Residency Visa Delay

What is the normal length of time after submitting all required material to receiving a residency visa?

Ours was about a month and a half, with some gentle pressure being applied on our side. Our lawyer tried speeding things up on the Dominican side, and was met with disgust.

Thanks. We are at three months and I am getting concerned.

Definitely call the Consulate or Embassy you applied to.  We dealt with the Consulate in Toronto, and they were very good.

e911man, do they have your passport?  If they do, tell them you have to travel and need your passport.  You are leaving for the US next week and have been postponing your travel but cannot do it any longer and see what they say.  I had my VISA in 10 days from Toronto.

We do have our passports. I believe part of the reason it seems to be taking a long time is because we applied under the special law for retires with a government pension.

Okay are you talking about the residency visa in your home country or you residency application here in the DR?

The latter will take up to 8 or 9 months!

Have you applied taking the option for residency by investment as a pensioner?


That may explain the protracted process in getting your visa approved, but certainly worth following up now.

You mentioned residency VISA.  VISA is your first step to applying for residency in the DR so I assume you are still stuck with the VISA process in Toronto.  One thing for sure is if you have your passports they won't be giving you your Visa.  The VISA is just a stamp in your passport signed by the Consular that only goes to the office in Toronto on an infrequent unscheduled basis.  Assuming that you have provided all of the documents needed, they should have charged you for any documents that need to be translated and legalized.  If everything else is approved then they will call you to bring in your passport and then expect another 10-20 business days for the VISA.  Sounds to me like your other documents may expire before you get through the process...

That is why I think they are referring to residency not the visa request honey!

We applied for DR residency from within the US. We were advised by the immigration service company that we could go ahead and move to the DR before we got approval for the Residency Visa.

NO way...doesn't work like that.  Seen that happen before and then you get here and they tell you to go back and get your Visa...

That definitely raises red flags and alarms.  I hope you did background research on the immigration company you used.

Oh dear, this is incorrect. You must get the residency visa from there.  Your residency visa is placed inside your passport.  Once in hand you have up to 60 days to come here and file your actual residency application!

Please post information on who you worked with, who told you to apply this way.  We will help you as best we can.

To avoid issues - or to address any if there were some - I sent all my required paperwork (after several phone calls) to the Embassy in Ottawa. When scheduled for being ready, I then flew from DR to Ottawa and picked them up in person, had my passport stamped and came back. Service by Embassy staff, at least in Ottawa, was excellent. Immigration Ministry here has a bunch of incompetents. I knew my lawyer had no experience but she was willing however, they lied to her, which she only found out after taking a course and am still waiting.....My paperwork was all turned in before the end of May last year - well before the 60 day basically I am at the 10 month mark and still waiting. My family got another lawyer who had experience with residency but the ministry has all the documents. Seems lawyers don't have communication skills and no balls, so to speak, to get in the face of inept government officials and get things sorted....oops, sorry, I was venting.....

Lawyers need to have contacts inside the system to manage this efficiently.  All the others go to the bottom of the pile...... sad but true.

Venting is perfectly understandable.

My other issue is how people are mislead.  The concept that your lawyer should actually now what they are talking about and tell you the TRUTH.  NOT what they think you want to hear.

IF they tell you  2 months then you expect resolution in 2 months. IF they tell you 8 months then you can expect and accept that wait!  Anything else to me is unacceptable!

Yes, I am applying as a retired government pensioner (Law 171-7 I believe). I have not been able to find anyone that has recently applied under that law, in order to guesstimate how long the average wait time is.

The wait time is usually the same as all the others!  There is almost no differences regardless of what they say it "should" be.....

If you are applying by that law it is possible another ministry ( de Haciendo) would have a say in your visa application and perhaps prolong the process. It appears this is another case of applying for residency through investment and not so many expats appear to take this route.

I assume you have lawyers who could confirm this as a possible reason for the longer process?

The longer wait may be worth it after all if you go straight from the residency visa to applying for one year of permanent residency through the route you have chosen.

It would be helpful if you can share more about this residency route for others thinking of retiring here.

We have not been able to get a “reason” however I suspect it is because the procedure they use is somewhat different and less common so everyone involved is slowed down


I do hope you can share with the forum your experience so far and in the future about this residency route which it appears is not being considered by many.

I know several people applying under this and no one has been delayed like this.

In 2007 a formal law was created (see link with copy of the law below) incorporating a new incentive for Investors.  This law stipulate that once you already have the RESIDENCY VISA and arrive to DR, you apply directly to PERMANENT RESIDENCY. … fDominican Republic Investor Residency - Citizenship
Please make sure you meet and have written proof of one of these categories:
A. Pensioner or Retiree – With a fixed Monthly Retirement Income, Pension or Annuity of 1,500.00 monthly. You will need US 250.00 more per additional applicants in the family.
B. Independent Rental Investor – With Proof of Monthly Income coming from any investment ABROAD or non salaried source ABROAD of US 2,000.00 or more monthly  (meaning bank account interest, brokerage accounts, rental income, royalties, etc.). 
C. Lump Sum Investor – With Proof of a local investment of US$200,000 (or equivalent in another currency) in local financial instruments, real estate, business enterprise, etc.
We will be happy to assist you in obtaining the FAST TRACK PERMANENT RESIDENCY AND CITIZENSHIP!

