Many foreigners living in the Dominican Republic question the usefulness of obtaining resident status given the lax enforcement of immigration laws by the Dominican government. In fact, however, foreigners who have obtained their residencies enjoy very definite advantages over the illegal alien, among them, the following:
- A legal resident can work and do business legally in the Dominican Republic; a nonresident cannot.
- A resident is allowed to bring in tax free his household items, ranging from kitchen appliances, to furniture (Article 13 of Law #146-00). A nonresident must pay applicable duties on these goods.
- For many foreigners interested in not paying taxes in their home countries on income earned outside their home country, it is a prerequisite to obtain residency status in another country.
- A resident can enter the Dominican Republic without having to buy a tourist card; a nonresident must obtain a visa or buy a tourist card.
- A resident in certain categories can obtain significative tax exemptions.
- A resident can obtain a Dominican driver’s license and car insurance; a nonresident can drive with his own driver’s license and obtain car insurance that will be valid ONLY for the length of his LEGAL stay in the DR.