Children can receive residency through their parents. Can the reverse happen?
In the DR, sons and daughters can obtain residency through their parents via the legal concept of connecting factors and in particular the factor of domicile of dependency. However, few people realize that the reverse can also happen. Non-Dominican parents can seek residency via their Dominican children.
Maria Abreu, a local attorney specializing in immigration law, explains that she was recently approached by a South African gentleman who is the long-term partner of a Dominican lady and, despite living in the DR, did not have DR residency. Upon the birth of their son, the couple wanted to know if the South African gentleman could obtain DR residency by virtue of their son. When told that it was a realistic path to go down, the couple instructed Maria Abreu to handle the matter.
The couple co-habit, an essential criterion, and their son has dual nationality, so once the child’s birth certificate was approved by the relevant authorities, residency was granted by the DR to the South African gentleman.
Cases such as residency through children fall under the scope of private international law, an area in which Maria Abreu is deemed an expert by her colleagues. She has pointed out that despite being a civil law country and as such strictly adhering to statutory law, in the DR “discretional power may be exercised.” In other words, authorities treat each case individually. Each case is considered unique and even if nothing is mentioned in statutory law, it does not necessarily mean it is impossible. Similar to the concept of precedent, authorities may determine application for residency based on statutory law and any other factors they deem relevant. A relevant factor, for example, is being tied to a country due to parental responsibility. As such, residency may be granted based on unique circumstances.
Maria Abreu is the CEO and Managing Attorney of Abreu & Associates, a law firm practicing exclusively in Dominican Republic Immigration and Nationality law. She is also the founder of Retire and Invest DR. This organization hosts conference events for foreigners interested in living, retiring, and investing in the DR. You can contact Maria at: [email protected]n.com.