The Dominican Republic has had a negative net migration rate in recent decades.
For the year 2013, the number of permanent and temporary immigrants who arrived in the Dominican Republic reached just over 4,000 people, while in 2012, more than 70,000 Dominicans went to reside outside the country. The foreign-born population represented 3.9% of the total population in 2013, above the average of 1.4% for the Caribbean region, .
The United States is the most important receiving country for Dominicans, receiving 67% of emigrants, followed by Spain, Chile and Italy. As in several countries in the region, emigration has decreased to developed countries and increased to other countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Since 2009, emigration to the United States and Italy has fallen by 14% and 23%, respectively. In the same period the number of Dominicans who went to Chile increased almost eight times.
The situation of Dominicans in the labor market in Europe and the United States has worsened slightly between 2010 and 2013. Unemployment among Dominicans increased by nearly half a percentage point, with the most significant increase for women with more of 2 percentage points.
The Dominican Republic received 3,333 million dollars in remittances in 2013, showing an increase of 5.5% compared to the previous year. Remittances have increased gradually since 2009 and are currently equivalent to more than 5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The Dominican Republic received only 11 asylum applications in 2013 from Cuba, Iran and Sri Lanka. The number of refugees in the country amounts to 721 mainly from Haiti and Cuba.
In 2013, according to the country’s migration records, the Dominican Republic received 3,293 Dominicans repatriated from the United States. In 2014, the Repatriated Reintegration Unit was inaugurated, with the aim of offering support and guidance to repatriated citizens in their social reintegration process, in accordance with the institutional aid plan.
Of the Haitian immigrants in the country, there is a significant percentage that does not have identity documents from their country of origin. According to the General Directorate of Migration, only 11,000 Haitian immigrants are legally registered in the country.
In 2011, the Regulation of the General Migration Law No. 285-04 (approved in 2004) was approved. Some of the provisions of the decree is the requirement of a period of five years for the temporary residence permit before the migrant can be considered eligible for permanent residence. Some exceptions are for investors, pensioners and retirees, who can obtain the right of permanent residence upon entering the country.
In 2013, the Constitutional Court established the criterion that the children of transients, in a strictly legal and migratory sense, cannot benefit from ius soli to claim Dominican nationality.
That same year, the National Regularization Plan for foreigners in an irregular migratory situation was established.The Plan establishes the basic criteria (time of residence of the foreign person in the country, links with Dominican society, as well as labor and socio-economic conditions) that establish different conditions or criteria for the migratory regularization of the foreigner that is residing in the territory of the Dominican Republic in an irregular condition, under one of the categories established in the General Migration Law. In addition, monitoring mechanisms are created for the processing of the different migratory categories (permanent, temporary or non-immigrant residences), for all the people who must benefit from this regulation.
Among the criteria that demonstrate a link with Dominican society, it will be counted having children born in the country, having studied there, knowing how to speak and write Spanish, residing in a fixed address, living with a Dominican. Applicants must have no criminal record.
Also, applicants must demonstrate employment or socioeconomic ties such as proof of an educational degree, movable or immovable property, bank accounts or commercial references, have a regular job during the time of their stay and exercise a certified technical trade.
The foreigner who wishes to regularize must make his request within a period of 18 months, from the entry into force of the National Plan. Those foreigners who do not wish to do so may opt for assisted repatriation and, failing that, will be subject to deportation.
The Naturalization Law was enacted in 2014. As a first step, the law establishes: a) a special regime for children of non-resident foreign parents born in the country during the period from June 16, 1929 to June 18 April 2007 but that were registered in the Dominican Civil Registry using unrecognized documents not recognized by the current regulations for these purposes at the time of registration; b) the registration of children of parents in an irregular situation born in the Dominican Republic and who were not registered in the Civil Registry. In this way, the law recognizes the nationality of thousands of descendants of Haitian immigrants.
Under the naturalization law, the children of foreigners born in the Dominican Republic and regularized in accordance with the provisions of the National Plan for the Regularization of Foreigners, may opt for ordinary naturalization, once two years have elapsed since obtaining one of the the migratory categories established in the General Law of Migration, as long as they prove through certification the absence of criminal records.
Main indicators of migratory movements, the migrant population and the employment of emigrants
|Immigration (foreigners)||Number of people||Per 1000 inhabitants||Change in percentage|
|permanent and temporary||5695||3381||3716||4247||0.40821775894314||-25.425812115891|
|Total immigration by type||Number of people||% distribution|
|Work and accompanying family members||3080||3647||91.097308488613||85.872380503885|
|Emigration (nationals)||Number of people||% of the total||% change|
|Non-standardized data of destination countries||2009||2010||2011||2012||2012||2012/2009|
|All the countries||73702||76617||72473||70812||100||-3.9211961683536|
|Asylum applications and refugees||per million inhabitants||Number of people|
|Components of population growth||per thousand inhabitants|
|Natural growth (vegetative)||24.348||22.65||19.827||18.38||16.806|
|Foreign-born population||Percentage with respect to the total population||Personas||% change|
|remittances||Millions of dollars||% of GDP||% change|
|Macroeconomic indicators||Annual growth in %||Average annual growth||Level|
|Real Gross Domestic Product||8.3021528003472||2.9273197361016||2.6583805580119||4.5844806256214||4.6180834300205||–|
|Gross Domestic Product/per capita (PPP at 2011 international dollars)||6.8798496943389||1.6053035786357||1.3655773247378||3.2968082470011||3.2868847111784||11795|
|Labor insertion of national emigrants in Europe and the United States||percentages|