Requirements to live in the Dominican Republic

  • By:Vianela Morillo

It is essential to enter the Dominican Republic with a Residence Visa, according to your profile. You would then need to carry out the corresponding process to obtain it through the General Directorate of Migration of the Dominican Republic.

STEP 1.  Apply for a Residence Visa

What are the visa types available in the Dominican Republic for residence purposes?

There are several types of visa in order to legally reside in the Dominican Republic, which are:

  1. Resident visa. This visa type is intended for the following group of individuals:
    • Family Ties (family reunification by marriage or direct dependence).
    • Investors, in accordance with Law 171-07
    • Retirees
    • Rentiers, in accordance with Law 171-07
  2. Business visa with employment purposes
  3. Student visa
  4. Dependent Visa
  5. Business Visa

Where do I get that visa?

At the Dominican consulate of your country of origin or last legal residence.

This means that if your interest is to reside legally in the Dominican Republic, you must have one of these visas before entering the country .


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic is the office who oversees this process. There is a lot of information about this process on their website:

What is the validity of the visa?

Residence Visas (RS) are valid for 60 days, for a single entry. Once in Dominican territory, the beneficiary of this visa must appear before the General Directorate of Immigration, to formalize the procedures for their temporary residence. Additionally, given that this visa is only the first requirement, you would need to make sure you comply with the subsequent requirements. (Section VI, Article 48, Subheading (a) Decree No. 631-11, Regulation of application of the General Law of Migration No. 285-04).

If you DO NOT have a Residence Visa you will NOT be able to regularize your immigration status

The visa stamped in your passport is an essential requirement to be able to obtain residence in the Dominican Republic, if you do not have a residence visa you will not be able to regularize your immigration status in the country. These are granted in person, at the Dominican consulate of your country of residence, by complying with a series of requirements. Entering the country without it, would cause the following to take place:

  1. You will have to leave the country in order to have your visa stamped.
  2. Delays in the regulatory process.
  3. There would be unnecessary expenses.
  4. And I assure you that it will be a big nuisance.

Some of our clients have contacted us while being in the country, and I assure you that uncertainty has been what has characterized their process. Conversely, this is very different than what transpires with individuals who obtain information before leaving their country and decide to immigrate to our country, after making themselves familiar with the process to be followed according to our immigration law. As a result, we recommend that you obtain information about all the topics of interest in the country; below you can find websites where you can find this type of information, such as:

  1. General Directorate of Migration
  2. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  3. Tax system in the country, General Directorate of Internal Taxes (known in Spanish as DGII)
  4. Physical and legal security
  5. Financial and banking system
  6. Labor laws (for potential employers or employees) Ministry of Labor
  7. As well as many other topics that will depend on the target of your interest, which is why we strongly suggest that you seek information on the websites of public institutions that govern the various laws and regulations of the country.

If you obtain the necessary information and carry out the steps needed according to the requirements, I assure you that the process will not be very cumbersome for you.

Limitations caused by being in the Dominican Republic without a regular immigration status

  • You will unable to work (at least legally), which will prevent you receiving the benefits awarded by law for workers.
  • You will not be able to open a bank account.
  • Children of foreign couples, will not be able to obtain nationality or residence due to the condition of their parents.
  • You will not be able to obtain financing or credits such as credit cards, mortgage or personal loans.
  • Renting an apartment or house will be very difficult for you as a foreigner with an irregular status.
  • Along with many others. As a result, we recommend that you obtain all the information you can before emigrating.

STEP 2.  Apply for Residence

You would need to go to the General Directorate of Immigration to proceed with the residency application, as appropriate. The essential requirements are the following:

  • Full-length birth certificate (apostilled).
  • Certificate of No criminal record from your country (apostilled).
  • Copy of the residence visa obtained.
  • Passport (minimum validity of 6 months).

Please Note: Your residence will be issued in accordance with the type of Visa you applied for or obtained at the Dominican Consulate, in the country of your legal residence.

In this office, they proceed to:

  • Authorize and perform medical examinations.
  • Take photos and prints.


Three (3) Months.

STEP 3.  Request your Dominican Identity Card (Cédula)

Go to the Central Electoral Board in order to request your Dominican identity card.


One (1) hour.

That would be all you need to finish the process.

The following are important points that you should take in consideration, and disclose to the lawyer who is advising you, when applying for a residence visa:

  • If you have a criminal record.
  • If you have an infectious disease.

This could lead to denial or ineligibility of your request if you do not follow the process properly.

We are available


Posted in: Foreigners in the Dominican Republic