Extension of legal stay in the DR - 120 days

CynthiaCom

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Nov 22, 2019
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Hello to all. My name is Cynthia Comprés, immigration attorney at Guzmán Ariza.

The National Immigration office has recently started offering the service of Extension of Stay (Prórroga de Estadía in Spanish) for tourist who wish to extend to 120 days their legal stay in the country past the normal 60 days legally allowed.

This process is done online by the Immigration office's web page and has an evaluation period of three (3) business days. The requirements for applying are:

- Copy of the information page of the passport;
- Passport stamp of the last entry;
- Return ticket.

They could ask for further documents like solvency, hotel reservations, etc.

Before, in order to avoid paying penalties, the immigrant could request this extension personally to the Immigration but its approval was up to the Director’s decision. With this new system, the main benefit is that the immigrant will be legal in the country for the time allowed, it will save time and money, and avoid having to pay penalty(ies) at the airport that will stay in their record, which could be legal cause for denying entry to the Dominican Republic in a next trip or be a cause for deportation.

Questions you may have:

1. Is this an extension of the tourist visa or a tourist card?
No, this just legalizes your stay in the country. It will not allow you to enter again with an ‘extended visa’ and will have to be requested again on a next trip.

2. Does a resident have to pay the overstay penalty or request this extension?
This doesn’t apply for legal residents, even if the residency is expired.

3. If I request the extension, will I have to pay penalties?
This doesn’t exempt the immigrant from paying an overstay penalty if they exceed the extension. After the approved period of time, the immigrant will have to pay a penalty according to the following chart:
TIME OF OVERSTAY FEE
30 TO 90 DAYS RD$ 2,500.00
3 TO 9 MONTHS RD$ 4,000.00
9 TO 12 MONTHS RD$ 5,000.00
12 TO 18 MONTHS RD$ 6,500.00
18 TO 24 MONTHS RD$ 8,000.00
24 TO 30 MONTHS RD$ 9,500.00
30 TO 36 MONTHS RD$ 11,000.00
36 TO 48 MONTHS RD$ 16,000.00
48 TO 60 MONTHS RD$ 20,000.00
6 YEARS RD$ 30,000.00
7 YEARS RD$ 40,000.00
8 YEARS RD$ 50,000.00
9 YEARS RD$ 60,000.00
10 YEARS RD$ 70,000.00

*There is an added fee of RD$5,000 per year past the ten-year mark.

4. What document does Immigration gives me?
They will issue a certification approving the extension and uploaded it to your profile. This must be presented at the airport’s immigration once you leave to avoid paying penalty.

5. What protection from the Estate do I have if I overstay in the country, past the time granted by my tourist visa or card?
The Dominican Republic is signatory with different international treaties that protect the immigrant, which have been ratified by the Constitution. For more information, you can read Article 25 and beyond of the Constitution.

Regards,
Cynthia Comprés
ccompres@drlawyer.com
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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In Cynthia Compres' post above, is it just me or is this a bit of government double speak?

1. Is this an extension of the tourist visa or a tourist card?
No, this just legalizes your stay in the country.
It will not allow you to enter again with an ‘extended visa’ and will have to be requested again on a next trip.


If you apply for and receive the extension, you are legally in the DR for up to 120 days, but that is not an extension of a tourist card (or visa)? Sorry, but that is a bit confusing to grasp. How is it not an extension of a tourist card?

You are not showing a cost for this extension? Please explain that when before we were seeing fees for 90 and 120 days.

My other observation is that the vast majority of people will just pay for overstaying at the airport as they go and not bother to do this online since other than being legal, there seems to be no penalty for not doing the on line procedure.
 
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windeguy

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Question: Is a foreign driver's license is still valid only for 60 days despite applying for this extension for 120 days?
 

Drak

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Jul 7, 2015
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that is a bit confusing to grasp. How is it not an extension of a tourist card?
While I agree it is a bit confusing...

I'm surprised you weren't jumping for joy at the '6 months' part to be honest.

FWIW, I read it to be something like some parking-lots in North America, where you pay for example: 3 hours of parking. However you cannot leave and come back again within that time-frame... without going back to square one and paying the full amount.

I imagine many 'snow-birds' may leave the DR to return home for personal, health, business or other reasons... and that in doing so, you forfeit your 120 day extension.

Perhaps though I'm reading to much into it myself.

