The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation known for its beaches, resorts, and golf. Expats living in the Dominican Republic are amazed by the fascinating history, cultural experiences, museums, festivals, and special Dominican cuisine. Not just that, the living expenses in the Dominican Republic are the cheapest in Latin America. All this makes the Latin country a famous attraction for retirement.
To retire in the Dominican Republic, you have to apply for a Pensionado Visa.
A Pensionado Visa is a type of residence permit issued to a pensioner or retired foreigner who wants to enter the Dominican Republic in order to reside in the country.
Who Can Apply for a Retirement Visa in the Dominican Republic?
You can apply for a Dominican Republic retirement visa if you want to establish residence in the territory of the Dominican Republic. You must receive a minimum monthly pension or retirement of $1,500 ($1,750 for couples) from a government, official agency, or private company of foreign origin.
Documents For a Dominican Republic Retirement Visa
To complete your Dominican Republic Retirement Visa application, you have to submit the following documents to the competent authorities:
- Passport. Your passport must be valid for a minimum of 18 months.
- Residence Visa (RS). If you are applying for a visa from within the Dominican Republic, you must also submit the visa you obtained abroad.
- Birth certificate. The birth certificate must be legalized or apostilled.
- Four photographs. Submit four recently taken photographs of the same set: two from the front and two right profiles with white background. The photos should be in a format of 2x2cm.
- A certificate proving you have no charges for criminal activities. The certificate must be issued from your country of origin or the country where you have resided for the last five years.
- Certified proof of the origin of the pension.
- Bank certificate from a Dominican bank. You need to open a bank account in a Dominican bank.
- An apostilled or legalized marriage certificate, declaration of singleness, or proof of living together.
- A guaranteed travel insurance policy contracted with insurers authorized by the Director General de Migración (DGM). The travel insurance policy should cover medical expenses for an emergency due to an accident, repatriations, loss of documents, deportations, and legal assistance.
- Medical examinations in one of the institutions authorized by the Director General de Migración showing that you do not have any contagious infectious diseases.
NOTE: All documents submitted in the DGM must be original and notarized, legalized, and apostilled.
How to Apply For a Retirement Visa in the Dominican Republic?
You can apply for a retirement visa before or after entering the Dominican Republic. You can enter the country with a resident visa or visa-free and then apply for a retirement visa (pensioned residence) at the Dirección General de Migración. The application process is online through the electronic platform on the website of Dirección General de Migración. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Dominican Republic Retirement visa:
- Enter the Dirección General de Migración service portal.
- Register your username and password in the system.
- Choose the service you request and complete the required information in the “INFORMATION QUESTIONNAIRE FOR APPLICANT.”
- Upload the required documents. Documents must be scanned in JPG format.
- Pay the retirement visa fee. You will be presented with the payment method options. You need to do a medical examination in a medical facility authorized by the immigration department within three days after payment, or you will be required to make the payment again. The results of the examination will be out in ten days.
If you are applying from abroad, for your visa to be processed in the Dirección General de Migración, you must send a request through the Dominican Consulate in your country. If your country does not have a Dominican consulate, you can send the request to the nearest consulate near your country.
Processing Time for a Dominican Republic Retirement Visa
The processing time for a Dominican Republic Retirement visa is 45 working days, if the application is completed correctly and there are no missing documents.
However, the processing time can take longer in certain cases.
Can My Family Members Come With Me?
If you are married, you and your spouse can both apply for a Dominican retirement visa. You can submit the application at the same time, but you will be required to add an additional amount of $250 for each dependent.
What Is the Duration of a Retirement Visa for the Dominican Republic?
A Dominican Republic Retirement visa is issued for a period of two years. Within the first 30 days of your visa’s validity, you must enter the Dominican Republic and submit your Provisional Residency Application at the General Directorate of Migration in Santo Domingo.
The Dominican Republic Retirement Visa Fee
These are the fees you have to pay for your Dominican Republic Retirement visa:
|Deposit of file pension||$400|
|Issuance of residence card and proof of ID||$45|
How Much Money Do You Need to Retire in the Dominican Republic?
