Confirmed issues with OVERSTAY OF TOURISM VISA

Wow, this is  huge for many!  Thank you for sharing this.  Pichardo is known for being connected and well informed.

'ducketts', I really would be surprised if you were red flagged nor indeed snowbirds who come here for a couple of months.

The mentioned post also includes the future introduction of a proper procedure to get the extension that you would need.

Surely the targets are those that could get residency and have a track record of coming and staying for periods of time that qualify for residency and not genuine longer term annual visitors like yourself.

90 days is a fair visa/entry period common in many regional countries and obtainable under the current DR immigration law and that process should be made easy.

For peace of mind why not write to the Dominican Embassy in the UK and tell them you are a regular annual visitor to DR and wish to continue visiting for two to three months and ask them the process to extend your tourist card for your planned period of stay. Any reply should address your concerns.

Ducketts
I too have cancer but I’m not frail

The DR doesn’t really care if you stay here
Getting residency is your answer
The DR makes its money on the short term visitors
You and I count for nothing

Illegal interlopers are a problem

Ducketts,   Wait until all the details become available.  That could be a while.  Nothing the DR government does is fast and snowbirds like yourself are of the very lowest priority.  The DR makes its real tourist money from vacationers in Punta Cana and Cruse Ship visitors.  Snow birds are insignificant in comparison.

That said, yes it is possible that a person like yourself as you described your pattern of visiting the DR could be stopped upon entering and turned around according to what PICHARDO posted.

Ducketts as regards to Costa Rica:  It is not an island.  It is a country bordered by Nicaragua and Panama. But do wait to see what might happen in the eventual future in the DR.

Windeguy,

I wonder what PICHARDO meant when he said the following below:

"If a notice was issued on last exit, the system automatically voids the entry and issues a penalty ban entry based on a scale to ratio of overstay. "

What is this notice he is talking about? Those who overstay pay the fine but are some of them receiving notices in writing or on-line at that time as well when they are departing?

I am assuming the person was formally WARNED and NOTIFIED in some manner. It  is not clear how other than to note that it was  entered into the system and connected to the passport.

Windeguy is passing on what someone else posted honey so not likely to have direct answers.

No way to know exactly what that meant.  English is not PICHARDO's first language.  I think it meant that the system logs a person as an overstayer and they will have a problem to re-enter, but it would be up to the Migracion officer to say something or not. 

As you know if you have been here before, most people cannot be bothered to actually do their jobs and that goes triple for government "workers".  Expecting to be notified is expecting a bit much. Trying to contact DR Migracion before flying into the DR to see if there are potential problems  is still way to much to ask, for example.

Thanks to all who replied.

I will watch this space carefully before I book to come back.

Ducketts

I am alerting all my friends.....
who don't bother to register residency

I have worried about this for a while...
new fingerprint m/c's at all points of entry

Why ?

I have personal experience that the new data base is sophisticated
Flagged a 2013 speeding ticket heretofore undiscovered in 2018

glitched my citizenship application for a few days

planner :

I am assuming the person was formally WARNED and NOTIFIED in some manner. It  is not clear how other than to note that it was  entered into the system and connected to the passport.

Windeguy is passing on what someone else posted honey so not likely to have direct answers.

But do I understand correctly, that a) the current system of 30 days, then entry with a new tourist card is not affected by those changes and b) they are replacing the system of overstay fees with an official online extension, so you can extend the 30 days to more than that? Is that what they have in mind?

Sounds like it but not positive. Currently you can extend your  30 days  tourist visa an additional 30 days.  That is what we currently have.   What they will change it to.....anyone's guess at this point honey.

windeguy :

The exit penalty fee will be terminated once the extension program goes online.

Well my understanding is that the penalty fee system will go away and instead you can get some sort of extension (to the 30 days?). But the unbureaucratic days of staying there for months are probably over. But you're right, everything else is pure speculation.

I wonder why that topic became so important to the government? I mean this obviously doesn't target illegal migrants from Haiti or Venezuela, but snowbirds.

If action is really taken, it is just cleaning up loose ends.  Certainly there was never any priority on this situation before and I have been following this for 16 years. The exit fee situation was never a proper way to do deal with it.

