OVERSTAY TOURIST VISA FINES - as of 2014

As this comes up again and again, I am posting and making this a sticky!!  Until it changes when i will update it!

Overstay fines in PESOS

032 De 30 dias a 3 meses 800.00 RD  from 30 days to  3 months

033 De 3 meses a 9 meses 1,000.00 RD from 3 months to 9 months.

034 De 9 meses a 1 año 2,500.00 RD from 9 months to 1 year

035 De 1 año a 1 año y 6 meses 4,000.00 RD from one year to 1year 6 months

036 De 1 año y medio a 2 años 5,000.00 RD from 1 1/2 years to 2 years.

037 De 2 años a 2 años y 6 meses 6,500.00 RD from 2 years to 2 1/2 years

038 De 2 años y medio a 3 años 9,000.00 RD  from 2 to 3 years.

039 De 2 años a 5 años 14,000.00 RD from 2 to 5 years. 

040 De 5 años en adelante 17,000.00 RD  over 5 years.

Hi Planner

I wonder how many times you have been asked that question!

I have one for you if I may,  We are not sure whether to apply for Residency or just keep on paying the overstay fees.  In jan 2015 we will be staying for 3 months (our second visit)  If we are really happy then we might buy or just rent.  If we buy we would live full time in DR.  If we rent we would stay in DR for about 7 months  Having seen other postings about this are there any further developments about curtailing the overstay system.  I have spoken with the DR consulate in France and it seems reasonably straight forward to get a Residence Visa but it's when we get to Santo Domingo, I think, the problems can start.  My logic is if we are in Dr for 7 months just pay the overstay amount, or am i stupid.  Many thanks

Ducketts

Your question is valid. 

Here is what I think will "eventually" happen.  Down the road they will likely overhaul the overstay fine system, such that you cannot continue to use that system to stay as long as you want as often as you want. They will begin tracking who keeps coming and overstaying.

Eventually you will either get a residencia OR only come on a tourist visa of 30 days. 

Will they maybe add longer stay tourist visas? Like  3 months? OR  6 months less a day?  WHO KNOWS.   I would think it to be a good idea, similar to the American system with Canadian snowbirds.  BUT who actually knows.... We don't. 

I have heard rumblings before about this but so far nothing has happened!

Thank you,  What you say makes sense.  However we are terrified of all the paperwork to get Residencia, not of the Residencia Visa but for the real thing in Santo Domingo

When we were here in January we really liked the place and made friends with both Americans and Russians. (strange combination)!

I also understand that once the Consulate issues you with a Residencia Visa, you only have 3 months to sort the paper work out in Santo Domingo and  bring your belongings, furniture if you are to avoid local taxes.  Thanks

You are basically correct on the timeline for getting the paper work done and filed. However you have up to 6 months to ship your household goods.

If you are planning on staying that often and for that kind of time in the long run you a may be better off getting the residency done. As Planner says, down the road things will change.

Bob K

I may have been  just lucky, but when I left after 8 years, the guy in the booth said "you must really like this country!"  I said that I love it & am only going for medical reasons & would be back soon. result: paid nothing. when I visited last year for 2 months, told the girl that I was robbed the night before. result: she said she was sorry,  but don't think badly of our country. I really didn't have any cash. I had put my ring & watch in my pocket. I didn't do these things to rip them off, just couldn;t afford the money.  if you can afford it,  pay it.  if you decide to live here than get your residency. good luck & welcome.

When you do the residencia paperwork from home, it seems to get a bit easier on this end.

The Dominican consulate issues you a 60 day visa, you come and from the day of arrival you have 60 days to deposit your application.  It isnt too bad, but use a good lawyer. Both Bob and I can recommend good ones.

Once approved you have 6 months to bring in a container.

Both to planner and Bob thanks so much.

Once we have made our final decision we'll come back to you reference lawyers.  Would not dream to do this without one.  Thanks again

Ducketts

You are welcome and good luck!

Bob K

You are welcome!!!

We are coming to Cabarete for 3 months from Nov 1 to Jan 31/2015 is it best to buy a tourist card on line or just wait and do so at the airport when we arrive?
Thanks for the help
Joe

If you are flying to Puerto Plata you probably won't save any time getting it in advance as you will be waiting for your luggage with everyone else. Purchasing it here is $10US per person and may be more if you are going through the embassy in the UK.

Personally  I would just buy it here.

Bob K

Thanks Bob we are coming from Vancouver Canada was just wondering if it was best to buy before hand but will take your advise and get it when we get there just going to overstay the visa and pay the fee when we leave.
So my understanding is as long as we have a plane ticket leaving there shouldn't be a problem? We head to Costa Rica Jan 31st for 3 months

Any plane ticket leaving the island will work. YUP buy the card here, overstay, pay the overstay fine when you leave...

