Dominican Republic Passport Programs Clarified

Dominican Republic Passport for ExpatsWe have literally had hundreds of questions submitted about residency, citizenship and 2nd passports in the Dominican Republic.  The interest in this topic is totally understandable.  As doors close around the globe for 2nd passports, one from a stable, democratic country only a couple hours away from the shores of the U.S. are particularly attractive.

In this first video, I would like to introduce you to one of our leading immigration attorneys at the Guzman Ariza law firm.  She will also tell you a little about the law firm which is one of the largest and most prestigious in the Dominican Republic.  You would expect that dealing with one of the premier law firms in the country would be more expensive, however we have found just the opposite in our many years of working with this firm.  In fact, the firm has agreed to provide residency services to our DR Escapes readers on a fixed rate which is up to $700 less than fees for comparable services by other immigration specialists.

That said, there is a lot of confusion about exactly how the process works.  The purpose of this article is to give you a very general overview of what residency programs are available.

These programs change frequently and the information included here is only a general guideline.  Your immigration attorney understands all the latest rules and regulations and will steer you in the most optimal direction.

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Dominican Republic Passport and Residency

The shortest process, by the time you have delays in government acceptance and mandated wait times, etc, is about 24 months, realistically.  The longest is about 8 or 9 years if you go through slow naturalization process.  There are several options in between.

The good news for those of you who do not want to actually live in the DR full time throughout the residency and citizenship process…. You don’t have to.  You can come over (even on your trip down for the DYD tour with some advance planning) and start the process.  You will need to bring some documents with you and meet with the attorneys while you are down here so they can give you a clear idea of exactly what will happen, and when.  Then, when your residency (provisional or permanent) is approved you will need to be in the country again for a few days, in the capital, in person to get your government ID card (cedula) and to start the clock running.  Depending on the residency path you take, you may need to be more actively involved in the DR, and many of you will want to move down during this time to get your home away from home established.

But before I get into the various residency programs, I need to tell you what is not available in the DR.  There is no legal PURE economic passport program where you just pay a lump sum of money up front and have them hand you a passport.  There are a few places in the world that do that… with the cost running up to $350,000 out of pocket to make it happen.  Those passports tend to have somewhat questionable value, but they are certainly for sale in some countries.  Not in the DR though.  They actually care about who they issue citizenship and passports to and make you jump through some hoops and clear various screening.

Click the image below to request your FREE initial consultation with an immigration attorney.

Dominican Republic Passport and Residency

OK, now a general overview of the various residency programs by one of our immigration attorneys.  This is just a generalized overview and you will be able to dig into the details on you free consultation.

 

 

Your next question should be about the logistics.  Exactly what is involved and how cumbersome is the process.  In this next video, the attorney discusses the concierge service offered by the law firm that assures all of our DR Escapes readers that they will receive expedited service with minimal hassle.

 

Finally, in this next video the attorney explains that the residency and citizenship process in the Dominican Republic is a dynamic process.  If, during your application for permanent residency you choose to switch over to one of the expedited programs you will probably be able to make a switch midstream.  Same goes for you selection of an immigration specialist.  That can be changed midstream too if you should choose for whatever reason.

 

A full analysis of the fees and costs will be provided by our immigration attorney during your FREE initial consultation.  Sorry about having you register twice but it enables us to accelerate getting you the information you need as soon as possible and getting you registered for your FREE initial consultation with an immigration attorney.  Click the banner below to submit your contact information to our immigration attorney for your consultation.

Dominican Republic Passport and Residency

 

SUMMARY OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC PASSPORT PROCESS

Well that is the 50,000 foot view of the DR residency programs and the path to an ultimate second passport.  There are many details and specific documents that are required at specific times in the process.  Your immigration lawyer will lead you step by step through the process, handle translations and coordinate and accompany you to any required government meetings.

