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Dominican Republic - Visas

When travelling to the Dominican Republic, visitors should be aware that there are two main types of visa: tourist and business. There are some countries whose citizens do not need a visa to enter this country. These are Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Israel, Japan, Peru, South Korea, and Uruguay. Some visitors are obliged to buy a tourist card upon arrival in Dominican Republic. The tourist card costs $10 and it is valid for 30 days.

Tourist visa and tourist card

When arriving at the airport, visitors don't need to go to the immigration office, but to a small desk located in the immigration hall. There, they have to fill in a form and purchase the tourist card. This card has to be paid for in US dollars. It is important to know that the cost and duration of the tourist card can change periodically.

It is not complicated to stay more than the 30 days that are allowed by the tourist visa. Numerous expats live in the Dominican Republic without applying for residency. You can do this by paying an over-stay fine. An over-stay of 30 days can cost around $10, while staying for a year longer is around $100. The maximum fee for an over-stay of 5 years or more is around $450. The full list of over-stay terms and conditions can be found on the government website.

Residents of numerous countries have to obtain a tourist visa before arriving in the country. It is not possible to purchase a card upon arrival. The tourist visa can be obtained in any Dominican consulate abroad. If you don't have a Dominican consulate in your home country, then you should look for the nearest one. The difference between a tourist visa and a tourist card is in the overstay options. After the tourist visa expires, those who stay in the country are considered to be there illegally, and the cost of that is deportation.

Business visa

Business visas have single and multiple entry options and should be purchased in the embassy in your home country. If there's no embassy in your country, you can do it instead in a neighbouring country. The application includes a letter from your employer, stating the reason for the stay; copies of all pages of the passport; a certificate of a good conduct in your home country; and airplane and hotel reservations.

Visas for minors

Another thing to consider is the problem of minors visiting the Dominican Republic. Whether they are travelling alone, without legal guardians or parents, or with only one parent, they have to possess a written authorization from the parent who is not travelling with them.

Required documentation

All tourists and business people need to provide proof that they have a return ticket to leave the country at some point. Several airlines do not allow people to board the plane and go to the Dominican Republic without a two-way ticket. Those who wish to overstay their tourist visa should buy a flexible return ticket and then cancel it upon arrival.

Registration and residency status

The picture looks quite unclear when it comes to the residency in this country. There are numerous expats who live here without residency, but theoretically it is mandatory. In recent years, the Dominican government has been making efforts to regulate the issue of people living here illegally.

Being a resident of Dominican Republic has a lot of advantages. You can enter the country without a need for a tourist visa, using your passport and Dominican residency. In addition to that, there is no need for a return ticket when entering the Dominican Republic. Once you're a resident of DR, you can expect inheritance taxes and education fees to be lower. You're also able to get a driving license, which is important because you can drive only for 90 days with an international license. The Dominican Republic does not have work permits, but many companies still do not wish to employ expats unless they have Dominican residency.

Applying for residency

Even though this is a pretty straightforward process, it is best to have a lawyer when applying. The overall cost of this application ranges from $1000 to $1500. Applicants need to provide the following documents:

- Two copies of all passport pages
- Birth certificate translated into Spanish
- Marriage certificate translated into Spanish (if married)
- A letter of good conduct from the home country
- A good conduct certificate from the Dominican Republic
- Front and side-view photos
- A copy of employment agreement or proof of real estate purchase in DR
- A letter of guarantee from a Dominican citizen or resident
- A medical examination certificate (blood and urine for HIV test, TB and drug use)

You should be aware that all documents in foreign languages must be translated into Spanish and legalized. This process takes several months, but in some cases, it can be up to a year long.

The first residency card is a provisional one. It means that expats need to go through the same process once again in the following year in order to obtain a permanent residency. The documentation that is required is the same as for the first residency card.

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