Thanks Planner !

You are very welcome... :D

For the benefit of everybody else on that threat, the overstay tax DID change right after the last reply. Here's the new grid, effective as of November 1st, 2014, which can be found here: http://www.migracion.gob.do/web/tarifas10-14.pdf. I included the former rates in brackets to help you compare.

1 day to 3 months: 2,500 RD$ (was 800 RD$)
3 to 9 months: 4,000 RD$ (was 1,000 RD$)
9 to 12 months: 5,000 RD$ (was 2,500 RD$)
12 to 18 months: 6,500 RD$ (was 4,000 RD$)
18 to 24 months: 8,000 RD$ (was 5,000 RD$)
24 to 30 months: 9,500 RD$ (was 6,500 RD$)
30 to 36 months: 11,000 RD$ (was 9,000 RD$)
36 to 48 months: 16,000 RD$ (was 14,000 RD$)
48 to 60 months: 20,000 RD$ (new category, was 14,000 RD$)
60 months to 6 years: 30,000 RD$ (new category, was 17,000 RD$)
6 to 7 years: 40,000 RD$ (new category, was 17,000 RD$)
7 to 8 years: 50,000 RD$ (new category, was 17,000 RD$)
8 to 9 years: 60,000 RD$ (new category, was 17,000 RD$)
9 to 10 years: 70,000 RD$ (new category, was 17,000 RD$)

Clearly, the fees have been modified in such way that the sharpest raises target short and very long overstays. Snowbirds are unlikely to apply for permanent residency so they'll just pay more. In other words, the DR is juicing the fruit here and the fruit is you. It's now in the best interest of long, regular overstayers to seek residency and obtaining a legal status. Fortunately, short overstays of 3 to 9 months (the snowbird category) are still quite affordable.

I disagree on what the government is trying to do.  IF you compare this to other countries in the Caribbean you will find most don't even allow this.

A 10 year overstay comes to 7,000 RD a year.  Really, that is expensive????

Actually overstay fees should either be hundreds of dollars for over 6 month or immediate deportation if they really wanted to force the residency requirements.  This way the snow birds can continue to come and enjoy their winters here and those that plan on living here have to do so legally.  It would probably keep lots of undesirables out of the country as they would never pass the police checks. Not a bad thing.

Bob K

Why not just create a simple visa system?  Wanna stay 4 months, 6 months  here is what you do......

They have that visa: 3 to 9 months overstay = 4,000 RD$. Note that they don't use the words "overstay" and "fine" anymore, but "fees for single extension of stay".

Longer visas could be nice but at the same time, it would be more complicated at your arrival and you can trust people would overstay on them as well. Right now, in my experience, immigration agents don't do anything at the airport (at least POP) except taking your 10 dollar bill and stamping your passport. When I arrived in November I had originally declared a stay of 36 days. They didn't pay attention and issued the standard 30-day visa. Of course they weren't even remotely interested in checking for my return ticket, which is said to be mandatory.

I like that system, it's simple and quick. Pay 10 bucks and if you go over 30 days, pay more as you leave.

Bob K, I concur with your analysis of the government's intents. So far they're not putting much pressure for permanent residency applications. They probably wanna fund better schools and roads with higher fees... wink wink.

I'd never wish the DR started deporting people or billing hundreds of dollars for long overstays. It might keep the "undesirables" out but the good folks as well. In various countries such as Ecuador, overstaying leads to deportation and ban of future entries. This to me is a huge deterrent to even give Ecuador a shot. To decide if I want to commit the energy and money to apply for permanent residency, I need to spend more than 6 months in the country. Of course you can reset the clock periodically by returning to your country of origin but this is not cheap.

As for criminal foreigners being in the DR, maybe you have a different perspective living in Sosua but so far I'm not  bothered by such people. I believe if you come to the DR with the intent of messing with drugs, prostitution or criminal activities of other types, you'll eventually be taken care of by either the national police or the local mob. I'm far less scared of shady foreigners living here than I am of local ladrones.

MPDesjardins, You seem quite informed on this subject.
So the Gov't is just kidding when it says "illegal aliens will be deported
if they have not started the Residencia process after April fifteenth, this year"?
Tom.

Hi Tomas, can you provide a source? We have to dig more into this!

Dominican Today.com
They have reported that several times in the last few months.
Basically,us Expats are more or less included in the 900 thous.
or so Hatians.
Tom.

Hi again Tomas! Couldn't find any specific article to that effect on Dominican Today even after searching all possible keywords. However I did find articles on the plan to regularize illegal Haitians living in the country.