If you would like to explore the details and try to prepare yourself to meet the immigration lawyer during your DYD tour, or on a future trip down, you need to click on the banner above.  We teamed up with an immigration attorney in a major Dominican law firm that specializes in fast-tracking our expats.   The fees and costs provided by your attorney during your Free initial consultation are strictly the firm’s fees and direct government charges.  These fees and costs are not marked up in any way by DRescapes.

 

CLICK ON THE BLUE BANNER ABOVE TO GO TO THE FORM

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Ron Dotson December 23, 2012 at 2:51 am

How can I find out what the DR’s policy on drugs and guns is? I’m age 67 and smoke cannabis for both medicinal purposes and for recreation, and I am also a gun collector with a rather large gun collection and lots of ammunition. Would I be able to bring any of my gun collection (as well as my silver and gold bullion) to the DR, and would I be able to continue to use cannabis in the Dominican Republic?

Also, my wife and I are both presently receiving monthly Social Security payments and our health insurance is via Medicare (primary) and Blue Cross/Blue Shield (secondary). Will we be able to continue to receive our USA Social Security Administration pensions? Are either Medicare or Blue Cross coverage available in the DR? If not, is there any medical insurance available in case of a catastrophically expensive illness?

Lastly, after going through one of the various citizenship processes available, does acceptance of a Dominican Republic Passport cause us to forfeit our USA citizenship?

Thank you, Ron Dotson

Barry December 24, 2012 at 2:06 am

Hello Ron,

Good to hear from you. I will attempt to answer several of your questions and if you like, connect you to our immigration attorney to discuss several of the issues related to guns.

I think first, and most importantly, you will be well served to first determine whether the environment and lifestyle on the north coast of the DR is what you are looking for. The rest of it really is unimportant if this is not what you are looking for.

First, regarding social security. When you set up residency in the DR, either as a resident or as a citizen, you are not required to forfeit your US citizenship. Therefore, you can continue to receive your social security payments. Most expats simply have the payments direct deposited in the US bank account and later transfer whatever they want into the DR.

Regarding Medicare. The hospitals and physicians in the DR do not accept US medicare payments. But that may not be as ominous as it may sound. Health care costs here in the DR are substantially less than the grossly overinflated healthcare costs in the US. Most expats elect to purchas a low cost health insurance plan for services in the DR, and then if they feel like they must go back to the States for something really, really serious they hop a plane back over and use their Medicare. To be perfectly honest though, most of the expats we have been involved with have found the care in the DR to be more than adequate and very rarely if ever rely on Medicare for anything. One sideline benefit many of them have experienced is that the quality of their health and attitudes have improved here on the northcoast of the DR due to the natural, organic foods and active upbeat lifestyle.

Regarding guns. I know that you are allowed to own guns but am not familiar with all the details. For that I would recommend you talk to our immigration attorney. Let me know if you want me to hook you up to talk to him. Strangely enough, most of the expats that come to this part of the island find that the place and people are so peaceful and friendly that they really don’t need or want them once they get here. But I suppose you could only know that once you have experience the area.

Regarding pot. The DR does consider pot to be an illegal drug and there are no provisions for legal medical marijuana that we know of. Of course that is not to say that there aren’t expats down here that do use pot (medicinally or otherwise), because there are. What you will find is the the people, and for the most part the government officials, have a pretty laise faire attitude, basically what they don’t know they don’t care about. This is a nation of proud, independent minded people that are generally very friendly and pretty much keep there noses out of your business. The police and military authorities tend to act the same way. What they don’t want, and we don’t either, is what I would describe as the typical “ugly American” that bulldozes in and does not respect the rights and privacy of the current citizens. Always remember, until we become DR citizens we are guest in their country and it pays to behave accordingly. Regarding the medicinal use of pot, you may find, as other expats have, that there are better, more effective treatments available here. We have seen expats come here with cronic diseases and pain almost to the point of disability turn their whole health situation around in a very short period of time with treatment by caregivers that we were able to direct them to. Whether that would work for you, no way to say.

I hope that information was helpful.

