Chapter I - Ordinary Naturalisation

Article 1

An alien who has come of age can acquire Dominican nationality after naturalisation provided he:

(a) Has obtained a certificate of domicile in the Republic, according to Article 13 of the Civil Code, for at least six months;

(b) Can provide evidence that he has resided for at least two consecutive years in the Republic;

(c) Can provide evidence that he has resided for at least six months in the country, and provided he has founded and managed an industrial or agricultural business, or owns real estate in the Republic.

(d) Has resided for six consecutive months in the country and is married to a Dominican woman at the time of application for naturalisation;

(e) Has, for at least three months, obtained from the Executive Branch, a certificate of domicile, in accordance with Article 13 of the Civil Code and proves that he cultivates a plot of land of at least thirty hectares.

(1) The interruptions of residence for reasons of travel abroad for a period of less than one year, with the intention to return, will be considered as residence in the country. The same accounts for a one year maximum stay abroad because of a mission or work given by the Government to the person concerned.

(2) The Executive Branch will be able to grant Dominican nationality without any residence or tax requirement, to the alien woman who, having married a Dominican, has retained her nationality in accordance with the revisited Article 12 of the Civil Code.

Article 2

Aliens, who have been contracted to deliver technical or special services to the armed forces of the Republic, can benefit from naturalisation without any of the requirements or conditions established in this Chapter, and are exempted from any fees required hereafter, provided that they have been residing in the country for at least six months.

(1) The Minister of Home and Police Affairs will be able, in those cases, to treat the application favourably, even if other formalities of article 6 of this law, modified by law n° 4063 of March, 3, 1955, are not fulfilled, and to advise the Executive Branch to grant naturalisation even if the condition of residence is not met.

(2) Once the naturalisation is granted, the corresponding decree will be published in the "Official Gazette" and the applicant who is given Dominican nationality will not have to fulfil any further formalities required by this law, unless the decree stipulates to the contrary.

Article 3

The woman who has married an alien and wants to be naturalised as a Dominican will be able to do so, without any condition of residence, provided that she applies together with her husband and that she is in the territory of the Republic at the time of her application.

After the naturalisation of her husband she can be naturalised having to meet any other condition, provided she resides in the country and is duly authorised by the State to make an application. That authorisation will not be necessary if the applicant can provide evidence that the nationality law of her State does not require her to obtain her husband's permission to obtain another nationality. In both cases, the corresponding fees will have to be paid.

Children of a naturalised father, who are, older than eighteen, may obtain naturalisation provided that they have been residing in the country for at least one year and make their application together with their mother.

Article 4

Children, less than eighteen years of age, who are unmarried, legitimate, legitimised, or recognised as natural, acquire Dominican nationality by right, after their father's naturalisation; however, they will have the right, when they come of age, and for a period of one year, to renounce it by stating in a declaration made by an official and presented to the Executive Branch, that they want to keep their original nationality. A notice of that declaration shall be published in the "Official Gazette" and the case shall be recorded in the register hereafter mentioned.

The naturalisation of the mother has the same effect when the father does not exist or, if existing, when the mother is granted the custody of the children.

Article 5

It is not required to be eighteen years of age in order to ask for naturalisation when the person concerned is married or when he is older than sixteen and has obtained the authorisation of his parents or that of his legal guardian.

Chapter II - Procedure for Ordinary Naturalisation

Article 6

Applications for naturalisation shall be made before the Executive Branch through the Minister of Home and Police Affairs. The following documents will have to be enclosed:

(a) A police record vouching that the applicant is not a delinquent, supplied by the "Procurador Fiscal" of the corresponding district;

(b) A certificate of birth, with official translation if not written in Castilian. If it is not possible to present a certificate of birth, a special act that is supplied by a Justice of Peace and is certified by three persons who are of age and who attest that they know the applicant, his nationality and approximate age, will be acceptable.

In the case where the applicant possesses a nationality other than that of his origin, he will have to explain briefly the circumstances under which he has changed it.

Article 7

Even when all the provisions and conditions of this law are met, the Executive Branch may, when it considers appropriate, refuse to grant naturalisation; this possibility does not apply in the case of re-acquisition of nationality as provided for hereafter.

Article 8

If naturalisation is granted, the decree shall be published in the "Official Gazette" as soon as the corresponding publication fee is paid.

After six months without payment of the publication fee, the decree will not be published and will be considered invalid.

