Updated: Apr 16, 2019
Prior to applying for permanent residency as a pensioner or investor you are required to have a bank account in the Dominican Republic. (Dominican Immigration does not require those that apply for temporary residency to have a bank account, but it is beneficial to have a bank account in the DR anyway.) Some questions to consider prior to opening a bank account include:
Does the bank have a branch in the town or city where I live?
Is there online banking available in English?
Does the local branch have an English speaking agent?
Among the banks available to choose from (in order of amount of bank branches, starting with the bank with most bank branches) include:
Banco de Reservas - https://www.banreservas.com/
Banco Popular - https://www.popularenlinea.com/
Banco BHD Leon - https://www.bhdleon.com.do/
We have also noticed that smaller banks (banks with less branches) are good because they have lower wait times, are more responsive to calls or emails and may have better customer service. Some examples include:
Banco del Progreso - https://www.progreso.com.do/
Banco Santa Cruz - https://www.bsc.com.do/
As a foreigner, banks may ask you for a number of documents in order to open a bank account. Depending on the bank these may include the following:
Driver´s License or picture ID
Social Security Card (Only required for US citizens or US persons)
Pension documents (if retired)
Letter from employer (if employed)
Bank reference letter (from a bank in your country of origin)
Bank statements for the last 3 months
If you are not a legal resident of the Dominican Republic the bank may only allow you to open a bank account during the period of time allotted by your entry visa (tourist visa, RS visa, etc). For this purpose the bank representative may check the last entry stamp on your passport in order to confirm when you entered the DR and the length of your visa.
Please have as many of these items on hand prior to opening a bank account in the Dominican Republic. You may also need to be accompanied by someone who is fluent in Spanish and your language so that you may be able to clearly communicate with the bank agent.
Depending on the bank you choose you will need a minimum of 500 - 5000 Dominican pesos (for a Dominican peso savings account) or US$300 - US$500 dollars (for a US dollar saving account). A debit card will be issued for the account(s) you open if you wish. Please ask about the monthly fees charged by the bank since you will need to keep the bank balance above the minimum to avoid additional fees. Also, in order to avoid your account being closed there should be occasional movement in the account by making purchases, withdrawals or deposits.
Prior to applying for permanent Dominican residency with Immigration you will need a bank reference letter from your Dominican bank stating that you have an account with their bank. This letter should be address to Direccion General de Migracion and should be signed (by the bank manager) and sealed by the bank.
Part of the services we provide to our clients include assisting them compile the list of required documents, serving as a Dominican reference and also serving as a translator.
Abreu & Associates Immigration Services