Emergency Alert
September 17, 2017
Hurricanes Irma and Jose
Emergency Alert
October 2, 2017
Hurricane Maria

International Travel

English

Country Information

Dominican Republic

Country Information

Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
Last Updated: July 1, 2016
ALL /
ALL /
Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Must be valid at time of entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

1 page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

No for stays less than 30 days, but a tourist card is required which can be purchased at the airport upon entry

VACCINATIONS:

Suggested

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

$10,000 and over or its equivalent must be declared 

ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo

Av. República de Colombia #57
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Telephone: +(809) 567-7775
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(809) 368-7777 
Email: Hours: Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM except U.S. and Dominican holidays 

 

Consulates

U.S. Consular Agent - Puerto Plata

Calle Villanueva esq. Avenida John F. Kennedy
Edificio Abraxa Libraria, 2nd floor
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Telephone: +(809) 586-8017, +(809) 586-8023
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (809) 368-7777
Email: PuertoPlataConsularAgency@state.gov
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM except U.S. and Dominican holidays

Palma Real Shopping Center
Business Center 2nd Floor
Bavaro, La Altagracia, Dominican Republic

Telephone: (809) 552-8990
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (809) 368-7777
Email: PuntaCanaConsularAgency@state.gov
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM except U.S. and Dominican holidays

ALL /
ALL /
Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on the Dominican Republic for information on U.S. – Dominican Republic relations.

ALL /
ALL /
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visitors who do not obtain a Dominican visa must purchase a tourist card at the airport for 10 USD upon entry or online prior to travel.

For more specific information concerning entry and exit requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in the United States.

Please contact the Migration Department in Santo Domingo for visa extension requests. Failure to request an extension will result in a surcharge at the airport upon departure. The surcharges can ranges from approximately $55 USD for one month to as high as $1,555 USD for 10 years.

Exit Requirements for children: Minors (children under 18) who are citizens (including dual citizens) or legal residents of the Dominican Republic are required to present both parent’s identification documents and notarized consent (in Spanish) in order to exit the country if not accompanied by both parents or Legal Guardian. The written consent must be notarized at the Dominican consulate in the United States or notarized and then certified at the Dominican Attorney General’s office (Procuraduria de la Republica) if done in the Dominican Republic. More information, including current fee information, can be found at the Immigration Office's website.

Regulations governing the travel of children in the Dominican Republic can be found in Spanish on the Migration Department.

ALL /
ALL /
Safety and Security

Crime: Significant crime exists throughout the Dominican Republic. Take precautions to avoid becoming a target.  If confronted by a thief demanding money or personal items, comply with their demands. Criminals often have weapons and are likely to use them if they meet resistance. Avoid wearing items of value or carrying an item that could make you at attractive target. Be wary of strangers, especially those who approach you at celebrations or nightspots. Travel with a partner or in a group if possible.

Victims of Crime: If you become a victim of a crime, we urge you to report the incident immediately to the U.S. Embassy (809-567-7777) and to local tourist police (CESTUR) at (809-200-3500) for assistance and to file a police report.

The Embassy can help you:

  • Replace a stolen passport
  • Identify appropriate medical care
  • Assist you with contacting the appropriate authorities
  • Contact family members or friends

The local equivalent to a U.S.  “911” emergency line in the Dominican Republic is also “911”.  Call 911 for any kind of emergency. However, currently the 911 system is only operative in the greater Santo Domingo area. Additional coverage is anticipated by the end of 2016 over the greater Santiago and Puerto Plata areas to the north.

Please see information on victims of crime.

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence should contact CESTUR (809-222-2026) the National Police (809-682-2151), and the U.S. Embassy for assistance.

For further Information:

Beaches and Resorts: We recommend that you do not consume alcoholic beverages alone or with “friends” that you make in the Dominican Republic.  Reported incidents include sexual assault targeting inebriated victims or involving date rape drugs and victims who have been isolated and forced in to compromising situations; sometimes by ingratiating employees. Report any unwanted attention to hotel management.   

Water Sports: Swimming areas at some popular beaches around the Dominican Republic are subject to dangerous undertows. Many beaches lack life guards, warnings, or signs of unsafe conditions. Check with your hotel, as resort managers usually offer current information on local swimming and surf conditions. Do not swim alone, particularly at isolated beaches.

Spring Break: Individuals wishing to travel to the Dominican Republic during Spring Break can find additional information on the State Department’s Students Abroad website.

Additional Information for Travelers is available on the U.S. Embassy’s website.

ALL /
ALL /
Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to all local laws.  If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be arrested, fined, deported, and/or imprisoned.

Some crimes or offenses may lead to prosecution in the U.S., regardless of local laws.  Also, see these links for details about crimes against minors abroad and other information on from the Department of Justice.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in the Dominican Republic are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. Check our website for General Information on Legal Assistance and a List of Local Attorneys.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: There is cultural discrimination against LGBTI individuals and the government does not legally recognize same-sex unions. For more detailed information about LGBTI rights, you may review the Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

For further information on LGBTI travel, please read our Information for LGBTI Travelers page.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: The law provides for physical access for persons with disabilities to all new public and private buildings, but the authorities do not enforce this provision and sidewalks are generally in disrepair and pose a hazard to all pedestrians.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Disaster Preparedness: The Embassy encourages both U.S. citizen residents and visitors to register with the Embassy on or before your arrival to the country.  In the event of a natural disaster or emergency, this will assist in effort to keep you informed. You may register through the State Department's travel registration website. U.S. citizens who have previously registered with the U.S. Embassy do not need to register again.  Additional information on natural disasters and disaster preparedness can be found on our website.

Real Estate: Real estate investments require a high level of caution, as property rights are irregularly enforced and investors often encounter problems in receiving clear title to land. We recommend consultation with a reputable attorney before signing documents or closing on any real estate transactions.  Real estate investments by U.S. citizens have been the subject of both legal and physical takeover attempts. Absentee landlords and absentee owners of undeveloped land are particularly vulnerable.  Investors should seek solid property title and not just a “carta de constancia,” which is often confused with a title.  An official land registry measurement (also known as “deslinde” or “mensura catastral”) is also desirable for the cautious overseas investor. Investors should also consider purchasing title insurance.

Scams: Be alert to a scam which targets elderly citizens. The perpetrator contacts a grandparent on the telephone pretending to be a law enforcement official, an attorney, or a U.S. Embassy official and informs them that a loved one has been arrested overseas. The caller instructs the victim to wire cash.  In some instances, impersonators portray the role of the scared grandchild.  When in doubt, please attempt to contact your loved one directly.  

ALL /
ALL /
Health

The U.S. Embassy does not pay medical bills. U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.  

Medical Insurance: Check before traveling to ensure your medical insurance provides coverage overseas or obtain supplemental travel insurance. Most health care providers in the DR only accept cash payments and these payments often must be made prior to treatment and/or before the patient’s hospital discharge.  See our webpage for general information on medical assistance.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. For additional information on medications or concerns regarding mental health, please reference the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While private hospitals that are located in large cities are fairly adequate, the quality of care can vary. Emergency treatment before payment is not required by Dominican law, and a deposit or fees for services may be required before emergency medical treatment. For additional information please reference our webpage about Medical Assistance or see our List of Doctors and Hospitals in the Dominican Republic

The following diseases are prevalent:

Zika Virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website

Chikungunya, Dengue, and Yellow Fever are present on the island.  Travelers should carry and use CDC recommended insect repellents.

Further health information:

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tap Water: Tap water is unsafe to drink. Bottled water and beverages are considered safe.

Cosmetic Surgery: U.S. citizens should be aware of the risks associated with cosmetic surgery in the Dominican Republic. The Embassy is aware of U.S. citizens who suffered serious complications or died during or after having cosmetic surgery. Special care should be taken to verify the credentials and qualifications of any plastic surgeon. Additional information can be attained from the CDC website for Medical Tourism

ALL /
ALL /
Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Driving conditions vary across the country because of frequent disconcerting and dangerous patterns that include: driving at night without lights; missing manhole covers and large potholes; uneven road surfaces; scooters and motorcycles splitting lanes; driving on sidewalks; driving against traffic; a lack of stop signs at intersections; regularly “squeezing” four lanes of traffic where only two are intended;  failure to adhere to speed limits or disregard for stop lights; and heavy urban traffic. If you do elect to drive, you should be aware that defensive driving is necessary and extreme caution advised. Be especially vigilant when driving at night as drivers do not always use their lights and when driving in rural areas or along the border as animals are often encountered in the roadways. 

