All ways to obtain Dominican Republic citizenship

7 benefits of a Dominican Republic passport

1. Freedom of travel. Citizens of the Dominican Republic enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 145 countries, including Japan, Singapore, Australia, and many Latin American countries. This can be advantageous for personal travel, as well as for business activities that require global mobility.

2. Business opportunities. The Dominican Republic features a growing economy with increasing foreign investment, especially in such areas as tourism and real estate.

Dominican Republic citizenship provides easier access to local business opportunities and tax incentives. Entrepreneurs with the country’s passport can establish and operate businesses without the restrictions typically placed on foreigners.

3. Tax benefits. The country has a territorial tax system, meaning that income earned outside of the Dominican Republic is not taxed locally. This can be highly advantageous for citizens who earn income internationally.

4. Dual citizenship. The Dominican Republic recognises dual citizenship, allowing individuals to become citizens of the country without renouncing their existing passport. This means one can enjoy the benefits of Dominican Republic citizenship while maintaining ties to their home country.

5. Residency for investors and retirees. Investors benefit from a streamlined naturalisation process and can acquire citizenship in just two years of residency, compared to the standard period of seven years. However, the Dominican Republic doesn’t have a citizenship-by-investment program like other Caribbean countries.

The Dominican Republic retirement visa is issued to the retired foreigners with a monthly pension of at least $1,500 plus $250 for each dependent. The visa is valid for two years.

6. Political rights. After acquiring citizenship, foreign nationals will have rights equal to those of native Dominicans, such as the right to live and work in the country, and to vote in elections. One can also hold an elected office and be appointed to a ministerial or diplomatic position.

7. Cultural and environmental appeal. The Dominican Republic is known for its rich cultural heritage, friendly people, warm climate, and beautiful landscapes, making it an attractive destination for those looking for a comfortable and high-quality lifestyle.

Obtaining Dominican Republic citizenship by birthright and by descent

As per the 2015 Constitution of the Dominican Republic, the following individuals are entitled to citizenship by birth:

  • those born within the borders of the Dominican Republic, except for children of diplomats, illegal aliens, or foreigners in transit;

  • children of at least one Dominican citizen, regardless of their place of birth;

  • those born outside of the country to at least one Dominican Republic citizen, who acquired citizenship of their birth country and, upon reaching their eighteenth birthday, choose Dominican nationality and renounce their former one or obtain dual citizenship;

  • individuals who have been recognised as citizens by birth before the current constitution came into force.

Direct descendants of Dominicans residing abroad are eligible for Dominican citizenship by descent.

Becoming a citizen of the Dominican Republic by naturalisation

Obtaining citizenship in the Dominican Republic by naturalisation is a multi-step process, which starts with obtaining temporary residency followed by permanent residency.

Residency requirements. Citizenship by naturalisation requires living in the Dominican Republic with a temporary residence permit for 5 years, followed by 2 years of permanent residency. Hence, foreigners can apply for citizenship by naturalisation after 7 years of legal residence.

Upon submitting all necessary documents, applicants take a citizenship exam covering Dominican history, culture, and government. Afterwards, they attend an interview conducted in Spanish and take an oath of allegiance to the Dominican Republic.

Fees. Costs of obtaining citizenship include the application fee of RD$1,500, or about $25, and the fee for the right to be sworn in, which is RD$5,000, or about $85.

Comparison of citizenship and residency by investment programs

Practical Guide

Comparison of citizenship and residency by investment programs

Getting a passport of the Dominican Republic by marriage

Foreign spouses of citizens of the Dominican Republic are allowed to acquire citizenship by marriage. To qualify, they must be married to a Dominican citizen for at least two years and reside in the country for six months.

Residency requirements. Before applying for citizenship, one must first obtain residency in the Dominican Republic and live in the country for at least 6 months.

Fees and processing time. Total fees for getting a passport by marriage are RD$2,000, or about $34. Applications are typically processed within 15 working days.

application for dual citizenship dominican republic 2024

Punta Cana is one of the most sought-after locations for beach weddings in the Dominican Republic. After the wedding, a foreign spouse of a Dominican citizen gets residency by family reunification

Dominican Republic citizenship by investment

The Dominican Republic does not offer a direct pathway to citizenship by investment. However, there is a residency by investment program in place, which grants instant permanent residency and offers a streamlined path to citizenship.

The initial residence permit is granted for one year, which can then be extended for four years an unlimited number of times. After two years of holding permanent residency, one can apply for citizenship.

Eligibility. To qualify, applicants for residency by investment must be in good health, have sufficient funds, and possess a clean police record.