Cynthia has been very helpful and respectful in her responses so far, so I would imagine she'll clarify it soon enough.

Cheers!
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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I have no trouble understanding........

You are granted an extension
drtiving, everything and a document to prove your status

They grant you 120 dyas ---
YES, you pay on exit depending on what you use /stay

Yes Windy
no cost to extend... and you get legality... that's all
 

RDKNIGHT

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Mar 13, 2017
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As i have stated in the past it's a money grab the overstay fees they will never go away big money is collected never forget that fact.. ... been here 20 years same as same .......ground hog day
 

cavok

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The way I read it is that you pay for the extension either online or at the airport when leaving. You don't pay an additional overstay fee at the airport in either case.

With the extension you are legally in the country for 120 days. Drivers licenses are generally valid in a country if you are there legally.
 

cavok

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It seems pretty simple to me. Apply for the extension and pay online or at the airport when you leave and you are granted legal status in the country for 120 days.
 

william webster

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As i have stated in the past it's a money grab the overstay fees they will never go away big money is collected never forget that fact.. ... been here 20 years same as same .......ground hog day
In those 20 yrs Black Knight, have you ever seen a piece of paper declaring a visitor legal for 90 days ?

No change to the payment structure - agreed
but
Finally, the gov't acknowledges the legal/illegal issue and acquieses .

That's a big relief for some travelers who try to obey the laws
 

windeguy

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While I agree it is a bit confusing...

I'm surprised you weren't jumping for joy at the '6 months' part to be honest.

FWIW, I read it to be something like some parking-lots in North America, where you pay for example: 3 hours of parking. However you cannot leave and come back again within that time-frame... without going back to square one and paying the full amount.

I imagine many 'snow-birds' may leave the DR to return home for personal, health, business or other reasons... and that in doing so, you forfeit your 120 day extension.

Perhaps though I'm reading to much into it myself.

Cynthia has been very helpful and respectful in her responses so far, so I would imagine she'll clarify it soon enough.

Cheers!
What is the "6 months part" you refer to?

I was hoping the DR would come up with a simple 6 month Snowbird tourst visa. Simple, really stupid simple is what I was looking for and for up to 6 months, not just 4 months. Instead we have up to 4 months, apparently legal, which is better than before which was a confusing 30 day tourist card with exit fees where you perhaps legal up to 60 days, but I think not, etc....

That said, if the 4 month extension makes it legal, it takes care of the vast majority of people who travel frequently to the DR. The 6 month snowbirds would be the only outliers and it seems they would continue to pay the previous overstay penalties with no further ramifications so far.
 

cavok

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What is the "6 months part" you refer to?

I was hoping the DR would come up with a simple 6 month Snowbird tourst visa. Simple, really stupid simple is what I was looking for and for up to 6 months, not just 4 months. Instead we have up to 4 months, apparently legal, which is better than before which was a confusing 30 day tourist card with exit fees where you perhaps legal up to 60 days, but I think not, etc....

That said, if the 4 month extension makes it legal, it takes care of the vast majority of people who travel frequently to the DR. The 6 month snowbirds would be the only outliers and it seems they would continue to pay the previous overstay penalties with no further ramifications so far.
I've noticed that in my condominium, too. Before, many came down from Nov until Easter. Now, most wait until Jan to come down.

It will be interesting to see how they handle those who get the 120 day extension, but stay for 6 months. Will they only have to pay a two month overstay fee?
 

windeguy

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As with many things in the DR, we will await further clarification by the legal team and then see how this all plays out in the real world. Who pays what when and where, etc..
 

william webster

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I've noticed that in my condominium, too. Before, many came down from Nov until Easter. Now, most wait until Jan to come down.

It will be interesting to see how they handle those who get the 120 day extension, but stay for 6 months. Will they only have to pay a two month overstay fee?
As I understand it.....
you pay upon leaving - either at the airport or online

No mention so far of overstaying the extension that I have read
 

cavok

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As I understand it.....
you pay upon leaving - either at the airport or online

No mention so far of overstaying the extension that I have read
That's my understanding, too. My question is, what happens if you overstay your 120 extension which you paid for online. Do you just pay the regular overstay fee. It looks like that would be the case, but who knows(?).
 
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william webster

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You pay NOTHING until you leave .......

That's my understanding

No charge/payment on application.....
They give you 120 to use any potion thereof