Questions on retirement visa

JLA1125

Member
Aug 14, 2013
183
0
16
64
I am now within eight months of the date that I plan on retiring in the DR. I have read on the website of Guzman-Ariza the requirements to qualify for the residency visa based upon retirement. I?m currently in the process of gathering the required documents. I just have a couple of questions if anyone can help.

Is it necessary to actually begin collecting your pension before you can apply for the retirement visa?

If not, would a written letter calculating my pension annuity from my employer suffice as enough documentary evidence to satisfy the residency visa requirement?

Thanks in advance.
 

LicelotteM

New member
Sep 8, 2014
47
0
0
Dear JLA1125:

You must be retired and receiving your pension before you can apply for the retirement program. To apply for this program you will be required to show a letter indicating where you worked, what was your position, how long you worked there, when you started to receive your benefits and how much you receive every month.
You must also present proof of the payments received, i.e., copies of checks or bank statements showing deposit of your pension.

The Consulate might process your application and even grant the visa with a letter from your employer, but the Immigration Department will not accept your file.

Regards,
 

JLA1125

Member
Aug 14, 2013
183
0
16
64
Right now I'm not worried about the Immigration Department accepting my file. The only thing I'm concerned about is getting the actual residency visa at the Dominican Consulate prior to relocating to the DR. I plan on relocating right after I collect my first pension check. Once I relocate I plan on hiring an attorney to do the rest.
 

Cdn_Gringo

Gold
Apr 29, 2014
8,670
1,132
113
The immigration department wanted to see proof that three successive months of pension payments had been deposited into our bank account. We used three months of account statements for this purpose. These did not need to be notarized or apostlled.

You and your lawyer have 90 days from the date the residency visa is issued by the Embassy to file the completed file with Migracion in Santo Domingo. If you do not have three months of bank statements and cannot provide them before the 90 visa expires, all your effort will be for naught.

You may have to put the breaks on your relocation plans for a month or two to make sure that all needed documentation can be provided without delaying and thereby nullifying your application.

Good luck.
 

JLA1125

Member
Aug 14, 2013
183
0
16
64
The immigration department wanted to see proof that three successive months of pension payments had been deposited into our bank account. We used three months of account statements for this purpose. These did not need to be notarized or apostlled.

You and your lawyer have 90 days from the date the residency visa is issued by the Embassy to file the completed file with Migracion in Santo Domingo. If you do not have three months of bank statements and cannot provide them before the 90 visa expires, all your effort will be for naught.

You may have to put the breaks on your relocation plans for a month or two to make sure that all needed documentation can be provided without delaying and thereby nullifying your application.

Good luck.

If that's the case, then wouldn't it also be possible to simply relocate on a tourist card and after collecting my first three months pension, apply for the residency visa and once it's ready, pay the overstay fee on my tourist card, go back to the Dominican Consulate in the U.S. to pick up the residency visa, reenter the DR on the residency visa and proceed from there?
 

Cdn_Gringo

Gold
Apr 29, 2014
8,670
1,132
113
Yes you could do that. You would indeed have to go home to collect your visa. However, if you are in the DR, the Embassy doesn't have your passport to prepared the visa, stamp it and have it signed by the Ambassador. So that process would have to wait for your arrival back home. How long it will take from the time you hand over your passport until it is ready for you to pick up is entirely in the hands of Dominicans. :)
 

drSix

Silver
Oct 13, 2013
1,323
0
36
Do you have to physically drop off and pick up your passport when you apply for the visa? Couldn't someone mail their passport to the embassy, have it stamped, and mailed back to the DR (or a forwarder in Miami)?

I know the entry stamp has some importance, don't you have 90 days to apply from your date of entry. Is that stamp even important? You have the visa, that is what they want.

Or what the hell, get your passport mailed back to you and take a little trip to Haiti or Puerto Rico, and get a stamp on your way back in. Cheaper and quicker than going back to the US and waiting.
 

