On the Ground in the

by Mark Svoboda

Census records from 1514 reveal that 40% of Spanish men in the colony had Taíno wives. and tobacco were grown by the Taínos. during the first of his voyages in search of India. Spain lost interest in its Caribbean holdings. But the Taínos were nearly wiped out within just a few decades by diseases brought to the island by colonists. Haiti became the first majority-black republic in the New World. ceded the western part of the island of Hispaniola to France. The death of L’ouverture did not stop his movement. Spain.On the Ground in the he Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of Hispaniola. In 1697. with an estimated population of nearly 10 million people. an army sent by Napoleon captured L’ouverture and sent him to France. But there are still descendants of the Taínos. as in 1808. In 1795.671 square kilometers (18. making it the oldest European city in the “New World. his brother Bartholomew Columbus founded the city of Santo Domingo. It is also one of the easiest countries to obtain a second passport from. later to become Haiti. In 1801. thus establishing control over the entire island. 2 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N.792 sq mi). the Treaty of Basilea ceded the remaining territory of Hispaniola to France. opening the way for French buccaneers to settle the western side of the island. 1492.000 to one million.” Hispaniola became a springboard for further Spanish colonization of the Americas. slaves were revolting against France. C O M . the Holy Roman Empire. and in 1804. but not for long. The Eastern part of Hispaniola was still ruled by France. his army captured Santo Domingo. The new territory carried the name of Saint-Domingue. peanuts. During this time. the Treaty of Ryswick. however. guava. his followers succeeded in expelling France from western part of the island and establishing the Republic of Haiti. led by the Saint-Domingue slave Toussaint L’ouverture. as well as by their being overworked as slaves. FIRST ARRIVALS The native Taínos (meaning “good” or “noble” in their own language) lived on the island of Hispaniola before the arrival of Christopher Columbus. INDEPENDENCE & OCCUPATION Christopher Columbus landed on the island on December 5. but with the pursuit of gold. consisting of 48. The Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation. pineapple. Sweet potatoes. Total peak population estimations vary from 100. and the Netherlands. Four years later. where he died in prison. an agreement between France and an alliance of England. but in 1802. due to the interracial marriages during the colonial period. thus returning Santo Domingo to Spanish control. a part of the Greater Antilles Archipelago. the upper class in Santo Domingo began yet another revolution.

11% are black. In 1844. For 30 years between these two occupations. naming Santo Domingo as the capital.41 births per woman. the War of the Restoration began against Spain. The Dominican Republic. During the 20th century there were two occupations of the Dominican Republic by US military forces: from 1916 to 1924 and from 1965 to 1966. Matías Ramón Mella. and in 1865. in 1863. a period of brutal military rule by Haiti. Haiti seized the opportunity and attacked its neighbor. this time forever. after years of war organized by Juan Pablo Duarte. Spain decided to abandon the island. and Francisco del Rosario Sánchez.On the Ground in the Historic part of Santo Domingo In 1821. Approximately 75% of the population lives in urban areas. It was a tumultuous time for Dominicans. 16% are white. who are considered the founding fathers of the Republic. and 73% are of mixed heritage. POPULATION The population of the Dominican Republic is nearly 10 million people and growing at a steady rate. the Dominican Republic finally achieved independence from Haiti. C O M . with a fertility rate of 2. reverted to Spanish rule (the only country in Latin America to do so) in fear of another Haitian invasion. Most of the people (95%) consider themselves Roman Catholic. 3 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N. the people in the Spanish (eastern) side of the island declared their independence from Spain. in 1861. occupying it for more than two decades. But two years later. Rafael Trujillo ruled as one of the bloodiest dictators in Latin America.

