you can then seek citizenship, if desired. With making the Dominican Republic your new home, we hope we’ve made it a little clearer how you can get the documents you need to make it so!
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