Obtaining Information from the DR Embassy in the US and Stay Extension

jose949

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Oct 29, 2016
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The website of the DR embassy in the US has some broken links for the multiple entry tourist visa application form. The assumption is that this is the correct website: https://drembassyusa.org

For staying longer than 30 days on a tourist entry, there are 3 paths:
  1. Multiple or Single Entry for 60 days
  2. Prórroga de Estadía https://migracion.gob.do/servicio/prorroga-de-estadia
  3. Overstay and pay fine
  4. Depart and return at the 30 day or shorter mark (more costly than 1 or 2 but meets the needs of someone wanting to do multiple entries)
Option 3 is not preferred to avoid running into overstay issues related to another process elsewhere including license validity issues when driving beyond the 30 days so that's why its left out.

Almost 90%+ of DR embassy or consulate online reviews have a common theme: No one ever answers the phones and if one is lucky to get through after up to 20 tries per day, it is hit or miss. One may be put on indefinite hold or hang up on while on hold. On occasion one is lucky and gets assisted. Emails are also not responded to.

Option 1:
That said, for option 1 the page here does not lead to a form but is a dead link https://drembassyusa.org/visas/visa-de-turismo-simple-ts-o-turismo-multiple-tm/
That means without the form one cannot start filling it out. How does one get this form for the US if one cannot get through the phones to ask questions?
Has anyone completed an application and been approved? From all indications it may make sense to show up in person with everything ready vs just blindly mailing it in (the information or directions to do this are not provided). Option 1 is preferred to Option 2 because of logistical issues and hurdles in the DR.

Option 2:
This would not be an issue except it poses two challenges
1) Getting a medical certificate (one would need to know which doctor can do this, uncertain who can and for what cost)
2) Own economic solvency - which can be difficult to prove since one is already outside their home country, for example bank letters are usually issued in person in the US. If there is anyone who has succeeded in doing this it would be good to know how one can demonstrate economic solvency while already in DR while not having a local account. It is of course less costly than Option 1 but poses hurdles.

Interested in having suggestions/information on:
a) How one can get the visa application form(s) and list of documents needed without multiple trips to the embassy or consulate which is far, far away
b) The experience of anyone who has managed to do a process (such as residency etc) via courier/mail with the embassy/consulate (how were these addressed to a person, office etc)?
c) How one can provide documentary proof of economic solvency when already in the DR (without having to open a local bank account)
d) Any other detail that may be of use
 

JLSawmam

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Sep 8, 2018
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OP's option #2 doesn't have much advantage. Going this route still results in paying the overstay cost for the extension period. So, why bother the added headache? I would venture that the same would be true for option #1, more or less.
 
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SKY

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I recall another panic stricken traveler here that jumped through all kinds of hoops. He finally got to pay for an extension and when he left they still charged the overstay fee. Complete waste of time...........
 

jose949

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Oct 29, 2016
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OP are you looking for information or providing information?
I am looking for information. The embassy is virtually unreachable without going there in person which is a long way off and given the hours it would mean needing a working day each time. This is the issue I am trying to get information on: How do persons get information short of showing up in person (multiple times to get info, the form, then apply, return for passport pick up etc) since phones and emails are rarely answered.
First of all, that website is not official website. The correct website is: https://do.usembassy.gov and it has all contact information listed there
Thanks, though that is the American Embassy in the DR, lots of information, no issues getting through to them or accessing basic information. I was referring to the DR Embassy (and consulates) located in the US.

@JLSawmam Option 2 if done before 30 days are up technically isn't an overstay. It is okay 90% of the time until one has the misfortunate of an accident where insurance declines to pay out. Not common but the chances of such happening are higher in the DR even for the best of drivers (its always the gringos fault anyways). At least with #2 one's driving privileges remain legal and the individual is in legal status.

@SKY I don't disagree, there are situations where one can bear the consequence of having violated another country's immigration laws. Not common but that is what is in mind here. What seems like a time saving shortcut can turn to cost one much more, of course that depends on what the individual's circumstances are and what types of forms they have to fill out under penalty of perjury.
 