The issue with Haitians in the DR is far more urgent for example.  As always, it will take time to fully play out.

The DR consulate in London confirmed that on entering DR with a 30 day tourist card, you can go to the immigration office in your area and apply for a extension visa of 90 days (max).  You cannot apply for this in your own country of residence.  However I also understand you can apply for a residency visa in your country of residence for 90 days but this far more complicated and costly.

So my concern is if these denied entry problems continue and you are put back on a plane, then there is no chance of applying for an extension visa!

Ducketts

I have never ever heard of an extension visa of 90 days. I am asking my contacts now.

planner :

I have never ever heard of an extension visa of 90 days. I am asking my contacts now.

I have seen people confuse the residency visa with an extension of the tourist card.
The residency visa is granted for someone that wants to apply for residency.

I too have never seen a way to extend a tourist card out to a total of 90 days. Any way to extend a tourist card currently involves a process far more complicated than almost any one would do.

With no reference to the potential elimination of the overstay fines on any official government websites or in the media, except for Pichardo, our discussions are pure speculation.

Overstay fees have been in place for decades. Snowbirds are big business to the local economies in the D.R., contrary to what some have said. Dominican embassy officials in Ottawa have clearly stated the intent of the country to continue accommodating snowbirds who overstay their tourist card as recently as November 2018.

A lawyer from the Guzman Ariza national law firm in the D.R. advised me in February that it is business as usual in the D.R. and that the government is not signalling any change.

by a comment on DR! forum user, I went to the DGM webpage and find out that the extension of the turist card can be applyed online,  first you must creat an user.

https://personal.migracion.gob.do/Accou … on%2FIndex

I have confirmed that the TOURIST CARD is extendable for an additional  30 days for a TOTAL of 60 days.

The other is a TOURIST VISA and is not the same at all.  That costs real money and takes time to get.

Thanks Planner

I will call the consulate tomorrow and ask again-perhaps I got it wrong.  I'll let you know.

The problem though is still there.  If you arrive and are denied entry,  then there is no chance of extending your tourist card.

Ducketts

The key essence of Pichardos post was that the entry denial of persons who have overstayed is beginning.

This should not come as a surprise because the Ministry of Interior and Police wrote to all foreign missions last year advising them that tourist stays were valid upto 60 days and denial of future entry for persons breaking the law was an option.

As a consequence foreign travel advice was changed by foreign missions to their nationals to advise of the potential to bar entry for overstay.

I believe the full text was posted on the abreu  lawyer site.

I suspect Pichardo was indicating the current overstay fine practice would end. But penalties which include banned entry would apply similar to countries like Costa Rica and Ecuador. Steep fine per month/part month and entry denial for a period.

I think the reports of denied entry this week should be considered carefully. One posted and I've heard second hand from a reliable expat source of a further two French nationals being affected.

Yes this is about the country starting the process of changing the system.  We have been warned. I am finding info on the full process of getting a Tourist Visa and what that allows and does not allow. I will likely start a new thread when I have it all together.

and remember, this is NOT a big group... noisy maybe , large no

they stand out like sore thumbs against the millions who pass in/out for 7-10 day visits
clearly obvious

and entitled to nothing.... but they feel secure in anonymity

which may not last much longer

deleted post. couldn't upload image

lennoxnev,   any additional information on the problems the French people who were denied re-entry would be appreciated.

And yes, you are correct that the foreign embassies did receive information months ago about the 30 day legality up to a maximum of 60 days.   I posted his information at the time I heard of it.

However, even getting that 30 day extension to stay legally up to 60 days is far more than most people would ever do. I recall it requiring trips to Santo Domingo and a medical exam.  Not likely people would do this.

Pichardo is very well connected to the government.

DR Embassies were notified of a 30/60 day maximum legal stay rule months ago

Talking to a law firm in February does not mean that policies are still the same in July. 

Snowbirds without legal residency are valuable to a couple of cities.  Those cities are not really on the radar of the government in Santo Domingo.  The overall impact of snowbirds that overstay their legal time in the DR is insignificant compared to short term tourist and cruise ship passengers in revenue. 

