The Dominican Republic has a range of visa and residency options for foreigners looking to make the island their home. The country allows for dual, even triple, citizenships allowing residents to get on an easy path to permanent citizenship if desired while keeping their original one. Moving here will be the life change you’ve been dreaming of, and here is how you can do it.
There are numerous types of visas that you could be eligible for in the Dominican Republic. There are business visas, student visas, and three visa programs that qualify for temporary residency: a pensionado visa, a rentista visa, and an investor visa.
Business visas are issued to foreigners whose primary purpose for living in the Dominican Republic is for work. This visa is usually granted to individuals with fixed-term contracts in companies based in the country and can be renewed each year that the contract is valid. This visa allows you the opportunity to apply for a drivers license, open a bank account, and enjoy applicable customs benefits.
Student visas are given to travelers whose primary purpose is to study in the Dominican Republic. These visas are issued only to students who have been accepted by a Dominican educational institution and must be renewed each year.
A pensionado visa is available for retirees looking to enjoy the island lifestyle. This visa grants immediate residency once it is approved and usually takes about 45 days to obtain. To be eligible for a pensionado visa, proof of a pension of at least USD 1,500 per month is required as well as an extra USD 250 per dependent. This visa comes with benefits and tax breaks and the ability to receive social security benefits regardless of citizenship status. After three years of residency, residents with this visa are expected to pay taxes on global income and are exempt from paying taxes on pensions and social security benefits.
A rentista visa requires proof of at least USD 2,000 income per month from renting out a property abroad. Once this sum is transferred into a local bank account showing money brought into the country, you become eligible for this visa. A rentista visa is valid for two years, is renewable, and comes with perks. Not only are you protected from overseas taxation and only taxed on Dominican income not global, but this visa also gives you tax breaks purchasing property in the country and immediate residency.
An investor visa requires an investment of at least USD 200,000 in a local business or financial instrument. You can invest commercially or through real estate to qualify for this visa, and an investor visa grants immediate residency in the Dominican Republic.
It is also possible to obtain a temporary or provisional residency without one of the three visas listed above. Obtaining temporary residency allows for foreigners to live and work in the country legally for a year. The process takes three to six months and costs USD 125 to apply. There is a lot of paperwork required, however once temporary residency is granted; it is renewable. After five years as a temporary resident, you become eligible to apply for a permanent residence.
Permanent residency is the step before becoming a citizen of the Dominican Republic. If you obtain any of the three visas above, you automatically gain residency without having to wait. Permanent residency must be renewed each year, and once you have been a permanent resident for two years, totaling in seven years living legally in the Dominican Republic, you are then eligible to apply for citizenship.
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