The Dominican Republic is one of the least expensive places to live in Latin America; therefore, you can live comfortably without spending much. The accommodation prices vary depending on where you decide to reside. For apartments outside of the city, you can pay a monthly rent of $230 for a one-bedroom apartment or $370 for a three-bedroom apartment. For apartments in the city center, you should prepare to spend an amount of $400 (one bedroom) or $670 (three bedrooms).
Overall, you can live well in the Dominican Republic with $1,400 per month.
Pros and Cons of Retiring in The Dominican Republic
Before deciding if you want to choose the Dominican Republic as your forever retirement home, you should consider whether it fulfills your needs for a comfortable retirement. Here are some of the pros and cons of retiring in the Dominican Republic:
|Low cost of living||Poor infrastructure|
|Affordable healthcare||Traffic jams|
|Climate||Fewer healthcare services in rural areas|
|Beautiful landscapes||Low-quality public facilities|
|Friendly and welcoming people||Bureaucracy|
|Low flight costs|
Healthcare in the Dominican Republic
Healthcare in the Dominican Republic is a three-tier system (subsidized, contributive, and contributive subsidized regime). Healthcare facilities are free, but you will have to pay for some services such as stitches, x-rays, and medication. The medical staff is trained and specialized in their medical fields; however, there can be an absence of general practitioners or family doctors. The Dominican Republic offers you several medical plans that you can choose based on what works best for you. The average annual cost of an advanced plan for couples ranges from $700 to $1,500.
Medical plans cover:
- doctor’s visits
- hospital stays
- in-hospital medicines
- dental procedures
- ambulance services, etc.
Medical treatment in private hospitals is great, but the cost is more expensive than in public hospitals. Santo Domingo has first-rate private hospitals equipped with modern technology and facilities, and the staff is highly qualified and can speak more than one language. Private hospitals in Santo Domingo perform organ transplants and other major surgeries.
Expats mostly fit into the third tier and need to purchase private health insurance. International health insurance can cost up to $200 per month and cover most of the medical treatments and services.
Where to Retire in The Dominican Republic?
The location you choose to reside while moving to a new country plays an important role in how good your retirement will be. The Dominican Republic has several retirement complexes that fulfill every need for a quiet and comfortable retirement.
It is important to know that even though residing in big cities costs more, the benefits are bigger than in rural areas.
Casa de Campo
Casa de Campo is one of the most famous places to live in the Dominican Republic. It is known as the best golf resort in the world. One of the perks of being a resident of the Casa de Campo is the privileged location. Here you can find luxurious restaurants, stables with expensive horses, bars, the marina, etc. But all of this comes at a great price. Everything in Casa de Campo is expensive, so if you decide to retire there, you need to be financially stable.
The white sand beaches and low cost of living attract retirees to reside in Juan Dolio. In Juan Dolio, you will find professional Gold & Country clubs, hotels, dive shops, restaurants, bars, numerous vacation homes, residential communities, and newly built condominium complexes. While residing in Juan Dolio, you can tan on the beach, go ocean diving, ride horses, etc.
Santo Domingo is known as the industrial, commercial, and financial center of the Dominican Republic. The city has several neighborhoods you can choose to live in, but the most popular neighborhoods are La Zona Colonial and the Bella Visa Area.
Expats choose Santo Domingo as their retirement home due to the easy air access to other countries, the nice and steady weather, and the moderately cheap living costs.
If you are attracted by the beautiful southwest of the Dominican Republic, then Barahona must be your next destination. Barahona is characterized by wild natural landscapes and tranquility. It is the perfect place to sit and relax while being surrounded by nature and beautiful species.
The city is known for being a major fresh fruit and vegetable growing area, coffee, and large green plantains.
Sosúa is perfect for beach lovers who want to enjoy their retirement under the sun and relax on the beautiful beaches of the Dominican Republic. The town is known for the water activities, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife. You can do many activities such as swimming in the crystal clear waters, scuba diving, snorkeling, or going on fishing trips.
Compared to other places in the Dominican Republic, you can have a laid-back retirement with a Caribbean lifestyle in Sosúa.