Visitors to the Dominican Republic should consider hiring a professional driver during their stay in lieu of driving themselves. Licensed drivers who are familiar with local roads can be hired through local car rental agencies. In case of accidents, only the driver will be taken into custody.

Traffic Laws: Traffic laws exist however there is not consistent enforcement and they are not technically equivalent to those of the United States.

Dominican law requires that a driver be taken into custody for being involved in an accident that causes serious injury or death, even if the driver is insured and appears not to have been at fault. The minimum detention period is 48 hours; however, detentions frequently last until a judicial decision is reached, or until a waiver is signed by the injured party.

Seat belts are required by law, and those caught not wearing them will be fined. There are no child car seat laws. The law also requires the use of hands-free cellular devices while driving. Police stop drivers using cell phones without the benefit of these devices.

Motorcycles and motor scooters are common, and they are often driven erratically. Law requires that motorcyclists wear helmets, but local authorities rarely enforce this law. Motor vehicle authorities report that less than one percent of motorcyclists in the country are actually licensed.

Although there may be a lack of enforcement, it is illegal to drive while intoxicated or inebriated whether due to the consumption of alcohol or narcotics.  Penalties for drunk driving can include fines and/or imprisonment and the sentence is dependent upon whether or not injuries or damages were incurred as a result of drunk driving.    
 
Please refer to our information on Road Safety.  

Public Transportation: Public transportation consists primarily of “guaguas” - privately owned buses or vans that serve as share taxis.  “Guaguas” run regular routes within urban areas and between towns in the countryside. The public buses and guaguas operating in the capital are not considered reliable or safe.

Many unregulated taxis operating throughout the country lack basic safety features and should be avoided.  We recommend that you only use a reputable, legitimate taxi service as recommended through your hotel or as part of a well-known, vetted vehicle service company.

Santo Domingo has a metro system and riders should take the same precautions as appropriate in any crowded area.

Private bus lines are available when traveling between large urban centers and to popular tourist destinations. 

Please refer to our information on Road Safety.  

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of the Dominican Republic’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo

Av. República de Colombia #57
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Telephone: +(809) 567-7775
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(809) 368-7777 
Email: Hours: Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM except U.S. and Dominican holidays 

 

Consulates

U.S. Consular Agent - Puerto Plata

Calle Villanueva esq. Avenida John F. Kennedy
Edificio Abraxa Libraria, 2nd floor
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Telephone: +(809) 586-8017, +(809) 586-8023
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (809) 368-7777
Email: PuertoPlataConsularAgency@state.gov
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM except U.S. and Dominican holidays

Palma Real Shopping Center
Business Center 2nd Floor
Bavaro, La Altagracia, Dominican Republic

Telephone: (809) 552-8990
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (809) 368-7777
Email: PuntaCanaConsularAgency@state.gov
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM except U.S. and Dominican holidays

ALL /
ALL /
General Information

The Dominican Republic and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since June 1, 2007.

For information concerning travel to the Dominican Republic, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, health conditions, currency and entry regulations, and crime and security, please see country-specific information for the Dominican Republic.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

ALL /
ALL /
Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including the Dominican Republic.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign central authority.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 202-485-6221
Websit
e

The Dominican Republic Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Consejo Nacional para la Ninez y Adolescencia (CONANI).  CONANI’s role is to perform the duties given to central authorities under the Hague Abduction Convention, including processing Hague Abduction Convention applications for return of and access to children.

They can be reached at:

Central Consejo Nacional para la Niñez y Adolescencia (CONANI)
Avenida Máximo Gómez,
esq. República de Paraguay
No. 154, Ens. La Fé, Santo Domingo
Distrito Nacional, República Dominicana.
Apartado Postal 2081
Telephone: 809-567-2233
Fax: 809-567-2494 / 809-472-8343
E-mail: conani@conani.gov.do
Website

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in the Dominican Republic, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to CONANI.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to CONANI, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or the Dominican Republic.  Attorney fees, if necessary, are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

ALL /
ALL /
Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in the Dominican Republic.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

ALL /
ALL /
Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in the Dominican Republic.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

ALL /
ALL /
Retaining an Attorney

Retaining a private attorney is not required in order to file Hague Abduction Convention applications with courts in the Dominican Republic. CONANI will file the case with the court, but will not represent the interests of either party; instead, CONANI represents the Hague application. However, parents should consider hiring a private attorney to follow up on cases, directly provide information to courts, and generally advise courses of action appropriate for their individual circumstances. A privately-hired attorney should contact CONANI as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed. 

The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firm contained on the list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

ALL /
ALL /
Mediation

In Hague Abduction Convention cases, CONANI encourages but does not require mediation before sending a case to a court. Mediation is also strongly encouraged by Dominican judges during judicial procedures.  If requested by the parties, CONANI provides mediation services free of charge in Hague Convention cases.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country.  It is important for parents to understand that, although a left behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.   For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney when planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
ALL /
ALL /
Hague Convention Information

The Dominican Republic is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore all adoptions between the Dominican Republic and the United States must meet the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.

Dominican adoption law is governed by the Dominican Code of Fundamental Protection and Rights for Children and Adolescents, Law 136-03, Articles 82-169. The adoption process is comprised of an administrative and judicial phase. The Dominican authorities will not allow a child to exit the country until the adoption is complete under Dominican law.

The Dominican Central Authority (CONANI) is responsible for the administrative phase of an international adoption. The Dominican judiciary in the Court of Children and Adolescents, responsible for the child's physical locality, completes the judicial phase.

Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Learn more.

ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Adopt

Adoption between the United States and the Dominican Republic is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from the Dominican Republic, the adopting family must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.

In addition to these U.S. requirements, the Dominican Republic also has the following requirements:

  • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: Both prospective adoptive parents must comply simultaneously with the period of cohabitation required by Law. If adopting a child under 12 years old, cohabitation shall be for at least 60 days. If adopting a child over 12 years of age, cohabitation shall be for at least 30 days.
  • AGE REQUIREMENTS: The prospective adoptive parents must be between 30 and 60 years of age and at least 15 years older than the child they wish to adopt.
  • MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS: Only heterosexual couples who have been married for five years or more are allowed to adopt from the Dominican Republic. Single individuals and unmarried couples are not permitted to adopt.
ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Be Adopted

Because the Dominican Republic is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from the Dominican Republic must meet the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Hague Adoption Convention requires that the Dominican Republic attempt to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to the Dominican Republic's requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for the adopting family to bring him or her back to the United States.

Learn more about the Convention's requirements for adoptable children.

ALL /
ALL /
How to Adopt

Dominican Republic Adoption Central Authority

Consejo Nacional para la Niñez y la Adolescencia (CONANI), http://www.conani.gov.do/

THE PROCESS

Because the Dominican Republic is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from the Dominican Republic must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention's requirements. A brief summary of the Hague Adoption Convention process is given below. The PAP (s) must complete these steps in the following order so that the adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.

NOTE: If a full and final adoption was completed in the Dominican Republic or filed an I-600a with USCIS before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply. The adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. Learn more.

  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
  5. Adopt the Child in the Dominican Republic
  6. Bringing the Child Home
  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider:

    The first step in adopting a child from the Dominican Republic is to select an adoption service provider (ASP) in the United States that is accredited. Only these agencies and attorneys can provide adoption services between the United States and the Dominican Republic. Note that an ASP will be obligatory for certain parts of the adoption process. Learn more.

  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt:

    After choosing an accredited adoption service provider, PAPs apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-800A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) National Benefits Center. Learn how.

    Once the U.S. government determines that the PAPs are "eligible" and "suitable" to adopt, the representative ASP will forward this information to CONANI. CONANI will review the application to determine whether the PAPs are also eligible to adopt under Dominican Republic's law.

  3. Be Matched with a Child:

    If both the United States and the Dominican Republic determine that the PAPs are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, CONANI may provide the PAP with a referral for a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of the particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.

    If CONANI is satisfied with the documentation submitted by the PAPs, the PAPs are then placed on a waiting list for assignment of a child. If PAPs are applying for the adoption of a child known to them and prior coexistence can be demonstrated both apparent and uninterrupted, then the case continues through the rest of the process without joining the waiting list.

    DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS: Prospective adoptive parents must meet the documentary requirements of Dominican law (see below). Once all the required documents are complete, the PAP(s) must submit the original along with two set of copies to the Department of Adoptions of CONANI.

