With its crystalline waters, sugary white sand and year-round balmy temperatures, it’s easy to see why the Dominican Republic lures visitors from all over the world. Add a dash of captivating mountain scenery and a pinch of laid-back Caribbean culture, and you’ve got the makings of a top-tier tropical getaway.

Booking your flight is the easy part. Before you reach the sand, you’ll have to navigate some red tape to get into the country. Not everyone needs a visa, but they're easy to obtain if you do. Here’s a guide to the visa requirements for the Dominican Republic, along with information on visa types, costs and information on how to apply.

Who needs a visa for the Dominican Republic?

Here's the good news: residents of 108 countries and passport-issuing jurisdictions can enter the Dominican Republic as tourists for up to 30 days without a visa. The list of visa-exempt countries includes the UK, USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan and the countries of the European Union (EU). The Dominican Republic Ministry of External Relation website has a complete list, with details of the visa durations granted to different nationalities.

To enter the Dominican Republic, you’ll need a passport with two blank pages. Your passport should also be valid for at least six months, covering the duration of your stay. Once in the Dominican Republic, visitors are required to obtain a tourist card; before 2018, visitors had to pay $10 USD at the airport to obtain this card, but today, the fee is usually incorporated into the price of airfares.

By Dominican law, there’s also a $20 USD departure tax, a cost that should also be included in your airfare. It’s a good idea to verify with your carrier that both fees have been included to avoid any surprises on arrival or departure.

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Special Covid-19 rules

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Dominican Republic is currently allowing refunds of the $10 USD tourism tax if you cancel your air ticket, regardless of your country of citizenship. Refunds are provided at the discretion of government officials and you must provide a receipt for your travel booking when requesting a refund; apply online via the Solicitar Reembolso Tarjeta de Turista website.

White sandy beach and boat getty in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
The beaches of the Dominican Republic are postcard perfection © Preto_perola / Getty Images

Applying for a work visa for the Dominican Republic

Anyone wishing to work or do business in the Dominican Republic for longer than 30 days will need to apply for a work visa, or a Visa de Negocios. This visa is valid for 60 days with a single entry, or a year with multiple entries.

If you’re using the multiple-entry business visa, you will not be permitted to stay in the country for more than two months per entry over the course of the year. Anything beyond that and you will need to apply for residency, a more complicated and expensive process.

Applying for a Dominican Republic visa

If you’re a legal resident of, or have a valid visa in your passport for the US, UK, Canada or the Schengen area, you can visit the Dominican Republic without a visa, regardless of your nationality.

Travelers who are not from a visa-exempt country will need to apply for a visa through the nearest Dominican Republic embassy (which may be in a neighboring country). Costs for visas vary depending on the type of visa, the length of stay and the country where you apply; expect to pay upwards of US$95 USD for a single-entry visa (not including service fees).

The processing period for visas is approximately 10 to 15 working days from the day your application was accepted. For more info about the requirements of applying for a Dominican Republic visa in specific countries, visit the website of the Dominican Republic Ministry of External Relations.

A snorkeler meets a humpback whale in the Dominican Republic
Humpback whale encounters are just one way to get close to nature in the Dominican Republic © Westend61 / Getty Images

How do you extend your stay in the Dominican Republic? 

Once you have reached the Dominican Republic, you can extend your stay for up to 120 days. Visitors wishing to do this need to submit a request through the Dominican Republic government website, along with the required documentation, and a fee of RD$2,500 (US$44) for 30-90 days or RD$4,000 (US$70.50) for 90-120 days.

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