Possible Update on Efile Data for D.R. When Leaving the D.R. or Arriving to the D.R.

Lucas61

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I have long had the problem, which I was able to resolve on this forum, where as a U.S. citizen living permanently in the D.R. (15 years) but not a resident, that when I return from the U.S. to the D.R., as I did in November of this year, that I must show a return ticket to the U.S. or I cannot board. The solution is bestonwardticket.com Thus far, that solution has never failed.

But that is NOT what this post is about. What appears to be NEW is that on my recent flight back to the D.R. the D.R. e-form required, for the first time, my return flight inflormation. This means that when I went to receive my boarding pass I did not have to show my ticket back to the U.S. but only my QR code for the e-form as this information was now included.

Will I never be asked for my forwarding ticket? I can't say but this is a change. I'd like to add a few words of praise for the above service which I've used about four times. When you specify your return flight destination and date to the U.S. you select the day and time when you receive that to your email inbox. A couple of times I made mistakes and had to contact customer service for help. They always responded in about one hour and always fixed my problem. Once, I made two mistakes in a row, "senior moment," and had to apologize for ANOTHER error, and they cheerfully fixed that too. The worst thing that happened with this service was that the airline never asked for my ticket and I lost my ~ twenty bucks but "better safe than sorry."
 

windeguy

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It is each airline's responsibility to ask for that "return ticket".
If you don't have it, they are not supposed to let you board the plane.
You will have to contact your airline about that detail. Some are still not obeying the Dominican government
regarding this regulation.
 

Lucas61

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2014
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It is each airline's responsibility to ask for that "return ticket".
If you don't have it, they are not supposed to let you board the plane.
You will have to contact your airline about that detail. Some are still not obeying the Dominican government
regarding this regulation.
I agree with everything you say. The point of my post, however, was not to complain about the status of this situation but, rather, to report a new procedure, in which, actually, going forward, the procedure should be simplified.
 

NanSanPedro

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But what about when your flight originates in the DR? I have done a few round trips from here on American and never been asked. In fact, my last one way was when I got here in October of 2018. Everytime since then has been a round trip and only on American. Never asked for a return to the USA.
 
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windeguy

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But what about when your flight originates in the DR? I have done a few round trips from here on American and never been asked. In fact, my last one way was when I got here in October of 2018. Everytime since then has been a round trip and only on American. Never asked for a return to the USA.
It should not matter is your flight is a round trip starting in the DR. Each flight has a separate E-Ticket. Apparently there is something new on the E-Ticket?
(I flew to the US and back of few weeks ago, but I used my USA passport out and DR passport to return, so perhaps I did not see what is being mentioned. )

What matters is that you are supposed to have a return ticket if you are not a legal resident or a citizen of the DR when you are flying into the DR.
The airline can be fined, the person refused entry and the airline forced to return the person to their point of origin.

As for the new ability to put in perhaps a bogus return flight on the E-Ticket , that is something new.
 

Lucas61

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But what about when your flight originates in the DR? I have done a few round trips from here on American and never been asked. In fact, my last one way was when I got here in October of 2018. Everytime since then has been a round trip and only on American. Never asked for a return to the USA.
It's never an issue when your flight originates from the D.R. However, whether leaving or returning, the immigration e-file is always mandatory. That procedure is independent from the issue of what happens when you RETURN to the D.R. without a ticket for a flight to the U.S. But the two now intersect as the e-file form now requires the onward flight information whereas before it did not. Still, without a onward ticket to the U.S. you can be refused a boarding pass and you could lose your return flight to the D.R.

Before I learned about bestonwardticket.com on THIS FORUM, I managed to argue my way out of these requests and boarded without an onward U.S. flight but I was taking my chances and I was lucky. Paying less than 20 bucks for that ticket solves the problem. I did some investigation to evaluate whether that procedure is legal. I don't have a definitive answer but my take is that it is legal but in a grey area. It is an actual ticket and you can confirm that independently from the airline. The company cancels that ticket after the fact and receives a refund -- that's my understanding. Ticket counter staff never knew that I was using that service and never cared about that ticket per se. They only glanced at the ticket that I had on my smartphone to confirm that I met their requirement.
 
