Immigration law enforcement - Take care !


It seems that since December 2017 more than 3,000 people of 12 different nationalities were not allowed to enter the country and were deported  to theirs. I mean led by custom officers to the area where they had to wait for a return flight.

The reason is that the people who used to overstay ( paying the fine ) are now considered illegal recidivists. For years overstaying has been tolerated. This seems to be over.

Does anyone have more information on this ?

So when in doubt take care :

- If you arrive with a tourist card you are allowed to stay for 30 days. Do not overstay anymore or it will be filed.
- If you want to stay for 60 days max, you have to ask for a visa at the Dominican consulate in your country.
- If you want to work, study, stay as retiree, stay as an investor, stay as a persons of means ( that is to say stay more than 60 days )  you must ask for the corresponding visa at the Dominican consulate in your country. Once in the DR start the process of getting the residency.

I believe your assumptions are incorrect. Those not allowed entry did not have correct legal documents for entry.  Those removed are 99% Haitian.

I have heard of absolutely 0 people being denied reentry due to previous overstay violations!

Where did you get those numbers...I hope you are not correct..I'm planning on going back this Wednesday..I left a month ago and overstayed by a month...hope all goes well

[at] planner
[at] MattNatale

I am afraid what I wrote is not incorrect, and this is not an assumption, it really happened. Planner, Maybe you did not hear about it but it does not mean it is wrong. It is true I have not seen anything about this issue on the English forum, that's why I am ringing the bell.

I am not talking about Haitians, they do not arrive with a tourist card nor do they arrive by plane.

Let me give you more explanations.  There is huge matter of debate on the French forum. I am not French but my mother language is French, so I am 100% sure of what it is being said.

They speak about a French women who had overstayed before going to Mexico, when she wanted to come back she was denied reentry.

As there is a wave of anxiety among regulars commuters who use to overstay, a French guy called the Dominican consulate in Paris. He was friendly but firmly told that they did not want people like him anymore, to flying-in and out and overstaying, these will be considered illegal. It seems all Dominican consulates are not informed yet, some even still advertise the old regulation.

The Dominican republic has got a migration policy since 2004 ( Ley 285-04 ) with a regulation enforcement in 2011. Have you noticed that few years ago officers started to file who was entering the country and who was going out ? Now they have a record. In December 2017 they started enforcing the regulation rigorously using their database. The Dominican State wants to know who is staying in its territory.

If you overstayed in the past they will assume you are going to do it again, so you are likely to be denied reentry.

Is it a flash in the pan or not ? I do not know, but I wanted to warn the fellow members here that it would be better to do things in a legal way. ( See my previous post ).

Well your extrapolation based on one case does not fly.

However, your warning is worth looking into. I will do just that and see what I can find out!

If this is starting then it's a big deal. Maybe it's an isolated case.  I do know if this was happening widespread we would be hearing about it! People would we screaming about it everywhere. 

So let's see what we can find. This would be a very very stupid move by the govt were true.

The Embassy of France in Santo Domingo put a warning on its website on March the 7th 2017. Does this fly ?

My previous explanations cover all that is being said, but If needed, I can translate it literally later on if needed.

Warning of the  Embassy of France

In order to show my great respect for the burocrats of the dr, and to eliminate the stress on myself, what I think ill do the next time I leave the country and pay the 4000 peso shakedown, is NOT COME BACK, and spend my money next time in a place where im more appreciated, in one of the countries competing for gringo easy money.  Ifvone or two million of us do the same, they might realize that they're shooting their own wieners off.

Guineo that is great info to post the link, thanks. I've not heard this from any other source so I will do my homework on it.  And I will post what I find either way.

Colonel that would be absolutely fine, you hate it here anyway so why stay.

I can also confirm- I work in Punta Cana Airport, and I've had 2 different clients who typically spend two months here been denied entry for multiple overstays. It's also been on the radio a lot that they are stepping up enforcement at all airports

I just spoke with my contact and he is also confirming this! 

THIS IS HUGE PEOPLE.  They are denying entry for those who have violated the overstay multiple times! 

Guineo -  THANK YOU for reporting this and bringing it to our attention.  Here in the capital I had heard nothing yet about this. 

We definitely need to get the word out now. 

Currently there are NO plans to create longer stay tourist visa options! Now that is plain stupid!

You misinterpret realism for hatred.  Indeed, a person might totally love some place, but if it gets too onerous, the might give up on it. Of course those of you who have made tremendous investments, committments, etc are not inclined to admit realities, and rationalize them.  For those of us who are free, we can vote with your feet...dollars.  The dr has many competitors.

Based on what you post we come to our own conclusions!  You are free to express your opinions.

it seems to affect only the french community what i here. Are there already notifications from for example us citizens?

I know y'all are speaking about overstay periods of periods of like a month or more. Does anyone know what they might charge for a short period of 12 days. It will be a first and when I return I will have my Temp Visa in hand. If they are like Customs with goods, does the charge depend on the disposition of the day?

imagine how many people stay here 6 months and the other 6 in their home country. Now all these snowbirds have to get a visa before returning every year for the winter. Thats crazy!

