Confirmed issues with OVERSTAY OF TOURISM VISA

Why do people overstay their visa? Might seem to be a daft question.

Planner, in a couple of weeks I will have lived in Cabarete full time for 15 years. I know better than to expect anything here to happen in a logical or timely fashion.

FYI.

The chart I saw with fees, went to over a year with a stay beyond 30 days.

The Chart with Fees goes on to infinity ......

For now. Maybe some day that will change. The maybe part is why I don't expect anything to change in a logical or timely fashion.

The problem is Dominican laws are like a bad smell, if the wind is strong, the smell disappears.  Otherwise it may be around for a while.  Pay your overstay fees at the airport if and when they ask.  Armenia, ask a fellow Armenian that is has been to the DR recently.  Can't find one, do as they ask.  Simple.  By the next time you will know your answer.  P.S. Armenia, if you want the real answer, don't show them your VISA until they ask.  The process is the same anyways.  They just date stamp your passport.

Cheers, have another nice day in the wild wild west.

Simcat the quick answer is because they can. The DR is one of few countries where you can show up and just stay. Come on a 30 day tourist visa and stay. It used to be you could work etc without residency. In the last few years they have made it very hard to work without residency but pretty much everything else is easy. So, why bother going through residency is usually the question.

We don't recommend it obviously. If you plan to stay, get legal.

For many they are retirees or snowbirds. There is no visa for say 4 or 6 months of the year. So they overstay a tourist visa and pay a fine on leaving. Easy.

I lived in China for 2.5 years.  My 10 year Visa limited me to 60 days.  However upon arrival they give you a ticket that clearly say 90 days with the departure date.

One time I stayed beyond 60 days.  when I showed them the ticket showing the date, they ignored it.

Bottom line.  They charged me $ 1,500 plus another penalty of $ 765.00.  They took me to a small building behind their offices.  I didnt know what to expect.  They took pictures similar to a prisoner, fingerprinted me, and gave me 2 weeks to raise the money. It was a harrowing experience.

When I returned, I once again showed him the ticket for 90 days.  He said, you know your passport has 60 days.  I asked him, then why was I given a ticket with 90 days?  He had no response, but told me it was my first offence.  If it was my second, it would have been $ 5,000, revoke Visa and I would be barred from returning.

All this because of their screw up.

Doesn't sound like a good idea to visit China. I wouldn't anyway because I can't speak Chinese. I'll just stick to places that speak English or Spanish. I am getting too old to learn a third language. You know Dominican Spanish is the hardest to understand. I am pretty fluent because of a ten year marriage to a Panamanian women who never spoke English in the home. I have travelled all over Mexico and Central America and Colombia and have no trouble at all understanding people but in the Dominican Republic they don't pronounce their words completely. Sometimes I don't understand what my wife is saying to me. The more educated Dominicans are not as hard to understand but there is a street Spanish spoken by the lower classes that is really difficult. Older Dominicans are easier to understand than younger ones so I am guessing a lot of slang is creeping into the language maybe aided and abetted by horrible Spanish rap music (reggaeton}. That is one thing against the Dominican Republic. They have the worst taste in music of any Latin American country. However Dominicans over forty generally don't like it. Young people in Panama also like it but not as much as in the Dominican Republic. In Colombia they have better taste in music. Better than Panama and much better than in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic needs to cater better to the snowbirds and offer a 6 month tourist visa like Mexico does.  Being closer to the USA the Dominican Republic attracts more winter residents than Panama so they need to reflect that in their visa. In Panama we have either expats who live here permanently or tourists who stay for a week or two. Not so many snowbirds but tourists get 90 days renewable for another 90 days. Or go to Costa Rica for a couple of days and re-enter.

robertbrucegillies:   The DR may someday come up with a process that makes it easier for snowbirds to stay legally in the DR for more than 30 days.  A 6 month snowbird visa would be the best solution in my opinion. Maybe that will happen.  I have looked at this for years.  And still there is no snowbird visa. Why not?

Keep this in mind:  The several thousand snowbirds that visit the DR is a VERY SMALL part of the tourism that visits the island. There are about 10 million tourists who stay less than 30 days.  9 million of those tourists visit Punta Cana and stay at the AI resorts and the vast majority don't overstay the 30 day tourist card.  Also giving those from the EU, USA and Canada easy access to 6 month visas makes the DR position on illegal  Haitians in the DR look even worse in the eyes of the world, if that were possible.

You might visit an area of the DR like Sosua where snowbirds have a significant impact, but in the overall picture of tourism snowbirds are indeed a tiny number and the government that makes such decisions on visas is in Santo Domingo. (Sosua has such a bad reputation in Santo Domingo, that most Dominicans would rather ignore the place.)