    • Adoption application letter signed by the PAPs.
    • Special Power of Representation of the lawyer for the PAPs, if applicable.
    • Photograph of the future adoptive family.
    • Photocopies of the passports of the PAPs.
    • Psychological evaluation report made to the PAPs.
    • Social assessment report made to the PAPs.
    • Birth certificates of the PAPs.
    • Marriage certificate of the PAPs.
    • Certificates of no criminal record of the PAPs.
    • Medical certificates of the PAPs.
    • Proof of economic solvency of each of the PAPs.
    • Certification from an entity of a civic, community, or religious group on the social and moral suitability of the PAPs.
    • Certificate of no objection from the PAPs children over 12 years of age (if applicable).
    • Certification of suitability of the PAPs, issued by the USCIS (Approval of I-800A).
    • Certification issued by the officially authorized agency (Adoption Service Provider) or authority of commitment for post-adoption monitoring.

    After the match is suggested, the family will need to file an I-800 petition for the child with the National Benefits Center (NBC) of the USCIS. CONANI will then need confirmation that the NBC provisionally approved the I-800 petition for the matching process to be complete

    THE WAITING LIST:

    • After confirming that the documentation is complete, the file will be given a number and placed on the waiting list to be assigned as the prospective adoptive parents of a child.
    • When the PAPs turn comes, the Appropriations Committee makes the allocation of future adoptive family to the child.
    • CONANI presents the medical and psychological records of the child to the PAPs for evaluation and then sends a copy of the file to the U.S. accredited agency for scrutiny and approval. This approval must be sent in writing to CONANI before starting the stage of socialization. [This is the process in which the PAPs spend time with the child].
    • The PAPs must answer in writing to CONANI's Adoption Department Management either accepting or rejecting the child placement.
  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption:

    After PAPs accept a match with a child, they then apply to the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800). USCIS will determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted and enter the United States. Learn how.

    Once approved, the child's file will be transferred electronically to the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo. A staff member of the U.S. Embassy will contact the PAPs or their ASP to ask for a completed visa application and two photographs of the child. Once received, a Consular Officer will review the child's information and evaluate the child for possible visa ineligibilities.

    If the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he or she will send a letter (an "Article 5 Letter") to CONANI. PAPs are cautioned not to adopt or obtain custody of a child before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter.

    Remember: The Consular Officer will make a final decision about the immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

  5. Adopt the Child in the Dominican Republic:

    Remember: Before PAPs complete the adoption or obtain guardianship of a child in the Dominican Republic, they must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can PAPs proceed to finalize the adoption in the Dominican Republic.

    The process for finalizing the adoption in the Dominican Republic generally includes the following:

    Role of The Central Authority: After the prospective adoptive parents receive and accept the referral of a child, CONANI reviews the prospective adoptive parents' file for required documents and, if satisfied, issues a Certificate of Suitability.

    Role of the Dominican Court of Minors (the Court): Dominican adoption law is governed by the Dominican Code of Fundamental Protection and Rights for Children and Adolescents, Law 136-03, Articles 111-167. The Dominican Court of Minors receives the formal, legal application for adoption. If the application is approved, the Court issues a Final Order of Adoption.

    Role of Adoption Service Providers: The adoption service provider (ASP) forwards the prospective adoptive parents' application to CONANI. The ASP also is responsible for obtaining further permissions from the U.S. and Dominican authorities as well as ensuring that the PAPs are fully versed in the remaining procedures to be completed.

    Time Frame: An adoption can be completed within nine to ten months of U.S. and Dominican requirements being met. It should be noted that many variables can affect the total time it takes to complete the intercountry adoption of a Dominican child.

    Adoption Application: The prospective adoptive parents initiate contact with CONANI (via their attorney) and begin the process of locating a child who meets the definition of "Convention adoptee" under both Dominican and U.S. law.

    Adoption Fees: Attorney fees for the adoption of a Dominican child range from $5,000 to $8,000 USD. All adoption-related expenses, including court costs and document fees, are included in this estimate. These expenses should have been itemized in the fees and estimated expenses section of the adoption services contract. Learn more about adoption service provider responsibilities.

    SOCIALIZATION: If the PAPs accept the child placement, then the socialization period begins. This is the first contact between the child and prospective adoptive parents.

    • CONANI and the PAPs sign an act of consent
    • CONANI issues a certificate of completion of the administrative phase of the adoption process and refers the case to the Court of Children and Adolescents territorial jurisdiction. This begins the judicial phase of the adoption process.
    • Once the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has approved the PAPs (I-800 approval) CONANI can continue the process and start the period of co-habitation between the PAPs and the candidate for adoption.

    THE JUDICIAL PROCESS:

    • Requests from future adoptive parents are treated in strict chronological order, starting from the date of entry of the file to the Adoption Department.
    • All documents coming from abroad should be legalized or authenticated by the competent authority, and they should be translated into Spanish by a certified court interpreter.
    • Currently, the waiting time for records that are complete and on the waiting list for adoption is between two years to two and half years until being assigned to prospective adoptive parents.

    NOTE: In Dominican Republic, the Law of Minors and Adolescents 136-03 states that only after completing an official adoption can a child be taken out of Dominican Republic for purposes of international adoptions. Thus, PAPs must complete the full and final adoption in Dominican courts before the child can be taken to the United States. In essence, there is no such thing as an IH4/IR4 visa for Dominican Republic. While guardianship exists for domestic purposes, it does not exist for intercountry adoptions.

    CONTACTS: For more information or guidance on the process of Adoption in Dominican Republic, please contact the Department of Adoptions CONANI (see at bottom of page).

    In the adoption services contract that PAPs sign at the beginning of the adoption process, the ASP shall itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to the adoption process.

    NOTE: Additional documents may be requested. If PAPs are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn how.

  6. Bringing the Child Home Now that the adoption is complete, there are a few more steps to take before heading home. Specifically, adoptive parents need to apply for three documents for their child before he or she can travel to the United States:
    • Birth Certificate 
      Dominican Law requires adoptive parents to first apply for a new birth certificate for their child, so that they can later apply for a passport. The adoptive parents' names will be added to the new birth certificate.

      How to obtain a new birth certificate for the child in the Dominican Republic

    • Dominican Passport

      An adopted child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a Passport from the Dominican Republic.

      How to obtain a Passport for the child in the Dominican Republic

      Please visit this link to learn more http://pasaportes.gov.do/2009/07/pasaportes-por-primera-vez-para-adultos-y-menores/.

    • U.S. Immigrant Visa: 
      Before adoptive parents come in for a final visa interview, they need to have obtained a new birth certificate and passport for their child as well as have completed the co-residency requirements under Dominican law. Once adoptive parents are ready, they may contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo at CONSULARSANTOD2@state.gov.

      Adoptive parents will be given an open appointment via email to come to the Consular Section at their convenience during normal working hours to complete the visa interview. However, the visa cannot be issued until a U.S. Embassy designated panel physician completes a medical examination of the child. Once the final medical report is obtained from the panel physician, the adoptive parents and the child may come in with an open appointment letter for the visa interview.

      On the day of the interview, adoptive parents will present their appointment letter to the guards outside the Consular Section who will direct them inside. Once inside, adoptive parents may proceed to Window 15 to inquire about an adoption visa interview for the day. The Embassy employee will ask for the SDO case number and the child's name in order to locate the file. The employee may ask for some additional documentation, including the final medical report, and payment of the Immigrant Visa Interview Fee at the Cashier. If the child is over 14 years of age, then s/he will be sent to be fingerprinted. Otherwise, after taking in all necessary documents, adoptive parents will be given a unique number that will be called when it is time for the interview. Until the number is called, the U.S. Embassy requests that families have a seat in the waiting area.

      At the interview, the officer may ask questions regarding the entire adoption process on both the U.S. and Dominican procedures. If there are any questions, recommendations, suggestions, etc. adoptive families are free to provide these to the officer at this time. Assuming that everything is fine, the officer will approve the visa, finally approve the I-800 form, and send the file for printing the visa and the Hague Adoption Certificate. Again, families are asked to wait in the waiting area again for the visa to be prepared and printed.

      Once printed, families will again be called to Window 15 by name or by the case number and will be given the child's passport with a visa inside and a manila envelope known as the Visa Packet. DO NOT OPEN THIS PACKET, as it is for the U.S. immigration officials to open once the family enters the United States. The family is now free to travel home.

    • TWO ITEMS TO REMEMBER: 1) DO NOT OPEN THE PACKET AT ANY TIME, and 2) Please allow enough time to go through secondary at the first Port of Entry into the United States. The family will be asked to go into secondary for the Immigration Officer to open the packet and process the documents inside. If families do not allow sufficient time for this, they may miss onward travel plans.

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.