Ron January 20, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Thank you for the information Barry. Yes, it was very interesting. As well as being hobbies/recreation for myself, the freedom to grow and consume cannabis and to own firearms are a measure of the freedom that I actually enjoy to live my own life in a country. I am very suspicious of any country that prosecutes people for so called “victimless” crimes (ie; drugs) or that prevents me from owning whatever I want, including firearms, as long as I harm no one. Thank you.

Barry January 21, 2013 at 12:26 am

Thanks Ron Glad you found value in my answer. Good luck with what ever adventures come you way.

Craig Honaker February 19, 2013 at 7:18 pm

You seem very knowledgeable about the DR, so maybe you will know this answer, which I cannot find anywhere.
I am married to a Dominican woman, we were married in the US in 2006, she was here legally, she has a US passport after being naturalized. She is a dual resident and I would like to do the same.
Am I eligible to get a Dominican Passport for the sole reason I am married to a Dominicana? What is the process for someone like myself?
Thank you.

Barry February 24, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Hi Craig, Sorry for the delay in answering but I just returned from a trip with a group of five. They seemed to want to stayout late in Cabrera and there just wasn’t any free time. In regards to your question here’s what I would do. Since I’m not an expert on Immigration but our suggested attorney is why not get in touch and ask that question directly. His name is Fabio Guzman of Guzman Ariza and his number is 809-255-0980. His email is fabio@drlawyer.com but I might suggest a direct call. As I’m sure it is an important question to have a detailed answer a personal call might be best. Once again sorry for the time delay but we’ve been really busy.
Best Adventures
Barry in DR

Dylan Sirois October 8, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Craig or Barry,

Were you ever able to get an answer about how marriage affects the process? I too am married to a Dominican national and would like to know how the process works. I am considering building a home somewhere in the DR (buying land in the process), which I think may also speed up the process but I am not sure!

Thanks,

Dylan

Barry October 9, 2015 at 3:25 pm

Dylan, Why not go onto the site and click onto the blue passport button. Fill out the information form and send it. Maria our immigration expert will answer within a couple of day and arrange to set up a free consutation. Have you questions answered by an expert instead of relying on my or others opinions. It’s free and should set you well on your way to what should be the right path to choose.
B

Dylan October 9, 2015 at 8:44 pm

Thanks Barry, I actually found that link and filled out/submitted the form yesterday. I look forward to getting more info from Maria.

Jack December 24, 2013 at 1:24 am

Ron , How are you, my friends call me Jack. Ron I have been visiting the Dominican Republic twice a year for over the past 20 years and have made many friends there both native and expats alike from all over the USA as well as Canada,Germany, Italy and of course Dominicans who were born and raised there as well as Dominicans who live in the USA and have families still living there. My Question to you is I would love to retire there and would like to bring Items there by Container shipped to the D.R. . I heard that once you obtain your residency that you can have a container shipped there with all your Items ? I’m Planning to retire sometime in 2015 and would like to know if you could tell me more details with regards to what I could bring ? The time line to do that in once residency is obtained?and the exspences to do so? I heard that if you are going to bring an american made vehicle that it can not be more then 5 years old? and you must own it for at least 2? 5? Years?Also as I am single does that mean I can only bring one bedroom set? One living room set etc etc? I have recently ordered/ and purchased in full an American made 2014 vehicle which will be here in Jan 2014 and also have a 2000 Harley Davidson,am I allowed only to bring 1 motorized Vehicle?. I heard there is a special tax exemption for retires from the USA? I will be returning there in February and I know I have to go to the immigration office on the malicoln in Santo Domingo to apply for a temporary cedular yes? Or do you think I would be starting the process to early as I still have a year to go before I officially retire from my job. I also have commitments here as I own my house and would do as my friends have done and start out by renting an apartment although they have never applied for residency I would like to as also they say if you have residency you are allowed to own a gun there as I own legally here. Would I be able to ship my guns to the DR and register them there? Please if you could run me down a likely scenario as to how this would go from start to finish? Include info on exspences for shipping, costs on taxes for import of retirement container / what I can bring or can’t, Ron thanks for taking the time to read this ,I sure could use the info.
PS I have opened a savings account at one of the major banks there which is a first step into opening a checking account later when I need to. At the Immigration office on the malicoln, last time I went they would not let me upstairs to talk with anyone because I had shorts on, do you know if they have people there who speak English fluently so that I may have a clear understanding? My Spanish is ok but not fluent enough when it comes to understanding perfectly these important issues.

