Temporary Resdidencia - first steps!

As a regular person, not applying for work visa or a retirement special status  recidencia, you can apply for the temporary residencia.  The principal difference is that you will require a local sponsor to vouch for you and your family when applying for the provisional/temporary residence.  Later on you will apply for "permanent residencia" but that can take a few years.  Lets start here:


The first phase of your application will be to gather the required documentation which include the following:

1- Your birth certificate- translated and apostilled - 2 copies

2- A Certificate of Good conduct from the police- also translated and apostilled. - 2 copies

3- A medical certificate confirming your current health status- emphasizing you do not suffer from any infectious or contagious diseases, translated and apostilled - 2 copies

4- A letter from your bank confirming you are are solvent and a client in good standing, translated and apostilled.  - 2 copies

5- A letter explaining the reason for wanting to apply for residency in the DR, translated and apostilled. 2 copies

6. 2 full copies of your passport, good for at least 18 more months, apostilled.

7.  IF  your are coming with a spouse,  Marriage Certificate, translated and apostilled - 2 copies.

Be aware that  documents WILL expire at various times!  Your Medical letter will expire faster then your Police check document. Manage your documents wisely!

There are some additional documents based on individual circumstances that you may need to check with a lawyer!  These would be for name changes,  changes of country of residence (born one place, living elsewhere) etc etc.   I cannot cover all possibilities here. 

I advise you call the Dominican Consul closest to you to obtain additional information as they will have to issue you a visa that will allow you to come to the Dominican Republic to complete your application for your residency.  This is a 60 day visa, issued for the specific purpose of applying for Dominican residency.  In addition, note some countries do NOT apostillize documents, double check this requirement with the Consul.

There are some specific rules for specific countries depending where you are! Make sure to call the local Dominican Consul to verify everything! And of course their are fees to be paid!!! Again this can depend what country you are in.  There is a normal speed process and a faster speed process and the fees change!   

Expect the gathering of documents,  official translation and the filing with the closest consulate office to cost several hundred dollars!!!! In one location I know the filing fee along is US 250 for the "fast" service.

Once you arrive in the country you must apply for your temporary residencia within the allotted  60 days. There is an application online at  http://consuladord.com/en/Formulario_So … nglish.pdf   It MUST be filed  in Santo Domingo.  This will include paying a multitude of fees,  getting a blood test,  chest xray and then waiting!  You will need to be in Santo Domingo early on the day you are doing this as things happen early in the day! 

Make sure you have copies of all your documents. Do not expect anyone to keep copies.  Documents do get lost and if you have a copy it will expedite things. 

No matter what a document or anyone says - it can take months to complete this or any other application.  I have heard stories of this process taking MONTHS and MONTHS to complete.  I have also heard stories of it being done in  4 months.  Sometimes it is a matter of lawyers staying on top of the process in person.  Sometimes it is just plain luck! 

ONCE you receive the approval you can then bring in a container of "personal and household items" without the usual taxes and duties. There are fees so be very aware of this!  That will be the subject of another thread later.   

LASTLY I suggest everyone consult a lawyer familiar with this process, not a friend, not a family member  but a LAWYER.  You may choose to do the process yourself and save some money, but  consult a lawyer early on to make sure you are not missing something major! 

It has been my experience, over almost 11 years here, that  not getting a lawyer has cost people  more  time and money in the long run!  Make sure to shop around a bit if you plan to use a lawyer, AND ask us for referrals.  I know good ones as do others on this forum!

Great post with lots of information.  Boy it certainly is harder to do today than when we did it 8+ years ago.

In fact we will be in SD this Thursday to get our new Cedulas.  Then we will have our new residency cards and new cedulas an be good for another 4 years.  After that if we are still here it will be for 8-10 years.

Bob K

Yes it has changed and now the process is more time consuming and costly!

Thanks Bob....

This list is quite helpful. 
Since one of the required documents (#5) is "A letter explaining the reason for wanting to apply for residency in the DR", I would like an opinion about if simply having an interest to live and work abroad, and to inter-mingle with a new different culture, etc, would be considered a "good enough" reason for applying for residency in the DR.

I would like to see a sample letter, of that kind, to get a better idea of a good format and layout for that type of letter.  I could then just change the details to match me personally.  Does anyone have such a sample letter that I could see, or where I could find one?  Also, if it contains any personal info that you want to keep private, you can remove the sensitive info and replace it with a bracketed filler, such as " [name] "  or  " [e-mail address] ", etc.


The process is still reasonably new so not many of us on here would have a sample.

If you are working with a lawyer they may have a sample or at least an idea of what actually needs to be in the letter.

