Dominican Republic

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


Dominican Republic
Immigration (foreigners) Number of people Per 1000 inhabitants Change in percentage
2010 2011 2012 2013 2013 2013/2010
permanent and temporary 5695 3381 3716 4247 0.40821775894314 -25.425812115891
Total immigration by type Number of people % distribution
2011 2013 2011 2013
Family 296 436 8.7548062703342 10.266070167177
humanitarian 0 11 0 0.25900635742877
Work and accompanying family members 3080 3647 91.097308488613 85.872380503885
Others 5 136 0.14788524105294 3.2022604191194
Total 3381 4247 100 100
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
USA 54743 59649 51574 47340 66.853075749873 -13.523190179566
spain 10840 8337 11700 11296 15.952098514376 4.2066420664207
Chile 554 1038 1812 4364 6.1627972660001 687.72563176895
Italia 3319 2742 2240 2565 3.622267412303 -22.717686050015
Asylum applications and refugees per million inhabitants Number of people
Average 2010-2013
2010 2011 2012 2013 2013
asylum applications 0.2994908655286 2.7592736724494 1.1676989936673 1.057309947816 1.3209433698653 11
Refugees 59.798342817211 58.634565539549 73.759653099983 69.30186112503 65.373605645443 721
Components of population growth per thousand inhabitants
1985-1990 1990-1995 1995-2000 2000-2005 2005-2010
Total 20.98 19.27 16.49 15.11 13.92
Natural growth (vegetative) 24.348 22.65 19.827 18.38 16.806
net migration -3.368 -3.38 -3.337 -3.27 -2.886
Foreign-born population Percentage with respect to the total population Personas % change
1990 2000 2010 2013 2013 2013/2010
4.0185769000323 4.1047410716852 3.9572530021323 3.8688508895966 402.506 -2.2339262232696
remittances Millions of dollars % of GDP % change
2010 2011 2012 2013 2013 2013/2010
2908 3131 3158 3333 5.6 14.614855570839
Macroeconomic indicators Annual growth in % Average annual growth Level
2010 2011 2012 2013 2010-2013 2013
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
Men Women Total
2010-11 2012-13 2010-11 2012-13 2010-11 2012-13
Participation rate 79.92932 80.77431 69.13457 70.7059 73.70188 75.0463
Employment rate 66.60493 68.83583 58.87899 58.5569 62.14788 62.98805
Unemployment rate 16.67022 14.78004 14.83422 17.18245 15.67668 16.06775

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