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Becoming a legal resident
The following information is presented only as an informative guide. There may be differences in the actual requirements at the time the person makes the application.

What are the advantages to getting a residency?
To become a legal resident in the DR, foreigners need to obtain a residence visa, provisional residence card and finally a permanent residence card. The entire process will take over a year and a half. Many persons contract the services of an experienced Dominican migration lawyer because it is a very time-consuming process. Following is the listing of requirements as indicated at the Ministry of Foreign Relations (Residence Visa) and the Department of Migration (Provisional Residence and Permanent Residence). 

A permanent residence can be obtained in a minimum of 18 months. It takes about four to six months to obtain the provisional residence. Provisional residences are granted for a year and only at the expiration of that year can the application for the permanent residence be filed. It takes 2-3 months to obtain the permanent residence after paper work is submitted.  

Residence Visa
Government Department: Ministry of Foreign Relations. 
Location: Av. Independencia Tel. 809 535-6280 Ext. 2241, 2326
Consular Services Department contacts: Dulce Rosario de la Maza, Manuel Flores
Office hours: Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. 
Time for depositing paperwork: from 8 to 11 am. 
Taxes: RD$400 per person. 
Duration after filing all required paperwork: Two-three months

Apply at the Ministry of Foreign Relations (Av. Independencia) in Santo Domingo. It is also possible to apply at select consulates abroad. All foreign documents need to be legalized at the Dominican consulate nearest to the jurisdiction of the applicant. All documents, with the exception of the passport and application letter, need to be presented in an original and four copies. 

According to the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the documents needed to apply for a Residence Visa are:

Letter of Request (original and six copies). This needs to be addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Relations. It can be sent by the applicant or his legal representative. The request can be made by a person or a company.

a) In the case of a person, the letter should include the name, nationality, place of residence, productive activity of the applicant. In the case of a company application, in addition to the above information, the request should be made on company letter head and signed by the highest ranking officer of the company, whose position in the company should also appear. Both personal or company letters should include the contact telephone number and address.

b) Indication of the ties to the country, which can be any of these: 
Dominican by origin, married to a Dominican citizen, work contract legalized by the Ministry of Labor, economic solvency, more than a year travelling to or living in the country. 

Form 509-REF. Typewritten or in legible print. Sold for RD$5.00 at the Department of Legalizations of the Ministry of Foreign Relations. Rentas Internas stamp for RD$2.00.

Certificate of Good Conduct. Issued in the DR only by the National Police (Av. Leopoldo Navarro) or the Attorney General’s office –Procuraduría General de la República– at Centro de los Heroes. This document is valid for 30 days. Those under 18 years are exempt from obtaining this document. 

Medical Certificate. Issued by the Department of Migration medical department. Cost of RD$1,000 adults and RD$900 under 18 years. After the medical evaluation is completed, a wait period of 15 working days is necessary for the papers to be sent by the Department of Migration to the Ministry of Foreign Relations. This test is valid for a year. 

Photographs. Four 2” x 2” front photos. Three 2” x 2” profile photos. 

Birth Certificate. If the original is in another language other than Spanish, the document needs to be translated into Spanish by a legal interpreter and legalized at the Legalization Department of the Ministry of Foreign Relations or the Attorney General’s Office (Centro de los Heroes). If the person is abroad, it needs to be legalized at the Dominican Consulate in the jurisdiction closest to the residence of the applicant. The original and the translation need to be deposited. 

Marriage Certificate. This step is necessary if both spouses are applying for the residence visa. If the original is in another language other than Spanish, the document needs to be translated into Spanish by a legal interpreter and legalized at the Legalization Department of the Ministry of Foreign Relations or the Attorney General’s Office (Centro de los Heroes). The original and the copy need to be deposited.

If the couple was married in the Dominican Republic, a copy of the marriage act needs to be legalized at the Central Electoral Board (JCE). The applicant needs to also include a photocopy of the identification card (cedula) of the Dominican spouse and if the spouse is a legal resident, a copy of the permanent residence card or cedula of the foreigner. 
If the applicant is a son/daughter of Dominican parents, he should include a copy of the cedula and marriage act of the parents. The marriage act needs to be legalized at the Ministry of Foreign Relations or the Attorney General’s Office. 