Article 9

Once the decree is published in the "Official Gazette", the Minister of Home and Police Affairs, assisted by a Senior Official, acting as secretary if the concerned person has his residence in the National District, or the "Gobernador Civil" assisted by the secretary of the "Gobernacion", if the concerned person resides in a Province, shall make the naturalised person take an oath of loyalty to the Republic and shall deliver to him a copy of the act of naturalisation. That copy shall be authenticated by an official and the secretary and must bear a photograph of the naturalised person as well as that of the members of his family, if any have been naturalised at the same time.

Article 10

Both the Ministry of Home and Police Affairs, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall keep registers with all the decrees referred to in this law.

Article 11

An act of delivery of the authenticated copy and of the corresponding act of allegiance, provided for in Article 9, shall be established and an authenticated copy of which shall be sent to the Ministry of Home and Police Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

An act of oath shall be published in the "Official Gazette" by the Ministry of Home and Police Affairs. The publication shall be subjected to the payment of the corresponding fees.

Article 12

The persons who use false certificates or documents belonging to other persons will be sentenced to six months to two years prison. Anyone who participated in the presentation of false documents to help another to obtain naturalisation will be given the same sentence.

(1) Naturalisation obtained using false documents or documents belonging to others, shall be revoked by the Executive Branch at the moment the sentence pronounced upon the case has acquired force of res judicata.

(2) The Executive Branch shall be able to revoke any naturalisation when the beneficiary:

(a) Takes up arms against the Republic, helps any attack against it or makes any attempt to do so;

(b) Participates as author or accomplice in actions or businesses aimed at overthrowing the legally constituted Government or attempts the assassination of the Head of State or other leading dignitaries who enjoy the same prerogatives;

(c) Commits acts of disloyalty, unfaithfulness, ingratitude or indignity against the Republic, its leaders, dignitaries or institutions;

(d) Moves his domicile abroad, within one year of obtaining his naturalisation;

(e) Leaves the State after his naturalisation for ten consecutive years without returning;

(f) Accepts a function or work given by any foreign government in the Dominican territory, without prior authorisation by the Executive Branch;

(g) Maintains a notoriously immoral behaviour, commits acts of perversion or that are contrary to good moral standards;

(h) Has committed fraudulent acts to obtain his nationality.

Chapter III - Conditional Naturalisation of Immigrants

Article 13

Aliens older than eighteen, who come to the Republic to devote themselves to agricultural or other productive activity in the agricultural colonies of the State, with special agreement governing and guaranteeing their content, and who are installed as colonists, may be granted naturalisation, provided that they fulfil the formalities, conditions and limitations established in the present law.

Article 14

In that case, the application shall be followed by a certificate, supplied by the administrator of the colony in which the applicant is installed, stamped by the Ministry of Agriculture, stating that the applicant is a member of that colony and has a satisfactory behaviour.

Article 15

The provisions of Articles 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the present law apply to this type of naturalisation as well as to that of the wife or children of aliens who are installed in the agricultural colonies of the State.

Article 16

Naturalisation in accordance with the current chapter is essentially granted under the conditions that the naturalised person has a satisfactory behaviour respects and obeys the laws of the Republic, refraining from all illegal activities and from acts contrary and hostile to the Government of the Republic or to friendly foreign Governments, devotes himself to the tasks for which he was admitted into the country. Consequently, naturalisation may be revoked if the naturalised person becomes the author or accomplice of any crime or offence, if he engages in propaganda or other acts contrary and hostile to the Government of the Republic or to friendly foreign Governments, or if he stops doing his duty as a colonist.

Article 17

The annulment of naturalisation shall be established in a decree where its causes shall be stated.

After five years from the date of naturalisation, and if the naturalised person has not expressed his intention to renounce it, the naturalisation shall be considered definitive.

Chapter IV - Preferential Naturalisation

Article 18

The President of the Republic may grant, by decree, Dominican nationality through preferential naturalisation to aliens who, in his mind, deserve exemption from the requirements necessary to obtain ordinary Dominican naturalisation, or who have distinguished themselves for exceptional services rendered to humanity.

Article 19

Aliens who obtain Dominican nationality in this manner do not have to fulfil any provision or formality in order to make the corresponding decree enforceable. Once the decree is published it will be recorded in a register, as provided for in Article 10 of this law.

Article 20

Such naturalisation shall not be granted to more than five persons per annum.

Article 21

Decrees granting preferential nationality, in accordance with this law or with the previous law on this matter, may be revoked by the President of the Republic, thus extinguishing all of its effects, if the person to whom it was addressed:

(1) Has committed one of the acts mentioned in subparagraphs a), b), c), f) and g) of paragraph 2, Article 12 of the present law.

(2) Has adopted another nationality.

(3) Has been condemned to a criminal (or other) sentence implying the loss of civil rights.