For adoptions finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when the court in the United States issues the final adoption decree.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.

ALL /
ALL /
Traveling Abroad

Applying for a U.S. Passport 

A valid U.S. passport is required for American citizens to enter and leave the Dominican Republic. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help the applicant determine which passport form is needed, complete the form online, estimate the payment, and generate the form to print-all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa 

In addition to a U.S. passport, the family will also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows an individual to visit. Where required, visas are attached to the passport and allow entry into a foreign nation.

To find information about obtaining a visa for the Dominican Republic, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip 

Before traveling, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.

The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip 

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage United States Citizens to register their trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact the individual if necessary. Whether there's a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in the Dominican Republic, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching a United States Citizen.

Registration is free and can be done online.

ALL /
ALL /
After Adoption

What does the Dominican Republic require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

POST-ADOPTION / POST-PLACEMENT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
CONANI requires post adoption reports to be submitted by the ASP for 5 years after the child has entered the United States; the first report must be submitted 6 months after the child entered the US, the second report after the first year, then once a year for the next 5 years. The reports are to be submitted to the closest Embassy or Consulate of the Dominican Republic to the residence of the child in the United States.

Adoptive parent are reminded that they are required by law and international treaty to complete all post-adoption reporting requirements in a timely manner. The ASP is required to assist families as well.

What resources are available to assist families after the adoption? 

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents. Adoption Services Support Groups for Adopting Persons

ALL /
ALL /
Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic
IV Unit (Adoptions)
Unit 3470, Box 531
APO AA 34041-0531

The mailing address if you use a private delivery service is: 
Embassy of the United States of America
César Nicolás Penson 85A esq. Leopoldo Navarro
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic's Central Authority 
Consejo Nacional para la Niñez y la Adolescencia (CONANI)
Av. Máximo Gómez esq. República de Paraguay # 154
Ensanche La Fe (Frente a la Bomba Esso)
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
Tel: 809-567-2233 (Office of Adoptions, ext. 1157)
Email: adopciones@conani.gov.do
Website: www.conani.gov.do

Embassy of the Dominican Republic 
1715 22nd Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 332-6280
Fax: (202) 265-8057

Consulate of the Dominican Republic 
1501 New Broadway Ave., Suite 410
New York, NY 10036
Tel: (212) 768-2480
Fax: (212) 768-2677

Note: the Dominican Republic also has consulates in Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, New York, and Puerto Rico.

Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: AskCI@state.gov
http://adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about general immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
For questions about the I-800A or I-800 petition process, call the National Benefits Center
Toll free (877) 424-8374; Toll (816) 251-2770
E-mail: NBC.Hague@dhs.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
ALL /
ALL /
Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

ALL /
ALL /
Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

ALL /
ALL /
General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth

Available. Birth certificates (Actas de Nacimiento, in Spanish) are available for all persons born in the Dominican Republic. Certified copies of birth certificates may be obtained by visiting the Civil Registry Office (Oficialía del Estado Civil) having jurisdiction over the place in which the birth occurred. Alternatively, birth certificates may be obtained by writing directly to the General Directorate of Civil Registry Offices of the Republic (Dirección General de las Oficialías del Estado Civil de la República) in Santo Domingo, giving the place and year of the person's birth. The address of the General Directorate is Calle Paul Harris esq. Horacio Vicioso.

Two types of birth certificates are available: a condensed version called an "Extracto de Acta" and a longer version, called an "Acta Inextensa," which contains more information. Both versions are legitimate civil documents; however, only the Acta Inextensa is accepted for immigrant, K and V visa purposes.

Dominican civil documents used for visa purposes must be legalized at the Oficina Central del Estado Civil, the main civil registry office in Santo Domingo.

Death/Burial

Available. Certified copies of marriage, adoption, divorce and death certificates may be obtained by visiting the Civil Registry Office (Oficialía del Estado Civil) having jurisdiction over the area in which the marriage, divorce, adoption or death took place. Alternatively, such certificates may be obtained by writing directly to the General Directorate of Civil Registry Offices of the Republic (Dirección General de las Oficialías del Estado Civil de la República) in Santo Domingo. The address of the General Directorate is Calle Paul Harris esq. Horacio Vicioso.

Domincan civil documents used for visa purposes must be legalized at the Oficina Central del Estado Civil, the main civil registry office in Santo Domingo.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage

Available. Certified copies of marriage, adoption, divorce and death certificates may be obtained by visiting the Civil Registry Office (Oficialía del Estado Civil) having jurisdiction over the area in which the marriage, divorce, adoption or death took place. Alternatively, such certificates may be obtained by writing directly to the General Directorate of Civil Registry Offices of the Republic (Dirección General de las Oficialías del Estado Civil de la República) in Santo Domingo. The address of the General Directorate is Calle Paul Harris esq. Horacio Vicioso.

Domincan civil documents used for visa purposes must be legalized at the Oficina Central del Estado Civil, the main civil registry office in Santo Domingo.

Divorce

Available. Certified copies of marriage, adoption, divorce and death certificates may be obtained by visiting the Civil Registry Office (Oficialía del Estado Civil) having jurisdiction over the area in which the marriage, divorce, adoption or death took place. Alternatively, such certificates may be obtained by writing directly to the General Directorate of Civil Registry Offices of the Republic (Dirección General de las Oficialías del Estado Civil de la República) in Santo Domingo. The address of the General Directorate is Calle Paul Harris esq. Horacio Vicioso.

Dominican civil documents used for visa purposes must be legalized at the Oficina Central del Estado Civil, the main civil registry office in Santo Domingo.

Adoption Certificates

Available. Certified copies of marriage, adoption, divorce and death certificates may be obtained by visiting the Civil Registry Office (Oficialía del Estado Civil) having jurisdiction over the area in which the marriage, divorce, adoption or death took place. Alternatively, such certificates may be obtained by writing directly to the General Directorate of Civil Registry Offices of the Republic (Dirección General de las Oficialías del Estado Civil de la República) in Santo Domingo. The address of the General Directorate is Calle Paul Harris esq. Horacio Vicioso.

Domincan civil documents used for visa purposes must be legalized at the Oficina Central del Estado Civil, the main civil registry office in Santo Domingo.

ALL /
ALL /
Identity Card

Unavailable.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. A certificate, called a "Certificate of No Judicial Records" (Certificado de No Antecendentes Judiciales), is obtainable by both Dominicans and non-Dominicans 18 years or older who permanently reside in or have resided in the Dominican Republic. Interested parties must apply in person at any office of the Prosecutor General (Procuraduria General de la Republica) throughout the country. They must present a Dominican national identification card (cedula) and a photocopy of both sides, 2 passport-sized photographs, and a birth certificate and the fee in cash (330 Dominican pesos as of April 2007). The certificate is usually ready the same day and is handed directly to the interested party for presentation during the visa interview. 

Court Records

Unavailable.

Prison Records

Available. Prison records are maintained on all current and former prisoners in the Dominican Republic 18 years of age or over. A prison certificate may be obtained by writing directly to the Penal Court that sentenced the interested party to prison.

Military Records

Unavailable.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Unavailable.

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Santo Domingo (Embassy)

Mailing Addresses:
To send correspondence via the U.S. Postal Service:
U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo
Unit 5542
APO AA 34041-5542

To send correspondence via the Dominican Postal Institute:
Embajada de los Estados Unidos de América
César Nicolás Penson esq. Leopoldo Navarro
Apartado Postal 11302
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana

To send correspondence via a private delivery service (e.g., FedEx, DHL, or UPS):
Embajada de los Estados Unidos de América
César Nicolás Penson esq. Leopoldo Navarro
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Street Address:
César Nicolás Penson esq. Leopoldo Navarro
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana

Tel: (809) 221-2171

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Dominican Republic.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 332-7670 (202) 387-2459(202) 265-8057

Boston, MA (617) 482-8121 (617) 482-8133

Chicago, IL (773) 714-4924 (773) 714-4926

Glendale, CA (818) 504-6605 (818) 504-6602 (818) 504-6617

Mayaguez, PR (787) 833-4756 (787) 757-3170 (787) 832-4066

Miami, FL (305) 358-3220 (305) 358-2318

New Orleans, LA (504) 522-1843 (504) 522-1007

New York, NY (212) 768-2480 (212) 768-2481 (212) 768-2482 (212) 768-2483 (212) 768-2677 (212) 827-0425

San Juan, PR (809) 725-9550 (809) 725-9554 (809) 721-7820

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo
Av. República de Colombia #57
Santo Domingo,
Dominican Republic
Telephone
+(809) 567-7775
Emergency
+(809) 586-8017, +(809) 586-8023
Fax
No Fax
Dominican Republic Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Country Information

Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
ALL /
ALL /
Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Must be valid at time of entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

1 page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

No for stays less than 30 days, but a tourist card is required which can be purchased at the airport upon entry

VACCINATIONS:

Suggested

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

$10,000 and over or its equivalent must be declared 

ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo

Av. República de Colombia #57
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Telephone: +(809) 567-7775
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(809) 368-7777 
Email: Hours: Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM except U.S. and Dominican holidays 

 

Consulates

U.S. Consular Agent - Puerto Plata

Calle Villanueva esq. Avenida John F. Kennedy
Edificio Abraxa Libraria, 2nd floor
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Telephone: +(809) 586-8017, +(809) 586-8023
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (809) 368-7777
Email: PuertoPlataConsularAgency@state.gov
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM except U.S. and Dominican holidays

Palma Real Shopping Center
Business Center 2nd Floor
Bavaro, La Altagracia, Dominican Republic

Telephone: (809) 552-8990
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (809) 368-7777
Email: PuntaCanaConsularAgency@state.gov
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM except U.S. and Dominican holidays

ALL /
ALL /
Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on the Dominican Republic for information on U.S. – Dominican Republic relations.