The minimum investment amount is $200,000, which can be invested in one of the following options:

  • an existing company registered in the Dominican Republic;

  • a bank deposit;

  • securities;

  • real estate.

Residency requirements. There are no formal residency requirements for investors. However, to maximise their chances of obtaining citizenship, it is recommended that they spend most of the year in the Dominican Republic.

Permanent residency obtaining process involves a Due Diligence check and opening a bank account in the country. After making the investment, applicants must get certifications from the Export and Investment Center of the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD) and undergo a medical examination.

Applications for residency by investment are typically processed within 90 working days. However, foreign investors can acquire residency status within 45 working days from the date an application is admitted for inspection at the Immigration Department.

Fees for obtaining investment residency include:

  • one-time file processing fee of RD$42,000, or about $714;

  • medical exam fee of RD$6,300, or about $107;

  • fee charged by the CEI-RD for processing or handling documents related to investment activities of RD$3,500, or about $60.

Documents for applying for Dominican Republic citizenship

The standard pack of documents when applying for the Dominican Republic citizenship includes the following:

  • a request letter for certification addressed to the Directorate General of Migration (DGM);

  • filled-out certification form from the DGM;

  • a letter in Spanish addressed to the Executive Power via the Minister of Interior and Police;

  • recent coloured passport-sized photographs;

  • a copy of all pages of the applicant’s international passport;

  • a copy of the residency card with a minimum of 6 months before its expiration date;

  • a copy and original of birth certificate, translated into Spanish and apostilled;

  • a original marriage certificate, if applicable, apostilled and translated;

  • a police clearance certificate from the applicant’s home country, apostilled and translated;

  • proof of financial independence, such as bank statements, employment records, or business ownership records;

  • a health certificate from a recognized medical institution confirming the applicant’s good health;

  • details of employment or pension;

  • a receipt confirming payment of application fee.

How to apply for Dominican Republic citizenship

The process for obtaining citizenship in the Dominican Republic can take up to 10 months.

1

6 months to 7 years

Meeting residency requirements

Before applying for citizenship, one needs to be a legal resident of the Dominican Republic. This involves obtaining a residency visa, followed by a temporary or permanent residence permit.

It takes seven years for citizenship by naturalisation, two years for citizenship by investment, and six months for citizenship by marriage.

2

2 weeks

Gathering required documents

Applicants prepare a pack of documents, including recent photos, police clearance certificate, birth certificates, passport copy, residency card, and documents required for the chosen path of obtaining citizenship.

3

2 weeks

Application submission and processing

The application for citizenship is filed with the Dominican Department of Interior. Once an individual submits all the necessary documentation, the application is checked against databases of various departments such as Interpol and the National Drug Control Department.

4

1 day

Interview in Spanish

Approximately two weeks after filing, applicants might be required to attend an interview in Spanish. Officials assess the application and one’s integration into Dominican culture. The questions and answers can be reviewed before the interview.

5

1 day

Citizenship exam

Foreign nationals need to pass an exam covering Dominican history, culture, and government.

6

1 day

Oath of allegiance

If the application is approved, within five months after the interview and the exam, a foreigner is summoned to personally take the oath of allegiance, granted and signed by the President of the Dominican Republic. This is usually conducted in a formal ceremony.

7

2 months

Receiving citizenship documentation

Around two months after taking the oath of allegiance, applicants are issued Dominican birth certificates and identity cards — Cédula de Identidad Personal. Identification cards are obtained from the issuing government office in person.

8

3 days

Obtaining a Dominican Republic passport

When the identification card and evidence of citizenship are granted, the new citizen can apply for a Dominican passport, which usually takes about three business days to issue.

Dual citizenship in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic allows for dual citizenship. This means foreign nationals can become citizens of the Dominican Republic without having to give up their existing citizenship.

A Dominican with dual nationality may hold any elected office in the Dominican Republic, as well as be appointed to a ministerial position or a position in the Dominican diplomatic service. The exception is becoming the President or the Vice President of the country: in this case, a dual national must give up their foreign citizenship ten years before the scheduled election and live in the country for ten years before taking the office.

Losing and renouncing Dominican Republic citizenship

Renouncing citizenship in the Dominican Republic is a legal process that involves voluntarily giving up Dominican nationality. A person wishing to renounce their Dominican citizenship must do so formally via the Embassy of the Dominican Republic, where one can obtain the necessary details and paperwork for renunciation.

Some countries require individuals to renounce their previous citizenships as a condition of naturalisation. If a Dominican citizen wishes to become a citizen of such a country, they might need to renounce their Dominican citizenship to comply with the new country’s laws.