JLA1125

Member
Aug 14, 2013
183
0
16
64
Yes you could do that. You would indeed have to go home to collect your visa. However, if you are in the DR, the Embassy doesn't have your passport to prepared the visa, stamp it and have it signed by the Ambassador. So that process would have to wait for your arrival back home. How long it will take from the time you hand over your passport until it is ready for you to pick up is entirely in the hands of Dominicans. :)

I can live with that. As of right now, my first three pension checks will arrive in January, February and March. That means when I go back to get the visa, I'll do it in the spring or summer. I’m simply trying to avoid having to live one more winter in the U.S.
 

Cdn_Gringo

Gold
Apr 29, 2014
8,670
1,132
113
It is my understanding that the documents one amasses (including photocopies of the passport(s)), along with the letter of intent, the application form and the fee are submitted to the Embassy. When all of that is approved, you are asked to submit your actual passport to receive the visa. When you receive your visa, all of your original documents are returned to you so that you may submit them to Migracion in the DR.

One has 90 days from the time the visa stamp hits paper. Yes you can mail your passport to the Embassy and they will send it back to you, on your dime of course. Remember some documents that you have already procured are date sensitive. The criminal record check, marriage certificate, birth certificate must be dated 6 months or less at the time they are presented in Santo Domingo. If waiting for bank statements results in the expiration of some of the documents used to obtain the visa, they will need to be replaced, and again apostilled and stamped by the very same Embassy that issued the visa, which means JLA1125 is probably going home again anyways at some point. I would say that January is the absolute earliest that the CR check and other dated documents should be dated. This way, the visa application can be submitted in early April, approved and visa issued towards the end of April leaving two months of document validity to get them accepted in SD by the DR lawyer.

However, you do need to enter the country using that residency visa by presenting it to immigration so that it is recorded in the "system". If one does not specifically present the visa at the time they enter, the correct purpose for the visit may not be properly record and might, maybe, could possibly, present a problem later down the road.

In this case JLA1125 entered as a tourist and will need to leave the DR to clear his tourist card entry (and pay the fine) and then reenter using the visa. One is not permitted to apply for residency while in the country on a tourist card, let alone one that has already expired.
 

JLA1125

Member
Aug 14, 2013
183
0
16
64
It is my understanding that the documents one amasses (including photocopies of the passport(s)), along with the letter of intent, the application form and the fee are submitted to the Embassy. When all of that is approved, you are asked to submit your actual passport to receive the visa. When you receive your visa, all of your original documents are returned to you so that you may submit them to Migracion in the DR.

One has 90 days from the time the visa stamp hits paper. Yes you can mail your passport to the Embassy and they will send it back to you, on your dime of course. Remember some documents that you have already procured are date sensitive. The criminal record check, marriage certificate, birth certificate must be dated 6 months or less at the time they are presented in Santo Domingo. If waiting for bank statements results in the expiration of some of the documents used to obtain the visa, they will need to be replaced, and again apostilled and stamped by the very same Embassy that issued the visa, which means JLA1125 is probably going home again anyways at some point. I would say that January is the absolute earliest that the CR check and other dated documents should be dated. This way, the visa application can be submitted in early April, approved and visa issued towards the end of April leaving two months of document validity to get them accepted in SD by the DR lawyer.

However, you do need to enter the country using that residency visa by presenting it to immigration so that it is recorded in the "system". If one does not specifically present the visa at the time they enter, the correct purpose for the visit may not be properly record and might, maybe, could possibly, present a problem later down the road.

In this case JLA1125 entered as a tourist and will need to leave the DR to clear his tourist card entry (and pay the fine) and then reenter using the visa. One is not permitted to apply for residency while in the country on a tourist card, let alone one that has already expired.

Ok, now I'm starting to get confused. Let's say I enter the DR on a tourist card, say sometime in January 2016 (my last day of work is actually December 31, 2015), and I wait to collect three months of pension checks. What you're saying is I would have to return to the U.S. before I submit my application to the Dominican Consulate in the U.S. Because when I spoke to Guzman-Ariza back in February when I was on vacation there I got the impression that I could submit my application to the Dominican Consulate in the U.S. before having to leave the DR. Once the application was processed I could then return to the U.S., pick up my residency visa and reenter the DR with it.