Greg July 5, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Thank you for writing a very informational article on DR citizenship. I have one question, what about real-estate purchases such as vacation rentals? I am an investor in real-estate in the US. Would this approach (buying rental properties) work for a quick path to citizenship in DR? If so, how long? My apologies if this was mentioned and I missed it somehow.

Barry July 5, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Reach out to me and I will connect you to the right person who would be able to answer that point in detail.
B

Anthony July 23, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Hello, I would like to rent a vacation property for a year(pay in full) and sub-let it out for short periods, when i am not there. Is that possible in DR without a DR citizenship? What steps or who should I contact on this matter?

Thanks Anthony

Barry July 29, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Look around there’s several folks who do rentals here. Don’t know if they would entertain your idea but until you ask you’ll never know. Sub-rental is not often desired for obvious reasons.
B

tamas janda July 29, 2014 at 3:35 am

waiting for reply to original email. see others for inquires. need answers as the time approaches. thanks.

Barry July 29, 2014 at 1:52 pm

I have a few days to catch up on my personal life. Been almost two months with no time to take care of my property and chores. If you desire call me on my US number tonight and ill chat with you for a bit. 229-380-8476
B

tom kuester February 7, 2015 at 10:14 pm

Hi barry really enjoy your info videos thankyou .My question is how safe is the banking system in DR and is there currency pegged to the US dollar.Also i have a extensive coin collection with gold and silver coins and bullion.is there safe places to ship it to, and store it in the country. Im a single parent with 2 boys 14 and 11
would like to get them dual citizenship as well.I believe things are really falling apart in the US quikly and want to get out.Also how easy is it to transfer money from US to DR and what bank would you recomend ..PLEASE HELP .thankyou tom k

Barry February 8, 2015 at 12:43 am

Tom, Lots of good questions. Better question for your first one might be how safe is any bank. They’re all connected to each other. All I can say is currently the banks here are actually holding very respectable cash reserves. Far higher than any institution in the states is currently holding in reserves. On your next question. Is the Peso linked to the dollar? On a deeper sense aren’t all currencies eventually linked back to the dollar. Example the Swiss Franc recently broke its peg to the euro. But in the end aren’t both trading against the dollar. Same for the Canadian, HKD, ruble yuan ect, ect. At the end of the day where do all countries park lets say a trillion dollars. They park it at least for now in the only place they can the US Dollar. That will eventually change although not overnight and not for a while. I took a lot of heat holding onto my information a few years past that the Dollar is the prettiest face in a group of ugly sisters. It’s not about what a currency is made of (gold or silver) or is it really worth any intrinsic value. It’s about confidence and nothing more. So far I seem to have been correct and I see no change in both the NYSE and the dollar for at lease another year in a half…possible greater. What I’m looking for in this mess of an economy is following. There are base currencies and there are floating currencies. Normally I would be far more comfortable in base currencies except for the obvious fact what’s occurring is anything but normal. Let’s use Greece as an example. I felt they should have left the Euro long ago. The Euro is a base currency the Drachma is a floating currency. A floating currency in MOST but not all cases is only worth something in its own country. Dominican Peso, Cayman Islands Dollar ect… are not tradable outside of their own country. But as these currencies are called FLOATING they will merely float and attach themselves to what the world is using in the future. Sure Greece will loose huge short term on the Drachma but instantly Greece becomes the place to vacation and spend your whatever currency because its worth so much against the Drachma… but what happens instantly to the Drachma? Velocity begins to soar and in no time and then what happens? The CONFIDENCE is returned to that particular currency and it starts trading stronger against other base currencies. It doesn’t matter if it’s worth anything or not just check history and see for yourself. No comment on your coin collection and as far as citizenship couldn’t agree more but that as well as having the luxury of time to cross all T’s and dot all I’s is long past. For that my friend you needed to begin these changes about five to eight years ago. Still not to late but you’re going to have to hussle and yes you can still transfer or wire money fairly easy to the DR but who know the future. Sorry for the long answer but I wanted to deliver this in a way that might make sense to you and the many others still sitting on the fence post located in the land of denial.

