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Citizenship of the Dominican Republic

It should be kept in mind that if you take average economic criteria and compare standard of living in the Central America and the Caribbean, standard of living and quality of life in Dominican Republic are not the best in the region. They certainly stand down in comparison with, let us say, Panama or Costa Rica. Nevertheless, many Americans and Canadians make Dominican Republic their country of choice abstracting from various statistical data, analyses, and from “the average temperature on hospital”. Dominican Republic immigration rules and procedures are comparatively favorable for foreigners. In other words, it is relatively easy to obtain temporary residence permit, permanent residence, and second citizenship. This article will help you understand the process of the Dominican Republic residency and citizenship.

Advantages of Becoming a Citizen of the Dominican Republic

  1. Stable economy and favorable tax system (low taxes)
  2. Business opportunities for investors are available in all areas, including tourism, services, imports and exports
  3. Dual citizenship is allowed. You can keep your previous citizenship after becoming citizen of the Dominican Republic.
  4. Normal naturalization period is two years. Investors can be naturalized in one year.
  5. Low bureaucracy
  6. Friendly and welcoming people
  7. Beautiful tropical climate all year round and pristine nature.
  8. Paradise for divers.
  9. Other reasons of the type “like and want to”.

As citizen of the Dominican Republic you will be entitled to the following:

  1. Full Dominican Republic Citizenship.
  2. All rights equal to native Dominicans, except from the ability to run for presidency.
  3. You will get a Dominican Republic ID, same as Dominican natives have (will replace Cedula de Identidad)
  4. Dominican Republic birth certificate
  5. Dominican Republic passport

Dominican Republic Residency Application and Work Permit

Once you have determined that Dominican Republic is where you want to move to and ultimately obtain the citizenship of, you will first need to apply for a residency status and a work permit.

Following documents are required in order to submit application for temporary residence status:

  1. Notarized copy of your birth certificate with official translation into Spanish
  2. Copy of each page of your passport with official translation into Spanish
  3. Police clearance certificate from home country (showing no previous convictions)
  4. Medical Exams must be done by Immigration Doctors appointed to perform these exams by the Dominican Republic government. The exams consist of Blood Test and X-Rays.
  5. Three sets of photographs. Each set must have a front and side view of your face
  6. Guarantor must be a citizen of the Dominican Republic
  7. Mailing address in the Dominican Republic

Important: Translations into Spanish must be done in the Dominican Republic. Translations done in foreign countries will not do. All the documents (copy of passport, copy of birth certificate, original Police clearance certificate) you bring into the Dominican Republic for immigration purposes must have apostil.

The Immigration Process and Citizenship

You can start with the immigration process as soon as you have arrived in the Dominican Republic. You can come to the Dominican Republic as a tourist and apply for residency right away. Make sure that you have prepared and brought with you all the required papers (notarized copy of passport, notarized copy of birth certificate, original police clearance certificate). All the three documents must contain apostil. Translations into Spanish, medical examinations, photographs can be done on the spot with assistance of local lawyer we can recommend. All the documents must be submitted to the Immigration Office. Once your application is submitted, you will be assigned a registration number. This is usually a four digit number and once you have it, you can officially and legally work and/or do business in the Dominican Republic. The immigration process typically lasts 3 to 4 months but in case you do everything with assistance of lawyer it takes two months. After two months of expectations you get temporary residence permit (ID-card for 1 year).

Questions Regarding Legal Procedure:
Question: Can you please provide me with the full procedure of how can I obtain the Dominican Passport. Can I know how much will it cost? As well as, if I want to give my family, do I have to bring them with me to Dominican Republic, or its fine if it’s only me who will come? How much does it cost for a single person and for a family? I hope I will receive your reply as soon as possible.
Answer: Unfortunately, in the year of 2011 the legislation of the Dominican Republic changed, and the fast track citizenship option is no longer available. The new citizenship law stipulates that foreigners will be expected to live in the country with temporary residence permit for 5 years, then for two years with permanent residency. And only after 7 years of legal residence they can apply for citizenship.
Question: Can you recommend us some fast citizenship program in Latin America?
Answer: If you are looking for a fast track permanent residency or second citizenship program then probably the best option is Uruguay. In Uruguay you can get permanent residency in scope of 12-18 months from the first entrance into the country and citizenship after 3 or 5 years from entering the country. Those who are married can get citizenship for them and their close family members after 3 years of residence in Uruguay. Those who are not married must wait for 5 years before they can apply for citizenship. Uruguayan passport is an excellent travel document and allows its holder to visit visa-free many countries including all the EU-countries. Another, even better option of fast citizenship programs is Dominica and Grenada (both countries are located in the Caribbean). You can invest 200,000 USD into property located in Dominica or 250,000 USD into real estate in Grenada and apply for citizenship immediately (without mandatory 3 years of physical residence as is the case with Uruguay). Passports of Dominica and Grenada allow visa-free travel to many states including all the EU-countries.

Question: Can I have the information about Uruguay? I read on website that there is no need to invest but they need only enough income per month per person. On that basis we can get citizenship as well for Uruguay. How much income they need and what is the procedure to get citizenship of Uruguay.
Answer: There is no direct citizenship program in Uruguay. You can get permanent residency permit after one year of residence. You can apply for citizenship after 3 years of physical residence in Uruguay. If you are not ready to relocate and live there but need only citizenship and passport this program is not for you.
Question: Can tell me how much income we have to show to get permanent residency in Uruguay for me and my wife? My wife is pregnant so after delivery should we show more income? What source of income do they need?
Answer: For the purpose of permanent residency in Uruguay you will be expected to show at least 1200 USD of monthly income per person (3600 USD per your family of three). Salary in third countries will not be suitable because it gives an idea that you are not living in Uruguay. Income must me generated by your company in Uruguay or passive income from either Uruguay or other countries (rental income, dividends, royalties, or income from bank deposit and other financial instruments). Citizenship in Uruguay is possible after three years of residency (actual physical presence in the country is required to apply for Uruguayan citizenship).

If you have any question regarding above-mentioned material or wish to use our legal assistance in obtaining residency and/or second citizenship of the Dominican Republic, contact us today


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