Cost of residency

Ringo

On Vacation!
Mar 6, 2003
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The law changed a few months ago. Prices will depend on a lot of factors. Many that do not know how the D.R. system works, find this type of procedure to be very long and complicated. Needing more documents, mostly from your home country, and several trips to S.D. resulting in a frustrating and more then needed expenses. (travel, hotels, etc.)

I suggest that you get information and advise from an Dominican expert in this area. As I have recommended and have had experience with:

Jordi in S.D. Immigration lawyer. 809-350-0098 Speaks english OK.

(Sorry I cann't find his card, but this is in my D.R. contact list.)

Regards, Ringo
 

BushBaby

Silver
Jan 1, 2002
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Approx US $600, US $1,100, US $1,250 or up to US $2,000. Depends if you do it yourself &/or who you choose as the lawyer. Do a search on 'Residencia', or 'Residency Costs' & all will be revealed!

What area are you living in - North Coast as I recall?? Have a charming young lady lawyer in Santiago who charges about US $1,200 as I recall. ~ Grahame.
 

Lambada

Gold
Mar 4, 2004
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What area are you living in - North Coast as I recall?? Have a charming young lady lawyer in Santiago who charges about US $1,200 as I recall. ~ Grahame.
Yes she is charming but the last foreigner she organised residency for appears to have left the country leaving her with 50% of the bill unpaid so while I know she does a good job, she might start asking the next applicants if they intend staying..................
 

sweetdbt

Bronze
Sep 17, 2004
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So, if you pay the $1200 (give or take a few hundred) for a lawyer to "handle" this for you, are the multiple trips to SD, waiting in line, etc. still required?
 

planner

.............. ?
Sep 23, 2002
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Even with a lawyer there are some things they need you for:

1. Medical

2. Pick up your Cedula - you have to do it.

The lawyers do the rest! Can you do it yourself - yes. BUT, I recommend it only if you have a good handle on Spanish and you don't mind confusion, maybe some extra propinas..... and of course waiting.....
 

Ringo

On Vacation!
Mar 6, 2003
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As I posted above, or perhaps elsewhere; our lawyer is a great guy and walked us to all the places and got what needed to be done.... done. Start at 8 AM and on the 1 PM bus home to north coast.

And then wait for immigration to process and issue. Not much anyone else can do.

Jordi, our immigration lawyer, just called and said all that was needed, after 8 months with part of that having to find the lost file, was one more signiture... but... I the last couple of days (?) someone took 3 million RD out of the immigration dept. and ALL has come to a stop. No idea when anything will get moving again.

Oh well. Regards, Ringo
 

whirleybird

Silver
Feb 27, 2006
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So, if you pay the $1200 (give or take a few hundred) for a lawyer to "handle" this for you, are the multiple trips to SD, waiting in line, etc. still required?
We paid IRO of $1500 each and were required to go to Sto. Domingo twice. First time to make the application and undergo blood tests, chest x-rays and photographs. The second time to collect our Cedula and Residencia (with new photos). Yes, we had to wait around a bit but our lawyer was able to "queue jump" to expedite the process so each trip was done there and back in one day (from Sabaneta to Sto. Domingo). We recently returned a third time to finalise our driving licences. Hope this gives you a good idea of the benefits of employing a fluent speaking Spanish lawyer. With our level of Spanish the task would have been much more onerous, if possible at all.
 
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The Virginian

Bronze
Mar 16, 2007
929
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Thanks everyone for your information. My wife and I applied for our residency last September. We paid our lawyer $1,250 each ($2,500 USD). The plan was to have his contact in Santo Domingo hand hold us through the process. Which they did very nicely in September. Yesterday I received a call from him saying that our papers are ready to be picked up at the other lawyers office in Santo Domingo, and can we be there tomorrow by 10 AM. Of course we can. He said we would be there for 15 or 20 minutes. We arrived at the other lawyers office and was told that I could not get my photo taken as I was wearing shorts. mmmmmm I asked do they take a full frontal picture, no was the answer but you can not appear in their office with shorts on. We ran to the Levi store and picked up a pair for $64.00 USD and returned to his office. They approved of my new jeans and asked for $6,000 peso's. I said we had already paid our lawyer last September. They said no this is for the taxes and photo's for your ID and residency card. My wife and I exchanged looks thinking we had been had AGAIN, and wondered what else might come up. Now we were told to drive to 2 other places and finish the process for both ID's. Wait, we took the Metro from POP. First of all no one told us about the dress code, nor the $6,000 peso's, nor the drive your car thing. OK, she said we will get you a taxi and someone to take you. They did, and after 7 hours in 3 different offices we have our ID and temp residency card. This process made me feel stupid, like I have to relearn how to do things and what questions to ask about I process I know nothing about.

But that?s ok, we have our ID's. Oh wait, now I have to get a drivers lic......

Maybe its not ok, now I need to get a permanent residency card in a year. Another process, mmmmmm, I think I'll research the contacts you nice folks provided us and use one of them. Or perhaps we are tied to the other lawyers office as he retained all of the papers generated through this process. Mmmmmm I'm starting to feel more like Forest Gump.

Thanks again for ALL of your help.