Bob K

I see that you're from Canada.  I'm wondering -- are the requirements (for a temporary residencia) any tougher for U.S. Citizens than they are for Canadians?

Requirements are exactly the same.

Bob K

That is correct - exactly the same.

Thanks for the reply and the info.

You are welcome and good luck in your venture

Bob K

There's no need to get documents translated, prior to submission -- according to what a DR consulate agent told me.

I had previously assumed that I would need to get my documents translated, before submitting them to the consulate.  However, I was told, by a consulate agent, that they themselves (the consulate) do/does the translations.  Therefore, according to that, the documents only need to be apostilled prior to submission -- which may be good news for many of you.

That is Bull dingleberry!  You must translate prior to submission!

After talking to somebody at a document-translation firm, I concluded that it would cost about US $400-500 to get my documents translated (US $95.00 for the first page, $75.00 for each additional page, plus some other fee).    Before I proceed with that, I'd like your opinion (if you already have one) -- does that sound reasonable?  Or, is there a more economical way to get the translations done?

Please let me know.  Thanks.

Don' know the costs but my understanding was they needed to be translated.  However if you have the time submit them in English and see what happens. Worst thing when you check in a week you will be told they need to be translate.  Best thing they will tell  you they are ready to be picked up (don't count on this one)

Bob K

Prices are different everywhere in the world. IF you are not ready to pay what it takes to get this done then you won't have enough to be able to live here. Shop around with the OFFICIAL translators only and see what you come up with.  that is all I can suggest!  Dont' bother with anyone NOT official as it will not be accepted.

Interested by your remarks.  It seems everyone has a different view on this one.  At the moment we have no intentions of applying for Residence.  However we met some charming Russians who explained to my wife (she is Russian) in their case they took the necessary papers to the main office in Santo Domingo, spent the whole day there and weeks later got their residence.  I am not sure whether they had to have their documents translated.  But I would say, having gone through the same excercise with the Britsih, ALL documents had to translated by an acredited translator and cost me circa £300!  Not cheap.  Five years ago it was not necessary.

Rules will be the same no matter where you are from. So I suspect they had all their paperwork in order before heading to Santo Domingo.

You are correct 5 years ago it was not necessary however things are changing and it most likely will become necessary over then the next few years.  The Government is slowly working towards documenting EVERY one who is here beyond a 30 tourist trip.

Bob K

Ok lets review this AGAIN.

YOU MUST do your original paperwork at HOME.  You MUST translate it,  have it stamped at the Dominican Consulate, THEY issue you a 60 day visa.  It is not a tourist visa but a visa for application for residency. 

THEN you bring THAT  paperwork here to the DR and FILE for residencia (along with other paperwork needed and generated here)

HERE is where I recommend you get a lawyer - BUT - you can contact a lawyer BEFORE and ask questions!!!!

And YES over the next little while (year, two years...) everyone here not on a 30 day tourist visa will need to have this done.

I mean are you allowed to live in the US with out a green card...NO.  Allowed in the EU for longer than 90 days with out a "visa" ...NO.  If they don't "catch" you then you will be "ok".  However break a law, have a traffic accident, get stopped for a traffic violation, get robbed, or anything else that puts you in contact with authorities and your butt is on the next plane out after paying what ever fine is imposed and/or time in jail. 

So if you don't get it done you are taking increasing risks.

Bob K

Well said  Bob.  And he doesn't meant when you are coming the first time for a couple of months to check things out, he is talking about those who live here.

great info Planner.. thanks a lot !
One question... the 2 copies for each required document  must be original  or one original and a copy of the original will be accepted?


check out other languages companies.. some charge per page  , others per translated word.  The rate in Spanish is about 25 cents per word.

That is originals I believe!!!  And not all translators or companies are acceptable. You need to check their list as posted on their website of the closest Dominican Consul office.

Hi Bob

Are you saying that the current Toursit card will disappaer?  What about people whi only wish to spend say 6 months in DR?  What will happenn to the Tourist card as it is today?



This has nothing to do with the tourist card - which by the way does NOT apply for stays of 6 months.  I believe - only my opinion -  that they will crack down on those who stay only  4 or 5 or 6 months.  I would hope they will come up with a new "visa" which will allow stays for snowbirds for specific amounts of time with a reasonable fee structure. 

But, was we know here, nothing is logical, little actually makes sense....LOL

Thank you for that.  If I want to stay in DR and spend money that is is not a bad thing!  ~At the moment I can for whatever and pay my exit tax.  That is fine.  At this point we have not decided whether we wish to live in DR or spend 4-6 months there.  I can go to any other country and spend 6 months (except for Russia) without any problems.  Are the guys in  DR shooting themselves in the foot?  If I like DR great then I will go through their proceedure, but at the moment I am renting a villa on the north coast for 4-6 months with out any problems.  Help!!!