I hope this can be clarified, because looking on both the Guzman-Ariza website and the website for the Dominican Embassy in the U.S., this isn't real clear.
 

drSix

Silver
Oct 13, 2013
1,323
0
36
. Once the application was processed I could then return to the U.S., pick up my residency visa and reenter the DR with it.

You have to submit your passport with the application. So, unless you have a second passport, how are you going to get back into the US to pick up your visa and passport.
 

LicelotteM

New member
Sep 8, 2014
47
0
0
I would like to clarify that the residency visas are valid for 60 days only. You must travel to the country within those 60 days to complete your application.

Mailing a passport to be stamped and returned is not advisable if you are in the country. The Immigration Department WILL check your entries and exits and compare them to the date of issuance of your visa. If it is determined that you were in the country while the visa was issued it will be deemed "irregular" and will not be accepted.

The Immigration Department is currently offering a waiver to applicants who deposited their files with irregular visas. They are collecting a penalty of RD$5,000.00 to process the files that had been stopped because of these circumstances. It is not certain that new applications with irregular visas will be accepted.

Please be aware that both the General Director of the Immigration Department and the Director of the "extrajer?a" department have been recently replaced. New changes may be enforced in the near future.
 

JLA1125

Member
Aug 14, 2013
183
0
16
64
I would like to clarify that the residency visas are valid for 60 days only. You must travel to the country within those 60 days to complete your application.

The 60 days is from the time the visa is issued at the Consulate and the time you enter the DR. That's really no problem. Once I'm issued a visa I'm not going to wait around for sixty days to use it. I'll get the earliest flight available.
 

william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
30,247
4,328
113
it sounds confusing but I think you have it now.

Key is 3 months of pension history.
Then , as you say... you zip to the US in the spring and they can take their sweet time getting your visa ready.

When ready, scoot back to Rd (duly entering and stamping officially) to deposit your application.

By next winter, you'll be squared away.

Yes, one more winter as a tourist --- but no more snow

Good luck
 

Jaime809

Bronze
Aug 23, 2012
1,152
0
36
Do you have to physically drop off and pick up your passport when you apply for the visa? Couldn't someone mail their passport to the embassy, have it stamped, and mailed back to the DR (or a forwarder in Miami)?

I know the entry stamp has some importance, don't you have 90 days to apply from your date of entry. Is that stamp even important? You have the visa, that is what they want.

Or what the hell, get your passport mailed back to you and take a little trip to Haiti or Puerto Rico, and get a stamp on your way back in. Cheaper and quicker than going back to the US and waiting.

They want to see either no entry stamp, or an entry and exit stamp, in your passport. So no, you can't simply mail it.
 

Jaime809

Bronze
Aug 23, 2012
1,152
0
36
Ok, now I'm starting to get confused. Let's say I enter the DR on a tourist card, say sometime in January 2016 (my last day of work is actually December 31, 2015), and I wait to collect three months of pension checks. What you're saying is I would have to return to the U.S. before I submit my application to the Dominican Consulate in the U.S. Because when I spoke to Guzman-Ariza back in February when I was on vacation there I got the impression that I could submit my application to the Dominican Consulate in the U.S. before having to leave the DR. Once the application was processed I could then return to the U.S., pick up my residency visa and reenter the DR with it.

I hope this can be clarified, because looking on both the Guzman-Ariza website and the website for the Dominican Embassy in the U.S., this isn't real clear.

They will keep your passport, which means you won't be able to enter DR while processing.
 

Cdn_Gringo

Gold
Apr 29, 2014
8,670
1,132
113
What you say is true. You may submit your application for your visa whenever you want. You probably do not have to show bank statements to the Embassy, just an apostilled letter documenting your federal/private pension. SD will ask you for proof of pension payments.

The problem you might have is that before you can submit your visa application to the Embassy, you have to gather all the documents so you can submit them. When you get your criminal record check, there will be a date on it. Let's say your get this in December 2015 (one month before you leave for the DR). This document is only valid for submission in SD until May 2016. If your long form birth certificate is ordered in November, then it is only valid until April.

