Marrying and Sponsoring a Dominican Republic Citizen

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Marriage to a Dominican Republic Citizen

Every country has laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to a Dominican Republic citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with many steps. The Dominican Republic government imposes strict requirements on foreigners who marry Dominicans as an indirect way of discouraging Dominicans citizens from moving to other countries.

You must demonstrate to Dominican Republic officials that they are not currently married to anyone else – either you have never been married or all divorces are finalized – that your identity is proven and that you have never committed any crimes in the Dominican Republic. This is done by providing various documents, including an Affidavit of Single Status, to the Dominican Republic government either in the Dominican Republic or via a Dominican Republic embassy.

If you want to bring your Dominican Republic spouse or partner to live in Canada, you must then file a sponsorship application for them to become a permanent resident. If they would like to visit you in Canada while their application is in process, they must also apply for a visitor visa. For more information, please see our family sponsorship page and our visitor visa page.


Dominican Republic Marriage Basic Requirements

Canadians do not need a visa to visit the Dominican Republic as tourists as long as the visit does not exceed 60 days. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months and have 2 blank pages.

A tourist card is required upon entry into Dominican Republic and it costs $10 valid for 30 days, if one wishes to extend the stay up to 90 days, the fee is DOP 62.

When all the necessary documents have been fulfilled then one can start making plans to proceed with the marriage.

To register the marriage legally with the Dominican Republic authorities takes a lot of work and you should not underestimate the time or work involved.

The first thing to do before the wedding in the Dominican Republic is to go to the civil registry office to apply for a document known as notice of intended marriage which costs RD $5,000.

Other documents needed at the registrar’s office are passports of both the man and the Dominican wife together with birth certificate and proof of single status. If your Dominican bride has been married before, the marriage cannot commence until 10 months are over.

The Registry officially announces a notice of the intended marriage.

Documents Required from the Canadian

  • Affidavit of marital status issued in Canada or the Canadian embassy in the Dominican Republic that must not be older than three months from the date of issue
  • Passport
  • Tourist Card
  • Birth certificate
  • Death certificate of deceased spouse if applicable
  • Divorce decree or annulment papers if applicable


Documents Required from the Dominican

  • Affidavit of single status
  • Birth certificate
  • Death certificate of deceased spouse if applicable
  • Divorce decree or annulment papers if divorced.


General Requirements for issuing a Marriage Certificate

  • One of the couple must have been in the Dominican Republic for at least 2 days before the wedding
  • Birth certificate of both parties
  • Passports of both parties
  • Decree of divorce if previously married
  • Death certificate if one of the couple is deceased from a previous marriage
  • License fee of $300
  • Application form for marriage obtainable from the ministry of community development and women affairs

Once the form is completed, it must be returned to the ministry accompanied by proof of identity. The marriage certificate is issued later on.

A marriage done at the registrar’s office costs $30

Lawyer’s fee of $500 is charged for a statutory declaration on marital status which includes affidavit.


Family Members

If your Dominican Republic spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the Dominican Republic Marriage document application.

If you have dependent children, they have no effect on the application to marry a Dominican Republic citizen.


List of Dominican Republic Consulates in Canada


Calling the Dominican Republic from Canada

The Dominican Republic and Canada are both in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) and so calling the DR is just like making a long distance call within Canada or to the US:

Dial 1 – area code – local number.

The Dominican Republic has 3 area codes which cover the entire country:

  • 809
  • 829
  • 849


Calling Canada from the Dominican Republic

Because both Canada and the DR are in the NANP, calling Canada is just like making a normal long distance call:

Dial 1 – Canadian area code – local number

List of Area Codes in Canada

Province Code Province  Code
Alberta 403 / 587 (southern Alberta)

587 / 780 (central and northern Alberta)

Nunavut 867
BC 236 / 250 / 778 (majority of BC)

236 / 604 / 778 (Metro Vancouver)

Ontario 226 / 519 (southwestern Ontario)

249 / 705 (northeastern Ontario)