B

Juan Fernandez February 20, 2015 at 7:15 am

Hi, I am only interested in obtaining a Cedula. I am trying to get this info but there are a lot of conflicting stories out there. Would really like to get a professional to answer this question for me. Also, the reason to which I am wanting a Cedula is to try and build a small business in the Dominican Republic but to be managed in the U.S.

Barry February 20, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Hi Juan, Why not call Maria. That’s the person you should be talking to. Click on the blue passport button on the site. She will respond and set up a call to talk about what you’re looking to acomplish. She knows the Dominican laws better that anyone who I’ve ever met. Hope this helps.
B

malek hamami March 6, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Dear sirs, my name is Malek Hamami . I am a citizen of beirut lebanon . I was born in the year 1960 , I am thinking of retirement in the DR , buying a house or a small business, citizenship so on, I would like your advice on how to go about it. PS;we are a family of 4 me my wife my brother and my mom , waiting for your answer , malek

Barry March 7, 2015 at 1:22 am

Hi Malek, The best way to start looking into residency would be as follows. Go back onto the site and click on the large blue passport button. Fill out the form. From there Maria our immigration professional will follow up and arrange a time for you both to get connected. Hoe this helps.
B

Myles March 17, 2015 at 4:56 pm

I found your site to be very useful, thank you for taking the time to share this information.

Barry March 18, 2015 at 10:40 pm

Thanks
B

Doug Appleby April 11, 2015 at 7:48 pm

My wife and I are planning on attending a DYD tour in the near future and wanted some residency and passport info.

Thank you, Doug

Barry April 12, 2015 at 2:32 am

It’s easy Doug. Just go back onto the site and click on the blue passport. Fill out the contact form and Maria Abreu will set up a consultation call.
B

Pat Verh July 17, 2015 at 6:09 pm

Interested in how to get a dual citizenship. Im visiting DR in a week and am going to be looking around for real estate. Once I buy, I would like to live there and work on getting a second citizenship.

please email me back, I would like to hear more.

Pat

Barry July 18, 2015 at 11:39 am

Hi go back to the site and click onto the blue passport button. Fill out the contact form and send it. Abreu immigration will contact you and arrange for a consultation. If we can be of any further help just reach out.
B

Jimmy Stewart August 26, 2015 at 11:15 am

Can someone please tell me the following: ?
Cost of cedula renual including late charges if any.
Whare is the new location of the cedula office.
This is for 26 August 2015

George August 31, 2015 at 9:49 pm

Hi Barry,

Ive read that DR imposes an income tax on worldwide income after 3 years of residency. Further, they have no reciprocity with the US, so US expats would be subject to double taxation? Is that correct?

dR sound wonderful, but if I have to pay taxes on my income twice, that makes it much less appealing!

Barry August 31, 2015 at 11:36 pm

Maria Abreu is the one to be reaching for an accurate answer. What you’ve written is not accurate. Her email is. abreulegalconsulting@gmail.com good luck and thanks for the question.
B

Erika September 1, 2015 at 8:30 pm

I am over 18 and my mother was born in the Dominican Republic. Is it true that I can become a citizen of the Dominican Republic simply because my mother is one? She currently has dual citizenship with the United States.

