The Dominican Republic

Finding a Visa

Government departmental web sites of the Dominican Republic are not always the best from which to obtain information about visas. A digest of government sites is available. The Dominican Republic government sites, where they are available, are written in Spanish. This digest also lists the sites of some of the Dominican Republic embassies. Again there is often a language problem and some sites are not available. Those of the embassies in the United States and the United Kingdom are the best and are in English. These two sites provide comprehensive details about visas of all kinds.

The Dominican Republic is very generous so far as visitors’ cards or visas is concerned. In many cases no tourist visa is required, just a tourist card for visits of up to 90 days. A tourist card can be obtained at the airport of arrival at a cost of £10. The application of the “Golden Rule” - visit before settling - is easily accomplished so far as the Dominican Republic is concerned.

There are a number of non-government sites which provide information on residence visas. One of the best covers all aspects of procedure and required documents. It also details matters of citizenship. The acquisition of a legal second passport can be extremely useful especially so far as tax is concerned for U. S. citizens.

Obtaining permanent residency in the Dominican Republic is less complex than is the case for many countries and it is best done after arrival in the Republic. This is not to say that the conditions and requirements are any less stringent than for many other places but the process is more compact and the desired result can be achieved in a comparatively short period.

Although it is possible to initiate the process for residency from within The Dominican Republic applications can be started from outside the Republic at an embassy or consulate. All necessary documents need to be notarized at the embassy or consulate. Some documents may need to go through the “apostille” process and guidance on this point can be obtained from any office of Dominican Republic representation. The application continues in The Republic at the foreign ministry (Cancilleria) in Santo Domingo.

Useful links can be found at the "Resources" tab on this site and full information is available in the book "How to Retire in the Dominican Republic" by Les Johns which can be bought directly from this site.

Getting Help

As is commonly the case there are many organizations able and willing to help with visa applications. Although all charge a fee there is some advantage in employing such services where there may be a language difficulty. One such lawyer undertaking visa applications is Guzmán Ariza. An initial telephone consultation in one of four languages is available free of charge. It is also necessary for the applicant to provide proof of economic solvency. Only local organizations can provide proof of economic solvency. Comprehensive information on this and other aspects of the residency process can be seen at the Dominican Real Estates web site.

There will always be charges for obtaining birth certificates, marriage licenses and their translations, photographs, certificates of good conduct and for having medicaL examinations plus application fees. In general such costs are less in the Dominican Republic than in many other countries.

No specific concessions for pensioners exist in the Dominican Republic as there are in places such as Panama but the cost of living is very reasonable by European and United States standards. In general it is possible to live cheaply in the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic is as good a place as any.

The many links provided at the "Resources" tab of this site and the information in the book "How to Retire in The Dominican Republic" by Les Johns, Available directly from this site will save any intending retiree much research time.