Confirmed issues with OVERSTAY OF TOURISM VISA

ChristieE As everyone knows, I agree with you. Sosua is an easy target. I sincerely believe that sex is not going to disappear for quite some time yet. When it ends, so do we. No more humans.

It isn't about sex so don't be so dramatic.

I failed in my attempt at humor or is it a sense of?

Just finished reading this whole post...what a job but I still want to be sure about a few items seen here.
1.  From USA thinking of buying and not necessarily becoming resident right away, staying some, renting out other times.  So 30 days or shorter, no problem?  over 30 pay exit fee?  If I know I am staying 3-4 months get an extension at airport??
2.  What is differences between visa, tourist visa, tourist card, passport???
3.  Is there problem buying/owning without residency, vacation home/ rental investment?
4.  Is resident status filed at USA or DR consulate?  In Sosua or need to go to SD?
5.  If I am there, and friends and family come for less than 30 days...they are just a tourist?
6.  Do I need to buy property under mine and wifes name or just mine?  If I stay I would figure out the incorporation process OR is it best to buy with an Incorporation of a company under DR law?

This is a great forum but half way thru this long blog I started thinking to relocate to Nebraska!  Thanks for all the help and everyone's info.

Firstly understand the application of the immigration law has been changing bit by bit but not drastically for foreigners from western countries, so it still remains an option for some to defer residency but at their risk, which appears low right now. But residency does have benefits most notably duty exemptions for bringing in property for a period and most significantly the ability to drive legally with valid insurance after 30 (or 90 days).

Trying to answer your questions and no doubt others will add:

1. Tourists are permitted to stay a maximum of 60 days as confirmed a few months back formally. Your tourist card allows a 30 days stay and you will pay currently 2500 pesos on departure for the balance if you choose to extend to 60 days. Beyond 60 days you are considered illegal with no immigration status, but the authorities have not taken to date any action against westerners having stayed beyond 60 days. But they do for some Latin American and Asian nationals not to mention the Haitians. There are many North Americans who come here for several months in winter and many continue stay beyond the 60 days and pay the exit fees.
2. There are several categories of visa which give the holder a 'no resident status' in terms of immigration law and a right to reside here legally for a defined period. Visitors from many countries can arrive and stay for 30 days with the tourist card status which is now included in your airline ticket price. But some visitors from other countries need a tourist visa which has validity for 60 days. This visa can also be obtained for persons here for more than the 30 days for say cultural, sports events, etc.. Everybody needs a valid passport to enter DR with a least 6 months remaining validity. Tourists also need a return ticket.
3. No. But certain investments can entitle the investor to fast track residency and if your investment exceeds $200k and you should seriously consider this benefit through an immigration lawyer.
4 At your overseas DR Embassy or Consulate. It appears that for a first application having a DR lawyer helps in the process. This was not a requirement to apply overseas in ones home country pre 2011.
5. Yes.
6. I will pass on this one leaving the response to others who have done this.

I for one prefer my expat life in the tropics and especially in DR, and have zero intention of going back to my former home country with cold, wet and windy weather. In terms of a Caribbean home away from home, DR ticks most boxes for me, but I elected to get my residency several years back when it was a cheap easy process and now I reap the benefits.

Thanks for the info,appreciated.

I will try to simplify this for you:

Just finished reading this whole post...what a job but I still want to be sure about a few items seen here.
1.  From USA thinking of buying and not necessarily becoming resident right away, staying some, renting out other times.  So 30 days or shorter, no problem?  over 30 pay exit fee?  If I know I am staying 3-4 months get an extension at airport?? YOU CAN OVERSTAY AND YOU PAY THE FINE WHEN YOU LEAVE. THERE IS NO EXTENSION AT THE AIRPORT.
2.  What is differences between visa, tourist visa, tourist card, passport??? PASSPORT IS YOUR ID FROM HOME!   TOURIST VISA AND TOURIST CARD ARE FUNDAMENTALLY THE SAME THING
3.  Is there problem buying/owning without residency, vacation home/ rental investment?NO THERE IS NO ISSUE WITH THAT. YOU CAN OWN REAL ESTATE, YOU CAN OWN A CORPORATION ETC LEGALLY HERE.
4.  Is resident status filed at USA or DR consulate?  In Sosua or need to go to SD? YOU START THE PROCESS IN THE USA,  SEE THE THREAD ON RESIDENCIA. 
5.  If I am there, and friends and family come for less than 30 days...they are just a tourist? YES ANYONE WHO HAS NOT APPLIED FOR RESIDENCY IS CONSIDERED A TOURIST.
6.  Do I need to buy property under mine and wifes name or just mine?  If I stay I would figure out the incorporation process OR is it best to buy with an Incorporation of a company under DR law? YOU CAN PUT THE PROPERTY IN JOINT NAME EASILY.  MANY OF US RECOMMEND BUYING AND HOLDING PROPERTY INSIDE A CORPORATION FOR TAX AND ESTATE PLANNING REASONS!

Thank you for your help.

