If you are planning to move to the Dominican Republic, be aware that there are different types of visa depending on your personal situation, the length of your stay and the purpose of your visit. The type of visa you need, the requirements and the costs change from time to time, so it is advisable to check the information as you prepare for your trip.
Most expats come to the Dominican Republic in the first place to do some tracking and decide if they want to live in the country and the ideal place. This first visit usually lasts a few weeks and for that you will need a tourist card.
The tourist card
The tourist card costs 10 USD. The majority of travelers must purchase a tourist pass in addition to their passport, except for nationals of Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Israel, Japan, Peru, South Korea and other countries. Uruguay. As long as you can legally enter the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States or Canada, among other things, you can enter the Dominican Republic with a tourist card and a passport for documents only.
The tourist card can be used up to one year from the date of purchase. It is valid for stays of less than 30 days as a tourist, without granting the right to work in the Dominican Republic. You can buy the tourist card at airports or ports of arrival in the country, which most travelers do. It is also sold in Dominican embassies and consulates abroad. Some airlines and tour operators include tourist card in the price of the trip or ticket. Currently, the Dominican government is trying to ensure that the price of the card is included in the price of the ticket or travel, but this is not always the case.
Beyond the 30 days of stay authorized by the tourist card, you will have to pay exit fees when leaving the country. The amount will depend on the excess time spent and you must go to the immigration counter at the airport or port of departure. Find the list of rates here.
It should be noted that many foreigners exceed the authorized stay in the Dominican Republic knowing that they will simply pay the extra fees. However, there are signs that this measure will be repressed.
If you are not a national of a country that does not qualify for a tourist card (find the list here), you will need to apply for a tourist visa issued by the Dominican consulate of your country of origin.
Residence visa in the Dominican Republic
If you have decided to reside in the Dominican Republic, you will have to apply. In the past, many foreigners lived in the country without bothering to apply for residency, however, the government introduced new immigration policies. The residence visa is essential for the following points:
• Get the cedula, Dominican ID card, which is used to apply for a Dominican driver’s license. In this regard, foreign and international driving licenses are only valid for 90 days in the Dominican Republic,
• The cedula allows you to contract a mobile phone line, open a bank account, take out car insurance and, in some cases, take out health insurance,
• If you find that you work in the country without the right of residence, you can be deported!
The application for a residence visa in the Dominican Republic begins before departure, in your country of origin, at the consulate or embassy of the Dominican Republic.Once you have filed the application, you have 60 days to travel to the Dominican Republic and apply for your first residence visa at the Dominican Immigration Office. Please note that residence visas are only issued to applicants with any of the following:
- Have a connection with the Dominican Republic. This will include having a home in the Dominican Republic, being Dominican, having Dominican children or being married to a Dominican.
- Receive a pension of at least US $ 1,500 per month,
- Earn rental income of at least USD 2,000 per month,
- Be prepared to invest at least US $ 200,000 in the Dominican Republic, for example by buying a business or real estate,
- Have a work contract for a job in the Dominican Republic
- If you can not meet one of these criteria, it is unlikely that you will be able to obtain a residence visa and become a resident of the Dominican Republic.
- However, there are other types of visas for applicants who are not eligible for residency but wish to travel to the Dominican Republic. It’s about :
- Business visa to do business in the country, for a 60-day stay. This visa can be extended up to one year with multiple entries up to two months at a time.
- Student visa to study in the country. This visa is valid for one year and can be renewed for the study period.
- A work visa lasts one year and gives the right to hold a job in the Dominican Republic. It is also renewable.
- Diplomatic visa for diplomats.
- As for the spouses and dependents of the holders of student, work, diplomatic or professional visas, there are also specific visas. Visa applications must be submitted to the Dominican Embassy or Consulate closest to your country of residence.
Documents required to apply for a Dominican
visa All visa applications for the Dominican Republic, excluding the tourist card, must be accompanied by several documents. These are listed on the websites of consulates, the list may vary by country.
The requirements change from time to time and vary depending on the visa required, so it is strongly advised to check before filing your application file. Generally, the following documents are requested, this list is not exhaustive:
- Applicant’s passport, which must be valid at least until the date of departure from the Dominican Republic,
- Passport-size color photo, on a white background, with facial hair and without earrings,
- Birth and marriage certificates (no excerpt), less than 6 months old, apostillized if they come from a non-Hague Convention country (such as Canada). These documents must be translated into Spanish by a sworn translator,
- A medical certificate that can be issued by the applicant’s general practitioner certifying that the applicant is not carrying any contagious diseases. The medical certificate must be translated into Spanish,
- Criminal record extract from the applicant’s country of origin, apostilled and translated into Spanish,
- Proof of income (bank statements, a letter from the bank, lease agreements or a letter of pension),
- A copy of an applicant’s identity document (passport, driver’s license or residence card),
- If the visa application concerns a minor traveling alone, the authorizations of both parents or legal guardians must be provided in a notarized document with their signature. Permissions must also be translated into Spanish,
- Most visa applications require a letter written in Spanish, addressed to the consular section, indicating the name of the applicant, the address, the nationality, the profession and the reason for the visit to the Dominican Republic,
In the case of an application for a work or student visa, the file must include a letter from the employer or university confirming the applicant’s position. In the case of an application for a residence visa, the file must include a letter of guarantee, written and signed by a Dominican or a foreigner residing legally and officially in the Dominican Republic. The letter should specify the relationship with the claimant and the willingness of the guarantor to cover eviction costs in case of violation of Dominican law. It must also be signed and stamped by a Dominican Notary.
Note that obtaining a residence visa in the Dominican Republic can be difficult, especially if the applicant does not speak Spanish. For example, most candidates hire a Dominican lawyer specializing in immigration to facilitate the process. In addition, consulates will always offer you translations in Spanish, but be warned, they are considerably more expensive than an independent translator.