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Thread: Initial Permanent Residency Help

  1. #1
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    Question Initial Permanent Residency Help

    Hello Everyone,
    I would like some advice/help based on your profession or personal experiences with getting a permanent residency.
    Firstly, This is where I am at in the process. I am married to a Dominican who already has Dual Citizenship between the US and DR. I plan on dropping off my application for a Residency Visa at a Dominican Consulate in the US in January (I already have or will have everything I need for this, marriage cert, birth cert, etc., all with apostilles). However, since I work out of the country (I don't work in the US or DR), I will need to return to pickup my Residency Visa a couple of months later (I have two passports, one will stay with the DR consulate for the Visa).
    Secondly, when I return to get my Visa, I will travel right away to the DR (you have 60 days I believe for a one time entry?). I will then apply for Permanent Residency right away. The justification for a Permanent Residency is I will be qualified for a Special Investors Residency.
    Lastly, this brings me to my questions.
    1. How long does the process take after I turn in my Residency Visa, to get my Residency Card?
    2. Do I have to stay in DR for that entire process or can I still travel back and forth with my Passport (Visa is supposedly good for a one time entry, but I hear conflicting stories stating that I don't need to stay in country after I started the residency process as long as I am there for any necessary appointments)?
    3. What is the estimated cost of hiring a lawyer to handle the process for me?

    I know there is some info on the forums already, but my situation seems to be more unique. So in order to properly plan a schedule, I would appreciate all advice. Thank you in advance.

    Respectfully,

    Sua Sponte

  2. #2
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    1. The length of time is a piece of string. Some I know have been a couple of months - others longer. If you are going straight for permanent residency I think it can take a little longer.
    2. No you don't
    3. The lawyer I know charges US$3,000 more or less - less depending on where you apply from and your circumstances. Given that you have done the first part of the process I would have thought around US$2,000 including all the fees - but to confirm you can contact Maria Abreu at http://www.abreuimmigration.com/ and ask.

    Matilda


    Moderator Ladies Only Forum
    www.DR1.com

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matilda View Post
    1. The length of time is a piece of string. Some I know have been a couple of months - others longer. If you are going straight for permanent residency I think it can take a little longer.
    2. No you don't
    3. The lawyer I know charges US$3,000 more or less - less depending on where you apply from and your circumstances. Given that you have done the first part of the process I would have thought around US$2,000 including all the fees - but to confirm you can contact Maria Abreu at http://www.abreuimmigration.com/ and ask.

    Matilda
    I was quoted $3500. by Abreu Immigration Services and $1900. by Guzman Ariza. I personally would advise Guzman not because of the price but because Guzman is a law firm with actual lawyers,Maria Abreu is not a lawyer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matilda View Post
    1. The length of time is a piece of string. Some I know have been a couple of months - others longer. If you are going straight for permanent residency I think it can take a little longer.
    2. No you don't
    3. The lawyer I know charges US$3,000 more or less - less depending on where you apply from and your circumstances. Given that you have done the first part of the process I would have thought around US$2,000 including all the fees - but to confirm you can contact Maria Abreu at http://www.abreuimmigration.com/ and ask.

    Matilda

    Thanks Matilda!

    So one of my main concerns is that once I enter on my one time entry visa, I may have to leave again for work before the Residency process is complete. If that happens, will I still get charged a "overstay fee" if I'm over the 30 day mark for tourist? Or will it slow down the residency process altogether if it isn't complete when I leave?

    I know that I should consult a lawyer on these matters, but I figure I'd at least ask for first hand experience as well.

    Also, I've been quoted from $1k to $1.5k from a different lawyer for just the Residency portion of the process once I have my visa. But I wanted to see what others are paying to make sure that quote was at least near average. Thanks again.

    Respectfully,

    Sua Sponte

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom0910 View Post
    I was quoted $3500. by Abreu Immigration Services and $1900. by Guzman Ariza. I personally would advise Guzman not because of the price but because Guzman is a law firm with actual lawyers,Maria Abreu is not a lawyer.

    Thanks for the input Tom!

    Respectfully,

    Sua Sponte

  8. #6
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    If you are in the DR long enough to see all of your residency paperwork submitted to DGM and accepted, you will receive a receipt for that paperwork which can be used to negate overstay fines while your paperwork is being processed. If you don't have this receipt you may or may not be charged depending how "on the ball" the airport folks are at looking at dates in your passport. Most will just see that the entry visa is still valid and you should be fine.

    If you switch up passports mid process your results may vary. Also keep in mind for renewals and certainly for citizenship, the govt wants to see your entry exit/history so try to enter and leave on the same passport or you will end up confusing the functionaries here. If you make them think too much, your file may end up languishing in a drawer somewhere.

