Migración has a new-look website


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Same url, but with a new look and new information http://migracion.gov.do

The list of fees goes some way to explaining the confusing new rules. http://migracion.gov.do/servtarifas.html

Renewal of provisional and permanent residency is now more expensive and complicated than before. Everyone needs to take the medical tests and pay for them – in the past this only applied to first time applicants for residency.

Initial applications for residency need to be made at the Dominican embassy/consulate in the applicant’s country of origin.


Coral highway opens


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The new Autopista del Coral linking La Romana with Punta Cana and all points east is now open to traffic.

The new Coral Highway

Driving times from Punta Cana to La Romana are now down from over an hour to about 35 mins, while the trip to Punta Cana – Santo Domingo is reduced from three to two hours.

Expreso Bávaro, the only direct bus service to and from the capital, has a new timetable: 7:00am, 9:00am, 11:00am 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm (Departures in both directions.) All buses from Santo Domingo now go to Punta Cana International Airport. Journey time reduced from 4 to 3 hours.

Migración opens east coast office


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Excellent news for east coast expatriate residents: a new branch of Migración has opened at Cruce de Verón, in Plaza Velero – the large shopping centre opposite the Police Station. This means we no longer have to go all the way to the capital for residency renewals, etc.


Best books about the Dominican Republic


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Here are some of the authors’ recommendations for books about the Dominican Republic. Feel free to add your comments and tips, we would love to hear more.


Something to Declare (essays) – Julia Alvarez, Plume, 1999

The Dominican Republic: A National History – Frank Moya Pons, Markus Wiener Publishers; 2nd edition (August 1, 1998)

Trujillo – the Death of a Dictator – Bernard Diederich, Markus Wiener Pub; 1ST edition (April 1, 2000)

When the Cocks Fight – Michele Wucker, Hill and Wang; First Edition edition (April 3, 2000)

Dead Man in Paradise – J.B. MacKinnon, Douglas & McIntyre; First Edition edition (September 2005)


In the Time of the Butterflies – Julia Alvarez, Algonquin Books 1995

When the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents – Julia Alvarez, Algonquin Books 1992

Yo – Julia Alvarez, Plume 1997

In the Name of Salome – Julia Alvarez, Plume 2001

Let It Rain Coffee – Angie Cruz, Simon and Schuster 2006

The Farming of Bones – Edwige Danticat, Penguin 1999

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Díaz, Riverhead 2007

Drown – Junot Díaz, Riverhead 1997

Over – Ramon Marrero Aristy, 1939

Song of the Water Saints – Nelly Rosario, Vintage 2003

The Feast of the Goat – Mario Vargas Llosa, Picador 2002

Good news for holders of expired cédulas


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Foreign residents in the Dominican Republic whose cédulas (ID cards) have expired since 1998 have been granted another grace period from 1st July – 31st December 2012 to renew their cédulas without having to pay the regular fees. Renewals during this period will have a total cost of RD$3,000.


The JCE (Central Electoral Board) renewals office for foreign residents is on Avenida Luperon, about one block south of Plaza de la Bandera in Santo Domingo. The process is usually very swift and efficient.

Note that in order to renew your cédula, your residency must be up to date.

New Residency Regulations – the latest


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A good friend went to Santo Domingo earlier today to interview someone he describes as “an extremely knowledgeable person” on the requirements of this new and quite confusing set of immigration regulations. He has kindly allowed me to reproduce his summary here.

Existing Permanent Residents and cédula holders:

If you have your permanent residency card and your cédula, you will continue to renew just like always. No problems are foreseen in this area. Just be sure that you begin the renewal process about two months before the due date that is stamped on your card.

Temporary Residents:

Holders of Temporary Residency will probably have to jump through hoops on more than one occasion. It appears that in order to sift through the background checks and such, the people at Migration will issue more than one renewal of the Temporary Residence Permit. My person said that maybe as many as three times.
There are exceptions: Rentistas, Pensionados and so forth might be ushered in after one year of Temporary Residency.

Residents on Tourist Visas who previously would have paid the overstay fee upon exiting the country will have to leave the country to start their residency process in the DR embassy in their country of origin, or be fined or whatever they decide.

The long and the short of it is that anyone who plans on living in the DR will have to obtains a “Residence Visa” at the DR consulate in their home countries before coming to the DR. Then they can start the paperwork. For those here already, that clock is ticking to file now or you will have to leave the country and return with one of the visas.

New rules for foreigners resident in the Dominican Republic


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On 1st June 2012 new rules for resident foreigners came into effect in the Dominican Republic. An overview of the changes and how they will affect applicants and people who already have residency can be found on this thread on the DR1.com forums.


The thread also contains Q&A between forum posters and Dominican lawyer Fabio Guzmán.

Volunteer interpreters for med students


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Calling expats in the Punta Cana/Bávaro area!

The organisers of a visit by medical students and doctors from the US are looking for volunteers to help translate during clinics in local communities like Verón during the week of March 26-30.

Volunteers need to have a good command of Spanish and English. A basic knowledge of medical terminology is helpful, as is a tactful and sensitive manner and a lack of squeamishness.

Where to buy the book in the Punta Cana/Bávaro area

Impresión Isleña is practically the only place where you can buy Expat FAQs – Moving to and Living in the Dominican Republic over the counter in the Dominican Republic.

Impresión Isleña is a gift shop in the San Juan Shopping Center in Bávaro, selling a great selection of original crafts, gifts and souvenirs.

As well as Expat FAQs – Moving to and Living in the Dominican Republic, they are selling Aunt Clara’s Dominican Cookbook, Traditional Dominican Cookery and the Culture Smart Guide to the Dominican Republic.

A selection of photographs by Pedrito Guzmán is also on sale at Impresión Isleña.

Check them out at:



Canadians travelling to the DR need to use passports April 30th, 2012


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As posted on the Canadian Foreign Affairs website, Canadians travelling to and from the Dominican Republic will require passports starting on the 30th of April, 2012. If travelling through the US, you have to make sure that your passport has a validity of 6 months after your return but for the moment no such requirement applies for direct flights.

So Canadians living in the DR or long-term visitors, make sure your passports are valid if you plan on travelling soon!

Here’s the link for Foreign Affairs Dominican Republic Travel Advice and Advisories | Government of Canada

And the Dominican Republic page for Canadians Welcome Page | Page d’accueil