You submit your visa application to the Embassy before you leave the US in Jan. 2016. They process your application and ask you to submit your passport for your visa stamp say early Feb 2016. For the sake of argument, let's say the visa is issued on Feb 10 ( you have to get your passport to the Embassy). The residency visa is valid until May 10.

You have to wait until the end of March for your third bank statement. Sometime before the end of March, you get your passport and documents back (how you get them here is up to you). Between the time you get your passport back with the visa in it and the end of March when you have your third bank statement, you need to leave the DR to clear your entry as a tourist and pay the overstay fine. Then you need to renter the DR using your residency visa. Where you go is up to you but you do have to leave and go somewhere.

It is now early April 2016. You have your visa, your passport, your documents, your three bank statements and you have re-entered the DR for the purposes of filing for residency using your residency visa. You run like 7734 to your lawyer and give them everything you have. They run like 7734 to SD and start the process of getting these documents submitted to Migracion. Sometime in the next 30 days your criminal record check will expire and will no longer be accepted. If your birth certificate is dated before December as noted above it will expire sometime in April. If there are any delays, your lawyer gets sick, Migracion doesn't like something or wants you to get something else or change something, you're running out of time. Your visa may still be valid but a document might expire.

Your time constraint will probably not be the visa itself expiring, but the documents you will have had to order, receive and apostilled before you leave the US in January. If you miss the timing, or if there is a delay in issuing the visa by the embassy and it's always possible that your application acceptance in SD could be delayed, you might run out of time. If this occurs and a document expires, by the time you get a replacement, your visa will have expired and you still won't be able to proceed.

When I did this, I ordered the documents 2 months before I planned to enter the DR on the visa (entry in Sept.). I got them translated, apostilled, notarized etc so that I could apply for the visa in early August. Got my visa towards the end of August (about two weeks before I was scheduled to come to the DR.

This way, my lawyer had almost the full 90 days to do her thing. None of my documents would expire until after the visa did. Good thing too, because there was a bunch of running around that had to happen and of course there were some rule changes that necessitated some more paperwork involving the DR Foreign Affairs Office.

I'm just saying that you need to be very careful that you don't get caught up in a situation that precludes you from submitting your application just because you want/need to be in the DR in January instead of say April when you could arrive with all the documents you need with lots of time before they expire, a full 90 days on your visa and of course 90 days to counter any asinine moves Migracion may or may not choose to undertake. It would be pretty crappy if the rules changed again while you were here in the DR with time ticking away on your other documents while you wait for a third pension payment. As you probably know from what others have said here on DR1 - when it comes to Migracion, nothing ever seems to go exactly as planned.
 

JLA1125

Member
Aug 14, 2013
183
0
16
64
So, it looks like this is what's going to happen in chronological order.

1. Retire on December 31, 2015.

2. Go to DR in January 2016 on tourist card (I'm not spending another winter in the U.S.).

3. Collect three months pension checks.

4. Go to reputable attorney, such as Guzman-Ariza. Make sure that I have all documents properly translated and apostilled. Double-check and triple-check.

5. Return to U.S. Immediately mail my application to the Dominican Embassy with original passport.

6. Wait for visa to be processed. Hell, I may just take a trip to Vegas while I'm waiting.

7. Pick up visa at Dominican Consulate when ready.

8. Return to DR. Submit paperwork to Immigration Office.

The website of the Dominican Embassy says that processing times are currently 10 to 15 days. Oh, well. Maybe a few weeks back in the U.S. won't be that bad.
 

Cdn_Gringo

Gold
Apr 29, 2014
8,670
1,132
113
That sounds like a much better plan. When I applied for the visa, it was valid for 90 days. If LicelotteM was it is only 60 days, I'd go with that.

For the record, it's not 60 days from the time the visa is issued to enter the DR to apply for residency, it is 60 days from the date that the visa is issued for your application be accepted in SD. You need to submit the application as early as possible during the period in which the visa is valid.