Chapter V - Re-acquisition of Nationality

Article 22

The woman, Dominican at birth or of Dominican origin who, by marrying an alien has voluntarily acquired through that act, or after naturalisation, her husband's nationality, or who has acquired that nationality as a consequence of her marriage, in accordance with the law, prior to law n° 485 of January 15, 1944, which modified Article 19 of the Civil Code, may, during the marriage or in the case of dissolution of the marriage, re-acquire Dominican nationality provided that she makes a declaration for this purpose before the Ministry of Home and Police Affairs and, at the same time, establishes her domicile in the country if she has not done so before.

Article 23

If the declaration of the woman is made during marriage, it has to be addressed to the Executive Branch which, in this case, may decide that the declaration has no effect, consequently the woman shall retain her husband's nationality.

Article 24

The declaration will enter into force as soon as the corresponding notice is published in the "Official Gazette".

Article 25

The corresponding acts shall be registered as provided for in Article 10 of this law.

Chapter VI - Option for Nationality

Article 26

Individuals born abroad who, in accordance with Article 8, paragraph 3[1]* of the Constitution, opt for Dominican nationality, shall present their application to the Executive Branch through the Ministry of Home and Police Affairs if they are staying in the country, or through the Dominican Consulate nearest to their residence if they are staying abroad, within the period established by the foregoing text. After reception of the appropriate evidence and if everything is in order, the Ministry of Home and Police Affairs shall publish a corresponding notice in the "Official Gazette" and the case shall be registered as provided for in Article 10 of this law.

(1) The President of the Republic may, through naturalisation, provisionally grant Dominican nationality to children of a Dominican father or mother who are born abroad and are younger than eighteen who, as a consequence of the law of the State where they were born, should acquire their parents' nationality. Such naturalisation shall take place through an application presented to the Ministry of Home and Police Affairs if they are staying in the country, or to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if they are staying abroad. The application, accompanied by the appropriate documents, shall be made by the father or mother of the child, or, short of parents, by the guardian if he has Dominican nationality. When the children reach the age of eighteen, they may definitely opt for Dominican nationality in the manner provided for in Article 8, paragraph 3 of the Constitution. The application is free of charge. The granting of nationality in this case shall not require more formalities than its publication in the "Official Gazette" and its registration by the Ministries already mentioned.

(2) In case of ordinary or preferential adoption, the President of the Republic may provisionally grant Dominican nationality, through naturalisation, to aliens younger than eighteen, who are adopted by a Dominican. Such naturalisation shall take place through an application presented to the Ministry of Home and Police Affairs if the child is staying in the country, or to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, if staying abroad. The application, accompanied by the appropriate documents, shall be made by the adopting parent or, failing this, by the guardian, if Dominican. After reaching the age of eighteen, the person concerned may opt for Dominican nationality according to Article 8, paragraph 3 of the Constitution. The procedure is free of cost and fee. For granting of nationality in these cases, no other formalities are required except for the notice in the "Official Gazette" and the registration with the appropriate secretariats.

Chapter VII - Taxation

Article 27

Aliens who apply for Dominican nationality shall pay, as a fiscal charge for the application and the documents required by this law, RD$ 10.00.

(1) This sum shall be sent to the appropriate internal revenue service which shall return the corresponding receipt.

(2) This sum shall be cashed if the naturalisation is granted, or returned to the applicant if his request is rejected.

Article 28

The declaration for re-acquisition of Dominican nationality shall be charged a 10 peso tax, in the form of fiscal stamps, enclosed with the declaration.

Article 29. (Abrogated by article 2 of law n° 4063 of March 6, 1955)

Chapter VIII - Exemption and Reduction

Article 30

Preferential naturalisation, as well as the naturalisation of aliens who render technical or special services to the armed forces, shall be exempted from all taxes or fees.

Article 31

Married women and children who apply for naturalisation together with the husband, shall pay half of the taxes established by this law.

Article 32

If naturalisation is requested by individuals of Latin American origin or nationality by birth, taxes and fees provided by this law shall be reduced by half.

Article 33

The present law abrogates and replaces law n° 1227 of December 4, 1929, law n°1029 of November 14, 1935, law n°1083 of April 1, 1936, law n° 64 of February 3, 1939, law n° 508 of July 25, 1941, law n°484 of January 15, 1944, law n°961 of August 3, 1945, law n°1144 of April 5, 1946, as well as any other law that is contrary to its provisions.

[1]*Article 11 3) of the present Constitution

This is an unofficial translation published in Nationality and Statelessness, A Collection of National Laws, Volume I, Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Affairs, Ferney Voltaire, France, 1996. With the kind permission of the Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Affairs.

This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.