70% of all exports go through FTZ. the largest export item for the country. Export of medical equipment.20. The country’s performance in the Index has been declining since 2010. C O M . Frequent blackouts are routine. for example. Exports play a substantial role in the economy. According to the World Bank. 4 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N.On the Ground in the The Dominican Republic is without a doubt an important economy in the area. I have found that. The number of people below the poverty line has been decreasing. with an estimated $3. and number 24 out of 33 ranked Latin economies. as rents for three-bedroom apartments in Santo Domingo range from US$496 (in suburbs) to US$660 (in city center). Remittances are also an important part of the economy. accounts for 11% of the country’s exports. price levels in Santo Domingo (the capital) are 62. depending on where you live.7 billion in 2012. just below Costa Rica. and Delhi is the cheapest capital. The 2013 Index of Economic Freedom ranks the Dominican Republic as “mostly unfree. (Did you know that Chile (#7) is above the USA (#10) in that Index?) Among other challenges. The standard used by this service is New York City. with an index of 136. though it is still staggeringly high at 34% as of 2010. Now let’s get to the bright side. According to the free and easy-to-use Numbeo service. ranked in the upper-middle income. you can rent a small one-bedroom apartment in a pretty good neighborhood of the capital city for US$250. The US and the EU are the biggest trading partners. though tourism. According to my own experience. along with Haiti.9 for US$1 as of February 2013. The exchange rate for the Dominican peso (RD$) is 40. with an index of 34. and agriculture are the largest sources of income for the country. you may expect your lights to go out several times a week. But access to electricity in tourist-heavy areas as well as in Free Trade Zones seems to be much more stable. especially exports from the Free Trade Zones (FTZ). and skin color really doesn’t play any significant role here. The Dominican Republic is rich in natural resources. excluding rent.600. The Dominican Republic is a developing nation. which has an index of 100. It is the third-largest economy (after Cuba and Puerto Rico) in the Caribbean. the rate was approximately RD$35 for US$1. as it ranks the country 116th in the world.” placing it at number 87 in the world. lack of reliable electricity has been a plague for the country for many years now. Due to the changes in exchange rates. Tourism alone brought approximately $4. Sydney ranks as one of the most expensive cities. industry. People are open-minded. white.3 billion in 2011. Santo Domingo would probably be even cheaper if rent were included in the calculations. it’s not that easy to do business in the Dominican Republic. and Guyana. and the rate is constantly climbing in favor of the US dollar (US$). Asian. In 2009. with a GDP per capita of US$9. In the Dominican Republic you can find people of all races. To put this into prospective. the country is getting increasingly cheaper for tourists who spend their dollars and euros. or anywhere in the middle. It really doesn’t matter if you are black. El Salvador. with about 53% of the tourists coming from the US and Canada.

5 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N. Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are here. Almost 4 million people visit Punta Cana each year. the weather becomes a little uncomfortable due to humidity and high temperatures of up to 31°C (87°F). C O M . 25% of this area is protected and includes 6 scientific reserves and 16 national parks (two of which are marine reserves). and it is easy to understand why. The Dominican Republic has more than 180 miles of beautiful beaches. with 20 miles of world-famous pristine beaches.On the Ground in the Sosúa – one of the resort towns located in the Northern part of the country CLIMATE Christopher Columbus described the Dominican Republic as “The Fairest Land Under Heaven” when he landed here in 1492. with no air conditioning necessary. Winters are cooler and very pleasant. In summer months. The Dominican Republic takes 2/3 of the Hispaniola Island and is home to an incredibly diverse ecosystem. Many readers will have heard of Punta Cana. The Dominican Republic has a tropical climate with an average annual temperature of 25°C (77°F).

when I asked locals about their most favorite beach. It doesn’t get much warmer than 80°F (26°C) there in the summer. 6 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N. it would be wrong to assume that everything in the Dominican Republic is about beaches.087 meters or 10. and it is not difficult to imagine that you are in the Andes of Ecuador. The Dominican Republic also has the highest point in the Antilles: Pico Duarte (3. Though its beaches are what make the Dominican Republic famous. C O M .128 feet).On the Ground in the Punta Cana’s Coast The Punta Cana Airport is the busiest airport in the country and second busiest in the Caribbean. with multiple destinations to North and South America and Europe as far as Moscow. Constanza is a lovely little town located in the highlands near Pico Duarte. And while Punta Cana is the most famous beach destination in the Dominican Republic. Nagua was the popular choice due to its close proximity to Santo Domingo and comparative lack of tourists.