That is why the snowbirds have not yet reached a level of consideration beyond a cumbersome and  difficult process to potentially extend a tourist card for up to a few months and few are trained in how to expedite that process.  They would rather tell you just pay when you leave.   It is easier for them and currently easier for those that overstay. Unless and until they really enforce the law in the future.   The overstay fines are not part of the law. I know this for a fact.   They are an administrative work around. Anyone who stays over 30 days on a tourist card and does not extend that stay in some manner however tedious is an illegal alien.

So, for now, just pay the exit fine when you leave if you stay over 30 days.

Everybody is making a fuss over nothing.  The gov. doesn't care, they just get some extra money if you overstay, no problem.  Don be so anal about it, it's latin america/

thecolonel -  Some people want to be legal at all times, if possible.  Right now, if you stay for 6 months on a tourist card, there is no way that is legal.  It is what it is.  Just pointing out a fact.

I agree that for now people from tourist card countries can come and go as they please and just pay the overstay fines upon departure if it is longer than 30 days.

Sure and those people are exactly who I said they are, anal, legalistic,  naive gringos, who don't know, and can't accept what all latino countries are like.   Oh, by the way, don't forget that when you overstay and leave, you can often get away with bribing them too, that's also the local way.  But if you're worried about that being illegal too, then just pay double if you like.

thecolonel:  Some people like doing things outside the law. It is pleasurable to them to do so. 

At some airports you are now directed to a separate cashier where they collect your overstay fine and then you go through the migracion check point with the proof that you paid.  The bribing happens a lot less that way.

Windeguy - well written description of the issue with a 6 month visa.

Colonel you make a valid point.

I was recently told by a lawyer here that my mindset is still too Canadian! After 15 years it's still hard to let certain things go.  Reality in Latino countries it's often way better to go with the flow!!!

windeguy :

robertbrucegillies: 

...
You might visit an area of the DR like Sosua where snowbirds have a significant impact, but in the overall picture of tourism snowbirds are indeed a tiny number and the government that makes such decisions on visas is in Santo Domingo. (Sosua has such a bad reputation in Santo Domingo, that most Dominicans would rather ignore the place.)

...

Sorry, but I have to ask:  What is wrong with Sousa?  Never been but need to know if I should stay away.  Thanks!!

For Dominicans, especially in Santo Domingo, they will avoid Sosua as it is considered a place for sex tourism!  They will go to Cabarete,  Puerto Plata,  Punta Cana, Juan Dolio. Most will also avoid Boca Chica for the same reason!

Yes, a decade or so, becauseof people like Cuba Dave & a couple of others, glorified or castigated the fact that hookers were available easily.  No easier than Cabarete, Cabrera, Samana, Santiago or even that self sangtified, Punta Cana.  Because mostly in a 2 block area perhaps more obvious.   Any area of people with a little more than average income will have sex for $$.  However, even in tiny compo hamlets, I've been offered a chica por casa,  Sosua no more than any where else has  sex for hire. It just got a bad rap because of the additional publicity!  The Tuba speaks from a long and active life .  In other words, anywhere you are in the DR, you can get laid, whether you are a man or a woman, which either you may desire, you can get laid!

I absolutely disagree with you on this. I have lived and visited all over this country!

Only in Sosua was I, a female, physically accosted on the streets by prostitutes. Only in Sosua and Boca Chica did I have to constantly fend off offers. Only in these two areas is it an obvious and constant issue.

Of course it's available all over this country. In almost every car wash, bar, club and many other locations.  Sosua and Boca Chica go way beyond every other area I have ever been in.

Does Sosua still deserve the harshness of the reputation they have? I don't know that. I know Boca Chica does!

Of all the places I've been in the dr, the 'cueros'(hookers) of Sosua are the most aggressive and arrogant, and obnoxious.

Sosua ain't what it used to be. Open solicitation on the street has diminished to the point of a rarity.  The action has moved indoors & mostly after the dinner hour. When have you last spent time in Sosua, & I don't mean just a few hours?  It ain't like the old days at all.  People must have a devil to fight or get bored I guess. With all the new construction of condos, apartments & hotels, including a 40 room hotel right in the middle of town! I doubt that any of them are intended to be whore houses.  If Sosua is so horrid, why the immense investments?

Lots of reasons for investment.  People looking for that type of entertainment have to stay somewhere my friend.   

You can  say its cleaned up all you want, it will NEVER be cleaned up.   That is okay.  But don't pretend its a place that it isnt.

I have no issue with prostitution! I just don't want that environment at all when I am trying to relax and enjoy myself.  SImple.

There is a push by investors and the government to reduce the visibility of prostitution in Sosua. I have spoken to people working on some of the new projects and there is an intent to reduce the stigma.  As in most things, changes happen slowly and without much forethought other than where is the next peso coming from.  More investment will likely cause prostitution to be less visible.