At this point it time, the benefits of owning a home inside a corporation are not what they used to be years ago.  Many people are still talked into doing it, by lawyers, but it is best to get all the updated facts regarding tax liabilities the corporation must pay versus the rewards of an easy transfer or other legal benefits to the estate of having the house in a corporation.

My 81 yr old friend from Bermuda ,was pulled aside And taken to the customs offices at SDQ and told he must leave after 30 days ( he routinely stays 6 months because he owns a condo here). He asked about getting an extension,but he had difficulty understanding their reply ( no English speakers available ).He has been coming here for over thirty years. This happened today

Ritteach :

My 81 yr old friend from Bermuda ,was pulled aside And taken to the customs offices at SDQ and told he must leave after 30 days ( he routinely stays 6 months because he owns a condo here). He asked about getting an extension,but he had difficulty understanding their reply ( no English speakers available ).He has been coming here for over thirty years. This happened today

For clarity, can you confirm he was asked at the immigration desk to go to the office to the left hand side which is an immigration office to speak to a supervisor. You refer to customs office and customs is after immigration at SDQ. Also you don't mention if he is a non resident visitor.

Correct he was led to the offices when he attempted to enter  -where you have your passport scanned ,he said the “offices to the side”and yes he is a non resident if your going to dither over my incorrectly calling immigration customs ,then yes you are correct and forget  about me posting anything here in the future !

Just asked to confirm it was an immigration and not customs issue.

There are few who confirm reports of difficulties for long standing visitors arriving on tourist cards so your post with first hand knowledge is relevant.

I've been in that 'back room' but to confirm my finger prints as a resident on a busy arrival day.

Thanks.

Ritteach let me welcome you to the forums.  Please forgive those who both want to nitpick and not clearly read what you posted. 

You clearly stated the situation and it was easy to figure out what you meant!

I am sorry he had to deal with this.  The update and information is useful to all of us here. Thank you for sharing!

Good Day,

Thanks for some helpful information.  I posted a thread a few weeks ago re: this subject.  The 2 replies basically suggested I pay an extended stay fine.  Our plan is to stay for the winter 2019-2020 (about 6 months}.  We are US, snowbirds (have spent 8 years in Mexico legally (permanentes), but now we would like a change of scenery as they say.  We have a place lined up to rent for that timeframe...no desire to buy property.  The concerns we have are as follows:  We can extend legally I think by going to SD migration, yes?  Can we extend for the full 180 days?  We plan to stay in the Punta Cana area.  Is there a broker we can hire to assist without hiring an attorney?  My Spanish is basic at best.  If we simply stay for the 6 months, are we at risk of being jailed or deported?  Anyway, even on the DR websites and other links folks have provided info., it seems a little unclear of best way to proceed.  We honestly don't know if we will return for another 6 months beyond next year, so we would rather not file for a 1 year or longer permanency status (although we meet the qualifications).  OK, so what does anyone recommend?  Thanks, we really appreciate your guidance.

You can extend your stay legally only 60 days.  There is no  6 month visa here. Sadly they have not gotten around to that yet.  WE  hope they will.

Many just simply overstay the tourist visa and pay the exit fee at the airport.  As long as you have a copy of your passport with you,   in case you get stopped, you have no issues at all overstaying.  You are not going to get deported or arrested. In Punta Cana at least half the expats do exactly this! 

You ask for a broker - for what purpose?

I have heard of NO ONE getting deported who is a tourist coming for  6 months.

Obviously I don't know the visa requirements very well for DR, but having lived in Mexico they do allow for so called brokers to assist foreigners with immigration processes, drivers licenses, import of goods and vehicles etc.  For a fee, a broker can help with language barriers, customs, immigration etc.   If you are not proficient in the language, even filing a form can be frustrating and difficult...although I have done it with limited Spanish ability.  So I thought perhaps DR had something similar.  The reason I mentioned it is I read on line somewhere that if you request an extended stay, you can stay up to 6 months, and their is a fee chart posted (I think by the Migration office website).  However, my understanding is a person has to go to Santo Domingo to apply within the 1st 2 weeks following arrival of the 30 day visa.  That being said, if true, there is where a broker would be helpful to successfully complete that process.  One issue I have with these articles posted on some websites, is there is no date, therefore it is tough to determine if it is currently accurate. 
Anyway, if you say the extended stay is not really a problem, then that works for us.  Does anyone know what the current fees for overstaying might be, say for a 6 months visit?   Thanks again for the help.  .

Don't make life difficult.  Come, stay for 6 months, enjoy, leave and pay your fine on the way out.  Fines are posted all over this website.  It's less than $100USD per person.

That is interesting info so thanks for clarifying! I understand your frustration with articles online.  Some govt websites are far behind as well and things change without notice.

The idea of a broker here is rather bastardized. In fact everyone is a broker and can help you with anything, for a fee of course and or a commission! Often they have no idea what the he'll they are talking about. But, that can also apply to lawyers. Personal referrals really work.

Good advice, go with the flow and don't sweat it honey! 