JLSawmam

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Sep 8, 2018
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@jose949 Whether technically an overstay or not, you will pay the same for the number of extension days requested. That info comes from the link you provided for option 2 in your first post. If you are correct regarding the driving privileges, that certainly is worth considering in making the decision
 
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jose949

New member
Oct 29, 2016
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@JLSawmam agreed, it seems the "proper" way is the more painful one. There are driving alternatives so at least that isn't much of a total show stopper but more of an inconvenience for someone used to driving themselves for longer distances. Post on the driving legality:
 

keepcoming

Moderator - Living & General Stuff
May 25, 2011
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@JLSawmam agreed, it seems the "proper" way is the more painful one. There are driving alternatives so at least that isn't much of a total show stopper but more of an inconvenience for someone used to driving themselves for longer distances. Post on the driving legality:
The "link" to a post in another thread is not "official". In other words, it was posted by a DR1 member giving their opinion. It is not something that came from a government official or legal expert (lawyer, etc..).
 

SKY

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People I know have lived in the DR, own cars, get insurance claims paid, and drive here for over 30 years on a tourist Visa. Not recommending anything, just giving facts...............
 

colmcb

Member
Mar 22, 2009
53
58
18
The website of the DR embassy in the US has some broken links for the multiple entry tourist visa application form. The assumption is that this is the correct website: https://drembassyusa.org

For staying longer than 30 days on a tourist entry, there are 3 paths:
  1. Multiple or Single Entry for 60 days
  2. Prórroga de Estadía https://migracion.gob.do/servicio/prorroga-de-estadia
  3. Overstay and pay fine
  4. Depart and return at the 30 day or shorter mark (more costly than 1 or 2 but meets the needs of someone wanting to do multiple entries)
Option 3 is not preferred to avoid running into overstay issues related to another process elsewhere including license validity issues when driving beyond the 30 days so that's why its left out.

Almost 90%+ of DR embassy or consulate online reviews have a common theme: No one ever answers the phones and if one is lucky to get through after up to 20 tries per day, it is hit or miss. One may be put on indefinite hold or hang up on while on hold. On occasion one is lucky and gets assisted. Emails are also not responded to.

Option 1:
That said, for option 1 the page here does not lead to a form but is a dead link https://drembassyusa.org/visas/visa-de-turismo-simple-ts-o-turismo-multiple-tm/
That means without the form one cannot start filling it out. How does one get this form for the US if one cannot get through the phones to ask questions?
Has anyone completed an application and been approved? From all indications it may make sense to show up in person with everything ready vs just blindly mailing it in (the information or directions to do this are not provided). Option 1 is preferred to Option 2 because of logistical issues and hurdles in the DR.

Option 2:
This would not be an issue except it poses two challenges
1) Getting a medical certificate (one would need to know which doctor can do this, uncertain who can and for what cost)
2) Own economic solvency - which can be difficult to prove since one is already outside their home country, for example bank letters are usually issued in person in the US. If there is anyone who has succeeded in doing this it would be good to know how one can demonstrate economic solvency while already in DR while not having a local account. It is of course less costly than Option 1 but poses hurdles.

Interested in having suggestions/information on:
a) How one can get the visa application form(s) and list of documents needed without multiple trips to the embassy or consulate which is far, far away
b) The experience of anyone who has managed to do a process (such as residency etc) via courier/mail with the embassy/consulate (how were these addressed to a person, office etc)?
c) How one can provide documentary proof of economic solvency when already in the DR (without having to open a local bank account)
d) Any other detail that may be of use
@jose949 - Not sure where you're located or if this helps you, but yes, the embassy phones are useless, at least for the Miami office. I too called and called for months and never once was the phone answered. And, there is no place at all on the site to make an appointment. It's really frustrating and sad to be honest. Fed up, I finally sent a rather scathing email about the lack of professionalism, common courtesy, the lack of a basic telephone answer system in place, etc., to the email address on the site, thinking they wouldn't respond to that either and I was prepared to just drive to the office and show up. Believe it or not I received a response after a few days advising that they "understand" the frustration, etc. (Really?? EVERYONE has been complaining about the same issues there for a few years - Why not correct the issues???). The Consul herself responded and asked when I need an appointment for. I replied with a date and time and it was confirmed by the same person, again via the email. When we got to the appointment and actually sat down with someone there, I again reiterated how ridiculous the whole system is and that they MUST have a way for people to reach them, make appointments, etc. No less than 3 people in the office advised "yes, we have an issue with our phones". Again, absurd - we're in Miami and it's 2024 - surely you can have the issues fixed with the telephone company, find a new website developer if necessary, etc. However, now that we actually met with someone there, she advised that we should email/call her directly with all questions, etc. In other words, we now have a specific email address and direct phone number for the women we've been working with. And, although it says on the site that walk-ins are not really welcomed, that's BS. We arrived at 10 am (an hour early) and there was hardly anyone there. They immediately assisted us. So, long story short, I believe you said it's a long drive to whichever office is closest to you, but it may be worth your time to just suck it up, make the drive and show up unfortunately. Again, this is how the Miami office works. I'm not sure about the NY or Washington DC office, or any others. I have heard that the DC office is "great" but that's just second-hand. I wouldn't be so sure of that. And, by the way, my husband needed to get his cedula updated and wanted a new copy of his birth certificate. the JCE has a small office right in the embassy and that was a piece of cake. Maybe 5 minutes to get things done and hardly anyone waiting. And, they have valet parking right out front which cost less than half of what it costs to park in one of the nearby garages. Sorry for my rant but....... :)
 