ALL /
ALL /
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visitors who do not obtain a Dominican visa must purchase a tourist card at the airport for 10 USD upon entry or online prior to travel.

For more specific information concerning entry and exit requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in the United States.

Please contact the Migration Department in Santo Domingo for visa extension requests. Failure to request an extension will result in a surcharge at the airport upon departure. The surcharges can ranges from approximately $55 USD for one month to as high as $1,555 USD for 10 years.

Exit Requirements for children: Minors (children under 18) who are citizens (including dual citizens) or legal residents of the Dominican Republic are required to present both parent’s identification documents and notarized consent (in Spanish) in order to exit the country if not accompanied by both parents or Legal Guardian. The written consent must be notarized at the Dominican consulate in the United States or notarized and then certified at the Dominican Attorney General’s office (Procuraduria de la Republica) if done in the Dominican Republic. More information, including current fee information, can be found at the Immigration Office's website.

Regulations governing the travel of children in the Dominican Republic can be found in Spanish on the Migration Department.

ALL /
ALL /
Safety and Security

Crime: Significant crime exists throughout the Dominican Republic. Take precautions to avoid becoming a target.  If confronted by a thief demanding money or personal items, comply with their demands. Criminals often have weapons and are likely to use them if they meet resistance. Avoid wearing items of value or carrying an item that could make you at attractive target. Be wary of strangers, especially those who approach you at celebrations or nightspots. Travel with a partner or in a group if possible.

Victims of Crime: If you become a victim of a crime, we urge you to report the incident immediately to the U.S. Embassy (809-567-7777) and to local tourist police (CESTUR) at (809-200-3500) for assistance and to file a police report.

The Embassy can help you:

  • Replace a stolen passport
  • Identify appropriate medical care
  • Assist you with contacting the appropriate authorities
  • Contact family members or friends

The local equivalent to a U.S.  “911” emergency line in the Dominican Republic is also “911”.  Call 911 for any kind of emergency. However, currently the 911 system is only operative in the greater Santo Domingo area. Additional coverage is anticipated by the end of 2016 over the greater Santiago and Puerto Plata areas to the north.

Please see information on victims of crime.

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence should contact CESTUR (809-222-2026) the National Police (809-682-2151), and the U.S. Embassy for assistance.

For further Information:

Beaches and Resorts: We recommend that you do not consume alcoholic beverages alone or with “friends” that you make in the Dominican Republic.  Reported incidents include sexual assault targeting inebriated victims or involving date rape drugs and victims who have been isolated and forced in to compromising situations; sometimes by ingratiating employees. Report any unwanted attention to hotel management.   

Water Sports: Swimming areas at some popular beaches around the Dominican Republic are subject to dangerous undertows. Many beaches lack life guards, warnings, or signs of unsafe conditions. Check with your hotel, as resort managers usually offer current information on local swimming and surf conditions. Do not swim alone, particularly at isolated beaches.

Spring Break: Individuals wishing to travel to the Dominican Republic during Spring Break can find additional information on the State Department’s Students Abroad website.

Additional Information for Travelers is available on the U.S. Embassy’s website.

ALL /
ALL /
Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to all local laws.  If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be arrested, fined, deported, and/or imprisoned.

Some crimes or offenses may lead to prosecution in the U.S., regardless of local laws.  Also, see these links for details about crimes against minors abroad and other information on from the Department of Justice.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in the Dominican Republic are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. Check our website for General Information on Legal Assistance and a List of Local Attorneys.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: There is cultural discrimination against LGBTI individuals and the government does not legally recognize same-sex unions. For more detailed information about LGBTI rights, you may review the Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

For further information on LGBTI travel, please read our Information for LGBTI Travelers page.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: The law provides for physical access for persons with disabilities to all new public and private buildings, but the authorities do not enforce this provision and sidewalks are generally in disrepair and pose a hazard to all pedestrians.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Disaster Preparedness: The Embassy encourages both U.S. citizen residents and visitors to register with the Embassy on or before your arrival to the country.  In the event of a natural disaster or emergency, this will assist in effort to keep you informed. You may register through the State Department's travel registration website. U.S. citizens who have previously registered with the U.S. Embassy do not need to register again.  Additional information on natural disasters and disaster preparedness can be found on our website.

Real Estate: Real estate investments require a high level of caution, as property rights are irregularly enforced and investors often encounter problems in receiving clear title to land. We recommend consultation with a reputable attorney before signing documents or closing on any real estate transactions.  Real estate investments by U.S. citizens have been the subject of both legal and physical takeover attempts. Absentee landlords and absentee owners of undeveloped land are particularly vulnerable.  Investors should seek solid property title and not just a “carta de constancia,” which is often confused with a title.  An official land registry measurement (also known as “deslinde” or “mensura catastral”) is also desirable for the cautious overseas investor. Investors should also consider purchasing title insurance.

Scams: Be alert to a scam which targets elderly citizens. The perpetrator contacts a grandparent on the telephone pretending to be a law enforcement official, an attorney, or a U.S. Embassy official and informs them that a loved one has been arrested overseas. The caller instructs the victim to wire cash.  In some instances, impersonators portray the role of the scared grandchild.  When in doubt, please attempt to contact your loved one directly.  

ALL /
ALL /
Health

The U.S. Embassy does not pay medical bills. U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.  

Medical Insurance: Check before traveling to ensure your medical insurance provides coverage overseas or obtain supplemental travel insurance. Most health care providers in the DR only accept cash payments and these payments often must be made prior to treatment and/or before the patient’s hospital discharge.  See our webpage for general information on medical assistance.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. For additional information on medications or concerns regarding mental health, please reference the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While private hospitals that are located in large cities are fairly adequate, the quality of care can vary. Emergency treatment before payment is not required by Dominican law, and a deposit or fees for services may be required before emergency medical treatment. For additional information please reference our webpage about Medical Assistance or see our List of Doctors and Hospitals in the Dominican Republic

The following diseases are prevalent:

Zika Virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website

Chikungunya, Dengue, and Yellow Fever are present on the island.  Travelers should carry and use CDC recommended insect repellents.

Further health information:

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tap Water: Tap water is unsafe to drink. Bottled water and beverages are considered safe.

Cosmetic Surgery: U.S. citizens should be aware of the risks associated with cosmetic surgery in the Dominican Republic. The Embassy is aware of U.S. citizens who suffered serious complications or died during or after having cosmetic surgery. Special care should be taken to verify the credentials and qualifications of any plastic surgeon. Additional information can be attained from the CDC website for Medical Tourism

ALL /
ALL /
Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Driving conditions vary across the country because of frequent disconcerting and dangerous patterns that include: driving at night without lights; missing manhole covers and large potholes; uneven road surfaces; scooters and motorcycles splitting lanes; driving on sidewalks; driving against traffic; a lack of stop signs at intersections; regularly “squeezing” four lanes of traffic where only two are intended;  failure to adhere to speed limits or disregard for stop lights; and heavy urban traffic. If you do elect to drive, you should be aware that defensive driving is necessary and extreme caution advised. Be especially vigilant when driving at night as drivers do not always use their lights and when driving in rural areas or along the border as animals are often encountered in the roadways. 

Visitors to the Dominican Republic should consider hiring a professional driver during their stay in lieu of driving themselves. Licensed drivers who are familiar with local roads can be hired through local car rental agencies. In case of accidents, only the driver will be taken into custody.

