I. Immigration Law Overview

The international immigration in Dominican Republic (DR), is governed under Immigration Law 285-04, enacted on August 15th of 2004 (hereinafter, the “Immigration Law”).

The aim of Immigration Law 285-04, is to organize and regulate migratory flows, in the country in relation to the entry, presence and exit, and the immigration, emigration and return of nationals.

Such migratory condition will be afforded to any foreign national after complying with the required qualifications for entry or remaining in the country.  After fulfilling the requirements, the competent authority will issue a legal document establishing the migration condition and migration category.

Business Immigration
Business Immigration

II. Immigration Authorities

The authorities in charge of the application of Immigration Law 285-04, are: the National Board of Migration (CNM), as coordinator of the governmental bodies in charge of application of the national migratory policies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX), Ministry of Interior and Police (MIP), and the Directorate General of Migration (DGM).

III. Entry Visas

For Immigration Law 285-04 purposes, a visa is the permit granted by the competent officials from the MIREX or the consular services, issued on valid passports or travel documents recognized as such.

According to Law 285-04, a visa granted to a foreign national is not deemed to be unconditional entry to the country, therefore, it can be revoked by the Immigration authorities, if one of the causes of inadmissibility is found or by cause of deportation, established by Law.

According to Law, the MIREX will authorize its consular service and the Foreign Service offices to grant the following visas: Diplomatic, Official, Courtesy, Business, Dependency, Tourism, Resident visas, Student visas and any other category established by Law, in favor of foreign nationals that wish and qualify to enter to the DR.

IV. Immigration Categories

Pursuant to Law, foreign nationals can be admitted to the DR as “Residents” and “Non-residents”, in accordance with the conditions and requirements established by Law and the regulation.

Under Law 285-04, a foreign national can be considered as Resident depending on the activities that the latter undertakes and its conditions, if at the time of its entry is intending to settle or remain in the Dominican territory.

V. Residents Category

The “Residents” category is divided in 2, which are: 1) Permanent Residents and 2) Temporary Residents.

A foreign national is considered to be a permanent resident when due to the activities it undertakes and/or its conditions, it enters to the country intending to settle and remain definitively. On the other hand, a temporary resident is when a foreign national intends to reside within the country for a short period of time until the conclusion of the activities that originated its entry.

  • Permanent Residents

Pursuant the Immigration Law, foreign nationals are admitted as permanent residents when they qualify as:

  • Immigrants: it is understood by Law that such foreign national have a professional qualification or occupation that the country requires or they fix within the shortages occupation list;
  • Investors: Foreign nationals that provide their resources for undertaking business activities in the country;
  • Pensioners and retired foreign nationals;
  • Foreign relatives of Dominican citizens or permanent resident foreigner’s family.
  • Temporary Residents

According to Law 285-04, foreign nationals admitted as temporary residents are those that qualify within the following subcategories:

  • Scientists, professionals, journalists, specialized personnel, athletes and artists, hired by public or private institutions that carry out activities within the country;
  • Business owners, investors, businesspersons, industrial and management personnel of local or foreign companies established in the country;
  • Technicians, high skilled workers;
  • Foreign nationals admitted to the country with a resident visa and need to complete the steps needed within the country for the formalization of their Dominican resident permit;
  • Among other subcategories.

VI. Non-residents Category

A foreign national is considered as non-resident, when in relation of the activities it carries out, is not intending to settle or live permanently in the country. Non-residents include tourists, being those whose its entry to the country is for the purpose of pleasure, recreation, resting or amusement, having the financial resources to do so; business people; crew members; transit passengers; temporary workers.

The DGM may cancel the permanence of foreign nationals admitted to the country by any migration category or subcategory, if those nationals have declared or falsified documents to obtain entry and permanence permits.

This publication is provided for informational purposes only and not as legal advice. Any transaction related to any of the described aspects shall require advice and be specifically consulted with the firm in advance. © 2024 Arthur & Castillo | Dominican Law. Next

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