We do have limited evidence of changes starting to happen.  Finger print scanners in airports,  interconnected data bases at Migracion, a few people being sent back with the only explanation being previous overstays. . Exactly what else will happen next and when, nobody knows.

Immigration has posted every month the nationalities who have been denied entry or deported. They have included French and other European nationalities as well as from USA. Pichardo has told us 82 have been denied entry this year. Not many but maybe the start. I can neither confirm nor deny what I was told by a reputable source in regard to a French couple, so it should be treated as hearsay for now.

If you read the reply below posted on the DGM website you will understand there was no proper procedure to extend the tourist stay at the end of last year. Pichardo tells us something is being organised. The UK Dominican Embassy told 'ducketts' it can be applied for at local DGM's here. We must wait for developments but the maximum stay appears to be an extra 60 days to your tourist card or visa stay.

11 diciembre, 2018 a las 10:05 am #92RESPUESTA

Carmen Azcuidiaz
Buenos dias,
Soy ciudadana American y necesito saber la maxima cantidad de tiempo que se puede extender una visa turistica y cuales son los pasos que debo tomar.

Gracias.

12 diciembre, 2018 a las 10:33 am #93RESPUESTA

Moderador

Jefe de claves
Saludos, investigaremos para usted y le daremos una pronta respuesta por esta via.

Actualizacion:

Saludos actualmente no hay extensión para la visa turística el modo de proceder es pedir una prorroga por escrito dirigida al director de migración depositada en la sede vía ventanilla 3 lo cual le otorgaría un tiempo de el doble de su tiempo normal
Nota: Esto no le exime de pago administrativo.

Esta respuesta fue modificada hace 7 meses por  Moderador. Razón: Investigacion


Things appear to be happening since last year's important notices from the Ministry of Interior and Police which clearly stated the permitted legal stay for tourists and the potential penalties under the law. It was statement of clear intent imo to draw a line under the false pretention by some westeners that overstay and living without legal status was acceptable with an exit fine. You have the passport stamp too now which tells the holder in writing his or her permitted stay. No excuse of ignorance of your permitted stay any more!  And to add, DGM states this about the overstay fine on it's website: Este pago no supone una prorroga que autorice al nacional extranjero a permanecer en el país. Pity PUJ airport, a private entity, can't copy what DGM states.

Being denied entry would be a huge shock to any expat. But those who have overstayed for short periods this past year were unable to extend their stay because as the text above there was no extension procedure. They should not be penalized nor left in doubt imo.

A procedure for extending ones tourist card/visa for upto 60 days at a local DGM office by simple application to DGM is much hoped for.

lennoxnev - one point of clarification.  Pichardo stated that 82 people were denied re-entry so far this year simply because they overstayed previously and more are expected to face the same issues.

The word expat  means someone who lives outside their native country. I, for example, have been an expat for the past 16 years.  Expats should indeed live legally in the country in which they reside and not be illegal aliens.  Getting legal residency rather than being a scofflaw for example. Of course there are a number of people that remain full time and don't have legal status.

The main point of this thread is about people who overstay visitor's visas and snowbirds with no legal standing as residents.  Thank you for pointing out the new passport stamp that shows the period of legal validity of someones stay. It is a backup to the computer data base.    I had forgotten about that change as yet another example of things that are different now.  As for people coming for years and overstaying their tourist cards , as in before that stamp was used,  we have a saying in the US,  "Ignorance of the law is no excuse". A scofflaw of a different kind, but still a scofflaw.

All these posts are great.  Still waiting to hear from DR embassy in London reference residency visa and extension to 30 day tourist card.

I'm not sure why they are doing this.  When my daughter goes to DR, like so many they go inclusive tour, stay 2 weeks and come back.  People like us, retirees, prefer generally to stay longer, in my case 3 months, never more.  But as you say this is becoming more and more difficult.  I certainly don't wish to be turned away on arrival into DR, after a 10 hour flight with my medical conditions, let alone the costs associated with this.