Traffic Laws: Traffic laws exist however there is not consistent enforcement and they are not technically equivalent to those of the United States.

Dominican law requires that a driver be taken into custody for being involved in an accident that causes serious injury or death, even if the driver is insured and appears not to have been at fault. The minimum detention period is 48 hours; however, detentions frequently last until a judicial decision is reached, or until a waiver is signed by the injured party.

Seat belts are required by law, and those caught not wearing them will be fined. There are no child car seat laws. The law also requires the use of hands-free cellular devices while driving. Police stop drivers using cell phones without the benefit of these devices.

Motorcycles and motor scooters are common, and they are often driven erratically. Law requires that motorcyclists wear helmets, but local authorities rarely enforce this law. Motor vehicle authorities report that less than one percent of motorcyclists in the country are actually licensed.

Although there may be a lack of enforcement, it is illegal to drive while intoxicated or inebriated whether due to the consumption of alcohol or narcotics.  Penalties for drunk driving can include fines and/or imprisonment and the sentence is dependent upon whether or not injuries or damages were incurred as a result of drunk driving.    
 
Please refer to our information on Road Safety.  

Public Transportation: Public transportation consists primarily of “guaguas” - privately owned buses or vans that serve as share taxis.  “Guaguas” run regular routes within urban areas and between towns in the countryside. The public buses and guaguas operating in the capital are not considered reliable or safe.

Many unregulated taxis operating throughout the country lack basic safety features and should be avoided.  We recommend that you only use a reputable, legitimate taxi service as recommended through your hotel or as part of a well-known, vetted vehicle service company.

Santo Domingo has a metro system and riders should take the same precautions as appropriate in any crowded area.

Private bus lines are available when traveling between large urban centers and to popular tourist destinations. 

Please refer to our information on Road Safety.  

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of the Dominican Republic’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo

Av. República de Colombia #57
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Telephone: +(809) 567-7775
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(809) 368-7777 
Email: Hours: Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM except U.S. and Dominican holidays 

 

Consulates

U.S. Consular Agent - Puerto Plata

Calle Villanueva esq. Avenida John F. Kennedy
Edificio Abraxa Libraria, 2nd floor
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Telephone: +(809) 586-8017, +(809) 586-8023
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (809) 368-7777
Email: PuertoPlataConsularAgency@state.gov
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM except U.S. and Dominican holidays

Palma Real Shopping Center
Business Center 2nd Floor
Bavaro, La Altagracia, Dominican Republic

Telephone: (809) 552-8990
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (809) 368-7777
Email: PuntaCanaConsularAgency@state.gov
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM except U.S. and Dominican holidays

ALL /
ALL /
General Information

The Dominican Republic and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since June 1, 2007.

For information concerning travel to the Dominican Republic, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, health conditions, currency and entry regulations, and crime and security, please see country-specific information for the Dominican Republic.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

ALL /
ALL /
Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including the Dominican Republic.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign central authority.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 202-485-6221
Websit
e

The Dominican Republic Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Consejo Nacional para la Ninez y Adolescencia (CONANI).  CONANI’s role is to perform the duties given to central authorities under the Hague Abduction Convention, including processing Hague Abduction Convention applications for return of and access to children.

They can be reached at:

Central Consejo Nacional para la Niñez y Adolescencia (CONANI)
Avenida Máximo Gómez,
esq. República de Paraguay
No. 154, Ens. La Fé, Santo Domingo
Distrito Nacional, República Dominicana.
Apartado Postal 2081
Telephone: 809-567-2233
Fax: 809-567-2494 / 809-472-8343
E-mail: conani@conani.gov.do
Website

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in the Dominican Republic, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to CONANI.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to CONANI, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or the Dominican Republic.  Attorney fees, if necessary, are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

ALL /
ALL /
Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in the Dominican Republic.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

ALL /
ALL /
Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in the Dominican Republic.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

ALL /
ALL /
Retaining an Attorney

Retaining a private attorney is not required in order to file Hague Abduction Convention applications with courts in the Dominican Republic. CONANI will file the case with the court, but will not represent the interests of either party; instead, CONANI represents the Hague application. However, parents should consider hiring a private attorney to follow up on cases, directly provide information to courts, and generally advise courses of action appropriate for their individual circumstances. A privately-hired attorney should contact CONANI as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed. 

The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firm contained on the list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

ALL /
ALL /
Mediation

In Hague Abduction Convention cases, CONANI encourages but does not require mediation before sending a case to a court. Mediation is also strongly encouraged by Dominican judges during judicial procedures.  If requested by the parties, CONANI provides mediation services free of charge in Hague Convention cases.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country.  It is important for parents to understand that, although a left behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.   For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney when planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
ALL /
ALL /
Hague Convention Information

The Dominican Republic is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore all adoptions between the Dominican Republic and the United States must meet the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.

Dominican adoption law is governed by the Dominican Code of Fundamental Protection and Rights for Children and Adolescents, Law 136-03, Articles 82-169. The adoption process is comprised of an administrative and judicial phase. The Dominican authorities will not allow a child to exit the country until the adoption is complete under Dominican law.

The Dominican Central Authority (CONANI) is responsible for the administrative phase of an international adoption. The Dominican judiciary in the Court of Children and Adolescents, responsible for the child's physical locality, completes the judicial phase.

Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Learn more.

ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Adopt

Adoption between the United States and the Dominican Republic is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from the Dominican Republic, the adopting family must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.

In addition to these U.S. requirements, the Dominican Republic also has the following requirements:

  • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: Both prospective adoptive parents must comply simultaneously with the period of cohabitation required by Law. If adopting a child under 12 years old, cohabitation shall be for at least 60 days. If adopting a child over 12 years of age, cohabitation shall be for at least 30 days.
  • AGE REQUIREMENTS: The prospective adoptive parents must be between 30 and 60 years of age and at least 15 years older than the child they wish to adopt.
  • MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS: Only heterosexual couples who have been married for five years or more are allowed to adopt from the Dominican Republic. Single individuals and unmarried couples are not permitted to adopt.
ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Be Adopted

Because the Dominican Republic is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from the Dominican Republic must meet the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Hague Adoption Convention requires that the Dominican Republic attempt to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to the Dominican Republic's requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for the adopting family to bring him or her back to the United States.

Learn more about the Convention's requirements for adoptable children.

ALL /
ALL /
How to Adopt

Dominican Republic Adoption Central Authority

Consejo Nacional para la Niñez y la Adolescencia (CONANI), http://www.conani.gov.do/

THE PROCESS

Because the Dominican Republic is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from the Dominican Republic must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention's requirements. A brief summary of the Hague Adoption Convention process is given below. The PAP (s) must complete these steps in the following order so that the adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.

NOTE: If a full and final adoption was completed in the Dominican Republic or filed an I-600a with USCIS before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply. The adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. Learn more.

  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
  5. Adopt the Child in the Dominican Republic
  6. Bringing the Child Home
  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider:

    The first step in adopting a child from the Dominican Republic is to select an adoption service provider (ASP) in the United States that is accredited. Only these agencies and attorneys can provide adoption services between the United States and the Dominican Republic. Note that an ASP will be obligatory for certain parts of the adoption process. Learn more.

  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt:

    After choosing an accredited adoption service provider, PAPs apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-800A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) National Benefits Center. Learn how.

    Once the U.S. government determines that the PAPs are "eligible" and "suitable" to adopt, the representative ASP will forward this information to CONANI. CONANI will review the application to determine whether the PAPs are also eligible to adopt under Dominican Republic's law.

  3. Be Matched with a Child:

    If both the United States and the Dominican Republic determine that the PAPs are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, CONANI may provide the PAP with a referral for a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of the particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.

    If CONANI is satisfied with the documentation submitted by the PAPs, the PAPs are then placed on a waiting list for assignment of a child. If PAPs are applying for the adoption of a child known to them and prior coexistence can be demonstrated both apparent and uninterrupted, then the case continues through the rest of the process without joining the waiting list.

    DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS: Prospective adoptive parents must meet the documentary requirements of Dominican law (see below). Once all the required documents are complete, the PAP(s) must submit the original along with two set of copies to the Department of Adoptions of CONANI.

