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Real Estate 2005:
New Homes and Apartments starting at US$60,000.   Can you afford a new home in the Caribbean?  YES you can - in the Dominican Republic.
Living in The DR:
Why are so many people just like you relocating to the Dominican Republic?  It is really the new sactuary for middle class Americans and Europeans trying to escape the hight cost of living and high taxes back home?   Find out.

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The Dominican Republic offers some of the most affordable real estate in the entire Caribbean.  How affordable?  How about a brand new  3 bedroom  apartment for US$60,000 - Or a brand new home in a residentail area for about US$120,000.   It is True!  Click on the link above for more information.

Dominican Republic Residency Information:
US Citizens:

FIRST STEP: Provisional Residency
The initial process is of course the application for legal provisional residency first.  In this regard, there is of course a list of requirements to meet, but they are fairly simple to comply with for most people.  One such requirement is the medical exam that MUST be taken inside the country with the medical doctor at the Department of Immigration.  While this sounds somewhat daunting, it is not, and in fact the entire process can take less than two hours (including time waiting your turn).  A very brief interview is conducted, asking the applicant some standard questions (have you had any surgery in the last five years, do you take any prescription medication, etc.)  In addition, a urine sample, a blood sample and chest x-ray is taken.  What they are looking for is Aids, illegal drug usage and tuberculosis.  Providing you have none of these ailments, you will pass with flying colors.
The next step is the deposit of the residency application itself, including all supporting documentation such as copies of current passport, certified or official copies of your birth certificate (you will not get this back, so it is a good idea to keep some extra sets before hand) and a police letter of good conduct from your local police department.  In addition, immigration also looks for what is called economic solvency in the amount of RD$500,000 pesos at least.  What does this mean?  Well, it simply means that they want you to demonstrate that you are not destitute and have assets of some kind inside the country.  However, the way to demonstrate this is very open ended and RD$500,000 is equivalent to about US$17,000 under current exchange rates.  So, it could as simple as opening a bank account (which can be maintained in US dollars as there is no requirement that you need to convert your fund to Pesos), or you could demonstrate a real estate purchase, business investment or even utilize a locally incorporated company as well.
In addition to the above, an Interpol background check is completed by the national police and often enough, this is the most time consuming process of all.  However, assuming you are not someone wanted by Interpol, you will not have a problem and this background check not a concern.
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Once the residency application file is deposited, it has been the case that immigration has processed such applications fairly quickly and as such you can expect to obtain your initial provisional residency card (valid for one year) and your initial Cedula card (also valid for one year) within 60 to 90 days.  With such documents in hand, you can legally live and work inside the country and have all the rights of a citizen with the exception of voting privileges (only citizens can vote in local elections).  In addition, this puts you on track towards eventual citizenship, or we can say starts the clock ticking. 
SECOND STEP: Permanent Residency
Once the one-year time frame for the provisional residency has passed, the above process is repeated once again exactly as explained, with the purpose of renewing and actually changing your status to Permanent Residency.  So, it is the case that you would visit immigration once again, take the medical exams indicated once again, etc.  However, the good news is that this second card from immigration is valid for two years and the second Cedula card for six years, so there is a longer time frame for expiration of your second set of documents accordingly. 
Why the process of one year provisional residency first and then permanent residency after that?  Well, just as anywhere else, the Dominican Government wants to make sure that applicants have demonstrated themselves to be law abiding citizens and have a put a window of time in for that purpose.
THIRD STEP: Becoming a Citizen (and gaining a second passport)
The application for naturalization (to become a naturalize citizen) is prepared and deposited ONLY after an applicant has obtained Permanent Residency Status.  Some clients that come from countries that prohibit dual citizenship (Holland and Germany are two examples) may elect to stay with Permanent Residency status and not move forward with naturalization, although as of late 2004 there are political rumors that this may change in regards to Germany and Holland) out of fear of losing their previous citizenship and passport.  However, most countries recognize and accept dual citizenship, including both the United States, and the Dominican Republic.  Applicants can of course maintain Permanent Residency status, simply renewing at the appropriate times without  applying for citizenship.   Stated another way, becoming a citizen of the Dominican Republic is only an option and in no way effects the applicants ability to work, own a business, own real estate, etc.  However, there are many people that are interested in becoming dual nationals for a number of reasons and of course elect to do so.  In this regard, the time line and requirements for the Dominican Republic are much more attractive than may be the case in other jurisdictions.
The entire Naturalization Process takes about 5 months to complete.  All told, there is not much for the applicant to do, other than to find a very competent attorney to assist with the file preparation and related certifications that must be obtained.  In other words, quite a bit of paperwork goes into the application, and of course the file is passed through a number of government offices and channels.  Since the President of the Dominican Republic signs off on all naturalizations via decree, part of the process involves the applicant's file passing through the President's office as one of the final phases.
What does the applicant need to do?  Well, there is one requirement that the applicant make himself or herself available for a brief interview.  Basically this would happen about two to three months from when the file was deposited, but all depending on fast things move along, it could be sooner than that.  In any event, the applicant would be asked to demonstrate knowledge of the country and some basic historical facts (name the major cities and airports, name the founding fathers, name the date when the constitution was signed, etc.).  Once the interview has been successfully completed, the only other visit requirement is for the swearing in ceremony, usually officiated by the Chief of the National Police or the Vice-President (whom ever is available).  This ceremony is held once a month with all the other new citizens gathered together as a group, immediately following the date the applicant's naturalization is signed by the President.  In fact, technically speaking, you would be a citizen once the President makes you one via decree, but this last formality still exists and you are required to be present for it.  However, after attending the ceremony, your naturalization documents are completed and certified, allowing for you to apply for a passport (which takes approximately one day), and apply for your new Cedula Card as a citizen (which would take approximately 45 days).
If you are interested in becoming a resident and or citizen of the Dominican Republic, please feel free to contact us here