Residency in the Dominican Republic – The Ultimate Guide
We put together this guide for property buyers considering moving to the Dominican Republic and wondering how to get residency in this beautiful Caribbean country.
Offering a laidback lifestyle in an idyllic setting with some of the world’s best beaches, the Dominican Republic can offer residents a fantastic quality of life, often with a lower cost of living compared to other islands in the Caribbean.
Residency can offer the opportunity to enjoy this lifestyle to the max. However, there are various options for staying in the Dominican Republic and different pathways to residency including buying property in the Dominican Republic. This guide explores your options in detail and outlines how to go about applying for residency.
How long can I stay in the Dominican Republic as a non-resident?
Moving to the Dominican Republic
How do I become a resident of the Dominican Republic?
Fast Track Residency – Residency by Investment
Benefits of Residency
How to Apply for Citizenship
Find Out More
Most visitors to the Dominican Republic (including visitors from the USA, Canada, the EU, the UK, Mexico and many South and Central American countries) do not require a visa to enter the Dominican Republic as a tourist. You only need a valid passport and proof of return travel. A 30-day Tourist Card is included in the cost of your airfare. Individuals entering the country as a tourist are permitted to stay in the Dominican Republic for up to 30 days. This can be extended by paying an extended stay fee at the immigration desk at the airport prior to leaving the country.
If you are planning on staying in the country longer and moving to the Dominican Republic, you may wish to apply for a residence visa.
There are 2 steps to becoming a resident of the Dominican Republic. The first step is to apply for temporary residency in the Dominican Republic. The second step is to apply for permanent residency. Each step typically takes up to 6 months from the date of application.
To qualify applicants should be able to demonstrate that they are in good health, have sufficient financial means to support themselves and are of good standing (i.e. have a clean police record).
The application process is relatively straightforward but we would generally recommend that you seek the advice of a local attorney to assist with your application, particularly if you are not fluent in Spanish.
If you would like to live in the Dominican Republic you can apply to the Migration Office of your local Dominican Consulate for “provisional residency” via a temporary residency permit. Temporary residency permits are valid for 1 year.
To apply, you must submit a package of properly prepared documents including the following, together with a completed application form:
- Your passport (original),
- Certificate of good conduct,
- Birth certificate,
- A doctor’s letter confirming you are in good health,
- Recent bank statements demonstrating sufficient funds and/or sufficient monthly income,
- Letter of Guarantee from a Dominican citizen or company signed by a notary in the Dominican Republic and legalized by the Attorney General’s office
- Letter of application, stating your reasons for seeking residency and personal circumstances, which may include: marriage to a Dominican citizen (in which case must provide marriage certificate), ownership of property (in which case must provide relevant documents), job with a Dominican company (in which case must provide contract and certificate of Labour), retirement (in which case must provide pension statement and monthly income from pension),
- Non-refundable visa fee.
Documents and certificates should be translated into Spanish and apostilled.
Upon completion of the application process, successful applicants will receive a Provisional Residency Card which is valid for 1 year and non-renewable.
For further details, please contact your local Dominican Consulate.
Individuals who have resided in the Dominican Republic for 1 year with temporary residency status may then apply for permanent residency.
Applicants are required to submit a package of documents together with the results of a health check.
Successful applicants will receive a Letter of Deposit which entitles the applicant to a Permanent Residency card.
Permanent Residency Cards are valid for 2 years and can be renewed for a fee at the Immigration Department for periods ranging from 2 to 10 years.
Applicants typically receive an Investment Residency card within approximately 45 days of submitting a completed application.
There are several ways to qualify for the fast track process, as outlined below:
The pensionado visa option requires an applicant to have a minimum income of at least US $1,500 per month plus US $250 per dependent from a pension.
The rentista visa option requires an applicant to have a minimum income of at least US $2,000 per month from any investment-derived income during the past 5 years.
The investor visa option requires an applicants buying a house in the Dominican Republic or buying a condo in the Dominican Republic to make a minimum investment of US $200,000 in real estate in the country via a registered company.
Find out more: Best places to buy property in the Dominican Republic
There are many advantages to becoming a resident of the Dominican Republic.
- You can easily enter the country without a tourist card or visa without having to show a return ticket when entering.
- You can remain in the country legally with an identification card (Cédula de Identidad Personal).
- You can apply for a Dominican driving licence. Non-residents can only drive in the country for a period of 90 days with an international licence.
- You can work and conduct business in the Dominican Republic.
- You can enjoy some tax benefits such as low inheritance tax.
- You can enjoy a fantastic lifestyle in spectacular surroundings and a high standard of living with relatively low costs compared to other islands in the region.
After 2 years of permanent residency individuals may be eligible to apply for citizenship of the Dominican Republic.
In the case of the accelerated Residency by Investment Program, a foreign national has the option to apply for “Investment Citizenship” within 6 months of obtaining Residency by Investment.
In either case, applicants must have spent significant periods of time in the country to qualify and must be able to demonstrate fluency in Spanish, knowledge of the country’s values, traditions and culture, as well as ties to the country.
Would you like to find out more about how to get residency in the Dominican Republic?
To explore your options in more detail, please contact 7th Heaven Properties, the Luxury Caribbean Property Specialist.
To discover homes for sale in the Dominican Republic and condos for sale in the Dominican Republic from bustling Punta Cana to tranquil Las Terrenas which may qualify you for the fast track Residency by Investment process, explore real estate in the Dominican Republic on our website.
We look forward to helping you find your perfect property in the Dominican Republic.