There is no 6 months visitors visa Cogi. That is part of the issue.

Tourist visa is 30 days and can be extended 1 time for 30 days.

With all this being new and not at all good for someone who is looking to purchase property in the DR I read on the forums about someone who was staying for 30 days then would cross over to Haiti to get a new tourist visa.
Would this be a viable option although a little cumbersome .
Would also like to know if anyone knows how long one would have to be in Haiti before returning to the DR, is it a matter of just crossing and turning around or would you have to stay in Haiti for a certain amount of time in order to get a new tourist visa.

Cross and turn around.

They are looking for multiple offenses, not someone who has done it occasionally.

If they enforce this it will greatly affect the cruising community. We have been trying so hard to promote Luperon as the best hurricane hole in the Caribbean. "Hurricane hole" says it all,  boats stay here for a minimum of 6 months for the whole hurricane season.

Any evidence of more people being denied entry to the DR simply because they have previously overstayed a tourist card multiple times previously?

Absolutely nothing I have seen or heard of.

Same here.  Only a few incidences have been reported.

Yup and then they are blown out of proportion and the rumors run rampant....... I think things are back to normal......

Yes you are right planner these rumours are getting crazy.
Apparently there was a report of 561 people getting deported  from Santo Domingo,  although no details about nationalities  was mentioned,  so I doubt these were Western tourists .
In the comment section that escalated to 7000 people being refused entry in Santo Domingo which I find a little hard to believe looks like these rumours just  get more exaggerated  with every post, howeverseems there is no doubt some people have been refused  entry.
I had a quick look at the British foreign office site  and there was something on there with  a hint that looks a bit  ominous.
It  said as from April 2018 the Dominican immigration will look more closely at foreigners and their eligibility to stay.
So this could be to do with the rumour that things are going to get worse  for previous overstayers.
So things don't look too good and we all will have to be more careful  and keep our eye on the ball
Of course this immigration clampdown has been mentioned quite a few times in recent years difficult to know what to believe.
Personally I blame the dominicans for this  ridiculous situation.
Didn't exactly make it clear and the whole thing seems to be  haphazard and at the whim of certain officials
It's ridiculous,why have this overstay fine system in operation if you're not going to let people in anyway  for paying fines previously.  totally stupid
If they want to stop  frequent overstayers from returning they should say so clearly instead of this maybe yes, maybe and nobody knows where they stand.
Well I know one bunch of dominicans won't be happy about that, the ones  at immigration who stick the  overstay fine straight into their back pocket which  I am sure happened to me last time.
Actually it occurred to me that could be a problem although I got exit stamp and paid  there is no record of me paying the overstay fine  as Mr Corrupt  decided to give himself an instant pay rise.
Just thinking maybe that is why some people are refused  they  think they legally paid  the fine  last time but there's no record of it.
Anyway the whole thing is a mess at  the moment  nobody knows what the hell will happen.
But after that  warning on the British foreign office website  regarding April 2018 and  closer attention from immigration  this sure doesn't look good.
Also a bit of a joke  Dominican authorities talking about  enforcing  immigration rules when their own bloody officers are corrupt to the core.
Talk about double standards.!!
Anyway eventually it's the dominicans who will pay the price because people will simply go elsewhere  and spend their money In other places!

Moderated by Bhavna last year
Reason : error link

A lot of bull dingleberry speculation. The major crackdown is on the boarder with Haiti.

Everything else at this point is mainly hearsay and rumor. There have been instances of course! But lets keep perspective!

What a revelation! You know about Dingleberries. You, of course have never had a single one yourself. I, mysel in my youth experienced, much to my dismay, one or two. Thank goodness only a momentary slight discomfort upon their demise. Much less demeaning than being a Baffle Dunker, heaven forbid. Words to those afflicted, use Nair or it's equal.  Riding horses helps to remove them also, just don't post to often. Tally Ho! ya'll.

Go some place else , where ?
Border enforcement is happening through the world. When RD government goes after illegal Haitians they are called rasists. When they enforce they against people from across the pond they are stupid ? Do really think they care about a couple of thousand dollars from an individual when they just established a trade agreement with China that will bring millions ? So again I ask, where is this option ?

Where are the options?
Quite a few if you do some research.
Mexico is one with gives several months and Peru as well.
But also depends on personal circumstances, lots of countries have  special visas for retirees.
Even Cuba which is normally very strict in immigration matters have special 6 month visas for certain categories now.
As for the China comment  the Chinese do trade deals for one reason only, to benefit themselves they are currently stripping Africa of natural resources  and I don't see many Africans being any better off because of  Chinese investment
Doing deals with China there is a price to pay, which Dominicans might find out later. The rich will probably get richer as is often the case and nothing will change for normal people. How many times have we seen that!

We need to be careful where this conversation is headed.

