One of the questions that I get from folks looking to get residency in the Dominican Republic is…
“Do I need to apply for a visa before coming into the country to apply for residency?”
The answer is yes… Ordinarily.
First, you would apply for a residency visa at the Dominican Consulate in your country of origin or where you have legal residence.
And once the visa is issued, you have 60 days to come to the Dominican Republic to begin the residency application process.
That said, the DR allows citizens of certain countries to get a visa if they’re currently in the Dominican Republic. Meaning they can start the residency process without having to leave the country.
There’s a lot of misinformation on websites and forums stating that you cannot apply for a visa if you’re in the Dominican Republic. This information is not accurate.
Due to the Covid situation, most consulates are not allowing applicants to come through the door. So, you’ve got consulates based in the United States, Canada, and some countries in the Caribbean and Latin America that accept passports and other documents via mail or digital scan.
Once the visa is approved, your passport gets a visa stamp and is forwarded back.
We do this process regularly for clients who are already living in the Dominican Republic.
Some consulates in specific countries will not allow this as this process will depend on your country of origin. In these cases, you would need to begin the visa process in your home country.
While it does not necessarily affect you starting the residency process, I’d like to note that the immigration department considers a visa issued to a foreigner while he or she is on Dominican soil an irregular visa. There is a penalty, however, which I’ll address in a moment.
Once your passport with your visa comes back, we submit a request to immigration via the correspondence department. In the request, we ask the director to start an application for residency with an irregular visa.
A month later, more or less, we’ll receive a written response with a docket number with the director’s authorization to proceed with the residency application with an irregular visa. You’ll have to pay 15,000 Dominican Pesos or around US$263 at today’s exchange rate.
If you’re currently residing or living in the Dominican Republic and you’d like to get the residency process started without going back to your home country, get in touch with us here.
Special Note: You can you can check out my video on Youtube discussing irregular visas here. Plus, if you haven’t done so already, subscribe to our Youtube channel where we post video content weekly on living in the Dominican Republic, getting residency, banking, real estate and more.