If the person is a son/daughter of a legal resident, a copy of the Dominican permanent residence should be included, foreigner cedula and marriage certificate of the parents. The marriage certificate needs to be legalized at the Ministry of Foreign Relations Legalization Department or the Attorney General’s Office. If the person’s parents were married abroad, the marriage act needs to be legalized by the Dominican consulate nearest to the jurisdiction of the applicant. 

Guarantor Letter. Letter addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Relations and signed by a Dominican or foreign legal resident in the DR that specifies the tie with the applicant. The guarantor accepts to be responsible for any expenses the beneficiary of the residence visa may incur in including the paying of the costs to deport the beneficiary if necessary. This guarantor letter needs to be signed before a Dominican notary public and legalized by the Attorney General’s Office. 

Proof of Economic Solvency. All documents need to be in investments in the Dominican Republic in the name of the applicant. The applicant needs to have a minimum of RD$500,000 in investments. These documents can be:

  • a) Bank Letter indicating bank balance addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Relations. 
  • b) Copies of property titles.
  • c) Copy of a vehicle registration. 
  • d) Registration of a company legalized by the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. 
  • e) Copy of Financial Certificates.
  • f) Work Contract or Retirement Pension. If a work contract is submitted, the latter must be registered with the Ministry of Labor which will send an inspector to determine work conditions and that the foreign applicant is not filling a position that a Dominican national could fill. This verification process takes about a month. 
  • g) Sales Contract, Income Affidavit, etc.

All these documents need to be issued by institutions located in the DR. Properties or accounts abroad will not be considered. 

Department of Migration Certificate. Proof of the last entrance to the DR or two-sided photocopy of the most recent tourist card (four copies).

Passport. Two complete copies of the cover and all the inside pages of the applicant’s passport, including blank pages. The passport needs to be up to date for at least six more months after the visa application date. The passport needs to have an expiration date of no less than three months at the time of the issuing of the visa. 

Once the documents are assembled, the completed file is submitted to the Consular Section of the Ministry of Foreign Relations. The Ministry will send the file to the Intelligence Service of the DR known by its acronym in Spanish, DNI. This department will schedule an interview with the applicant and his guarantor to determine the validity of the application. This is normally a routine matter to confirm the information already provided by the client to the government. Once this is done, the file will be returned to the Ministry of Foreign Relations for further processing. 

Once the Residence Visa is issued, the person will receive a file number of the case that will then be sent to the Department of Migration for further processing. Once given the number, the applicant needs to wait seven working days prior to visiting the Department of Migration to then apply for the Provisional Residence.

Provisional Residence Card
Government Department: Department of Migration
Location: Centro de los Heroes, Autopista 30 de Mayo. Tel. 809 508-2555 Ext. 246
Department head: Rene Jimenez, in charge of Foreigners Dept. (Extranjería)
Office hours: Monday to Friday from 8 to 3 pm 
Time for depositing paperwork: from 8 to 2 pm
Taxes: RD$280 in stamps, Internal Revenue (Rentas Internas stamps, migration series) per person. 
Duration after filing papers: About three months. 

After the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues the residence visa, the applicant has 60 days within which to enter the DR, or if already here, 60 days within which to submit an application for the provisional residence card.

The application for Provisional Residence is submitted to the Dominican Migration Department. It is valid for one year when the applicant may submit a petition for a permanent residence card. Once obtained, the temporary residence card allows you to live and work legally in the DR. You no longer need to purchase a tourist card to enter the country. You practically have all the rights that you will acquire when you receive the permanent residence card upon the expiration of the temporary card. 

Documents that need to be submitted to the Department of Migration for the Provisional Residence Card are:

Provisional Residence Form C-1 Ref. Three copies and the original. 

Residence Visa. Two copies and the original of the Residence Visa issued by the Ministry of Foreign Relations. 

Birth Certificate. If the original is in another language other than Spanish, the document needs to be translated into Spanish by a legal interpreter and legalized at the Legalization Department of the Ministry of Foreign Relations or the Attorney General’s Office (Centro de los Heroes). 

Marriage Certificate. This step is necessary if both spouses are applying for the residence visa. If the original is in another language other than Spanish, the document needs to be translated into Spanish by a legal interpreter and legalized at the Legalization Department of the Ministry of Foreign Relations or the Attorney General’s Office (Centro de los Heroes). The original and the copy need to be deposited.