    • Adoption application letter signed by the PAPs.
    • Special Power of Representation of the lawyer for the PAPs, if applicable.
    • Photograph of the future adoptive family.
    • Photocopies of the passports of the PAPs.
    • Psychological evaluation report made to the PAPs.
    • Social assessment report made to the PAPs.
    • Birth certificates of the PAPs.
    • Marriage certificate of the PAPs.
    • Certificates of no criminal record of the PAPs.
    • Medical certificates of the PAPs.
    • Proof of economic solvency of each of the PAPs.
    • Certification from an entity of a civic, community, or religious group on the social and moral suitability of the PAPs.
    • Certificate of no objection from the PAPs children over 12 years of age (if applicable).
    • Certification of suitability of the PAPs, issued by the USCIS (Approval of I-800A).
    • Certification issued by the officially authorized agency (Adoption Service Provider) or authority of commitment for post-adoption monitoring.

    After the match is suggested, the family will need to file an I-800 petition for the child with the National Benefits Center (NBC) of the USCIS. CONANI will then need confirmation that the NBC provisionally approved the I-800 petition for the matching process to be complete

    THE WAITING LIST:

    • After confirming that the documentation is complete, the file will be given a number and placed on the waiting list to be assigned as the prospective adoptive parents of a child.
    • When the PAPs turn comes, the Appropriations Committee makes the allocation of future adoptive family to the child.
    • CONANI presents the medical and psychological records of the child to the PAPs for evaluation and then sends a copy of the file to the U.S. accredited agency for scrutiny and approval. This approval must be sent in writing to CONANI before starting the stage of socialization. [This is the process in which the PAPs spend time with the child].
    • The PAPs must answer in writing to CONANI's Adoption Department Management either accepting or rejecting the child placement.
  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption:

    After PAPs accept a match with a child, they then apply to the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800). USCIS will determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted and enter the United States. Learn how.

    Once approved, the child's file will be transferred electronically to the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo. A staff member of the U.S. Embassy will contact the PAPs or their ASP to ask for a completed visa application and two photographs of the child. Once received, a Consular Officer will review the child's information and evaluate the child for possible visa ineligibilities.

    If the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he or she will send a letter (an "Article 5 Letter") to CONANI. PAPs are cautioned not to adopt or obtain custody of a child before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter.

    Remember: The Consular Officer will make a final decision about the immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

  5. Adopt the Child in the Dominican Republic:

    Remember: Before PAPs complete the adoption or obtain guardianship of a child in the Dominican Republic, they must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can PAPs proceed to finalize the adoption in the Dominican Republic.

    The process for finalizing the adoption in the Dominican Republic generally includes the following:

    Role of The Central Authority: After the prospective adoptive parents receive and accept the referral of a child, CONANI reviews the prospective adoptive parents' file for required documents and, if satisfied, issues a Certificate of Suitability.

    Role of the Dominican Court of Minors (the Court): Dominican adoption law is governed by the Dominican Code of Fundamental Protection and Rights for Children and Adolescents, Law 136-03, Articles 111-167. The Dominican Court of Minors receives the formal, legal application for adoption. If the application is approved, the Court issues a Final Order of Adoption.

    Role of Adoption Service Providers: The adoption service provider (ASP) forwards the prospective adoptive parents' application to CONANI. The ASP also is responsible for obtaining further permissions from the U.S. and Dominican authorities as well as ensuring that the PAPs are fully versed in the remaining procedures to be completed.

    Time Frame: An adoption can be completed within nine to ten months of U.S. and Dominican requirements being met. It should be noted that many variables can affect the total time it takes to complete the intercountry adoption of a Dominican child.

    Adoption Application: The prospective adoptive parents initiate contact with CONANI (via their attorney) and begin the process of locating a child who meets the definition of "Convention adoptee" under both Dominican and U.S. law.

    Adoption Fees: Attorney fees for the adoption of a Dominican child range from $5,000 to $8,000 USD. All adoption-related expenses, including court costs and document fees, are included in this estimate. These expenses should have been itemized in the fees and estimated expenses section of the adoption services contract. Learn more about adoption service provider responsibilities.

    SOCIALIZATION: If the PAPs accept the child placement, then the socialization period begins. This is the first contact between the child and prospective adoptive parents.

    • CONANI and the PAPs sign an act of consent
    • CONANI issues a certificate of completion of the administrative phase of the adoption process and refers the case to the Court of Children and Adolescents territorial jurisdiction. This begins the judicial phase of the adoption process.
    • Once the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has approved the PAPs (I-800 approval) CONANI can continue the process and start the period of co-habitation between the PAPs and the candidate for adoption.

    THE JUDICIAL PROCESS:

    • Requests from future adoptive parents are treated in strict chronological order, starting from the date of entry of the file to the Adoption Department.
    • All documents coming from abroad should be legalized or authenticated by the competent authority, and they should be translated into Spanish by a certified court interpreter.
    • Currently, the waiting time for records that are complete and on the waiting list for adoption is between two years to two and half years until being assigned to prospective adoptive parents.

    NOTE: In Dominican Republic, the Law of Minors and Adolescents 136-03 states that only after completing an official adoption can a child be taken out of Dominican Republic for purposes of international adoptions. Thus, PAPs must complete the full and final adoption in Dominican courts before the child can be taken to the United States. In essence, there is no such thing as an IH4/IR4 visa for Dominican Republic. While guardianship exists for domestic purposes, it does not exist for intercountry adoptions.

    CONTACTS: For more information or guidance on the process of Adoption in Dominican Republic, please contact the Department of Adoptions CONANI (see at bottom of page).

    In the adoption services contract that PAPs sign at the beginning of the adoption process, the ASP shall itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to the adoption process.

    NOTE: Additional documents may be requested. If PAPs are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn how.

  6. Bringing the Child Home Now that the adoption is complete, there are a few more steps to take before heading home. Specifically, adoptive parents need to apply for three documents for their child before he or she can travel to the United States:
    • Birth Certificate 
      Dominican Law requires adoptive parents to first apply for a new birth certificate for their child, so that they can later apply for a passport. The adoptive parents' names will be added to the new birth certificate.

      How to obtain a new birth certificate for the child in the Dominican Republic

    • Dominican Passport

      An adopted child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a Passport from the Dominican Republic.

      How to obtain a Passport for the child in the Dominican Republic

      Please visit this link to learn more http://pasaportes.gov.do/2009/07/pasaportes-por-primera-vez-para-adultos-y-menores/.

    • U.S. Immigrant Visa: 
      Before adoptive parents come in for a final visa interview, they need to have obtained a new birth certificate and passport for their child as well as have completed the co-residency requirements under Dominican law. Once adoptive parents are ready, they may contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo at CONSULARSANTOD2@state.gov.

      Adoptive parents will be given an open appointment via email to come to the Consular Section at their convenience during normal working hours to complete the visa interview. However, the visa cannot be issued until a U.S. Embassy designated panel physician completes a medical examination of the child. Once the final medical report is obtained from the panel physician, the adoptive parents and the child may come in with an open appointment letter for the visa interview.

      On the day of the interview, adoptive parents will present their appointment letter to the guards outside the Consular Section who will direct them inside. Once inside, adoptive parents may proceed to Window 15 to inquire about an adoption visa interview for the day. The Embassy employee will ask for the SDO case number and the child's name in order to locate the file. The employee may ask for some additional documentation, including the final medical report, and payment of the Immigrant Visa Interview Fee at the Cashier. If the child is over 14 years of age, then s/he will be sent to be fingerprinted. Otherwise, after taking in all necessary documents, adoptive parents will be given a unique number that will be called when it is time for the interview. Until the number is called, the U.S. Embassy requests that families have a seat in the waiting area.

      At the interview, the officer may ask questions regarding the entire adoption process on both the U.S. and Dominican procedures. If there are any questions, recommendations, suggestions, etc. adoptive families are free to provide these to the officer at this time. Assuming that everything is fine, the officer will approve the visa, finally approve the I-800 form, and send the file for printing the visa and the Hague Adoption Certificate. Again, families are asked to wait in the waiting area again for the visa to be prepared and printed.

      Once printed, families will again be called to Window 15 by name or by the case number and will be given the child's passport with a visa inside and a manila envelope known as the Visa Packet. DO NOT OPEN THIS PACKET, as it is for the U.S. immigration officials to open once the family enters the United States. The family is now free to travel home.

    • TWO ITEMS TO REMEMBER: 1) DO NOT OPEN THE PACKET AT ANY TIME, and 2) Please allow enough time to go through secondary at the first Port of Entry into the United States. The family will be asked to go into secondary for the Immigration Officer to open the packet and process the documents inside. If families do not allow sufficient time for this, they may miss onward travel plans.

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.

For adoptions finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when the court in the United States issues the final adoption decree.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.

