Best Residency And Citizenship Option In The Caribbean
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 pay off.
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.
Today our journey for DR citizenship is not over. The good news is that we are only one small step away.
The Director of Immigration has accepted our application for citizenship!
Now we await the government process of approving our request. That process takes time… a year and a half to two years.
Succeeding was easy once we found a great immigration lawyer.
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 bona fide 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. We’re delighted that our process is coming to completion and hope that our story can help you navigate the system more efficiently.
Senior LIOS Correspondent and Full-time Expat