Everyone visiting on a regular basis has options. Just as the government  here has the option to enforce laws, change law's and ignore laws.  As visitors all we can do is exercise our right to visit or not visit!

Yes I agree some things make no sense. It is confusing trying to guess what might happen. Currently it appears things have settled down for visitors coming in at airports. Let's see how things continue.

The number of people who stay for more than 30 days on a tourist card are a tiny amount of the total number of tourists who visit the DR.  The vast majority visit for a week or two and most of them go to Punta Cana.  Hence, there has been little motivation for a snowbird type visa.  And yes, the immigration problem of illegal Haitians and Venezuelans is a far more pressing matter to those in Santo Domingo than a few thousand snowbirds visiting the North Coast (from Puerto Plata to Sosua and Cabarete)  who are not even on their agenda for consideration.  If they provide preferential treatment to one group over another, there is an international outcry.  Only time will tell what happens, but embassies have been put on notice that enforcement of the existing laws is possible.  The over stay  fees are NOT part of the existing laws, but rather are a work around to patch the hole for those who have stayed longer than 30 days on a tourist card.  Pay as you go does not work well for Venezuelans who have no intention to go.

Actually overstay fines are part of the law.

I agree with your points and logic. The pressing points are not snowbirds at all.  What gets me is that it is an EASY  fix.

Thank you , the thought of doing research is indeed an exercise of intellect. That is why I saw the attributes of RD several years ago and became a citizen . What you stated and your frustration doesn't hold water for one that has done one's research ? You didn't know what to exspect ? Now you know. Is it sound to attack a government in which you wish to migrate ? I prefer to think you were just expressing your frustrations which this site allows for. I would encourage to be aware of your audience.
Best of luck , this to shall pass !

No sure who exactly you are addressing honey.

Honey , the question was where else to migrate if due diligence had been done. I have to admit despite its flaws, I feel a need to defend my country when it is disparaged because someone cant negotiate thier feelings of frustration without attacks. Until now i have remained silent . No harm , no foul.
Te hablo

OK thanks for clarifying. I love this country and don't like disparaging comments. Constructive criticism with solutions yes. Venting I also understand. 

Attacks are not OK either!

All good honey.

The following comment made by collinkunde48 gives an interesting perspective on the current migratory situation:

Provided that you are a legitimate tourist from a non targeted country, it is possible to overstay the 30 day tourist card limitation with very little if any penalty. Each person who overstays will be required to pay an extra fee at immigration when they leave the country.

These fees are paid after you have overstayed the tourist card. Technically, from the time your tourist card entry expires until the time that you board your flight out of the country, you are an illegal alien in the Dominican Republic.

Lax immigration enforcement has created the impression with many that this irregular immigration status is perfectly acceptable and even sanctioned by the government. This is not the case as defined by law and all persons in the country illegally could potentially face sanctions if discovered.

It goes without saying, any visitor to the Dominican Republic who stays longer than the period of time allowed by their tourist card or visa could find themselves in a legal predicament should they become involved with the legal system in this country due to being in a traffic accident or if accused of committing a crime, even if that crime is considered a minor or even a technical infraction.

A new law in 2017 requires all hotels and resorts to provide guest identity information to the Immigration Dept. and this includes length of stay. Over the past 3 years, modernization of equipment and tourist documentation practices have been strengthened. While the Dominican Republic is not yet routinely hassling those travelers who overstay their tourist card or official tourist visa (available from your local DR Embassy/Consulate) it is obviously clear to those familiar with the systemic changes that this country is now able to better track the comings and goings of foreign visitors and could begin a crackdown on illegal aliens at any time.

In the first quarter of 2018 a few isolated reports have surfaced online and by word of mouth that some arriving visitors to the Dominican Republic have been denied entry to the country for the stated reason of being "a frequent over-stayer".

The definition of "frequent" is pretty nebulous and seems to come down to a determination by the immigration official you happen to be dealing with at the time. The vast majority of tourists to this country come for a period of less than 30 days. For now, as in the past, most tourists who wish to stay longer than the 30 days allotted by a tourist card may continue to do so with no apparent penalty other than paying a fee upon departure. Provided that the same extended stay tourists do not engage in the practice often enough to earn the designation "frequent over-stayer" they should be fine.

For how much longer this will be possible is uncertain. Should the Government of this country choose to enforce the national immigration laws as they now exist, they are perfectly capable of doing so at anytime without advanced notice.


I would add that the "frequent over-stayers" that Immigration will look closest at are those who appear to be working here in violation of law.

So who are these people you are quoting?

Well stated , I wonder as a former government employee in the States when the government here will whip in tail when it has on it's side documented proof of violation of the law and if these over stays impact on the ability to attain visas through the world ?
I know the RD government is negociating with other countries to have " visa free "

I think those are two very separate issues. Visa fee status is for Dominicans who want to visit

Very good point,  overstaying here  could effect  expats ability to get visas elsewhere!

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