289 / 365 / 905 (Greater Toronto Area)

343 / 613 (eastern Ontario)

416 / 647 (Toronto)

807 (northwestern Ontario)

Manitoba 204 / 431 PEI 782 / 902
New  Brunswick 506 Quebec 418 / 581 (eastern Quebec)

438 / 514 (Montreal)

450 / 579 (Greater Montreal)

819 / 873 (remainder of Quebec)

Newfoundland and Labrador 709 Saskatchewan 306 / 639
Northwest Territories 867 Yukon 867
Nova Scotia 782 / 902


Time Difference

The Dominican Republic uses Eastern Caribbean Time, which is Atlantic Time. The DR does not participate in DST

Canadian Time Zone

# of Hours Difference with the Dominican Republic

# of Hours during DST

Pacific (BC, Yukon) DR is 4 hours ahead DR is 3 hours ahead
Mountain (Alberta, western Nunvaut, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan) DR is 3 hours ahead DR is 2 hours ahead
Saskatchewan DR is 2 hours ahead DR is 2 hours ahead
Central (Manitoba, Northwest Territories, central Nunavut, northwestern Ontario) DR is 2 hours ahead DR is 1 hour ahead
Eastern (most of Ontario, most of Quebec) DR is 1 hour ahead Same Time
Atlantic (Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern Quebec) Same Time DR is 1 hour behind
Newfoundland DR is 30 minutes behind DR is 90 minutes behind


Dominican Republic Currency

The official currency of the Dominican Republic is the Peso abbreviated as DOP, the East Caribbean Dollar is sometimes also accepted, a currency which is shared by other Caribbean states that form the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean states like Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Dominica, among others.


Coins used in the Dominican are $1, 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20.


Emergency Information for Canadians in the Dominican Republic

Canadian Diplomatic Missions in the Dominican Republic

Embassy of Canada in Santo Domingo

Av. Winston Churchill 1099
Torre Citigroup en Acropólis Center
18th Floor Ensanche Piantini
Santo Domingo
Dominican Republic

Postal Address:
P.O. Box 2054, Santo Domingo 1, Dominican Republic

Telephone: (809) 262-3100
Fax: (809) 262-3108
E-mail: [email protected]

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Office of the Embassy of Canada in Punta Cana

Carretera Veron- Bavaro Km. 2 1/2
Amstar Business Center, Building 4, Office 404
Punta Cana
Dominican Republic

Telephone: (809) 455-1730
Fax: 809-455-1734
E-mail: [email protected]

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Consulate of Canada in Puerto Plata

Calle Villanueva No 8
Edificio Abraxas
Puerto Plata
Dominican Republic

Telephone: (809) 586-5761
Fax: (809) 586-5762
Email: [email protected]


View Larger Map


Canadian Government’s Travel Alerts for the Dominican Republic

Dominican Wedding Customs

Dominican Republic has a rich Spanish and African blend of cultural practices that influence their traditions. Marriage customs are more similar to Spanish culture. Traditionally, the man courts the woman for a while before proposing marriage.

Weddings are costly in the Dominican Republic so most people prefer to skip a Church wedding and have a civil marriage where only a small group of people consisting of friends and family.

In the Dominican Republic it is not taboo to see the bride before the wedding like in many other cultures around the world.

The couple has their photos taken while they are dressed in their wedding clothes.

The Wedding

In the Dominican Republic weddings takes place in a civil court of judges chamber with the absence of braids maids, only flower girls and ring bearers who are dressed the same as the bride and groom.

A small child carries the bible down the altar.


The godparents of a Dominican wedding are the godfather and godmother, or padrino. Traditionally the parents of the bride serve as the godparents and their role in the wedding ceremony is to be the main witnesses.

Another contrast in the Dominican marriage is that the groom’s mother accompanies him to the altar, after the vows are said friends and family members also go up to the alter to witness the nuptials.

