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Legal Help & Residency

Obtaining Residency in the Dominican Republic

Although it is possible to stay in the Dominican Republic  without obtaining the official residency permit, there are many reasons why it  is better to do so. Reasons include:

  • A legal resident can work and do business legally in the  Dominican Republic – a non-resident cannot.
  • A resident is allowed to bring in his household items,  ranging from kitchen appliances, to furniture, tax free. A non-resident must  pay all applicable import duties on these goods.
  • A non-resident cannot sue a Dominican national or a legal  resident in court without posting a bond, usually quite high. A legal resident  is exempt from this requirement.
  • In case of inheritance, a non-resident beneficiary must  pay a 50% surcharge on applicable estate taxes – residents are not subject to  this surcharge. For many foreigners interested in not paying taxes in  their home countries on income earned outside their home country, it is a  prerequisite to obtain residency status in another country.
  • A resident can enter the Dominican Republic without  having to buy a tourist card; a non-resident must obtain a visa or buy a  tourist card.

Step 1 – Provisional Residency (Temporary)

You  will need the following documents for the residency procedure:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Four 2×2 photographs front
  • Two 2×2 photographs side
  • Marriage Certificate (if applying with spouse)
  • Two complete photocopies of your passport
  • Tourist card showing date of last entry into the country  (given to you at the Airport)
  • Affidavit of your solvency backed up with evidence e.g.  bank letter/deposits, work contract, property titles, etc.
  • Notarized statement by a Dominican citizen or corporation  or a permanent resident vouching for you in the Dominican Republic (can be  provided by a lawyer)
  • 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-ray)

Birth certificates and other foreign documents need to be  translated into Spanish by an official Dominican translator, which a lawyer normally provides.

The one essential part of this is the medical exam for  which you will need to attend the medical center at the Department of  Immigration in Santo Domingo.

The medical exam is not as onerous as it sounds. It is there mainly to check for Aids, tuberculosis and illegal drug use. Assuming you  don’t have any of those, you should pass the medical exam fine. They will also  ask you some basic questions, such as ‘do you take any prescription medicines,  have you had any recent surgery’ etc, but the answers will not affect the exam.

They will also take a blood sample, a urine sample and a  chest x-ray.

The police check is also relatively painless. Assuming  you are not a known criminal and wanted by Interpol – you should pass this  without problem.

The solvency check is to prove that you are not  destitute. If you own a property in the Dominican Republic or have a  corporation, this will suffice. Evidence of assets of RD$500,000 (around  US$15,000) or more preferably in a local bank account will also be fine.

When the immigration office have approved all the  paperwork, you receive a temporary residency permit card (Residencia) and a  Dominican identification card (Cédula de Identidad). This process takes  approximately 3-5 months, depending on the Dominican immigration authorities.

The temporary residency permit is valid for 1 year. You  then have the right to live and work in the Dominican Republic. You will also  have the right to leave the country whenever you wish and re-enter with your  temporary residence document (you will not need a tourist card or tourist visa  to re-enter).

Step 2 – 2nd Temporary Residency

Repeat the procedure described above. This time the residency is valid for another year, so is the cedula (Dominican ID).

Step 3 – Permanent Residency (Definitiva)

After your 2nd temporary residency card expires, you can  renew the permit and change your status to Permanent Residency. The  Permanent Residency is valid for 4 years at a time and the Dominican  identification card (cédula) for 4 years.

The application for permanent residency is similar to the  provisional residency. The documents required for a permanent residency  application are:

  • residency card + 4 photocopies
  • passport + 4 photocopies
  • cedula + 4 photocopies
  • certificate from a local bank
  • matricula (ownership papers) for vehicle from 2008 or newer, or proof letter from your work place, or original title for your property in the Dominican republic
  • A certificate of good conduct (Buena Conducta) from the Dominican authorities
  • Medical exam performed in Santo Domingo (blood test, urine  and chest x-rays)
  • 2 photos 2 x 2 (front)

One all these have been approved by the immigration  office, you will receive a Permanent Resident Card valid for 4 years, after  which you can keep renewing in 4 year periods.

Alternatively, after the first 4 years with the  permanent residency permit, you may apply for Dominican citizenship and become  formally nationalized (obtaining a Dominican Passport).

Step 4 – Obtaining Dominican Citizenship and a Dominican  Passport

This process can only be started once you have obtained  permanent residence, and there is no obligation to take this step. The main  reason for taking it is if you want a second passport, you want to be able to  vote, or you don’t want the bother of renewing your permanent residency.