I've been looking at other islands and to my surprise Guadeloupe and Martinique come up as good places, not as cheap as DR, but for me (Europeans) none of these restrictions-stay as long as you want-no penalties.  At this stage just a thought.  I confess I love DR.

Speak soon

Ducketts

Nice to know as about Guadalupe and Martinique!

***

Moderated by Bhavna 3 days ago
Reason : Off-Topic

Let's not confuse the issue.  We are not discussing residency visa application 60 day visa and I am deleting that post. Residency is well covered.

I started a thread on tourist Vida vs tourist card.  It is pretty clear.

FYI don't expect any website, private or otherwise, to be up to date!  It just won't happen.

Embassies are confused.  Gov't employees are confused. Things happen and change and often are badly communicated.

Guadalupe and Martinique are parts of France as is half of St Martin and St Barts and so for the time being UK residents have no restrictions going there. Holland also has terretories in the region in St Martin, Curacao and Bonaire plus Saba and Statia. The former British colonies using the EC Dollar may throw up some deals too but likely 3 month stays are the initial limit. There are the British Overseas Territories and the Bahamas but you get no favours here and high costs of living.

But if the process to extend your tourist card stay by 60 days is made easy here, DR will be the cheapest option....and best for that sort of period of stay. Small islands can prove restrictive after several weeks.

I agree, the question when will this happen.

I normally come over Jan to Apr,  Up to now no problems, but as I said the thought of being denied entry is a terrifying thought.

I accept the the French islands are smaller, but if push comes to shove 3 months in Guadeloupe might be a safer but more expensive option.

We will see what happens over the ensuing months.

Incidentally the other problem is that the airport we use-Puerta Plata has very few flights from Europe now and don't fancy flying via the US or Canada.  The only option to us at the moment is Santo Domingo and that is another 450$ extra for taxis on the budget and a 4 hour drive rather than 20 minutes.  Plenty of direct flights from Europe to PTP and cheaper, but we still prefer DR!

Ducketts

New flights are being announced recently to Puerto Plata. Hopefully that continues!

For those that question why things need to change at all, here is my take on it.  The exit fee policy, which is just an administrative work around and not part of any DR immigration laws, puts people at some risk.  The future payment of an exit fee does not solve the issue that a person is illegally in the DR after 30 days on a tourist card.

After the 30 day tourist card expires, that person becomes an illegal alien in the DR.  Hence that person has all the "rights" of an illegal alien in the DR. 

Furthermore:

Their foreign driver's license is no longer valid after 30 days , but the police have in general ignored this problem and let them drive.  Ask yourself how much sense that makes.

Their insurance on their vehicles need not pay out after 30 days since they were driving illegally,  but it usually does if they have an accident.  The insurance companies are truly being magnanimous on this.

They can be deported for overstaying.  Some of you might remember a few gringos being rounded up in Sosua a couple of years back who were told they were going to be deported for overstaying their tourist cards. That was considered overzealous by their superiors at the time and stopped, but legally deportations could happen any of anyone illegally in the DR.

The perception in the world that people with white skin are allowed to stay illegally while the DR regularly rounds up Haitians and deports them presents an ugly picture of prejudice. 

So, the legal limbo of the overstay of a tourist card/exit fee situation does need  a completely legal resolution for those that want to stay longer than 30 days. This has not been a high priority for the government because snowbirds are not a major revenue source no matter how many times people say they are.   People now have a stamp in their passports showing the date their legally valid stay ends. Before that they were told they got 30 day tourist cards.  Migracion data bases are being updated.  Perhaps new regulations will clarify all of this.

Thanks Planner

Any idea which airlines?  I've tried to find out but getting no info.  The only ones I have seen are companies stopping services mid April which is no good.  For example Thomas Cook,  who own Condor Airlines are refinancing due cash problems and putting larger aircraft on POP service but again mid April they stop.  No problem with SDQ-smaller aircraft but greater frequency.  It appears the Europeans are concentrating on Punta Cana which of course is mainly an inclusive tour market.  No good for old "foggies" like me.  Big players like Euowings, TUI have all pulled out of POP.

Ducketts

Punta Cana gets about 65% of the arriving flights/passengers for the country
It's that high.

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