Less visible is progress!

Hi Planner

Just read your post.  This is very concerning.

We've booked to come back in January.  This will be our fifth time and each time we have stayed for about 2/12 months and paid our fines..  We paid for our tickets and accommodation and now not sure what to do.

Any other ideas please!!!!

Thanks

Ducketts

Hi Planner,

Further to my last post, I've just read this on the website regarding Tourist cards/Visas and extended stays.

This comes from the UK Dominican Embassy in London.

Any thoughts please.  Thanks

Ducketts

As a general rule, all foreigners that enter the Dominican Republic with a visa or tourist card need a valid passport.
In order to extend a visit to the Dominican Republic, the tourist has to go to the offices of the Direccion General de Migracion at the airport and pay for an extension. After the expiration of the 30 day tourist card, the cost of the extension starts at US $10 (depending of the length of the stay).

At this point there seems to be no issue at all with this.  Don't anticipate any issues honey. Come stay as long as normal and when you leave pay the overstay as normal.

Again Planner many many thanks

Ducketts

ps  Did you get any feed back about the eye specialist in Santiago?  Remember I went to him and he was great and spoke excellent English and trained in the US.

You are welcome. Not sure who else went to the eye specialist. I haven't needed one personally.

Most people don't care if hookers are 'visible', but a lot care if they touch you and are aggressive, and obnoxious, and arrogant.   And they spoil it even for themselves that way.

Do you need a return ticket to get into the DR?  Seems like if you are planning to overstay, this would be a red flag on entry if your return flight is 5 months away.

We are planning to come and overstay for a few months before going home to file for residency if we like it. 

Any information about whether a return flight is asked about would be greatly appreciated.

I have been to the DR 6 times and have never been asked to show a ticket of any kind. Just my passport.

Since going to DR over the last 5 years, I have never been asked to show my return ticket.

But rules as they are now are that if they did ask to see your return ticket, you could say that you are going to the Immigration offices to apply for a Visa for 60 days (max) over and above your 30 tourist card.  That is the maximum as I understand.  In our case we only stay for up to 3 months.

Hope this helps.

Ducketts

There is a law that is not often enforced BUT can be.

The inbound airline is responsible for making sure you have a return ticket. Can be any date. Can be any airline. IF they check and you don't have one they can make you purchase an expensive last minute ticket!

You make the decision and you take the risk!

That is interesting. Maybe I could carry with me my marriage certificate to a Dominican Republic citizen. When I fly in from Panama I always have a return ticket. In fact a one way ticket on Copa Airlines is no cheaper than a round trip ticket.

Your marriage certificate won't help. You need residency or Dominican passport.

Your marriage means you qualify so go through the process now.

Thanks for your advice. Right now I am in Panama trying to sell my property. I can't really go and live in the Dominican Republic without selling it first. When I go to the Dominican Republic I will start the process. I guess I will need to bring a police report from Panama when I go.

You will need a number of documents. Go read the thread about residency honey.

I've been in and out several times since 2016 only twice staying past the 30 days.  I paid the 2500 pesos both times as I stayed about 60 days.  I paid by visa at the airport once you go through security and hand in your blue migracion card.  This time they asked if I had cash as they didn't want me to pay with visa.  After showing them I only had 300 pesos they finally took me over to pay the overstay with my visa.  I'm sure if I was close to the 2500 pesos they would have took what I had and let me through.  So my suggestion would be to have the pesos or USD in cash when you arrive at the airport.  I took a copy of the overstay fines.  I just left Puerto Plata November 2nd and these overstay fines are the same price as they were 2016. 

30 days to 3 months - 2500 pesos - 60 USD
3 months to 9 months - 4000 pesos - 100 USD
9 months to 1 year - 5000 pesos - 120 USD
1 year to 1.5 years - 6500 pesos - 160 USD
1.5 years to 2 years - 8000 pesos - 195 USD
2 years to 2.5 years - 9500 pesos - 230 USD
2.5 years to 3 years - 11000 pesos - 270 USD
3 years to 4 years - 16000 pesos - 390 USD
4 years to 5 years - 20000 pesos - 500 USD
each additional year is 10000 pesos.

Just an opinion, but we have seen a positive change in Sosua in the last 6 years we have been coming. Less prostitution during the day, lots less trash, new restaurants, new condos/hotels, a bigger police presence.

I have never been approached by women or men. Granted,I am not walking around in a tube top with a where is the sex, glazed-over eyes, lol...I suspect there are all the same offerings available in all inclusive PC. They just seem classier cause it is all dressed up for the tourists. 😉 I get a bit defensive when Sosua gets dissed. 💕

It is okay to get defensive.  I believe the reality is that things are getting better but are quite a way from being good in some regards.  But that can be said of other  places as well.

Lets see how things progress!

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