Temporary Resdidencia - first steps!

Hello Wendy,

I sent you information on the process to obtain a residency visa at a Dominican embassy/consulate and later to apply for residency at the Immigration office in the Dominican Republic.

Typically the consulates and government offices take much longer than the estimated dates published on their respective website.


Hi Wendy

In reference to one of your questions in #2, and as one that's in the process of having the 1st portion of the resident visa done, I would tell you the main thing that I wish I would've known was that the FBI background check would take 14 weeks.  When I submitted my package In mid-Aug, I did so without the background check (because I had just submitted it) and placed a local police report background check in there instead.  I moved here 4 September, and the consulate called me to say they received the package and everything looked fine except the FBI paperwork wasn't in there.  I told them that I had not received it back yet.  Long story short..........the FBI got to it the last week in November and it was finished 4 Dec.  They mailed it to me 5 Dec and I didn't get it for 2 weeks after that.  That whole process took 16 full weeks!  You can call them at (304) 625-5590 if you have any questions.  I've called approx 20 times and someone ALWAYS answered during their business hours.  Everything else in the package took me about a week or less to get accomplished--no problems there.  This will depend on what you already have/don't have (birth cert, soc sec card, passport with a certain amount of time left on it etc.)  Also, another important point is, look for the consulate that's closest to you and use what that particular website says that needs to be submitted in your package.   Submit the package to THAT consulate.  Some of the requirements may differ per consulate.  You can google "Dominican Consulates in the USA) and several will pop up.  Props to you for attempting this on your own--the whole process to get the package together cost me approx $700/$800.

I will respond later from my computer.

There IS something wrong with it. The country will lose a lot of money because many won't bother coming anymore.  But then again, the gov is not too Swift so they might just shoot their own wieners off.  The Dr has many competitors for gringo dollars, and many already blow off the dr for those places.

Yup you are right.

Tourist visa is good for  30 days,  period. Overstay is subject to a fine and its no big deal at all.

Your documents are gathered by you,  get them translated and aposilized (can't spell)  as per website instructions. THEN you take or send them to the nearest Dominican Consulate and they will approve as appropriate and issue a 60 days visa to you.  Use that visa to travel here and deposit your  documents and application here. Then you do the  medical tests. Then you wait.

In the interim you have a pending application number.   

Temporary residency is issued when approved and can take  3 to 9 months.

Wow   on the FBI check. Brutal.

Do the attorneys you recommend for immigration also work with real estate transactions? I read a lawyer is essential to navigate that process, too, in order to avoid the pitfalls that can occur.

Yes most do so if you find a good one...hang on to them.  AND yes use a lawyer for any real estate transactions.

Bob K

Yes most do. But you want a lawyer in the area of your property. A lawyer from santo Domingo may not be the best choice for a purchase in Semana for example!

Get local recommendations and then double check the person or furm!

Good point about using a local lawyer for your real estate purchase
Bob K

i was trying to reply to a 2 yr old post and it put it here. Sorry. This was  after reading Kat's post.

Your situation is similar to mine in that I'm too young to access my 401k so will use savings until then. Did you find out how much monthly income they require for two and how long you have to show you can sustain it? I realize this was a coup!e years ago but likely not changed much.

Thanks for any updates.

Currently it's US 2,000 for a couple. Sources of income are pretty specific too.

Please define specific
Does SS and IRA apply?

SS likely does qualify but IRA may not unless it meets certain requirements. BUT I am not a lawyer and so cannot give you a guaranteed answer. IF you are looking to apply for residencia you really should speak with a lawyer!  Wilson Rood can be reached at wilsonrood[at]gmail.com  He speaks perfect English!

I called the New Orleans consulate office. While the man was nice, I hope he misspoke because he said we'd need to show $3,000 a month in income as a couple. Since we are not retirement age he said our investments would have to produce that income. I can tell you I do not have that much invested to produce $36,000 a year in interest income! That seems awful high since so much of the country lives on way less. However, since our plan is to work with a faith-based group with the children, he said I can get a missionary visa (which falls under the business visa-multiple entries) far easier. Although only good for a year, I can renew. And later, if I purchase property, that gives a good reason to have a residence visa. Maybe owning property outright helps swing the pendulum in one's favor?  He was going to send me more info via email but I have not seen it.

His name is Joaquin.  I just PMed you his e-mail address and hours of service.  It might be a good idea to send him an e-mail just in case he didn't have the correct e-mail address.

For a couple I have been told its 2,000 per month or 24,000 per year. I will confirm again.

Just started contacted the attorney Planner recommended (Wilson Rood) and here is some of the information he shared with me yesterday....

There are several ways to obtain residency including as investors, retirees, or as persons of financial means.  The first step is for you to let me know what category you fall under.  As a retiree you need to have a pension of at least $1,500.00 per month and as a person of financial means, you have to prove you have a monthly income of $2,000.00, from certificates of deposit, rental income, dividends, annuities, or any other financial instrument.  Monthly income from a job or contract is not accepted.

Hope this helps!

Great info, thanks!

What is different about a missionary visa? Just curious.

I believe it is a 1 year visa to come and do voluntary/  missionary work.  It has to be sponsored by an NGO

Thank you for this much needed info. I would love to have a lawyer referal.  I almost thought to do the process myself for me and my children. Its really alot to cover and I have enough on my plate orchestrating the move. I know if I dont get the right lawyer on my side in DR things can go bad real fast. Thank You in advance.