As of right now you are fine.  Just come and visit and when you leave pay the overstay fees.  I have no idea about the future!   Like I said that was my opinion.

Again,  for clarity,  logic has no place here......LOL   We often shake our heads and wonder:  what were they thinking???

Thank you

Ok so I like DR and wish to live there.  BUT I don't want to buy, only rent.  Why, I have bought all over the world I am not convinced for me it is the right decision to buy.  So I rent on a 12 month contract, where do I stand?  Sorry to ask all these questions.


Thanks for the info and advice.

You are the same as everyone else who rents. At this point in time - when you leave you pay an overstay fine!! The longer you stay the bigger it gets.

NOW -  to stay very legal I need to remind you that this MAY change at any moment!   I am not actually expecting it to change in the next couple of years but YOU NEVER KNOW. 

My personal advice: once you decide you like or love living here get legal!  It is a small price to pay for the right to live in paradise.

What a lovely wee message.  Thank you.

I spoke with DR in Marseille in France.  Very hilpful.  She gave me the list of papers ( as you have) to send, all copies and translated.  She said allow about 3 weeks, then iI would receive a Resdiency VISA valid for 60 days, enough for me to go to Santo Domigingo to make the formal application.  One question, how strict is the 60 day VISA?  Thanks again


Well they are not going to throw you out...... but you must get your residencia application deposited in those 60 days.  Once you have apied and have a case number you are no longer overstaying!

If you do not file in those 60 days and go to file on day number 61 or later you will have to start the process all over again.

ALso your car insurance will not cover you with out a DR drivers lic after 60 days and to get that you need your residency.

You can't stat in the US legally with out  a "green" card why should it be different here???

Bob K

One clarification the drivers license only is good as long as a tourist visa, not a residencia visa.


The day is coming where if you are not here for a vacation 1-4 weeks you will need to be here legally.  And you know what there is nothing wrong with that.

Bob K

Nope nothing at all wrong with that.  They do need to create some longer stay type visitors visas though!  Or we lose too many snowbirds.

Agreed for a small fee (less than or equal to the current overstay fee) you can get a 6 month visitor's visa

Bob K

Exactly  - not rocket science..... she said grinning........... :lol:

Well..we have been here since August 30th..last year. Brought all the necessary documents. .Translated  and  apostiled
at the Dominican Embassy in Ottawa. Did our duty ..with lawyer,went to Santo Domingo 5 days later..why waste time!!.
So far we have spent $1140 US $$ sent to  RD Embassy in Canada..cost of various documents..
2 Police Record Checks
2 Long Form Birth Certificates
1 Marriage License Long Form
Credit Letter of Good Standing from our bank.
Dr's Certificate..no communicable disease!
Copies of every Passport Page.
So after some paper juggling ..shuffling around, paying fees our lawyer takes us in her waiting cab to a nearby hospital..where they now do the required medical..Bloodwork,Urine Test (open door nurse watching)short interview re : prescription meds.. and chest X-ray
Back to Imigration!! More filing... that is all for today..off to late lunch with our lawyer..and hop the Metro  back to POP!! AND WE WAIT.....AND WAIT...AND WAIT
Finally I decide to call my lawyer??? when should we expect our Residencia and Cedula??? After a # of days I hear back..NO.. they have moved the goal post!! Apparently not satisfied with the Criminal Record Check..what do we do ?? Is this not the same document that was apostilled and translated by DR Embassy????  WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT???
Now..off to Puerto Plata police station..fingerprinted..hmm no cost to us?? strange.. then we spend a day on the Metro again(May 8th) ..off  to the Canatdian Embassy to submit a request for our Criminal Records Check..8 weeks we are told!!
I get a real sense of intuition on this...we are going back to Canada in June ..should we not just do this there?? easier and I will have them in my hand!! "Well ..we will probably have them before you return"  (late July) 
We have been there  and back..hmmm ... It is now 13 weeks since our request was submitted!! Lawyer cannot seem to get any answers..Call the RCMP in Canada..submit a request to search for status..all by e-mail..no human voices there!! Your request will be answered in the sequence it was received..automated response..August 4th  I can fully understand why so many people live here and do not bother to become "LEGAL" ..
I realize this is lengthy but this has been our(my) experience thus far..
Also wondering was I wise to pay my lawyer up front??  She has been great with us but...maybe a little more ?? aggressive with our case?? push a few buttons..frustrated .apparently we may have to submit ourselves to a medical again as the process is coming up on a year!!! Metro again to SD...
Livin' the life!!!

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