Phil & Gerry
 

whirleybird

Silver
Feb 27, 2006
3,103
219
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Thanks everyone for your information. My wife and I applied for our residency last September. We paid our lawyer $1,250 each ($2,500 USD). The plan was to have his contact in Santo Domingo hand hold us through the process. Which they did very nicely in September. Yesterday I received a call from him saying that our papers are ready to be picked up at the other lawyers office in Santo Domingo, and can we be there tomorrow by 10 AM. Of course we can. He said we would be there for 15 or 20 minutes. We arrived at the other lawyers office and was told that I could not get my photo taken as I was wearing shorts. mmmmmm I asked do they take a full frontal picture, no was the answer but you can not appear in their office with shorts on. We ran to the Levi store and picked up a pair for $64.00 USD and returned to his office. They approved of my new jeans and asked for $6,000 peso's. I said we had already paid our lawyer last September. They said no this is for the taxes and photo's for your ID and residency card. My wife and I exchanged looks thinking we had been had AGAIN, and wondered what else might come up. Now we were told to drive to 2 other places and finish the process for both ID's. Wait, we took the Metro from POP. First of all no one told us about the dress code, nor the $6,000 peso's, nor the drive your car thing. OK, she said we will get you a taxi and someone to take you. They did, and after 7 hours in 3 different offices we have our ID and temp residency card. This process made me feel stupid, like I have to relearn how to do things and what questions to ask about I process I know nothing about.

But that?s ok, we have our ID's. Oh wait, now I have to get a drivers lic......

Maybe its not ok, now I need to get a permanent residency card in a year. Another process, mmmmmm, I think I'll research the contacts you nice folks provided us and use one of them. Or perhaps we are tied to the other lawyers office as he retained all of the papers generated through this process. Mmmmmm I'm starting to feel more like Forest Gump.

Thanks again for ALL of your help.

Phil & Gerry
Hey you sound a little bit down about your ordeal for your residencia and am really sorry to hear that. Now think we were very lucky to get ours as easily as we did though it didn't feel like it at the time because of the long wait. Am I right in thinking you moved to DR from the UK?

Driving licences were easy apart from the fact that Charlie's cedula was wrong and we hadn't noticed. It stated he was born in Londonderry, N. Ireland but stated his nationality as Norte Americano!! Slight delay getting it changed on other side of the city in Sto. Domingo and another 1200 pesos (despite it being their mistake!!) but done and dusted in the day thanks to being accompanied by German friends who have been here many years and speak fluent Spanish. Sorry to hear your experiences have not been as good as ours but if you would like to meet up sometime we would welcome the idea.
 

Lambada

Gold
Mar 4, 2004
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This process made me feel stupid, like I have to relearn how to do things and what questions to ask about I process I know nothing about.
Part of the learning curve I'm afraid. But if you have learned that YOU have to ask step by step questions because it is not a local trait to volunteer information, then you have learned a valuable lesson.

They weren't having you on about the dress code by the way. There was an article in many of the Dominican papers several months back & it applies to everyone, not just foreigners. It also applies to all Government offices, Courts, hospitals etc. I found the last one amusing because some hospital patients may not have time/ability to change clothes having just been shot but I presume it applies to those accompanying the patient & not the patient himself ;). I think if you look around you you will see how Dominicans dress when visiting official places - follow their lead. And hunt in newspaper archives for the article.

I still don't know what the 6000 pesos was about though. Wasn't your lawyer with you so that you could ask?
 

BushBaby

Silver
Jan 1, 2002
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Permanent Residencia in 12 months time??? NO problem - different lawyer (if you still need one by then because with reasonable Spanish you can do it yourself) to accompany you all the way through - in & out within 1 or 2 hours MAX!~!!

And for the DRIVER'S Licence you do NOT have to go to Santo Domingo, that can be done fairly easily from here in Puerto Plata!!

Learning the right questions to ask is a must in the DR. You must also ask them in the right order AND ONLY ONE AT A TIME (to avoid getting only the last one answered) - check with Lambada & the saga of getting the money owed me by a hotel I used to work for. TWO Days she spent visiting the accounts Department asking for my cheque. TWO days of being told they didn't have one for me ........ & then the penny dropped! She asked if there was cash for me, the girl opened the drawer & gave it (cash) right over immediately!! ~ Grahame.
 

planner

.............. ?
Sep 23, 2002
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The 6,000 RD or 3,000 RD each is the last tax to be paid when you pick up your documentation. It should have been included in what you paid your lawyer - sounds like maybe the reason he was not available to go with you!

The next step should be way easier for you! Heck maybe we can all go together as I will be doing mine as well........

I did not know of the dress code! Thanks for posting it. I was lucky I was in pants already - travelling on Caribe tours is like returning to the frozen north - more clothes are necessary.
 

The Virginian

Bronze
Mar 16, 2007
929
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Thanks everyone, you all have provided valuable information. We will mark this up to lessons learned, and hope we improve.

SWEETDBT - There were 2 trips on the Metro to SD and on the first trip very little waiting in line, seems we jumped in front of others because we had a rep from the other lawyers company with us. Nice lady spoke wonderful Spanish and English. The last trip a taxi driver, did not speak English, nor we very much Spanish, a lot of waiting this time.

WHIRLEYBIRD - Actually we moved to POP from Denver Colorado.

LAMBADA - No our lawyer never went with us to SD. The other lawyer in SD provided someone to translate and hold our hand during the first process, the second trip was a taxi driver. I might add was a nice guy, he had no English and we have very little and bad Spanish.

BUSHBAY - Thanks for the information on the time that might be required for the Permanente Residency card and the drivers lic in POP. The store of the money owed you by the hotel was very informative.

THANKS AGAIN ALL and no, actually we are not down from this experience it was just a long day yesterday. We'll call this lessons learned and hope our Spanish improves a little faster.

We love the place and people and are lucky to live here.

Phil & Gerry
 

zak023

Done and dusted!
Feb 8, 2006
589
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As of jAN. 07

tHE COST FOR A lawyer to do it ALL was $1,150.total..and that was with Mr Guzman?in Santo Domingo..Wait time start to finish was about 7 months..