Its all the same in terms of time.

SO true. Fortunately or not, I knew my lawyer was new at this and that it would take longer so we had that understanding between us. However, I continue to be somewhat taken aback by the fact that lawyers fail to maintain updates or seem not to press the issues. For that matter, one lawyer seems not to consult with another lawyer and work together in order to make things happen. I asked if they gave my application a file number that could be referred to if I went in person - and never get a response.With all my documents in the government hands, I can only hope their processing is slowly moving along. Unless I can find/locate a lawyer that can/will make the necessary contact to get this done...vice piss someone off and have the file fall behind a desk somewhere...I have to sit back, and keep learning Spanish while waiting. Looks like the only reason for leaving country right now will be either a family emergency or go north to collect winning lottery money.......

Interesting the different timelines for the same process.  We applied for temporary residency after we arrived in October, so mid November?  We just received approval last week, with a few extra hoops to jump through included. So, three months is not too bad at all.  Do I dare say, "quick"?  Mind you, our cedulas are not yet in our hands, so anything is possible.

The Residency Visa has been approved. Didn’t get an explanation, but after calling the consulate the checked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we have been approved. Thanks everyone

You need to be pro-active here

waiting is no good.... ask & ask again

Glad it worked out for you


Good news and if all goes well and according to your post #23, you could be a permanent resident in about 3 months (DGM quote 45 days which is working days as earlier post link).

Uncle buck -  wow that was fast! Good for you!!!!

Always remember there is no culture of customer service here.  YOU must be proactive. YOU must walk the line of pressuring your lawyer without passing them off. YOU must be responsible and not expect it from them.

A US perspective. This is an intriguing and protracted process.  There are three of us seeking our "pension-resident" visas: a retired state prosecutor, a retired teacher, and a retired federal employee.  We own a small property on the island, and we have a Dominican lawyer assisting us.  The Washington, D.C., embassy is processing our applications. 

We started collecting our documents back in November and filed our applications before Christmas. In January, these applications were kicked back for us to supplement with updated and corrected materials.  In a crazy, wild rush, we drove 2,000 miles and visited four out-of-state offices over five days as well as flew out of state to another office to obtain these documents.  Our financial and pension institutions were particularly difficult to work with because they had no experience with providing the notarized documents that were required.  We tried to accomplish everything by telephone and email but each institution had a problem with the long-distance requests in one way or another.  The face-to-face approach really kicked things into gear.

Anyway, apparently, our supplemented applications have now satisfied the initial, formal, written requirements and have been forwarded to the foreign minister where they have been for over a month. (During the document-collection process, the Embassy's website changed and we have seen three different versions of the formal requirements).  We are emailing the staff and, this week, have been advised that there is a 10-15 day delay due to a backlog of applications.  But, so far, we have been unable to obtain any file or reference numbers in connection with our applications.  Today, we were advised that our applications remain pending with the Foreign Minister.

This is the short-version!  Meanwhile, we rent a house and car and twist in the March breezes.

As best as we guess (because can not get an answer from our immigration service company or the Consolate) we recieved approval for Resudency Visa less than 3 months after we submitted supplemental info that was requested by either the Consoluate or the Min of Foreign Affairs.

Thank you for a detailed update.

The file number I am referring to will be issued when you deposit your residencia application here in the DR honey. Then you and your lawyer will get a file number.

Problem was resolved thanks to the Consul General and his staff at the New Orleans Consulate. Everyone there was friendly, helpful and patient with us. Turned out there was a software glitch that flagged my wife’s application as incomplete in one part of the immigration department’s computer system even though there was no actual problem. The Consul General spent several hours figuring out the problem and then had to work with an IT person in Spain fix the issue and print her visa.

Glad you found the cause, and got it fixed.  Great follow-through!

Following up on # 32 above. 

Today, March 18, the Washington, D.C., Embassy emailed us the file numbers for our resident-visa applications currently pending with the Foreign Minister and advised that the period of 15 days from submission to the Foreign Minister had not yet been exhausted. (The file numbers we have passed on to our island attorney for monitoring). 

In addition to those communications from the Embassy already mentioned, we have also heard from the Embassy:
1) on Feb 11, advising that the translations (the last requirement for completing our documents) would be completed that day,
2) on Feb 21, informing us that we would be advised when the Foreign Minister decided our applications, and
3) on March 5, telling us that our files had been submitted to the Foreign Minister.

We have been delighted with the promptness of the responses to our somewhat persistent email inquiries.  Perhaps this chronology and our experience is useful to others.

So many differing opinions so easy to be confused. We plan on moving there beginning of May. Getting police and medical reports this week then sending all to consulate in Ottawa. Consulate told us 15-30 days to get visa and papers back. Hoping that is enough time to get passport back in time for departure. Info from someone at consulate said don’t need to send actual passport and elsewhere said yes. Would suck to send passport and not get it back in time. Also for medical is there a specific certificate that doctor needs to fill out or just a letter saying in good health?

The RCMP report is easy to get at any Commissionaires office is fast , easy and cheap

Fingerprints— the works
Digital even

Yeah my biggest concern is getting passport back in 30-40 days

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