Expats' Corner December 28, 2023 | 8:23 am

Natural-Born versus Naturalized Dominican Citizen

At some point, foreigners who decide to make the Dominican Republic their permanent home will consider pursuing citizenship.

And the question that always comes up is, “What’s the difference between a natural-born and a naturalized citizen?”

The only difference between natural-born and naturalized citizens is how they arrived at their citizenship status. A natural-born citizen is born in the Dominican Republic to Dominican parents or parents with legal status. A naturalized citizen is a person who obtained citizenship through a legal process. For example, a permanent resident who applies for and receives Dominican citizenship is considered naturalized.

They both enjoy the same rights and can pass citizenship to their kids.

When it comes to passing citizenship to their child, there is an additional step in the process for a naturalized citizen.

A natural-born citizen can grandfather their children into citizenship. In this case, the natural-born citizen’s child’s foreign birth certificate is apostilled and presented along with the Dominican birth certificate and national ID of the Dominican parent. The formal term for this process is transcription. After the due diligence is complete, a transcribed Dominican birth certificate is presented to the child, making them a Dominican citizen.

The transcription process takes between 30 to 90 days to complete.

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: mabreu@abreuimmigration.com.

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alfonso matos
January 4, 2024 5:00 pm

this is not correct, Naturalized citizens are prevented from holding high offices like the office of the president.

January 4, 2024 5:24 pm
Reply to  alfonso matos

Yes, but that’s a very specific case. The percentage of naturalized foreigners who want to run for president of the Dominican Republic must be infinitesimal.
On the other hand, if you are a resident foreigner and you do not naturalize, you do not have the right to be a public servant, according to the new laws that the Ministry of Public Administration is applying. You can only be hired as a “temporary” employee without the right to Christmas salary or the performance bonuses that the government grants, which is unfair, to be honest.

P vS
January 7, 2024 12:24 am
Reply to  Jaylan

You cloud the original poster’s correct observation. What is the difference was the question. Not what a non-resident would do, not what is unlikely to happen, but black & white : what is the difference?

So the original poster is accurate. I like to hear more accuracy, and less cloudiness.

juan aquino
January 8, 2024 10:12 am
Reply to  Jaylan

it is not relevant how many want to run for president. the importance is that the article failed to inform about all the differences.

March 23, 2024 12:29 pm
Reply to  juan aquino

You’re right. There are a lot of differences between the two statuses. So before making a decision, any foreigner who wants to settle in the DR should really understand the pros and cons of each one.

And let’s be real, how many naturalized foreigners are actually going to run for president? I don’t think that’s a very realistic example…