DR Business Visa - Charged Penalty for Over 30-Day Stay

Martin99

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Jul 11, 2014
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Greetings!

I am in the DR on a business visa w/ multiple entries. My understanding -both from the DR Embassy in Washington DC and the DR government website - is that the business visa allows me to stay here for up to 60 days at a time, and is valid for one year. Stipulation is that I may not legally stay in the country for longer than 60 days consecutively.

After about my first 35 days here, I traveled from Santo Domingo to Port au Prince, via bus. At the border in Jimani, the DR agents charged me the RD$800 fine for being in the country between 30 and 90 days (seems like the fine would only apply to those with tourist visas). I explained that I have a business visa (it is affixed inside my passport), and they politely pointed to the penalty chart, and said it applies to everyone except residents.

My first question is, am I misunderstanding the 60-day rule with the business visa? If I am still subject to penalties after 30 days, I should have just come in under a tourist card and paid the penalties.

Secondly, any suggestions for who I might be able to contact to resolve this (as I'm typing this, I realize the silliness of my question)? Naturally, there's no contact info on the DR government website. I'm residing in the Barahona area, and would like to avoid having to take this up with someone in the capitol. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Marty
 

Martin99

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Jul 11, 2014
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Marty, complaining won't help. See it as a business expense.
If RD800 is gonna kill you than you might wanna consider getting a job ;)

Thanks, Frank. I knew as I was typing the question that it was a silly question. The rest of the story is that there are three of us, and we're here as missionaries, so just trying to be frugal. By the time we pay bus fare & lodging for a 1-2 day excursion to fulfill the visa requirement, RD800 x 3 every 60 days won't kill us, but we will feel it.

Thanks for taking the time to reply!

Marty
 

bob saunders

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Jan 1, 2002
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Thanks, Frank. I knew as I was typing the question that it was a silly question. The rest of the story is that there are three of us, and we're here as missionaries, so just trying to be frugal. By the time we pay bus fare & lodging for a 1-2 day excursion to fulfill the visa requirement, RD800 x 3 every 60 days won't kill us, but we will feel it.

Thanks for taking the time to reply!

Marty

So, why does a missionary have a business visa?
 

Martin99

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Jul 11, 2014
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So, why does a missionary have a business visa?

Bob,

DR is no longer granting residency visas for missionaries. The reps in the DR embassy in Wash DC told us we would need business visas for what we are doing. So, that's what we did.

Marty
 

Expat13

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Jun 7, 2008
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You see it correctly but they see it "one way" the only way they know which is that chart. They probably do not even know what a business visa is as rarely people come here with one. As mentioned above, path of least resistance is the best. There will be other times where you are taxed much more for unjust causes so this is your warm up!
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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My understanding is if you don't have a cedula or residency card you have to pay.

Someone with a multiple entry business visa would not need to be a resident (and have a cedula and residency card) and they should not have to pay an exit fee if they do not overstay the visa time period.

For the OP, either he misunderstands the length of time permissible per stay or the DR immigration official misunderstood. The original question needs to be answered by someone who understands business visas and how they work here.
 

Jaime809

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Aug 23, 2012
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I'm on a business visa, I didn't have to pay an overstay fee, and I just flew back to the US a week ago after spending 90 days in-country. Once I pointed out the page with the visa the nice lady at immigration stamped my passport with an incredibly pretty smile.

It's my understanding that the business visa allows the same travel permissions as a residence visa (according to the RD consulate in Chicago). So no overstay fees on exit and no tourist card on entry, but I can only drive for 90 days at a time without a DR drivers' license. You also don't get hassled as much when bringing boxes of household belongings into the country with you.