just like almost anywhere in Latin America.5% (depending on the size of deposit). The lady at the counter did not speak English. but she quickly called someone who did. American Express is accepted at a limited number of locations. For a one-year peso-denominated deposit. C O M . I also asked about their CD interest rates. so I would be careful about using them.5% (the latter being for investments greater than US$100.000). MasterCard and Visa are accepted in most of the retail outlets. If you are in the Dominican Republic. opening an account should not be difficult. they pay 2. I would need to bring my passport. and they were far from great. making it quite difficult to accomplish basic financial transactions. varying from 0. Dollar-denominated one-year CD rates are much lower. references from two people.4% the peso has been losing against the dollar. and I would avoid holding large amounts of money in the country. which is near the 3. I personally went to a Canada-based Scotia Bank and was told that in order to open an account.On the Ground in the Highlands near Constanza BANKING AND PERSONAL FINANCE The Dominican Republic has not historically been a beacon of banking stability. 7 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N. Cambios (money exchange places) are plentiful around the country. Cash (especially dollars) is definitely king here. and a recommendation from my own bank back home.35% to 0.75-4. Credit card fraud occurs in the Dominican Republic. The battles against drugs and money laundering are obvious. My own wire transfer from the US to a friend in Santo Domingo took almost a week to clear.

On the Ground in the LIFESTYLE As mentioned earlier. but imports from America cost more than the same item in the US. 8 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N. which is likely. Private medical insurance is common and readily available. and in case of emergency you’re better off relying on a personal means of transport. PLUS the driver –that’s four passengers in the back and two in front. Local groceries are affordable. Public health care. Also. The standard of medical facilities varies from one clinic or hospital to another. The median monthly salary in Santo Domingo is about RD$33. or just use a conventional taxi. public services. which are not as plentiful but are still inexpensive. A typical fully loaded public car seats six people. as it is almost impossible to get a timely appointment. and US$4-5 will feed you well in places where locals eat.This resource provides a pretty good overview of options available. is widely used by pregnant women from Haiti. the cost of living in the Dominican Republic is affordable. MEDICAL CARE AND FACILITIES Private health and medical care is adequate here. As with many other countries. Literally anywhere you go. Labor is cheap. with a maximum fare of RD$250 (less than US$7) inside Santo Domingo – unless you are charged a gringo price. which is equal to about US$800. people tend to have shopping bags and kids on their laps (as kids are free). such as ambulances. Restaurants are relatively inexpensive. rarely work efficiently. The problem is that most of the public cars are incredibly old and with limited Spanish. as Dominicans absolutely love to have a good time. One solution is to pay double or triple fare. it was difficult to determine the routes. as none of the taxis have meters. It is common to have to wait several months before receiving medical care. They are inexpensive at RD$25 (about 63 cents US). In most of the cars. C O M . Public health care may not be the best choice for an expat. Most of the population uses public buses and so-called public cars which are plentiful everywhere and follow established routes.000. the door handles are removed to give additional much-needed space to the passengers. At present. who cross the border to give birth and receive needed medical attention they cannot get in their own country. A full-time maid (to care for your home and children) will not cost you more than US$200 a month. there is a choice between free public medical care and private coverage. available to everyone. The nightlife can be very exciting here. you hear bachata and merengue. Also. Dining in the more fancy restaurants of Santo Domingo or Boca Chica would cost around US$20 per person. two music styles and dances that are said to have originated on the island. there is only one subway line in Santo Domingo. including a bottle of wine. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Public transportation in the big cities is very limited.

As always. do your own due diligence. the Dominican Republic government may change its citizenship requirements. and prices and levels of services vary significantly. The total charge quoted for fast-track residency (see option #2 below) is US$22. the 2010 earthquake in neighboring Haiti). When you stop at an intersection in Santo Domingo. someone will often rush to clean your front window without asking you and will expect a payment for it. [Editor’s note:This is information that has been verified by IM correspondent Mark Svoboda’s on-the-ground research. but be prepared to spend significantly more time on the same task here compared to what you would spend in US. Please do your own due diligence when choosing a provider. Otherwise I wouldn’t keep coming back. But don’t get me wrong: the majority of Dominicans are wonderful and open-hearted people. The good thing is that you would also probably spend only 1/3 the money on the same service. Prices at Guzman y Ariza (henceforth “Guzman”) are significantly lower compared to package providers like Ascot. Refusing to pay may not be the wisest choice. some of the locals may seem to be little too intrusive and annoying. has a very good reputation (at least from what I could find). The Latin “mañana culture” is manifest here. for example. but all the immigration issues go through their main office in Santo Domingo.300. Outside the resort areas. Homicide rates have been going up over the last decade from lower teens in 2001 to about 25 per 100. you may be overwhelmed by the relative chaos in the streets and unorganized traffic flows. Natural disasters are another major downside. Things rarely get done on time. Earthquakes are common in Hispaniola. but devastating hurricanes are very rare. for example. for example.] The area of residency and citizenship providers in the Dominican Republic is very crowded. Ascot Advisory. as options are ample. I personally visited their office in Santo Domingo and saw their signs in other cities. because the washer may exact a small revenge as you drive away. and one always needs to be aware of one’s surroundings. Guzman has offices in several locations in the Dominican Republic. (Remember.000 in 2010. 9 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get anything done here. and based on their reputation. Hurricane season in the Dominican Republic is between June and November. C O M . such as Punta Cana. I am as confident as a person can be without actually going through the process that they will get the job done. They are actually on the ground and go through the process themselves. To a Westerner who generally likes to be left alone in the street or on the beach. One of the firms that I contacted. Like many other countries.On the Ground in the Crime is pretty bad in the big cities.

