DR Resident Visa Requirements
If you are planning to visit the Dominican Republic seasonally, or move permanently, you are obliged to apply for a resident visa. The overall cost of the application ranges from US$ 1,000 to 2,000 depending on the visa. Generally, you are required to have the following documents;
- Two copies of all passport pages
- Birth certificate translated into Spanish
- Marriage certificate translated into Spanish
- Letter of good conduct from home country
- Dominican Republic good conduct certificate
- Photo (front and side view)
- Employment or proof of real estate in DR
- Guarantee Letter: DR citizen or resident
- Medical Exam Certificate (blood and urine)
The Main Steps
First, you must apply for a residency visa through the Dominican consulate in your country of origin. Once you have been issued the residency visa, you have up to 60 days to plan a trip to the DR to complete the next part of the process. Once you arrive in the Dominican Republic, the next step is to visit the immigration department and present all your files and supporting documents. Once this is done, the process takes between 4 and 5 months to receive your residency card and “Cedula” for identification.
Fast Track Option
There is an option to qualify for the fast track option. In order for one to qualify, you must prove income from either a foreign investment or pension with a minimum income of $US 1,500 per month. You may also qualify if you make a $200,000 investment in Dominican Republic real estate. (You can qualify for the fast track option by depositing that same amount of funds in a banking institution or registered company in the Dominican Republic).
Those who qualify for the fast track method are given an exemption from duty for the importation of household goods, exemption from taxes on dividends and interest, and in addition, a 50% reduction on property and capital gains taxes.
Provisional / Temporary Residency
If you do not fall under the fast track program requirements, you may qualify for provisional/temporary residency. This card is a provisional one which means you will need to go through the same process again in the following year in order to obtain a permanent residency. The documentation required is the same as for the residency card described above.
Advantages of Residency
Being a resident of the Dominican Republic has many advantages. For example, when you enter the country, you simply need your passport and Dominican residency card. Moreover, you don’t need to show a return ticket when entering. Another advantage is being able to get a drivers license in the Dominican Republic. Without a DR Resident Visa, you can only drive for a period of 90 days when using an international license. As a side note: many companies in the DR will not employ expats unless they have residency. Another advantage of residency is that you can expect lower inheritance taxes and lower education fees!
After Dominican residency been established for between 6-24 months (or more), you may then apply for Dominican citizenship. The cost for permanent residency which includes the visa process with the consulate and the residency process with immigration is around US$3,900 per person.