I traveled to the Dominican Republic for the first time in 2005.
I made the trip with a straight-up agenda: I was scouting for property deals.
Residency and naturalization opportunities in this country weren’t on my radar at that time. I read about these later. What I read sounded too good to be true… and, as things turned out, it was.
Kathleen and I applied for residency in the DR in 2015, as did many readers.
The first round of the process was easy enough.
Things got complicated with the renewals. Finally, we gave up, as did many readers, but one stuck with it, changed attorneys, and is now close to having his second passport.
The big-picture takeaway from this experience is that the naturalization process for any country is never as straightforward as what is written in the law. The DR turned out to be no different.
That said, even with the delays, this country still offers one of the quickest second passport-through-residency options available anywhere.
I’ve asked your fellow reader Dusty Tubbs to share his story.
The DR remains dead center of my radar. Dusty helps to remind me (and you) why…
Editor, Offshore Living Letter
Why I’m Still Seeking Naturalization In The Dominican Republic
By Dusty Tubbs
In 2015, my wife Carolyn and I traveled to the Dominican Republic to participate in Lief’s Live and Invest in the Dominican Republic Conference.
We came with a specific agenda. We wanted to plant our fifth flag.
Specifically, we wanted to apply for residency leading to citizenship. We wanted to obtain second passports quickly and cost effectively.
In 2016, we were granted permanent residency status.
That same year, DR immigration laws were changed to allow for a “fast track” program. We were thrilled. We’d have our second passports in no time.
Alas, that’s not how things played out. It seemed like every year there was a new twist to the laws, a new challenge to overcome, and a new obstacle to delay the process.
Our cédulas and residency cards had to be renewed every two years. It took us four trips in 2019 before we were finally able to complete the renewal process.
To say the situation became frustrating is an understatement.
Fast forward to today, six years after we started the “fast track” process, and Carolyn and I are still trying to receive our DR citizenship status. Many other applicants for residency and citizenship in this country have become fed-up with the bureaucratic runaround from the government and our attorney.
But I’m bullheaded. I refused to give up. And my persistence is starting to payoff.
What Has Changed?
The government. New President Luis Abinader has appointed new ministers and he has instituted new policies, new personnel processing applications and paperwork, and new guidelines. He is trying hard to improve the process overall.
Unfortunately, I cannot share the final outcome of our story. It is not over yet. I promise to write a follow-up later this year once we receive the decision from the Director of Immigration.
You may now be wondering… “After all of that, why are you recommending the DR now?”
For me, the answer to that question is easy…
This remains the most affordable Caribbean escape. This is a bonafide Caribbean paradise that you need nothing like a jet-set budget to be able to enjoy.
The DR is the largest democratically run country in the Caribbean. Its culture is eclectic and diverse, and the country enjoys a strong Euro-influence.
It’s increasingly accessible, with daily flights to and from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Latin America.
It takes a territorial approach to taxation. This means you can live in the DR tax-free as long as your income comes from abroad.
And, finally, yes, the country does offer easy residency and citizenship with the help of a competent attorney.
Carolyn and I live in Panama. However, Panama’s not a top option for a second passport. The law in Panama states that you must surrender all other passports to gain citizenship.
That’s why the DR remains our choice for a second citizenship and passport