Apply for temporary residency. you may apply for citizenship. C O M .com). • Fees do not include travel or hotel costs in the Dominican Republic. Cost of this stage: $1.478 4.000 refundable investment (see option #3 below). It is valid for two years. for a total of five years of temporary residency.222 (citizenship) + $175 (passport issuance) = $4. That residency is valid for one year. At the time of application for citizenship. OPTION #1 REGULAR RESIDENCY TO CITIZENSHIP PROCESS • Approximate cost: $13. (Editors note:The following is from the Guzman y Ariza law firm and Mark’s personal research. apply for renewal. She has been very helpful in my information-gathering process. • Applicant always needs to get a special “residency visa” issued in the Dominican consulate of your home country.428 (permanent residency renewal) + $3.399 each) = $7. The shortest path to obtain a Dominican Republic passport and citizenship takes two years and costs US$6. and I advise you to contact her if you choose to work with the firm.738 (temporary residency application) + $5. Costs of this stage: $1. the permanent residency should be renewed.825 = $13.) The following is applicable to all types of residencies: • Fees are the same for additional applicants as for the primary applicant. You will need to renew it four times. issued by the Dominican Consulate of your country of origin or from the closest country with a Dominican Consulate 2. the foreign applicant 10 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N. Costs of this stage: $1.478 + $4.334 + $1.596 (four times of temporary residency renewal at $1.637 In Detail: Obtaining regular residency in the Dominican Republic is a two-step procedure.825 Total approximate time to receive a passport: five years of temporary residency + two years of permanent residency + one year for all other various procedures = eight years Total approximate fees: $7. After the fifth year is complete. At the same time. First. There are three residency/citizenship options with varying requirements.334 3. Obtain a residency visa. • All fees are payable 70% in advance and the balance upon obtaining the applied-for status. After two years of permanent residency.637 • Time to passport: eight years Summary: 1.On the Ground in the My contact in the firm was Licelotte Minaya (lminaya@drlawyer. apply for permanent residency.642 in fees plus a US$200.

from the authorities in the applicant’s country of residence. when applicable. the marriage certificate must be apostilled. The Immigration Department requires that these tests be preauthorized.On the Ground in the must obtain provisional resident status. If such country is a party of the Hague Convention. apostilled in the country where it was issued. • A certificate of no criminal record from the authorities in the applicant’s country of origin. white background required. The passport will be returned to you immediately after being photocopied. who is drug-free. C O M . At your first meeting in the Guzman office. and the stamp of entrance into the Dominican Republic). or authenticated at the Dominican Consulate nearest to the place of issue of the document. you will provide Guzman’s attorney or paralegal with the documents listed above. and chest x-rays) at a government-designated location. the applicant must travel to the Dominican Republic with the following documents: • Residency Visa. or if the applicant has been residing outside his country of origin for five years or more. issued by the Dominican Consulate of your country of origin or from the closest country with a Dominican Consulate. accessories such as earrings or sunglasses not allowed. an application must be filed for permanent residence status. • Passport of the applicant (with the visa stamp. To obtain this preauthorization the applicant must provide Guzman with a copy of the passport and a copy of the visa stamp.) • Original or certified copy of the birth certificate. If such country is a party of the Hague Convention (as the US is). The first phase of the provisional residency consists of medical tests (blood sample. upon expiration of the fifth year of the provisional residency. Once obtained. • Eight pictures (2” by 2”). or authenticated at the Dominican Consulate nearest to the place of issue of the document. • If two spouses are applying together they will need an original or certified copy of the marriage certificate. you will have to fly back before you can apply for residency. and has a clean police record. This time estimate assumes that all required documents have been provided and authenticated. The certificate should be apostilled in the country where it was issued or authenticated at the Dominican Consulate nearest to the place of issue of the document. (You cannot apply for this while in the Dominican Republic. 11 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N. All residency applications are filed through the Guzman Santo Domingo office. permanent residency must be renewed every two years. then. valid for one year from the date the applicant receives his or her residency card. The time involved in obtaining provisional residency is usually six months from the time the application is filed. apostilled in the country where it was issued. If you are already in the Dominican Republic without this Residency Visa. four front and four profile. To begin the residency process. and the authentication apostilled if the authentication country is in the Hague Convention. urine sample. Requirements for Dominican residency are easily met by anybody in good health. renewable once every year for a total of five years. since the immigration authorities are based there. the birth certificate must be apostilled.