Losing citizenship is possible for treason, espionage, conspiracy, or taking up arms against the Dominican Republic.

Citizenship might be suspended in the following cases:

  • condemnation to a criminal sentence, while it lasts;

  • legally declared judicial interdiction, while it lasts;

  • acceptance to a position with a foreign State within the Dominican Republic not authorised by the Executive Power;

  • violation of the conditions under which naturalisation was pronounced.

Cost of living in the Dominican Republic

The cost of living is generally lower than in North America and Western Europe.

Rent ranges from $250 to $2,000 per month, and a monthly budget for a single person is around $600 without rent. Estimated monthly costs for a family of four are $2,125 without rent.

Here is a breakdown of the typical cost of living expenses in Dominican Republic, reflecting the prices for basic goods and services, housing, and utilities:

  • milk, 1 litre — $1.2;

  • dozen of eggs — $1.7;

  • loaf of fresh white bread, 500g — $1.7;

  • one-way ticket on a local transport — $0.7;

  • gasoline, 1 litre — $1.3;

  • basic utilities, such as electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage — $53;

  • internet, monthly plan — $42;

  • rental of a 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre per month — $490;

  • rental of a 3-bedroom apartment in the city centre per month — $909;

  • price per square metre to buy an apartment in the city centre — $1,490;

  • price per square metre to buy an apartment outside of the centre — $997.

Best places to move to in the Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo. As the capital and largest city of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo offers a mix of historical richness and modern conveniences. It has a vibrant cultural scene, extensive shopping, numerous dining options, and good healthcare facilities. The Zona Colonial area is particularly popular for its historic architecture and charm.

Punta Cana. Known for its stunning beaches and all-inclusive resorts, Punta Cana is a favourite among expats looking for a vacation lifestyle. It’s great for those who enjoy a more relaxed pace of life with access to high-quality amenities and international schools.

Santiago de los Caballeros. The second-largest city in the Dominican Republic, Santiago offers a more authentic Dominican experience with fewer tourists than coastal cities. It has a strong economy, cultural attractions, and is known for its festivals and vibrant nightlife.

Las Terrenas. A beautiful beach town on the Samaná Peninsula, Las Terrenas is popular among European expats. It offers a blend of Dominican culture with European influences, evident in its food, languages spoken, and small, boutique-like business environment. It’s known for its laid-back lifestyle and beautiful landscapes.

Sosúa. Located on the north coast, Sosúa is popular particularly among American and German expats. It has a reputation for its welcoming expat community, active nightlife, and beautiful beaches. Sosúa also has schools that cater to international students, making it family-friendly.

Puerto Plata. This city combines historic charm with modern amenities and is known for its resorts, beaches, and the famous Mount Isabel de Torres. It has less tourists than Punta Cana but still offers plenty of attractions and a strong expat community.

benefits of dominican republic citizenship

Puerto Plata’s Umbrella Street, locally known as "Calle de las Sombrillas," is one of the city’s most picturesque attractions

Tax responsibilities for Dominican Republic citizens

The Dominican Republic taxes individuals based on their residency status. Residents are taxed on their worldwide income, while non-residents are taxed only on their Dominican-sourced income.

Individuals are considered tax residents if they spend more than 182 days in the country within a year, regardless of their citizenship. All taxpayers must register with the Internal Revenue Agency and obtain a tax number.

Personal income tax in the Dominican Republic is progressive, with rates increasing based on the amount of taxable income:

  • 0% — up to RD$416,220, or $7,00;

  • 15% — RD$416,221—624,329, or $7,000—10,500;

  • 20% — RD$624,330—867,123, or $10,500—14,600;

  • 25% — over RD$867,123, or $14,600.

The corporate tax rate is set at a flat rate of 27%. This rate applies to the net income of companies operating within the country. This includes both domestic and foreign companies, with foreign companies being taxed on their Dominican-sourced income.

Companies might benefit from various tax incentives, which can significantly reduce the effective tax burden, if they qualify under specific sectors or activities such tourism, renewable energy, or operation in free zones.

Free zones. The Dominican Republic has established free trade zones aimed at encouraging export-oriented industrial investment. Companies operating within these zones benefit from:

  • exemption from all import and export taxes;

  • exemption from industrial and commercial licensing fees;

  • exemption from corporate income taxes on profits derived from export activities for a specific period, typically up to 20 years;

  • no VAT on products purchased under the free zone regime.

Capital gains tax is generally taxed at a flat rate of 27% for companies and 25% for natural persons. However, gains from the sale of securities traded on the local stock exchange are taxed at a lower rate.