Barry September 1, 2015 at 10:51 pm

Yes is actually pretty easy to do.
B

Doug Riley December 31, 2015 at 5:44 pm

Hi maria ….I’m from Ontario Canada . I’m 56 I want to buy a home in the Dr for semi tire there ..I’m just gathering info for one yr …rent there etc …before I buy …..I want to bring my girl friend from the philipiness there for temporary redisency …can I vouch for her in as funds , investments , rental property ..that I have …in ontario ….we are looking for any info u can give us ….thanks maria

charles January 11, 2016 at 7:34 pm

I am married to a Dominican lady how can I go about getting citizenship. they told me I have to apply for a resident visa first. can you help with these steps.

GIBSON

Barry January 12, 2016 at 12:21 am

The best thing to do is go back onto the site. Once there click onto the blue passport. Fill out your contact information. From thee our immigration specialist will reach out to set up a free consultation call. Hope this helps.
B

Alicia Ali February 24, 2016 at 8:28 pm

Hello,
I’ve watched many of your youtube videos and I am coming March 15 for one week to the DR. I am interested in living in Carbrera. Can I please book a tour with you Barry?

1.204.998.0979

Barry February 25, 2016 at 10:52 pm

Alicia, Be best if you reach out on email. barry@drescapes.com
B

Stephen Annan May 9, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Hello Dear Maria, I am from Trinidad and Tobago. I am interested in doing business in D.R. how much does PROVISIONAL (TEMPORARY) RESIDENCY cost?

Thanks and Kind Regards
Stephen Annan

Barry October 27, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Hello Stephan fill out the immigration form. It will be forwarded to the Guzman Ariza lawfirm. From there the head of their immigration dept. will arrange for a no cost conversation.
B

marcus spotzl October 21, 2016 at 10:53 pm

Hey,

I’m Canadian and I am applying for citizenship to DR. I am currently living in Canada.
I have to do the medical examination for immigration and I am told I have to do it in DR. This is a very big inconvenience for me because it means I have to stop everything and travel to DR for a stupid medical exam. I don’t understand why I cant do it in Canada and then submit it to DR. There are plenty of panel physicians here. Can some one please confirm if I really do have to travel to DR to do the exam or if I was given wrong information and can actually do it in Canada.

Thanks

Marcus

Barry October 26, 2016 at 2:17 am

Yes you do that’s correct

christopher Williams November 24, 2016 at 1:41 am

Hi,

PLeasant day to you. I find your information very useful and informative. My desire and interest is to move to Dominican Republic and start my own business. I am currently a citizen of the United States of America. I am a little confused as to how do I go about starting the process of residency.
I am very interested and would like to use your firm as my council for legal resource. I have been trying to even open an account but find that it is more difficult than I thought. If you can assist me please let me know. I am looking forward to hearing from your office.
Thank you for providing such a meaningful information about residing in your country.

Respectfully, Yours

Chris Williams

Barry November 28, 2016 at 7:29 pm

Hi Chris thanks for the comment. Just go back on the site and fill out the contact form.
B

Sonya December 13, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Hello Barry,
Love the web site. I’ve been watching many of the DREscapes videos and I am quite excited about the prospect of visiting/living in the DR. I plan to complete the passport immigration form but in the meantime, I have a couple of questions I hope you can answer. My daughter and I will be visiting Haiti December 23 through January 2 and I would like to schedule a dental appointment in Dominican Republic to have a dental implant performed. The cost of the procedure is outrageous here in the US even after insurance. I’ve heard from several sources, including yourself, that DR has top notch medical and dental professionals and I believe this would be a good opportunity to get acclimated to the medical and health environment in DR. Can you suggest a contact in that regard? Much appreciated.
In addition, since I will be in the DR anyway, could we arrange a tour with you or some locals at the same time? I’d especially like to patronize some local, small businesses. I’m in the import/export business and particularly love to support local artisan groups from around the world with a focus on celebrating tradition and sustainability.

Keep up the fine work. Peace to you and your house. _/|\_
Sonya Madkins Wiseman

Barry December 14, 2016 at 2:06 am

Hello Sonya, sure I can give you a couple of good names. Also you form was sent to the immigration Attorney for follow up. Reach me by email and I’ll reply.
B

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