3. at the Guzman office. Guzman will schedule your medical appointment for the following business day. Guzman will prepare the documentation to submit your application to the Immigration Department. including waiting and travel time. backed by evidence of solvency. If approved. This phase normally takes 10-15 days. property titles. or more information is required from the applicant (for example. Guzman will contact you promptly when a decision has been made on your application. you will depart with the paralegal for the medical tests. Guzman must provide the Immigration Department with the applicant’s original birth certificate duly translated into Spanish and legalized. etc.m. A notarized letter of guarantee from a Dominican person or corporation 2. and the authentication apostilled if such country is a party of the Hague Convention. After the medical tests. Completed application forms (All forms submitted with the application become part of the government file and will not be returned to the applicant. In addition to documents (a) to (e) listed above. or authenticated at the Dominican Consulate nearest to the place where the document was translated. On the other hand. then it must be either apostilled in the country where it was translated (if a Hague Convention country).) Once the application is filed. such as bank deposits. if you request the translation from Guzman. As a part of the medical test preauthorization. OPTION #2 FAST TRACK RESIDENCY PROGRAM • Approximate cost: $6. which take approximately three to four hours. Guzman will file on your behalf: 1. A certificate of good behavior from the Dominican authorities 5. who will take you to the location where the tests are performed. If the translation was completed by you.051 • Time to passport: three years 12 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N. An affidavit regarding the solvency of the guarantor. At approximately 9:00 a. your presence will be required in Santo Domingo in order to receive your residency card and cédula (the Dominican national ID card). Upon obtaining provisional residency. you will have a six-month period during which you can bring your household goods into the Dominican Republic duty free.On the Ground in the Once the authorization has been granted. C O M . when an individual with the same name appears in an international criminal records database). they will need approximately five working days (before the medical tests) to complete the translation and the required legalization of the translation. attorneys have no knowledge of the internal process at the Immigration Department or at other entities (such as Interpol) until the application has been approved or rejected. A Power of Attorney 4.. at which time the paralegal will review your file with you. at which time you will meet a paralegal at Guzman’s office. The appointment time will be 8:00 a.m.

or equivalent amount in Dominican pesos. Interest derived from securities issued in foreign currency abroad. derived from a pension or retirement income from a foreign source (government. or foreign companies) who is interested in permanently relocating his residency to the Dominican Republic and will thereon receive the benefits of his pension or retirement income in the country. After holding the permanent residency for two years.500 for retirees or $2. individuals with income derived from a non-Dominican source that match either of the two descriptions below will be allowed to obtain their provisional Dominican residency in 45 days and receive certain customs and tax exemptions.654 (for residency application) + $3. This category is probably the most advantageous in term of cost vs. and I was told that most people applying for residency and citizenship in the country go this route. Total approximate time to receive a passport: two years of permanent residency + one year for various other procedures = three years Total approximate fees: $2. Investments in foreign companies established abroad 4. Rentista: a foreign individual who receives a minimum fixed monthly income of $2. official organizations.500 (or its equivalent in DR pesos). C O M . or dividends derived from investments (or real estate transactions) in the Dominican Republic.000 (or its equivalent in DR pesos). Remittances derived from real estate properties 5. This process is specially designed for retirees and people who can prove stable monthly income (rentistas). whose principal amount has been generated or earned abroad The applicant’s spouse and unmarried children up to 18 years old. Remittances from banks or financial institutions abroad 3. applicant may apply for citizenship.051 In Detail: According to the Special Incentives to Retirees and “Rentistas” Law No. Retiree: any individual who receives a minimum monthly income of $1. Interest. The source of the invested capital must be from abroad. the applicant skips the temporary residency altogether and gets permanent residency right away. The amount of income that needs to be proved is $1.222 (citizenship) +$175 (passport issuance) = $6. as well as adults with disabilities. Profits realized from investments in securities issued in foreign and/or national currency by the Dominican Government or its institutions. which are deposited at financial institutions legally authorized to operate in the Dominican Republic 6. created by one of the following: 1. income. Deposits and/or investments in banks abroad 2. or adults who are able to show proof of being college students and economically dependent on the main 13 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N. time.171-07.000 for persons with means. derived from a foreign source. and the currency exchange needs to be performed locally at any Dominican financial institution 7.On the Ground in the Summary: In this option.