The Arras and Ceremonia Cantada

After the nuptials, a young priest passes 13 coins on a silver tray to the main priest and the priest in turn passes the coins to the groom and the groom hands them over to the bride.

The ritual is to symbolize the couple’s pledge and commitment to share material wealth and provide for each other.

Ceremonia cantada is the art of singing accompanied by instrumental music during the celebrations. The celebrations continue and the reception is usually a sit-down dinner and guests are at liberty to leave whenever they feel like. Others guest party till late.


Wedding Food

Dominican Rainbow Rice

This is a simple rice dish that has beans, carrots, and sometimes shrimp. Different ingredients can be used depending on personal taste. This is a very delicious and simple Dominican recipe that can be served on any occasion.


Dominican Pollo Guisado

This is sautéed chicken with Dominican marinating ingredients and a variety of spices served with rice or stewed beans.


Dominican Sweet Potatoes

This dish is made with pumpkin like vegetable called calabaza. They are cut into small pieces and fried with orange juice, onions and thyme. Different spices or juices can also be used depending on personal preference.


Dominican Locrio de Pollo

This dish is made with long grain rice and cooked together with roast chicken, lime juice, a variety of spices and seasoning and olives.

It can be served at any occasion or mealtime.


Dominican Mangu

Mangu is a simple dish to make and it is made with plantains, butter, bacon, and season.  The plantains are boiled and mashed then mixed with the butter, and the bacon is fried and crumbled over the mashed plantains.

This can be served with eggs or seafood as breakfast, snack or starter meal in occasions.


Dominican Chicharron

Chicharron is Dominican style fried pork skin. While the pork is frying, the lime juice is squeezed and the other ingredients added is basically seasoning. It can be served as an accompaniment to rice, mashed plantains and other dishes.


Dominican Moro de Habichuelas Negras

This dish is the Dominican version of Puerto Rican rice and beans. Just like the Puerto Rican way of cooking it, it is made with rice, beans and vegetables.

This is a lovely delight for vegetarians or anyone because it is very healthy and easy to make.


Beef, Ham and Shrimp Balls

This is another Dominican delicacy made from ground beef which is mixed with flavourful vegetables and spices then boiled.



This is a mixture of beef, chicken and pork cooked together with potatoes or plantains or yams, Spanish pumpkin and spices or seasoning.



The main ingredient for this dish is bulgur which is mixed with ground beef and seasoned with chili or spices and deep fried.



Tostones are mashed plantains then flattened and fried like pancakes. They are great as a snack with accompaniments like hot beverages or beef stew.



This is a fantastic dessert ideal for special occasions or after meals and it is also called caramel cream. It is a favourite in Dominican Republic and it is made from pancake mix made with condensed milk, evaporated milk and eggs.

The caramel is made by mixing water and sugar then heating till water evaporates.


Romantic, Scenic and Historic Places in the Dominican Republic


Acuario Nacional de la Republica Dominicana – Santo Domingo

Opened in 1990, the National Aquarium boasts a modern, open-air design and a glorious location overlooking the Caribbean. Roughly 3000 live specimens of 250 species of marine life inhabit the friendly waters here.

The staff is dedicated to the study, promotion, protection and distribution of information on both marine and freshwater flora and fauna. There are lectures and guided tours every day. Videos and talks are available for school groups.


Whale Watching – Samana

The big Dominican Republic attraction in Samana is whale surveillance. The best time to come see the humpback whales is mid-January to mid-March.


Historic Places

Calle el Conde – Santo Domingo

One of the oldest streets in Santo Domingo and still among the city’s most popular commercial centres, this quaint pedestrian street extends from the Parque Colón to the Parque Independencia .

It hosts a diverse variety of stores that include apparel and textile shops, shoe stores, restaurants and cafes, a hotel, gift shops and jewellery stores.

Over time, this street has received several names, including Clavijo, Real and Separación. Its current name honours the Conde (Count) of Peñalba who defeated the English in the 17th century.