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Lucas61

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It should not matter is your flight is a round trip starting in the DR. Each flight has a separate E-Ticket. Apparently there is something new on the E-Ticket?
(I flew to the US and back of few weeks ago, but I used my USA passport out and DR passport to return, so perhaps I did not see what is being mentioned. )

What matters is that you are supposed to have a return ticket if you are not a legal resident or a citizen of the DR when you are flying into the DR.
The airline can be fined, the person refused entry and the airline forced to return the person to their point of origin.

As for the new ability to put in perhaps a bogus return flight on the E-Ticket , that is something new.
"As for the new ability to put in perhaps a bogus return flight on the E-Ticket , that is something new."

O.P. Yes, this is correct and is the single reason for my post -- an update. Again, I don't know if airline staff my still request the onward flight information even though it's already on the e-form. Do they know that it's on the e-form? I don't know. Regardless, it is still your responsibility to have an onward ticket to the U.S. regardless of what type that is, under these conditions.

a. You are a U.S. citizen domiciled in the D.R. without Dominican residency,
b. Your are RETURNING to the D.R. (Leaving is no issue) with a U.S. passport, no Dominican residency, and no onward ticket to the U.S.
c. You then must provide such onward ticket or you may be refused a boarding pass.
d, You will also be refused a boarding pass if you do not have the e-file form and QR code printed or on your smartphone.
 
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windeguy

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It's never an issue when your flight originates from the D.R. However, whether leaving or returning, the immigration e-file is always mandatory. That procedure is independent from the issue of what happens when you RETURN to the D.R. without a ticket for a flight to the U.S. But the two now intersect as the e-file form now requires the onward flight information whereas before it did not. Still, without a onward ticket to the U.S. you can be refused a boarding pass and you could lose your return flight to the D.R.

Before I learned about bestonwardticket.com on THIS FORUM, I managed to argue my way out of these requests and boarded without an onward U.S. flight but I was taking my chances and I was lucky. Paying less than 20 bucks for that ticket solves the problem. I did some investigation to evaluate whether that procedure is legal. I don't have a definitive answer but my take is that it is legal but in a grey area. It is an actual ticket and you can confirm that independently from the airline. The company cancels that ticket after the fact and receives a refund -- that's my understanding. Ticket counter staff never knew that I was using that service and never cared about that ticket per se. They only glanced at the ticket that I had on my smartphone to confirm that I met their requirement.
When it comes to obeying laws keep in mind that intent plays a role. Your intent is to circumvent a law using the service.

That said, If the way you use the service is never detected, you will always get away with it.
 

keepcoming

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You can buy a ticket that is refundable on most any airlines. Of course, you pay more at the onset as opposed to using the service mentioned by the OP. I am sure the airlines are aware of this service being offered. Until issues arise with this service it will probably continue to function as is.
 

Lucas61

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You can buy a ticket that is refundable on most any airlines. Of course, you pay more at the onset as opposed to using the service mentioned by the OP. I am sure the airlines are aware of this service being offered. Until issues arise with this service it will probably continue to function as is.
O.P. : True, that's another option and it's one that's more legitimate than the one I use. The obvious negative is a big (huge?) upfront cost and the hassle (risk?) of getting your money back.
 
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lifeisgreat

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FYI I usually overstay and always tell them how long but I also have return ticket..don’t lie they don’t seem bothered yet! Couple times I didn’t no problem, Canadian
 

La Profe_1

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You can buy a ticket that is refundable on most any airlines. Of course, you pay more at the onset as opposed to using the service mentioned by the OP. I am sure the airlines are aware of this service being offered. Until issues arise with this service it will probably continue to function as is.

I had to purchase a refundable one-way ticket the first time I visited my children in the US at Christmas of 2001 and and then returned to the DR in January.

To my dismay, I discovered that "refundable" was not a credit back to original payment method, but a credit, good for a year, on a new flight. I also had to go to the airport to obtain the credit and purchase a new flight.

IMO, that process was a major hassle.
 
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Lucas61

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FYI I usually overstay and always tell them how long but I also have return ticket..don’t lie they don’t seem bothered yet! Couple times I didn’t no problem, Canadian
I think it's understood that foreigners who come here with money make a contribution. If the overstay tax did not exist and immigration invoked harsh penalties, such as arrest and deportation, it would be a disaster for the tourism industry. MUCH money is taken in via the overstay tax. It think it's here to stay. That presumption is a principal reason why I don't apply for Dominican residiency. The latter has lots of "gotchas" and the former is a no-brainer and easy.
 