as long as it mentions the project and the parties involved. Original of the birth certificate duly authenticated in the country of origin. where they have worked. then a true copy must be provided by the applicant. Documents required to apply for the Fast Track Residency Program are: 1.” they are required to provide a document that confirms the registration of their foreign investment in the Dominican Republic. the applicant must provide either a) an original of the approval by the Executive or the Executive decree that authorizes them to operate b) the resolution given by the corresponding Dominican government entity which is doing the project. Passport (one complete photocopy). or investing in tourist destinations and/or provinces and/or municipalities in accordance with special tourism incentive laws. This requirement varies depending on their type of investment. promoting. Its translation into Spanish must also undergo the same authentication process. It must show the date of the applicant’s last visit to the Dominican Republic. as follows: 1.On the Ground in the applicant. Please note that for each dependent who applies jointly with the main applicant. Free Zones: the applicant must provide the certification issued by the National Council of Free Zone of Exporting (CNZFE). valid for a minimum of three months. Direct investment: the applicant must show the original (or the request of) registration of the investment. a translation into Spanish must be provided. time 14 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N. 3. C O M . When the foreign applicant is a “rentista. 2. duly signed by the representative of the foreign company/institution or government entity. or private foreign company. issued by the Center for Exports and Imports of the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD) or the pertinent institution in the Dominican Republic. 3. or c) a document that certifies the approval of the contract by the Dominican Congress. or at the nearest Dominican Consulate to the country of origin. or are hired by the Dominican Government. If the document is in another language than Spanish. For companies domiciled in country undertaking. A Certification issued by the Department of Certifications of the Dominican Immigration Department stating the day of the last entrance is also required. 2. Retirees must provide a certification issued by the government. stating that the company is operating as a free zone. duly authenticated by the nearest Dominican Consulate of the country of origin and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic (Cancillería) in Santo Domingo. Completed application forms. These documents must be later authenticated at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo. This document shall contain the personal information of the applicant. If the applicant’s country of origin only issues one original birth certificate. duly authenticated at the nearest Dominican Consulate. official organization. such as Law #158-01. can also apply for this program as dependents. Only one certification per company is required. an additional monthly income of $250 (or its equivalent in local currency) would be needed. 1.

All applicants 16 years of age and up are also required to obtain a Certificate of Good Behavior issued by the local Dominican authorities. For all pictures. A certificate of no criminal record from the authorities in the applicant’s country of origin. 7. it must be translated into Spanish (if needed) and authenticated at the nearest Dominican Consulate and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo. from the authorities in the applicant’s country of residence. 5. Medical Exam. date of entrance. In addition. 2. and total amount of the monthly income received as a pension or retirement income. When the application includes the spouse and children (under legal age).On the Ground in the worked in the institution. Pictures: Applicant and dependents over 16 years of age are required to file nine 2” x 2” pictures (six front pictures and three right profile). duly legalized by a Notary Public and authenticated at the Attorney General’s Office. a white background is required. in Santo Domingo. children of 18 years of age or more). The certificate should be apostilled in the country where it was issued (if in the Hague Convention). the certificate of good behavior must be issued by the appropriate authorities of the country of the applicant’s last residency. individual person subject to guardianship. duly translated into Spanish (if needed) and authenticated at the nearest Dominican Consulate of the country of origin of the applicant and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic. If the applicant is a shareholder of a Dominican company. legalized by a Notary Public. his/her position in the company. five 2” x 2” pictures are required (three front and two right profile). and accessories such as earrings or sunglasses are not allowed. he/she shall provide an original of the resolution from the Administration Council (Consejo de Administración) of the company. If the applicant has been in country less than 30 days. This document is valid for only 30 days. If the applicant is an employee of a Dominican company. 4. his/her position in the company. If the Employment Agreement comes from abroad. duly registered at the Labor Department. or if the applicant has been residing outside his country of origin for five years or more. and salary. stating the condition of the dependent. a letter needs to be provided and signed by the main applicant. For children under 16. Rentistas must provide the documentation that confirms that they have. along with a letter signed by the employer. This document can be a copy of the fixed income contract/certificate of deposit along with a Spanish translation. 9. all documents listed in paragraphs 15 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N. and legalized at the General Attorney’s Office. showing the personal information of the applicant. certifying the status of the applicant as a shareholder of the company. C O M . If any co-applicants are economically dependent on the main applicant (domestic employee. rentistas are required to show that they are currently receiving this income in the Dominican Republic. if any. by way of copies of the checks and/or wire transfer receipts issued by the foreign bank institution. received a stable and permanent monthly income derived from a foreign source. for a minimum period of five years. and must specify that the main applicant is responsible for expenses and repatriation costs. 8. 3. both duly authenticated by the nearest Dominican Consulate of the country of origin and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic. 6. he/she shall provide an original copy of his/ her Employment Agreement. or authenticated at the nearest Dominican Consulate.

