Who has the right to Dominican citizenship?
In addition to being the offspring of a Dominican citizen, you can acquire Dominican citizenship through marriage. A foreign woman who marries a Dominican has the right to Dominican citizenship. This does not work in reverse. A foreign man who marries a Dominican woman does not have the automatic right to Dominican citizenship.
If I do not meet the above conditions, how can I apply for Dominican citizenship?
Law 1683 dated 1948 and its modifications establishes that a person is eligible to obtain Dominican nationality after:
- Having resided in the country for at least six months after having obtained legal domicile (permanent residence card).
- Having resided continually in the country for at least two years.
- Having resided continually in the country for at least six months and having formed a business or purchased real estate.
- Having served in the Dominican Armed Forces.
- Have obtained a special concession from the President which may be granted for having served the DR with merit.
Is it legal to be a Dominican and US citizen?
Yes. Both the US and the Dominican Republic recognize dual citizenship. US jurisprudence establishes that a US citizenship is only lost if the citizen expressly hands in turns down his US citizenship.
A Dominican who is also an American may vote in the US without fear of losing his/her Dominican citizenship. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons for the constitutional amendment of 1994 that allowed Dominicans to acquire another nationality without losing their Dominican citizenship was precisely to allow them to vote in U.S. elections. Before the amendment, many longtime Dominican residents in New York would not apply for naturalization for fear of losing their Dominican citizenship.
US born children who have a Dominican parent have the option of acquiring Dominican citizenship once they are 18 years old. The person would then be both an American and a Dominican.
Some restrictions apply. For example a Dominican with another nationality cannot hold certain offices. Dominicans with an American passport are not eligible to be President or Vice President. Likewise, the US government will not recognize as diplomats/consuls Dominicans with US citizenship.
The same applies to Dominican and Spanish nationality.
I was told it would be easier to apply for Dominican citizenship than for a residence?
I am an American woman married to a Dominican man.
This is true because less government departments are involved with the issuing of the citizenship, different from the residence. When you deal with the citizenship, you just deal with the Ministry of Interior and Police. When dealing with the residence card, you have to deal with the Ministry of Foreign Relations and the Department of Migration.