I suggest Wilson Rood wilsonrood[at]gmail.com.

He has provided a lot of info on this thread!

I have heard many similar stories about expatriates trying to get their legal residence status.
It does make one wonder...

Its a complicated process made much tougher if you do not speak Spanish.  Its about having the right things at the right tine in the right form and that can change on a moments notice it seems!  I use a lawyer.

I was married to a Dominican, in the Dominican Republic in 2001, and we divorced in 2007, after having one daughter. Does my marriage make me eligible for residency there?

It does if your wife is willing to sign for you!   I am not sure if having a daughter will qualify you!

I was wondering if anyone knows of any Immigration lawyers in Santiago. I had of one, all I can recall is the first name. (Dolly)

That is a contact of Bob's and he is away. If you look back on this post to earlier messages you are likely to find his referral to her!

There are several ways to obtain residency including as investors, retirees, or as persons of financial means.  The first step is for you to let me know what category you fall under.  As a retiree you need to have a pension of at least $1,500.00 per month and as a person of financial means, you have to prove you have a monthly income of $2,000.00, from certificates of deposit, rental income, dividends, annuities, or any other financial instrument.  Monthly income from a job or contract is not accepted.

Ok but :

- Retirees : $1,500.00/month + $250,00 per dependent
- Persons of financial means : $2,000.00/month + $250,00 per dependent + be able to prove you have earned the needed amount for the past 5 years.

Also : investors ; investing $200,000 in a Dominican business or Dominican financial instruments.

!!! These 3 ways allow you a permanent residency, not a temporary one.

They allow you temporary and over time you get permanent which still must be renewed. It's quite misleading.

Yes the income increases for dependents. For a retired couple I believe it's US 2,000 per month.

All good points. I am in the process midway myself. I though 5 to 8 weeks for RCMP security checks were long. I reside in Moca and this thread has provided info on lawyers along the north coast, to Santiago and down to Santo Domingo. I am fortunate because my lawyer is a personal friend of my sister-in-law in Alberta Canada and he is also in a very well established family law firm that he owns. The biggest issue newbies like me need to be aware of is that when dealing with government offices in the DR, well perhaps any business office, do NOT expect quick responses/action.......manana doesn't necessarily mean tomorrow here - it can be several to many tomorrows......it may be frustrating at first but it is part of social/economic/cultural mores of the DR. Always ask for updates and smile when you hear manana....and say si, gracias!4

So true honey.  So true and one of the most frustrating things for me here, waiting for a response.

Manana does not actually mean tomorrow.

Ahora - does not actually mean now.

Ahorita - can mean anything from  5 minutes to  5 days.

Just because there is a website and an email does not mean anyone will answer you! 

I do a lot of business here, sent out  5 requests for a salesperson to contact me. I want to BUY what they are SELLING. NOT ONE answered me. I would fire all of them! Simple.

When I go to Santo Domingo to pay the Port fees, if that is required, or just plain when I go there to speak to you about health plan for myself and my wife, we will chat about other business ideas perhaps....

You betcha honey.  Always happy to meet and talk!

Hi Planner,

Retired couple.

Have you ever come across pieces of legislation mentioning $,2000 for a retired couple ?
As far as I know, there is no special income level for a retired couple to be given the residency.

- Both are retirees, so they have to prove $1,500 each
- One of them is a retiree and the other (who never worked for instance)  is a dependent : $1,500 + $250 = $1,750 needed.

Residency : temporary or permanent ?

Please see below : Guzmán Ariza Abogados y consultores
                    Como obtener permiso de residencia en la República Dominicana

Los permisos de residencia que otorga el Gobierno dominicano son de dos tipos: temporal y permanente.

Generalmente, si Ud. desea establecer su residencia en el país debe, primero, solicitar un permiso de residencia temporal. Para solicitar la residencia permanente se requiere haber sido residente temporal por cinco años.

Sin embargo, es posible solicitar inmediatamente la residencia permanente sin antes haber obtenido la residencia temporal si Ud. cumple los requisitos establecidos para una de las siguientes cuatro categorías especiales:

1) Inversionistas con una participación de al menos US$200,000 en el capital de una empresa dominicana.
2) Jubilados que reciban una pensión mensual de un mínimo de US$1,500.
3) Rentistas con rentas mínimas de US$2,000 mensuales por cinco años o más.
4) Cónyuges o hijos de dominicanos o extranjeros con residencia permanente en la República Dominicana.

I am told by lawyers a tetired couple is 2,000 US. Additional dependents are 250 each. Thats all i know.

Yes its POSSIBLE to go straight to permanent, so they say. But will it actually happen? Not likely and not heard of it actually happening.

So theory aside I can only tell you my experience, what I am told by trusted associates not looking to make a buck off the info!  :D

Does response time also apply to immigration lawyers? I hear from a week later!  Another 2 never even replied from Dec.  BTW these were all recommend on this page.

THe more you read on here, the more you will learn that response times are hard to determine. SOme of the lawyers found on here are said to be good at responding. I personally think that the contact info goes through some office person and not direct to the lawyer. Even with the lawyers I have, brother and sister, both speak english although the sister is better, fail to keep me updated as the processing of things still fits into the "normal" timing for here. If you can get phone numbers, call. Other than that, the person in Santo Domingo that Planner recommended, might be worthwhile contacting as well. SOrry I didn't take time to go look up the name but it is in the tread somewhere I believe...

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