    In many cases now-a-days, any foreign passport that has been registered upon entry into the DR is automatically "locked" and cannot be used to exit the country until overridden by the border people. It is at this point that you will need to show that you do not need to pay the fine. Even Resident's passports get locked after 30 days and you need to show a valid residency card when leaving Paradise.

    The process will take as long as it takes. Your Lawyer may be able to grease the wheels somewhat and keep the process moving forward but it can and sometimes does take a long time.

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  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cdn_Gringo View Post
    If you are in the DR long enough to see all of your residency paperwork submitted to DGM and accepted, you will receive a receipt for that paperwork which can be used to negate overstay fines while your paperwork is being processed. If you don't have this receipt you may or may not be charged depending how "on the ball" the airport folks are at looking at dates in your passport. Most will just see that the entry visa is still valid and you should be fine.

    If you switch up passports mid process your results may vary. Also keep in mind for renewals and certainly for citizenship, the govt wants to see your entry exit/history so try to enter and leave on the same passport or you will end up confusing the functionaries here. If you make them think too much, your file may end up languishing in a drawer somewhere.

    In many cases now-a-days, any foreign passport that has been registered upon entry into the DR is automatically "locked" and cannot be used to exit the country until overridden by the border people. It is at this point that you will need to show that you do not need to pay the fine. Even Resident's passports get locked after 30 days and you need to show a valid residency card when leaving Paradise.

    The process will take as long as it takes. Your Lawyer may be able to grease the wheels somewhat and keep the process moving forward but it can and sometimes does take a long time.

    Ok, that is good to know. I plan on being in DR for at least 60 days before I have to leave again for work. So hopefully that should be enough time to get that receipt. Do you know how it would work if I attempt to enter again on that visa if I already used it and it's already passed the 60 day mark? I would assume that the receipt from DGM should serve the same purpose for reentry?

    As far as my two passports, I will only use the second one, one time and that's when the Dominican Consulate has my original passport. After I get my visa, I will solely use my original passport that has my visa in it.

    I'm familiar with the passport getting locked. My wife is a dual citizen, but she travels on her US passport. Every time we leave, she has to pull out her cedula or DR passport.

    I am familiar with "Island Time" to say the least haha. I do not care how long it takes as long as it doesn't interfere with my work and travel. I am being told by my current lawyer that the wheel greasing is very possible haha.

    Thanks for the help!

    Respectfully,

    Sua Sponte

  11. #8
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    Which passport are you using to obtain residency since you say you have two ?
    If your are using a US one it is likely faster. What is your country of origin? You may have to do two law enforcement checks and two validations of marital status, depending on how long you've had a US residency and your age.
    Your passport will be returned to you after you submit it to the US Dominican consulate and they process it. They do not keep it (Do all document transfers via FED-EX. Dominican Consulate will require you pre-pay them for the return service)

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sua Sponte View Post
    Ok, that is good to know. I plan on being in DR for at least 60 days before I have to leave again for work. So hopefully that should be enough time to get that receipt. Do you know how it would work if I attempt to enter again on that visa if I already used it and it's already passed the 60 day mark? I would assume that the receipt from DGM should serve the same purpose for reentry?

    As far as my two passports, I will only use the second one, one time and that's when the Dominican Consulate has my original passport. After I get my visa, I will solely use my original passport that has my visa in it.

    I'm familiar with the passport getting locked. My wife is a dual citizen, but she travels on her US passport. Every time we leave, she has to pull out her cedula or DR passport.

    I am familiar with "Island Time" to say the least haha. I do not care how long it takes as long as it doesn't interfere with my work and travel. I am being told by my current lawyer that the wheel greasing is very possible haha.

    Thanks for the help!

    Respectfully,

    Sua Sponte
    You used to be able to hold and travel with two passports from the same country (not legally). With today's magnetic reader and soon RFID chips you can not travel on two separate passports from the same country. You have to sign an affidavit stating another one was lost or destroyed before getting a replacement. (If anyone successfully uses two, please correct me) - I did it years ago in the Middle East as I would go into some countries where travel to other countries were red flags. But that was pre-computer.
    My understanding is if you travel on an older canceled passport they will stop you once they swipe it at US passport control and it comes back as invalid.

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chico bill View Post
    Which passport are you using to obtain residency since you say you have two ?
    If your are using a US one it is likely faster. What is your country of origin? You may have to do two law enforcement checks and two validations of marital status, depending on how long you've had a US residency and your age.
    Your passport will be returned to you after you submit it to the US Dominican consulate and they process it. They do not keep it (Do all document transfers via FED-EX. Dominican Consulate will require you pre-pay them for the return service)


    Hey Chico Bill, I have 2 US Passports. The second one is for this very purpose of getting a visa for a different country. The second one is a temporary one, only good for 4 years. I will use this one while the DR Consulate processes my primary one with the visa. I know that they mail it back to you, but I will be traveling abroad for a couple of months for work while they have it so I needed the second US passport.

    Respectfully,

    Sua Sponte

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