Residency and Citizenship in the
There are many advantages to getting residency in the Dominican Republic. A
resident can work and do business in the Dominican Republic, whereas a
non-resident cannot do so legally. Being a resident also facilitates a number of
business transactions in the DR, including obtaining bank loans and applying for
credit. Additionally, residents donít have to post a bond (usually quite high)
in court when they decide to sue in the Dominican Republic, while a non-resident
is required to do so.
A resident can enter the Dominican Republic without having to buy a tourist
card; a non-resident must obtain a visa or buy a tourist card that costs US$10.
Residency also affects inheritances. Non-resident beneficiaries must pay a 50%
surcharge on estate taxes.
A resident is allowed to bring in their household items, ranging from kitchen
appliances to furniture, tax-free and can import a vehicle with tax exemption.
In addition, residents donít need to purchase a return ticket when traveling to
As a resident you can obtain a valid Dominican driver's license so that your
insurance plan will cover you if you are involved in a traffic accident, as
foreign driver's licenses are only valid for the first 90 days.
Educationally, being a resident has great advantages. As a resident you can go
to any Dominican school or university and pay in pesos, greatly reducing the
cost of a quality education. International students pay tuition fees in dollars,
while residents and citizens pay in pesos.
There are a few disadvantages to becoming a Dominican Resident. As a resident
you are subject to income tax on worldwide income from investments abroad after
the third year of residency in the country. However, this applies only to income
from financial investments, not to income from other sources such as personal
work. Of course, the resident will also pay income tax on Dominican income.
As for those inquiring about Dominican citizenship, you are entitled to
citizenship by being the child of a Dominican citizen or through marriage. A
foreign woman who marries a Dominican has the right to Dominican citizenship,
though this does not work in reverse. A foreign man who marries a Dominican
woman does not have an automatic right to Dominican citizenship.
For those who are not offspring of Dominicans or married to one, Law 1683 (dated
1948) and its modifications establishes that a person is eligible to obtain
Dominican nationality after having resided in the country for at least six
months after having obtained legal domicile (permanent residence card), having
resided continually in the country for at least two years, having resided
continually in the country for at least six months and having formed a business
or purchased real estate, or having served in the Dominican Armed Forces. Also,
a person can be granted citizenship if theyíve obtained a special concession
from the President, which may be granted for having served the DR with merit.
Both the US and the Dominican Republic recognize dual citizenship. US
jurisprudence establishes that US citizenship is only lost if the citizen
expressly renounces his US citizenship. A Dominican who is also an American may
vote in the US without fear of losing his/her Dominican citizenship.
US-born children who have a Dominican parent have the option of acquiring
Dominican citizenship once they are 18 years old. The person would then be both
an American and a Dominican.
Some restrictions do apply. For example a Dominican with another nationality
cannot hold certain offices. Dominicans with an American passport are not
eligible to be President or Vice President. Likewise, the US government will not
recognize Dominicans with US citizenship as diplomats or consuls.
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