Chat with an immigration officer about tourist visas and overstaying

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MariaRubia

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Jun 25, 2019
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I came across a lady who had been a manager in immigration at Punta Cana airport. She has now changed jobs, but only left the airport in the last few weeks. I asked her if anyone ever got refused entry, and she said the only people who were would be from those nationalities that need visas, or people who have impedimentos in their record, so basically someone who had been deported. I asked her about people who overstayed on tourist cards, and she said that provided the paid the exit fee it was all good. I asked if she could remember anyone ever being stopped from coming in who had previously overstayed and she said yes, but only if they had not paid the exit fee. So for example someone came in on a tourist card, left several months later, didn't pay the exit fee (probably exited through Haiti) and then tried to re-enter. She said she could remember a few who this happened to, she said that they were prevented from re-entering.

So, straight from the horse's mouth, if you enter on a tourist card, overstay and pay the fee when you leave, then there's no problem coming back in.
 

El Hijo de Manolo

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Dominican Republic
I came across a lady who had been a manager in immigration at Punta Cana airport. She has now changed jobs, but only left the airport in the last few weeks. I asked her if anyone ever got refused entry, and she said the only people who were would be from those nationalities that need visas, or people who have impedimentos in their record, so basically someone who had been deported. I asked her about people who overstayed on tourist cards, and she said that provided the paid the exit fee it was all good. I asked if she could remember anyone ever being stopped from coming in who had previously overstayed and she said yes, but only if they had not paid the exit fee. So for example someone came in on a tourist card, left several months later, didn't pay the exit fee (probably exited through Haiti) and then tried to re-enter. She said she could remember a few who this happened to, she said that they were prevented from re-entering.

So, straight from the horse's mouth, if you enter on a tourist card, overstay and pay the fee when you leave, then there's no problem coming back in.
Thanks Maria, good input. Backs up everything we have basically been saying since long before @windeguy began his shock and awe doom and gloom immigration scare threads
 

NotLurking

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Jul 21, 2003
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Sto Dgo Este
I came across a lady who had been a manager in immigration at Punta Cana airport. She has now changed jobs, but only left the airport in the last few weeks. I asked her if anyone ever got refused entry, and she said the only people who were would be from those nationalities that need visas, or people who have impedimentos in their record, so basically someone who had been deported. I asked her about people who overstayed on tourist cards, and she said that provided the paid the exit fee it was all good. I asked if she could remember anyone ever being stopped from coming in who had previously overstayed and she said yes, but only if they had not paid the exit fee. So for example someone came in on a tourist card, left several months later, didn't pay the exit fee (probably exited through Haiti) and then tried to re-enter. She said she could remember a few who this happened to, she said that they were prevented from re-entering.

So, straight from the horse's mouth, if you enter on a tourist card, overstay and pay the fee when you leave, then there's no problem coming back in.
The information she provided you comport with migration law 285-04 and current exit regulations. You pay first and avoid being illegal during your extended stay or pay when you leave but with the added risk of catching the ire of an over zealot DGM official with an axe to grind possibly catching and deporting you. Rare? Yes, but possible. Whatever you do, do not evade paying the overstay fine before exiting DR or you'll be barred for life! Thanks for sharing.
 

CristoRey

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I came across a lady who had been a manager in immigration at Punta Cana airport. She has now changed jobs, but only left the airport in the last few weeks. I asked her if anyone ever got refused entry, and she said the only people who were would be from those nationalities that need visas, or people who have impedimentos in their record, so basically someone who had been deported. I asked her about people who overstayed on tourist cards, and she said that provided the paid the exit fee it was all good. I asked if she could remember anyone ever being stopped from coming in who had previously overstayed and she said yes, but only if they had not paid the exit fee. So for example someone came in on a tourist card, left several months later, didn't pay the exit fee (probably exited through Haiti) and then tried to re-enter. She said she could remember a few who this happened to, she said that they were prevented from re-entering.

So, straight from the horse's mouth, if you enter on a tourist card, overstay and pay the fee when you leave, then there's no problem coming back in.
I had the exact same conversation with the head of immigration at SDQ several years ago.
If your on an overstay so long as you don't cause any problems or getting involved with shady
activities like drugs or politics, pay your overstay on the way out, have a safe trip and we look
forward to hosting you again in the future.
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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Thanks Maria, good input. Backs up everything we have basically been saying since long before @windeguy began his shock and awe doom and gloom immigration scare threads
One thing is for certain. Nothing EVER changes. Just like Sosua Beach which will remain the same and have no influence ever by the powers that be, the government will never, ever decide to enforce the actual immigration and driving laws. I certainly have no further expectations that the immigration and driving laws with respect to gringos from tourist card countries will be enforced. There simply are not enough of those people to make it worth their while. As others have questioned, if an existing law is not enforced, does it really exist (the old if a tree falls in the woods question)?
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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Yes and as has been discussed here many times, it's worth trying to pay the extension fee while you are in the country as that way you know you are completely legal throughout your stay and it comes to exactly the same amount as the overstay fee would be.
We also have people reporting they have extended their stay multiple times by paying ahead.
That depends upon their comfort level. The vast majority will simply be illegal and pay the fine when they leave.
 

windeguy

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None of this gets around the issue that a foreign driver's license is valid for 90 days maximum in the DR.
That law is not a Migracion law and is not tied to you paying "fees" up front to Migracion.
 

SKY

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Apr 11, 2004
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None of this gets around the issue that a foreign driver's license is valid for 90 days maximum in the DR.
That law is not a Migracion law and is not tied to you paying "fees" up front to Migracion.
The fact is people drive here with a foreign license for years without any problem. I know people living here for 30 years driving with a foreign license that have been stopped for things and NEVER has it even came up..................
 

MariaRubia

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Jun 25, 2019
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None of this gets around the issue that a foreign driver's license is valid for 90 days maximum in the DR.
That law is not a Migracion law and is not tied to you paying "fees" up front to Migracion.

Yes that's correct. If you are on a tourist card and you have been here for more than 90 days, you have no insurance. I did check this carefully for a car rental for a friend, the rental company said that there would be insurance no problem, but then when I said "what if they have an accident and kill someone" I got the "ay si, habra un bobo" type of response. It's bad enough if any gringo is involved in an accident, but things would be a whole lot worse if your driving licence was not valid and therefore you had no insurance.
 
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MariaRubia

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The fact is people drive here with a foreign license for years without any problem. I know people living here for 30 years driving with a foreign license that have been stopped for things and NEVER has it even came up..................

It's not a problem until there is a problem. Last Sunday we drove just a few miles down the highway and saw four serious accidents. I wouldn't want to be involved in any of them without a valid licence. To be honest, if you live in the capital or Santiago, you can manage with Uber and I always recommend it's much safer not to drive at all, just in case there is an accident.
 

william webster

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The fact is people drive here with a foreign license for years without any problem. I know people living here for 30 years driving with a foreign license that have been stopped for things and NEVER has it even came up..................
SKY
Can you speak to Maria's serious accident circumstances.....not traffic stops......personal injury
 

windeguy

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The fact is people drive here with a foreign license for years without any problem. I know people living here for 30 years driving with a foreign license that have been stopped for things and NEVER has it even came up..................
Of course, another law that is not a law because it is ignored.
 
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