If the couple was married in the Dominican Republic, a copy of the marriage act needs to be legalized at the Central Electoral Board (JCE). The applicant needs to also include a photocopy of the identification card (cedula) of the Dominican spouse and if the spouse is a legal resident, a copy of the permanent residence card or cedula of the foreigner. 
If the applicant is a son/daughter of Dominican parents, he should include a copy of the cedula and marriage act of the parents. The marriage act needs to be legalized at the Ministry of Foreign Relations or the Attorney General’s Office.

If the person is a son/daughter of a legal resident, a copy of the Dominican permanent residence should be included, foreigner cedula and marriage certificate of the parents. The marriage certificate needs to be legalized at the Ministry of Foreign Relations Legalization Department or the Attorney General’s Office. If the person’s parents were married abroad, the marriage act needs to be legalized by the Dominican consulate nearest to the jurisdiction of the applicant. 

Photographs. Four 2”x2” frontal photos of the applicant’s face. Two 2” x 2” profile photos of the applicant’s face. 

Proof of Financial Solvency. Property title issued by the Title Registrar Office, work contract, bank letter addressed to the Department of Migration with the bank balance, certificates of deposit in a Dominican bank or other documentation proving the financial solvency of the applicant in the Dominican Republic.

All these documents need to be issued by institutions located in the DR. Foreign properties or bank accounts will not be considered. An original and three copies of each document. 

Guarantor Letter. Letter addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Relations and signed by a Dominican or foreign legal resident in the DR that specifies the tie with the applicant. The guarantor accepts to be responsible for any expenses the beneficiary of the residence visa may incur in including the paying of the costs to deport the beneficiary if necessary. This guarantor letter needs to be signed before a Dominican notary public and legalized by the Attorney General’s Office. An original and three photocopies. If the guarantor is not the parent or spouse of the applicant, an affidavit on the solvency of the guarantor, signed by himself and two witnesses and duely legalized by a notary public is necessary. 

Copy of the ID of the Notary Public that acted in the lgalization of the guarantor letter and the sworn statement (affidavit). 

Medical Test Results. Results of a physical examination, including a general physical, blood test (VDRL), a HIV test and a chest x-ray performed by a medical doctor at the Department of Migration. 

Work Contract. If employed. Original and three copies. 

Certificate of Good Conduct. Issued by the National Police. Three copies and the original. If applying from abroad, from a similar institution abroad. 

Permanent Residence Card
Government Department: Department of Migration
Location: Centro de los Heroes, Autopista 30 de Mayo. Tel. 809 508-2555, Ext. 242, 246
Department head: Rene Jimenez, in charge of Foreigners Dept. (Extranjería)
Office hours: Monday to Friday 8 am to 3 pm
Time for depositing paperwork: 8 am to 2 pm
Taxes:
Duration after filing: Two-three months. 

At the time the provisional residence card expires, the applicant needs to apply for a permanent residence card. Permanent residence cards can be renewed for annual or three-year periods. If five years elapse after a permanent residence card has expired, technically the applicant loses his residency. Exceptions have been known to be made. 
The permanent residence card will then allow you to receive a “cedula” or Dominican ID card. This is issued by the Junta Central Electoral (Plaza de la Bandera). 

Documents requested by the Department of Migration: 

Permanent Residence Form. Filled out. Four copies and the original. 

Residence Visa. Two photocopies of the visa that was issued by the Ministry of Foreign Relations. 

Sworn statement by two adults before a Notary Public bearing witness to knowing the applicant in the country and that his conduct is in compliance with the laws of the country. Three copies and an original.

Guarantor Letter. Legalized by a Notary Public and signed by a solvent person who accepts full responsibility for the applicant while in the country. Three copies and an original. 

Certificate of Good Conduct. Issued by the National Police. Three copies and the original. 

Provisional Residence Card. Three copies and the original. 

Photographs. Four 2” x 2” front photographs. Two 2” x 2” profile photographs.

Medical Test Results. Results of a physical examination, including a general physical, blood test (VDRL), a HIV test and a chest x-ray performed by a medical doctor at the Department of Migration. 

Copy of the ID of the Notary Public that acted in the lgalization of the guarantor letter and the sworn statement.

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