jose949

New member
Oct 29, 2016
22
5
3
The "link" to a post in another thread is not "official". In other words, it was posted by a DR1 member giving their opinion. It is not something that came from a government official or legal expert (lawyer, etc..).
Understood, yes that it is indeed the case, and that now seems to be outdated detail.
For the benefit of others who may read this thread later, @Fabio J. Guzman recently made a post about the law which allows for validity up to 90 days.

If Dr. Guzman does get an opportunity to respond:

Does a US issued drivers license remain valid by itself under the new law or does it needs to be accompanied with an International Drivers Permit? It's more or less the question asked here by another member. It seems from a little research that the US signed but did not ratify both the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic and the 1968 Vienna International Convention on Road Traffic. It's unclear if the lack of ratification would affect the validity of US licenses https://dr1.com/forums/threads/foreigners-driving-in-the-dominican-republic.124575/post-5738062
 

jose949

New member
Oct 29, 2016
22
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@colmcb your rant was helpful :) Your calling experience is indeed like that of many others reflected in numerous comments (Google reviews etc). I can certainly make my way to South Florida on one of my trips there. It was more about the uncertainty of how many trips it would take to get a simple process done - least of all just to get the form which should be online.

How a consulate or embassy can function or effectively represent the DR by not answering calls is mind boggling. A poster on Reddit reported calling 20 times a day for several days (NY)! At the very least, the application form should be available online for one to pre-fill before they get there. I am glad you took a leap of faith and sent your email, would you mind sharing the first general email address you used? If I have the same luck, I will at least after a couple of days get someone who sends me a form or lets me know how to get it. I am glad to know it worked out for you and in record time for the cedula. DR can certainly do better. Thanks for the tip on the valet option and the insights (need to do it in person).
 

SKY

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Apr 11, 2004
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To the OP: You don't ' need an International Driving License, you don't need an extension of your Visa, or any other thing you can think of. Just come and enjoy your freedom in this lovely Country..........
 
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colmcb

Member
Mar 22, 2009
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@colmcb your rant was helpful :) Your calling experience is indeed like that of many others reflected in numerous comments (Google reviews etc). I can certainly make my way to South Florida on one of my trips there. It was more about the uncertainty of how many trips it would take to get a simple process done - least of all just to get the form which should be online.

How a consulate or embassy can function or effectively represent the DR by not answering calls is mind boggling. A poster on Reddit reported calling 20 times a day for several days (NY)! At the very least, the application form should be available online for one to pre-fill before they get there. I am glad you took a leap of faith and sent your email, would you mind sharing the first general email address you used? If I have the same luck, I will at least after a couple of days get someone who sends me a form or lets me know how to get it. I am glad to know it worked out for you and in record time for the cedula. DR can certainly do better. Thanks for the tip on the valet option and the insights (need to do it in person).
For sure. This is the email address: Infomiami@mirex.gob.do

If I remember correctly, I just found that on the site. Once I received a response it was easier as I was communicating with a specific person and not a general informational email address. I agree, it's incredible that they operate that way. Once you're there though, it's efficient, friendly, etc. It's just getting in there initially but again, if all else fails, I would just show up if you can. I did ask on the first visit HOW to make an appointment online and was told that "the appointment button was removed as it was not working correctly". Again, you have to scratch your head and wonder how on earth, in this day and age, can't these things be sorted out. :)
 
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keepcoming

Moderator - Living & General Stuff
May 25, 2011
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Didn't someone from DR1 get a stay extension while in the DR? I thought someone had posted this on a thread somewhere, I could be wrong though.
 
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