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Lucas61

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Jun 13, 2014
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I had to purchase a refundable one-way ticket the first time I visited my children in the US at Christmas of 2001 and and then returned to the DR in January.

To my dismay, I discovered that "refundable" was not a credit back to original payment method, but a credit, good for a year, on a new flight. I also had to go to the airport to obtain the credit and purchase a new flight.

IMO, that process was a major hassle.
For the reasons you state, I don't think it's a viable option. Although a legitimate option in the eyes of immigration, it's high risk for the customer. The same tendency applies worldwide to varying degrees: It's harder to get your money back than it is to pay it. In the D.R., as a general rule, it's VERY HARD to get your money back and often impossible.
 

keepcoming

Moderator - Living & General Stuff
May 25, 2011
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I had to purchase a refundable one-way ticket the first time I visited my children in the US at Christmas of 2001 and and then returned to the DR in January.

To my dismay, I discovered that "refundable" was not a credit back to original payment method, but a credit, good for a year, on a new flight. I also had to go to the airport to obtain the credit and purchase a new flight.

IMO, that process was a major hassle.
Yes, that would be a hassle. Getting credit back for only future flights would definitely be an issue for many I would assume. I have purchased refundable tickets previously and was fortunate enough to have the charge credited back to my credit card. Problem is for many I am sure that the refundable tickets are considerably higher in cost.
 

NALs

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I think it's understood that foreigners who come here with money make a contribution. If the overstay tax did not exist and immigration invoked harsh penalties, such as arrest and deportation, it would be a disaster for the tourism industry. MUCH money is taken in via the overstay tax. It think it's here to stay. That presumption is a principal reason why I don't apply for Dominican residiency. The latter has lots of "gotchas" and the former is a no-brainer and easy.
I think overstay fees are decided by Dominican Congress and has nothing to do with "lets keep the fees low for foreigners." There are many fees and fines dictated by many laws that inflation has made them cheaper through the years. An update of fees/fines by Congress might change that,
 

windeguy

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I think it's understood that foreigners who come here with money make a contribution. If the overstay tax did not exist and immigration invoked harsh penalties, such as arrest and deportation, it would be a disaster for the tourism industry. MUCH money is taken in via the overstay tax. It think it's here to stay. That presumption is a principal reason why I don't apply for Dominican residiency. The latter has lots of "gotchas" and the former is a no-brainer and easy.
No it would not be a disaster for the tourism industry because people that overstay a tourist card are illegal aliens and not tourists.

No it would not be a disaster for the tourist industry because the DR just recently had over 10 Million actual tourists in 2023.

No it would not be a disaster even if you called overstayers tourists because there are only thousands of them, not millions like the actual tourists.

I do agree that the overstay fines for staying illegally are not being considered for revision at this time and may be around.
I would like to see a system like Colombia has for snowbirds. Is that system a disaster for Colombia?
 

windeguy

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I think overstay fees are decided by Dominican Congress and has nothing to do with "lets keep the fees low for foreigners." There are many fees and fines dictated by many laws that inflation has made them cheaper through the years. An update of fees/fines by Congress might change that,
Years ago DR1's own legal team described how the overstay fines have no basis in any of those many laws.

They are an extra-legal work around made up to deal with not coming up with a plan like Colombia has for snowbirds.
 

SKY

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Years ago DR1's own legal team described how the overstay fines have no basis in any of those many laws.

They are an extra-legal work around made up to deal with not coming up with a plan like Colombia has for snowbirds.
They have a plan. It is to make it easy on tourists, visitors, snowbirds or whatever you want to call them. Come and enjoy as long as you like, pay a fee to the DR when you leave and return whenever you like. No paperwork, lawyers, forms, or anything other than to just show up. It works well all around...........
 

windeguy

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They have a plan. It is to make it easy on tourists, visitors, snowbirds or whatever you want to call them. Come and enjoy as long as you like, pay a fee to the DR when you leave and return whenever you like. No paperwork, lawyers, forms, or anything other than to just show up. It works well all around...........
I beg to differ.