Cathedral Santa Maria la Menor – Santo Domingo

Cathedral of Santa María­ la Menor, or Catedral Primada de America, is the most important monument in Santo Domingo. It was constructed from 1514 to 1546 and includes Romanesque characteristics and the main façade was built out of coral rock.

The chapels were built later than the main temple, and until 1992 one chapel housed the remains of Christopher Columbus. Visit and enjoy the beauty of the late Gothic architecture.


El Faro a Colon – Santo Domingo

Designed by architect Joe Gleave, this monument to Christopher Columbus is a 46-meter tall cross, constructed of completely white marble. El Faro a Colón has housed the remains of the explorer since his tomb was moved from the Cathedral of Santa María la Menor in 1992.

At night, powerful lights illuminate this Christian symbol and project its shadow against the sky. Areas inside the monument are used as exhibition rooms, archives, a library and a museum.


Zona Colonial – Santo Domingo

Bordering the Ozama River, this area boasts cobblestone streets and an impressive group of buildings dating back to the 16th-Century.

The Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo permits us to travel back through more than 500 years of history and architecture.

The palaces have been converted into fascinating museums, and many of the area’s oldest structures are now quaint bars, cafes and small hotels and restaurants.


Scenic Places

Samana Peninsula

This paradise is situated on the eastern coast and leftovers unwavering as one of the Dominican Republic tourist attractions not to be missed.

The Samana Peninsula is a dramatic area of lush green mountains, brightly coloured wildflowers and aquamarine waters.

There are a plethora of things to do in Samana, counting whale watching, whilst at the same time it is place of relaxation and story. In fact, it could be the perfect place to book your Dominican Republic holiday rentals with so many tourist appeals on the doorstep.


Los Tres Ojos – Santo Domingo

Declared a tourist attraction in 1970, the floors of these caves are filled with beautiful circular lakes fed by the Brujuelas, a subterranean river. The sulphurous waters of the first lake, discovered in 1916, are only 20 feet deep.

The second, named La Nevera or “refrigerator” in English drops to 15 degrees centigrade. The Women’s Lake, the third and smallest, is warm and shallow. A fourth lake, measuring 300 meters deep, is named Los Saramagullones after a species of ducks that inhabits it.

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Bringing Gifts to the Dominican Republic

Duty Free Items

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 1 cigar box
  • 2 liter bottle of alcohol, sealed
  • 2 bottles of perfume

The above goods are only applicable to persons aged 16 years and above.


Restricted Items

  • Spare parts, appliances and machines require and invoice and may be subject to taxation
  • Pets require a health certificate and rabies vaccination


Prohibited Items

  • Car, motor vehicles and similar machinery
  • Drugs
  • Guns, explosives and ammunition
  • Pornography
  • Birds and animal products
  • Meat and dairy products
  • Statues, sacred artefacts and paintings, antiques over 100 years


Taking Gifts Out of the Dominican Republic

Prohibited Items

  • Statues, sacred paintings and artefacts and antiques over 100 years unless they are accompanied by a permit from department of archaeology
  • Drugs
  • Firearms, ammunition and explosives
  • Pornography
  • Local currency, peso or DOP

Wages in the Dominican Republic

The average minimum wage for Dominicans is roughly 3,000 pesos a month which is about USD$ 172 a month.

The wages are divided into different sectors of employment and income. In the free trade zone the minimum wage is 4,900 pesos a month.

In the non-free zones the minimum wage is from 4,485 – 7,360 pesos a month depending on the size of the company.

Public servants are paid 2,600 pesos a month which is relatively low compared to other Caribbean countries.

In the farms, workers are paid 150 pesos a day and sugar cane farmers are paid 95 pesos a day.


Average Monthly Wages

Job Salary
General Manager DOP 1,540,043
Accountant DOP 470,000
Architect DOP 360,000
Elementary School Teacher DOP 23,000
High School Teacher DOP 1,237,481
Software Engineer DOP 418, 352
Human Resources Manager DOP 793,000


Sponsoring Your Dominican Spouse to Canada

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