ALL /
ALL /
Traveling Abroad

Applying for a U.S. Passport 

A valid U.S. passport is required for American citizens to enter and leave the Dominican Republic. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help the applicant determine which passport form is needed, complete the form online, estimate the payment, and generate the form to print-all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa 

In addition to a U.S. passport, the family will also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows an individual to visit. Where required, visas are attached to the passport and allow entry into a foreign nation.

To find information about obtaining a visa for the Dominican Republic, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip 

Before traveling, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.

The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip 

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage United States Citizens to register their trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact the individual if necessary. Whether there's a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in the Dominican Republic, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching a United States Citizen.

Registration is free and can be done online.

ALL /
ALL /
After Adoption

What does the Dominican Republic require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

POST-ADOPTION / POST-PLACEMENT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
CONANI requires post adoption reports to be submitted by the ASP for 5 years after the child has entered the United States; the first report must be submitted 6 months after the child entered the US, the second report after the first year, then once a year for the next 5 years. The reports are to be submitted to the closest Embassy or Consulate of the Dominican Republic to the residence of the child in the United States.

Adoptive parent are reminded that they are required by law and international treaty to complete all post-adoption reporting requirements in a timely manner. The ASP is required to assist families as well.

What resources are available to assist families after the adoption? 

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents. Adoption Services Support Groups for Adopting Persons

ALL /
ALL /
Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic
IV Unit (Adoptions)
Unit 3470, Box 531
APO AA 34041-0531

The mailing address if you use a private delivery service is: 
Embassy of the United States of America
César Nicolás Penson 85A esq. Leopoldo Navarro
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic's Central Authority 
Consejo Nacional para la Niñez y la Adolescencia (CONANI)
Av. Máximo Gómez esq. República de Paraguay # 154
Ensanche La Fe (Frente a la Bomba Esso)
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
Tel: 809-567-2233 (Office of Adoptions, ext. 1157)
Email: adopciones@conani.gov.do
Website: www.conani.gov.do

Embassy of the Dominican Republic 
1715 22nd Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 332-6280
Fax: (202) 265-8057

Consulate of the Dominican Republic 
1501 New Broadway Ave., Suite 410
New York, NY 10036
Tel: (212) 768-2480
Fax: (212) 768-2677

Note: the Dominican Republic also has consulates in Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, New York, and Puerto Rico.

Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: AskCI@state.gov
http://adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about general immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
For questions about the I-800A or I-800 petition process, call the National Benefits Center
Toll free (877) 424-8374; Toll (816) 251-2770
E-mail: NBC.Hague@dhs.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
ALL /
ALL /
Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

ALL /
ALL /
Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

ALL /
ALL /
General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth

Available. Birth certificates (Actas de Nacimiento, in Spanish) are available for all persons born in the Dominican Republic. Certified copies of birth certificates may be obtained by visiting the Civil Registry Office (Oficialía del Estado Civil) having jurisdiction over the place in which the birth occurred. Alternatively, birth certificates may be obtained by writing directly to the General Directorate of Civil Registry Offices of the Republic (Dirección General de las Oficialías del Estado Civil de la República) in Santo Domingo, giving the place and year of the person's birth. The address of the General Directorate is Calle Paul Harris esq. Horacio Vicioso.

Two types of birth certificates are available: a condensed version called an "Extracto de Acta" and a longer version, called an "Acta Inextensa," which contains more information. Both versions are legitimate civil documents; however, only the Acta Inextensa is accepted for immigrant, K and V visa purposes.

Dominican civil documents used for visa purposes must be legalized at the Oficina Central del Estado Civil, the main civil registry office in Santo Domingo.

Death/Burial

Available. Certified copies of marriage, adoption, divorce and death certificates may be obtained by visiting the Civil Registry Office (Oficialía del Estado Civil) having jurisdiction over the area in which the marriage, divorce, adoption or death took place. Alternatively, such certificates may be obtained by writing directly to the General Directorate of Civil Registry Offices of the Republic (Dirección General de las Oficialías del Estado Civil de la República) in Santo Domingo. The address of the General Directorate is Calle Paul Harris esq. Horacio Vicioso.

Domincan civil documents used for visa purposes must be legalized at the Oficina Central del Estado Civil, the main civil registry office in Santo Domingo.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage

Available. Certified copies of marriage, adoption, divorce and death certificates may be obtained by visiting the Civil Registry Office (Oficialía del Estado Civil) having jurisdiction over the area in which the marriage, divorce, adoption or death took place. Alternatively, such certificates may be obtained by writing directly to the General Directorate of Civil Registry Offices of the Republic (Dirección General de las Oficialías del Estado Civil de la República) in Santo Domingo. The address of the General Directorate is Calle Paul Harris esq. Horacio Vicioso.

Domincan civil documents used for visa purposes must be legalized at the Oficina Central del Estado Civil, the main civil registry office in Santo Domingo.

Divorce

Available. Certified copies of marriage, adoption, divorce and death certificates may be obtained by visiting the Civil Registry Office (Oficialía del Estado Civil) having jurisdiction over the area in which the marriage, divorce, adoption or death took place. Alternatively, such certificates may be obtained by writing directly to the General Directorate of Civil Registry Offices of the Republic (Dirección General de las Oficialías del Estado Civil de la República) in Santo Domingo. The address of the General Directorate is Calle Paul Harris esq. Horacio Vicioso.

Dominican civil documents used for visa purposes must be legalized at the Oficina Central del Estado Civil, the main civil registry office in Santo Domingo.

Adoption Certificates

Available. Certified copies of marriage, adoption, divorce and death certificates may be obtained by visiting the Civil Registry Office (Oficialía del Estado Civil) having jurisdiction over the area in which the marriage, divorce, adoption or death took place. Alternatively, such certificates may be obtained by writing directly to the General Directorate of Civil Registry Offices of the Republic (Dirección General de las Oficialías del Estado Civil de la República) in Santo Domingo. The address of the General Directorate is Calle Paul Harris esq. Horacio Vicioso.

Domincan civil documents used for visa purposes must be legalized at the Oficina Central del Estado Civil, the main civil registry office in Santo Domingo.

ALL /
ALL /
Identity Card

Unavailable.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. A certificate, called a "Certificate of No Judicial Records" (Certificado de No Antecendentes Judiciales), is obtainable by both Dominicans and non-Dominicans 18 years or older who permanently reside in or have resided in the Dominican Republic. Interested parties must apply in person at any office of the Prosecutor General (Procuraduria General de la Republica) throughout the country. They must present a Dominican national identification card (cedula) and a photocopy of both sides, 2 passport-sized photographs, and a birth certificate and the fee in cash (330 Dominican pesos as of April 2007). The certificate is usually ready the same day and is handed directly to the interested party for presentation during the visa interview. 

Court Records

Unavailable.

Prison Records

Available. Prison records are maintained on all current and former prisoners in the Dominican Republic 18 years of age or over. A prison certificate may be obtained by writing directly to the Penal Court that sentenced the interested party to prison.

Military Records

Unavailable.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Unavailable.

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Santo Domingo (Embassy)

Mailing Addresses:
To send correspondence via the U.S. Postal Service:
U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo
Unit 5542
APO AA 34041-5542

To send correspondence via the Dominican Postal Institute:
Embajada de los Estados Unidos de América
César Nicolás Penson esq. Leopoldo Navarro
Apartado Postal 11302
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana

To send correspondence via a private delivery service (e.g., FedEx, DHL, or UPS):
Embajada de los Estados Unidos de América
César Nicolás Penson esq. Leopoldo Navarro
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Street Address:
César Nicolás Penson esq. Leopoldo Navarro
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana

Tel: (809) 221-2171

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Dominican Republic.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 332-7670 (202) 387-2459(202) 265-8057

Boston, MA (617) 482-8121 (617) 482-8133

Chicago, IL (773) 714-4924 (773) 714-4926

Glendale, CA (818) 504-6605 (818) 504-6602 (818) 504-6617

Mayaguez, PR (787) 833-4756 (787) 757-3170 (787) 832-4066

Miami, FL (305) 358-3220 (305) 358-2318

New Orleans, LA (504) 522-1843 (504) 522-1007

New York, NY (212) 768-2480 (212) 768-2481 (212) 768-2482 (212) 768-2483 (212) 768-2677 (212) 827-0425

San Juan, PR (809) 725-9550 (809) 725-9554 (809) 721-7820

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo
Av. República de Colombia #57
Santo Domingo,
Dominican Republic
Telephone
+(809) 567-7775
Emergency
+(809) 586-8017, +(809) 586-8023
Fax
No Fax
Dominican Republic Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.