We are here to help any time you need it!!!

so I have a follow up question.  When I buy a R/T plane ticket, and my return date is 6 months later, what happens when I arrive at the immigration checkpoint, and they say I have to leave after so many days?  (meaning 30 or 60 days).  I understand I have to show a  scheduled departure date, is that correct?

never been asked to show an R/T upon arrival.

I'm with Tinker, furthermore, I never have a R/T. As I said before, don't make life difficult.  If you are not a criminal, or smartass or young person looking for work, they could NOT care less.

It does not matter what your ticket says in terms of this side of the pond.

It matters in some cases, that you have a return ticket.  The law says the airline is responsible for ensuring you have a return ticket.  It does not say how or when you depart.  Only that you have it. SOME airlines check, many do not!

The overstay fee is $4,000.00 pesos or about $80 US.  The fee is the same whether you overstay 1 week or 1 year.  I learned this the last time I overstayed and returned to the US. (08-17-18).  My concern is not the leaving but the ability to return.

The overstay fee is $4,000.00 pesos or about $80 US.  The fee is the same whether you overstay 1 week or 1 year.  I learned this the last time I overstayed and returned to the US. (08-17-18).  My concern is not the leaving but the ability to return.

wishinguwell...never been a problem for the past 14 years...

You will be fine.  There is a posted schedule of overstay fines. Up to 90 days is 2500 rd then it jumps to 4,000. At one year it jumps again etc.

My neighbor told that when she was about to buy a one way ticket (she didn't know how long she would be staying, yet) the airline told her without a return flight  the government would not allow her to renter the country. She hasn't bought the ticket.    Is that true?

The airline is held responsible and the govt can force the airline to return a passenger.

It happened recently with dozens who tried to enter from Venezuela! There were many without a return ticket and they were refused entry. The airline had to take them back!

Most countries don't have the issues Venezuela does so the volume won't be there.  This responsibility has always been there.

Those of you who are mentioning that you can get a 4 month extension after the 30 day tourist visa in Santo Domingo... Can you get this extension in Puerto Plata? Does the 4 month extension allow you to come in and out of the country? Thanks!

I'm afraid to buy property for fear of being turned away if I overstay during one of my trips. Is there any way yo mitigate this without filing for residency?

Sash - there is NO 4 month extension. It doesn't exist!

There is a 30 day extension only. Sorry I don't know if that is available in Puerto Plata.

I know of no one being turned away who has a return ticket regardless of the date.  Make sure you travel with a return ticket.  The only other option right now is residency.

Sash 13.

I travel to the Dominican Republic frequently.  Every visitor is allowed to stay 30 days.  I arrived here in July and was told by a government official in Luperon, that if I stayed beyond the 30 days, I would be charged at the Airport if I exceeded the 30 days.

He told me I could pay him, but that several incidents were reported of being charged again at the Airport when visitors left.  SO DON'T PAY UNTIL YOU ARE AT THE AIRPORT.

I stayed 26 days past the 30 days.  At the Airport, they simply brought this up to me, and charged me about $50.00 USD.  I was told I could have stayed up to 90 days past the initial 30 for the $50.00 . 

I was shown a fee chart in Luperon, by the government official, of a progressive chart, showing fees based on months beyond the 30 days that extended past a year.

Note.  This is not to suggest that anyone coming here and abusing stays, and knowingly violate other laws of the Dominican Republic. 

I hope this helps.

That is exactly correct honey.  Overstay fines are posted and you pay on departure.  Any other way is a pain in the butt and may or may not be legal.

Just pay at the airport.

P. S.  I never had a return ticket when I came here in July.  And I am currently here since December 20th, and do not have a return ticket.  It is asked on the form you fill out when you arrive.

Also, you must give them an address where you are staying.  My friend made arrangements for me at an apartment complex.  I didn't know the address.  (In July it was not required to put a physical address.  I always put Luperon.)   But that has changed. I had to call my friend who was waiting for me at the Airport, to get the physical address of the apartment before they allowed me to pass.

P.P.S.

To clarify.  They do ask for your return flight information upon arrival on their immigration form  My baggage handler put POP next to the Airport with no specific flight details that were requested on the form. 

I hope this is clear.

Planner.

Good point.  I am from America and when I arrived in December with no return ticket, it was not a problem for me.  But it is obvious there are different rules depending on where visitors are from.

And honey just because they did not ask you doesn't mean they wont in the future.

IF you are asked and do not have a return ticket, they can make the airline take you back!  They can deny you entry!

Expect more and more airlines to be asking before you board the plane.

Yes my dear.  I agree.  I would think that the airlines should be responsible for whether or not you need a return ticket. 

But I come here and do not know when I will return.  I work on my new business and do not know when I will be done to return to America. 

Eventually, I expect to get a permanent Visa that will allow me to come and go without any timeline.  And 5 others who will also travel back and forth between the Dominican Republic and America.

So if you dont know when you are returning, the best thing to do is buy a cancellable ticket.   Buy the cheapest you can find. It only matters you have one. Once you arrrive, cancel it.  There you go, problem solved.

The airlines are held responsible for upholding this law. The law is Dominican!   If the airline does not check then they have to pay to repatriate you.

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