The Value Added Tax (VAT) rate is 18%. It is applicable to the sale and importation of most goods and services. A reduced rate of 16% applies to certain food products.

Some goods and services are exempted from VAT, including basic foodstuffs, medicines, fuels, fertilisers, books, magazines, educational materials, financial services, transportation, home rentals, utilities, educational, and cultural services.

Real estate tax is charged at an annual rate of 1% on real estate properties owned by individuals. Properties are valued without taking into consideration any furniture or equipment to be found in them.

The 1% tax is calculated only for values exceeding RD$9,520,861, or about $160,300. For unbuilt lots, the 1% tax is calculated on the actual appraised value without the exemption.

The following properties are exempt from the real estate tax:

  • farm properties;

  • homes whose owner is at least 65 years old and has no other property in their name;

  • properties owned by companies, which pay a separate tax on their company assets.

Dividends received by individuals are subject to a 10% withholding tax.

Inheritance tax is issued at a flat rate of 3% of the value of the estate.

Tax residents and non-residents with Dominican-sourced income are required to file an annual tax return. Tax returns are typically due by March 31st of the following year.

Alternative ways to get a Caribbean passport

Other Caribbean countries such as Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada provide foreign investors an opportunity to acquire citizenship without obtaining residency and moving to the country.

The minimum investment starts at $100,000, and the obtaining period can be as little as three months, depending on the program.

The second passport allows investors and their families to travel most of the world without visas, as well as to live, work, and study in the country of their second citizenship.

Comparison of Caribbean passport options for investors

Country

Minimum investment

$100,000

Obtaining period

3—6 months

Country

Minimum investment

$100,000

Obtaining period

3—6 months

Country

Minimum investment

$100,000

Obtaining period

4+ months

Country

Minimum investment

$150,000

Obtaining period

6+ months

Country

Minimum investment

$250,000

Obtaining period

6+ months

Conclusion on obtaining citizenship in the Dominican Republic

  1. The Dominican Republic offers multiple routes to citizenship, including birthright, descent, naturalisation, marriage, and investment, each with specific criteria and processes.

  2. Dominican Republic citizenship provides various benefits such as travel freedom, recognition of dual citizenship, business opportunities, tax benefits, and a rich cultural and environmental setting.

  3. Citizenship by investment is a notable option, offering a fast-tracked naturalisation process for investors for $200,000.

  4. One can renounce Dominican Republic citizenship or lose it for committing treason, espionage, conspiracy, or taking up arms against the Dominican Republic.

  5. For those interested in the economic benefits, the country’s territorial tax system and the ability to operate businesses with fewer restrictions can be particularly appealing.

  6. There are other Caribbean countries where one can get citizenship by investment. The minimum investment is $100,000, and the minimum time of acquiring a passport is three months.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Download the guide of comparison of the Caribbean and Vanuatu programs

Practical Guide

Download the guide of comparison of the Caribbean and Vanuatu programs

Frequently asked questions

  • How can I get Dominican citizenship?

    Dominican Republic citizenship can be obtained through several methods: by birthright, descent, naturalisation, marriage to a Dominican citizen, or by making a significant investment in the country. Each pathway has specific conditions, which generally include residency requirements, documentation submission, and an application process.

  • How much does it cost to get citizenship in the Dominican Republic?

    The cost of obtaining Dominican Republic citizenship varies depending on the citizenship route. For naturalisation, it involves a fee of approximately $25 for filing paperwork and an additional $85 for the swearing-in ceremony. Citizenship by marriage costs around $34.

    Total costs for citizenship by investment can add up to around $463, including fees for permanent residency application and medical exams.

  • How to get Dominican citizenship by investment?

    Dominican Republic citizenship by investment requires a minimum investment of $200,000 in real estate, bank deposits, or direct investments in Dominican companies. This grants immediate permanent residency, and after at least six months of residency, one becomes eligible for naturalisation.

  • Does the Dominican Republic allow dual citizenship?

    Yes, the Dominican Republic recognizes dual citizenship, allowing individuals to hold citizenship in another country simultaneously. However, it’s important to check the dual citizenship policies of your home country.

  • Do you have to speak Spanish to become a Dominican citizen?

    Yes, proficiency in Spanish is generally required to become a Dominican citizen. The naturalisation process includes an interview conducted in Spanish, and applicants must demonstrate an adequate level of understanding and integration into Dominican culture, which includes communicating effectively in the language.

  • How strong is the Dominican Republic passport?

    The Dominican Republic passport is fairly strong, offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 145 countries. This includes travel to several countries in Latin America, as well as to major destinations like Japan, Singapore, and Australia. This places the Dominican Republic in 86th place in the freedom of travel passport index.