It is essential for foreigners residing in the Dominican Republic to have all legal documents up to date, specifically their residence cards and cedulas (Dominican ID). When both, the residence card and cedula expire, foreigners are obliged to initiate a renewal procedure at the General Immigration Department and at the Central Electoral Board if they plan on continue residing in the country, in order to maintain their legal status and be able to execute their daily activities. It is quite advantageous for foreigners to renew their immigration permits on time, since such documents are required for buying a vehicle, requesting a loan, leasing an apartment, travelling abroad, for a job interview, when in a car accident, in case of being detained by police authorities, or in any other situation which would result very difficult or nearly impossible to resolve without a valid cedula or immigration permit Ki Residences.
By initiating the renewal procedure on time, not only do we avoid the situations mentioned above but we also avoid having to pay additional taxes which increase for every additional month counting from the date of expiration.
So, what is the procedure for renewing such permits? Below we describe the steps; first about the residence renewal and second, we will detail the process for obtaining a new Dominican ID or cedula.
For Investment Residents
As we mentioned before, the entity responsible of handling residence renewal requests is the General Immigration Department. Depending on the foreigner’s residence type a different process must be followed. For example, for the first renewal of the investment residence, foreigners must go to the General Immigration Department’s Investment Division with their original residence card, cedula and passport as well as with the forms granted by the before mentioned stamped with the seal of the sponsoring company, an employment letter certifying the foreigner works in such company, among other documents. The new residence card will be emitted the same day once the corresponding taxes have been paid. It is important to point out that the taxes to be paid for this type of residence are higher than other renewal procedures but the process is quicker. After the first renewal, less documents will be requested for future renewals.
For Spanish Citizens
Spanish citizens renewing their residence have a separate division which handles only Spanish applications reason why the renewal requests are handled quicker. Spanish citizens just need to complete a renewal form, pay the corresponding taxes and deliver the expired residence. The Spanish Department will be responsible of obtaining the new residence card which is delivered the same day.
People who belong to religious organizations are granted a partial exemption for obtaining and renewing their immigration permits.
For Permanent Residents
The permanent residence renewal process is longer than for the other types of residences mentioned above, however, they offer a VIP service to renew your residence in one day. The same documents required for the Investment Residence renewal must be presented for the Permanent Residence renewal.
Of course, everything will depend on the foreigner’s urgency to receive his new card. If he wants to travel abroad it is recommended to request the VIP service where the residence is renewed in one day. If there is no urgency in receiving the new residence, the normal process consists in requesting an appointment for taking the new picture, changing any information if required and picking up the new residence card.
For the three scenarios described above the renewed residence will be valid for 2 years. If the resident has more than 10 years residing in the country, he/she can request the residence card to be valid for 4, 8 or 10 years.
For the Cedula
In order to renew the cedula, the foreigner must take the renewed residence card. This process is quite simple and quick receiving a new cedula in a matter of hours, but does require the solicitant to be present. At this time, the foreigner will be able to change any personal information such as address, telephone or civil status.