I think there's an important precision to be made here. When you come to the DR as a tourist, you are issued a 30-day visa at the airport. If you overstay, you pay fees that are now called "fees for single extension of stay". Legally, that would equate to paying for having detained an extended visa. My understanding is that for as long as you don't start doing illegal things (such as working without a permit), you are assumed to be a tourist holding the intent of paying for a prolonged visa at the exit point. All long as you stay within the limits of that scheme, you are a visa holder which is a legal status. If you are holding a legal status, you cannot deemed to be an illegal alien simultaneuously. That would be nonsensical.

Illegal aliens however would be, for example, Haitians who came here without even holding a visa and all the while, working illegally. In that case, indeed, there has been a plan to regularize their status with consequences if they don't abide.

A WORD OF WARNING: THIS IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION. I'm a Canadian lawyer, not Dominican lawyer so this is only my understanding of how the system works now. For lack of other precision, I encourage all of you to seek legal advice with a licenced Dominican attorney if more information is deemed necessary.

The responsibility for you having a return ticket rests with the airline you used to fly into the country. It is not here with immigration! 

Good disclaimer.... 

Remember the law here is not based on common law!  It changes a lot how things actually happen.  We discourage words like  "should" "ought to be" etc...... :D

The gov. just in the last week detained 13,300 haitians at the border trying to enter illegally.. I don't think they are overly concerned with legal entrants overstaying thier visas as long as they receive the extra fees.  Perhaps when the Haitian problem is lessened they will address the tourist problem.

Right Gypsy, the problem they're addressing right now is the Haitian problem. You said it right: "trying to enter illegally". Those entrants don't hold any visa, work here under cover, don't pay taxes yet they use public infrastructures. This is a different situation than ours.

As far as the "tourist problem" goes, is this really a problem? As Bob K and Planner pointed out, the DR isn't really deterring undesirables to stay here, nor encouraging permanent residency applications, even with the last fee hike. With all due respect to the government of this country, those new fees are nothing else than a cash grab.

The DR should compete more fiercely with Florida as a sunbird destination. A free 6-month visa, like the one Canadians visiting the USA easily obtain year after year would be a clear statement and a step in the right direction. Expats like us don't take jobs from locals since we don't work unless we detain proper visas. All we do is basically pumping foreign money into the local economy. How detrimental can that be to the well-being of the Dominican economy?

Great post!!!

MDP some very good informative posts.
Thanks

Bob K

So, am I a illegal immigrant?
I do not have a visitor's visa.
I cancelled my return flight 3 hours after my arrival.
According to the Dominican lawyers, I am.
I've been here, (currently) 1 year 6 months.
Tom.

Nobody here is in a place to discuss whatever your Dominican lawyer told you. However, a word of advice being myself an attorney in Canada: it should be very clear from your lawyer's explanations why you are now in a situation where you are deemed to be an "illegal migrant" and not simply an overstaying tourist. There should be a trigger for that change of status. Maybe you're working or operating a business here without the proper visas? I don't know and you don't need to discuss that here, but my point is there must be a rationale for this.

After even more research in 3 languages, I have yet to find one source stating that the Dominican government will soon start cracking down on overstaying tourists. I don't know your lawyer and maybe he's very competent so I'm obviously not targeting him specifically, but I know for being in that industry that some attorneys can scare people into doing things they either don't need to do, or at least not urgently.

So again, maybe your lawyer is right, but my point is that it's essential that you understand perfectly well the rationale behind whatever he's telling you to do.

There is a move afoot in the Gov. to consider a 2 year visitors visa.   That would be excellent for those that aren't sure  that this is the place to settle.  It would also lessen the pressure to hurry up & get  thier residence.  Plenty of time to contemplate the idea,  I applaude this notion.  Let's hope that it comes to fruition.

I've not heard anything about a 2 year visitors visa.

Technically, right now my understanding is that you can stay two years or more if you pay your dues at the exit point. However, this whole notion of "overstaying" and "paying fees" can be intimidating for many. I agree that it's a good, if not necessary thing to spend a considerable amount of time in the DR before making your decision to become a resident. Especially when you come from first-world countries. Standards for pretty much everything are way lower here. You can easily have a 6-month honeymoon with the DR, but in the long run, when the idea of going to the beach and staring at palm trees has worn out, living here permanently is not for everyone.

In todays news.

Yes they announced to day they were going to explore a 2 year visitors visa.

Bob K

I dont think that is targeted at tourists, that is meant to be a "haitian" solution for those who have not registered for the "regularization" plan.  I hate actually typing this.

There is an article about this in Diario Libre this morning.

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