5. You will be able to withdraw your investment after citizenship is granted. which can be obtained with a fixed deposit in a Dominican bank. 16 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N.000 into the Dominican Republic’s financial system. Guzman will first need to incorporate one for you. Obtain the Certificate of Investment. so no personal presence is required. 3.000 refundable investment • Time to passport: two years Summary: This option is by far the fastest way to obtain citizenship but requires a large investment of $200.642 + $200.642 + Incorporation fees for Dominican company In Detail: The process is mostly the same as obtaining regular residency. which means that you must come personally to complete that step in the process. This can be done with a Power of Attorney.) 1. an original of the marriage certificate (and its translation into Spanish. Open a bank account in the name of the corporation. Following is the time line for the process of the investment residency. The money must be deposited until you are fully a citizen. That investment can be a personal Dominican bank account. For technical reasons. and 7 above.000 in the corporate bank account and get a reference letter. 3. 2. C O M . OPTION #3 FAST TRACK RESIDENCY/CITIZENSHIP (BY INVESTMENT) •  Approximate cost: $6. as it will be easier both to open the bank account and to obtain the paperwork for residency.000. 4. Deposit the $200. 4.245 (residency application) + $3. 2. This can be done by filing some forms that Guzman should already have at this point. PA. In addition. Time required: three business days.222 (citizenship) +$175 (passport issuance) = $6. Time: one month. The only difference is that you will need to obtain a Certificate of Investment from the Dominican Republic for a value of $200. (The “PA” refers to Personal Appearance. Total approximate time to receive a passport: two years Total approximate fees: $3. Form a Dominican company. 6. authenticated at the nearest Dominican Consulate and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo is required. Time: three business days. and following a process with The Center for Export and Investment of the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD). must also be provided for each of them. but completely dependent on the bank efficiency. or a Dominican bank account in the name of a Dominican corporation that the client could incorporate for this purpose.On the Ground in the 1. if needed). Guzman recommends the client form a Dominican Limited Liability Corporation for this process.

. Opting for a second citizenship in the Dominican Republic is also an option. there are plenty of investment and business opportunities. 10. Complete necessary documents.On the Ground in the 5. You can learn all about internationalizing yourself with second passports... investing in international stock markets and foreign real estate. setting up an offshore LLC.). 6. 8. moving your cash offshore. 17 I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A N. Time: three months. Start the Investment Residency. Receive residency. 7. C O M . Time: three weeks. you would need to wait for a period of six months before you can apply for Citizenship. The Dominican Republic is a country with exotic beauty and natural sceneries.. Being a free zone. It is relatively easy to get permanent residency in the Dominican Republic. Click here to learn more. you will need to enter the country with a Residency Visa. Time: one business day. certificate of good behavior. Residency approval.You won’t find a better resource for internationalizing your life and your assets.. apostilled in the country where it was issued. Medical exams at the Immigration Department of the Dominican Republic. which are the same as for normal residency (birth certificate. 11. PA. PA.. Time: one business day. etc. 9. After you get the Investment Residency. It’s all available in an information-packed special report from Casey Research titled Going Global 2013. The climate is great for tourism... File preparation and deposit. To be able to complete this part.

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