There is quite a bit of paperwork to file for naturalization,  but that is all taken care of by your lawyer. The whole process takes from 6  months and up from start to finish.

To obtain a lawyer on the North Coast, check this Directory page:

Category DR Living | Add comments | by admin

How much is Residencia Definitiva and what do you need for it? – Adventurer’s Version

After posting on Facebook, there were many grateful reactions because apparently for some, the residence permit for the Dominican Republic is something mysterious, difficult. Therefore, once again the “fresh” experience report, how the author renewed his first blue “residencia”. For the first residence and the first extension to a definitive “residencia”, other conditions apply which should be clarified with a lawyer or the immigration authorities.

Residencia is done. Four years of peace. This is how the poor could do it, including travel expenses.
First trip to Santo Domingo from Puerto Plata with Caribe Tours (330 pesos). ln Santo Domingo get off the bus at Lope de Vega, walk to the next corner, then turn right and walk along the fence until it ends.
From there you can take Bus No.4, it’s the only bus line on this street, which takes you directly to the Migracion on the Malecon for 25 pesos. You have to bring three documents with you: residencia card, cedula and passport. ln the Migracion you must submit the three documents that are checked there at the counter, bring two copies of each. lf everything is ok you have to pay 4,500 pesos for the medical examination at counter 1 and then proceed to the clinic where they do the tests (blood, urine, lungs). Unfortunately it is necessary to take a taxi (200 pesos) to get there. After taking your blood and urine and making x-rays of the lungs you have to return to Migracion (again 200 pesos). There you can buy the application form (counter 5, 100 pesos), fill it up and then sign it and put your fingerprints on it in the presence of the officer. You also can do this at the second visit, but at the second visit, the time is precious. Take the receipt of the medical check-up, you will need it for the second trip. The result takes ten working days.
Journey home: The same bus (number 4) runs from the Migracion (the side street/ not from the Malecon to the Avenue 27 de Febrero (25 pesos) and from there take a collective taxi directly to Caribe Tours (30 pesos) and again pay the 330 pesos to Puerto Plata.

In Puerto Plata you will have to apply for the certificate of good conduct in the Palacio de Justicia. Before go to the Banreservas to pay 330 pesos for the document. Bring the cedula, then leave two copies of the cedula and the deposit receipt. After a few hours you can get the certificate, you can wait or come back the next day. For the second trip to Santo Domingo you have to bring this certificate and a proof of solvency (copy of a “titulo” of land or evidence of sufficient money on the account ask for better information at the first visit). Hand in at counter 8 the already finished application form (you also can do it now, but this means lost time), passport, cedula, residencia, the solvency proof, the receipt of the medical examination, two copies of passport, cedula and residencia and two photos 2 x 2, which also can be taken outside the Migraci6n (300 pesos for 8 photos). After reviewing you have to make another three copies of the whole bunch of papers (120 pesos). After submitting these copies, wait about one hour. If everything is checked, the entire folder is brought to the left counters, where you pay 8,000 pesos for four years, plus 1,000 pesos VIP surcharge, to obtain the new residencia the same day, plus possitbly a late charge of 400 pesos per month. Then the photos for the residencia are taken, after which again you have to wait about one hour until your name is called, or you can pick up the new card at counter 9. That’s all at the Migracion.

For the new cedula you now have to proceed to the office where they issue a new cedula bringing the new residencia, passport and old cedula. The office is near the Plaza de la Bandera (taxi 250 pesos). ln the office you give passport, residencia and cedula. They are brought into the next room, where they will take photos and fingerprints after calling you. You get back cedula, residencia and passport along with a receipt that the issuing of a cedula (currently)  is for free. Then wait until you are called. In the office where the photos were taken, the data for the new cedula again have to be clarified, then you have to wait in the waiting room until you are called and can receive the new cedula.

Walk to the Plaza de la Bandera, which can be seen outside the door at the left. From there (Avenida 27 de Febrero), take a shared taxi for 30 pesos directly to Caribe Tours (again 330 pesos). If you have no time or desire for adventure, of course you also can do this with a lawyer and a private vehicle.

Furthermore, the Immigration Authority currently offers to apply for a residency permit for those who have lived in the country for years without the necessary residence permit, without paying the late surcharge that could cost tens of thousands for some. For more details ask a lawyer or Migracion. The same was offered three years ago, without much resonance because some apparently think it’s not that important.

Interior-and Police Minister Fadul, however, warned that after the deadline there will start a new era and residents without a valid ID (cedula), could be deported.

Werner, La Playa Magazine

June 2014
Category DR Living | Add comments | by admin
Last updated January 21, 2018 at 12:31 AM
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