Foreign Population

According to the results from the First National Survey of Immigrants in the Dominican Republic (ENI-2012) [1], the total of immigrants is 524,632 people, which represents 5.4% of the total population of the country, whereas the total number of descendants of immigrants is 244,151 personas. Thus, the sum of foreign born persons and their descendants born in the country is 768,783 people, representing 7.9% of the population, of which 668,144 are of Haitian origin and 100,638 come from other countries.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Foreign Born Population  

Country of birth  Absolute  Relative 
Total  524,632  100.00 
Haiti  458,233  87.34 
Puerto Rico  4,416  0.84 
Cuba  3,145  0.60 
United States  12,514  2.58 
Other countries in the Caribbean and North America   3,597  0.69 
Central America  2,293  0.44 
Venezuela  3,434  0.65 
Colombia  2,788  0.52 
Other countries in South America  3,839  0.73 
China  3,643  0.69 
Other countries in Asia  3,589  0.68 
Spain  6,720  1.28 
Italy  4,044  0.79 
France  3,599  0.69 
Germany  1,792  0.34 
Other countries in Europe  4,125  0.79 
Others 1,912  0.36 

Source: National Survey of Immigrants ENI-2012, ONE/UNFPA/UE, Santo Domingo, 2013. 



Population  Foreign born   Born in the DR by foreign parents   Total 
Haitian  458,233  209,912  668,145 
Other countries  66,399  34,239  100,638 
Total 524,632 244,151 768,783

 Source: National Survey of Immigrants ENI-2012, ONE/UNFPA/UE, Santo Domingo, 2013.


International Office for Immigration:
National Survey of Immigrants ENI-2012
[1] National Survey of Immigrants ENI-2012, ONE/UNFPA/UE, Santo Domingo, 2013.


Haitian Immigration

According to the results of the First National Survey of Immigrants in the Dominican Republic (ENI-2012) -carried out by the National Office of Statistics (ONE), with the collaboration of the United National Population Fund (UNFPA)-  published in 2013, the total number of Haitian-born immigrants in the Dominican Republic is 458,233 and the number of people born by Haitian parents in the Dominican Republic is 209,912, equaling 668,144 total people of Haitian origin.

In the Dominican Republic, the population of Haitian origin is an extremely poor immigration, as the large majority has little or no schooling and is composed of a large number of people that cannot provide a document of identity from their country of origin. Due to this difficulty, their status from the first moment in the country is irregular, not to speak of the generally illegal nature of this migration flow.

65% of the population of the bateyes, rural communities where farm and sugar cane laborers work, is Haitian. It is important to highlight the conditions of extreme poverty in the bateyes, or workers’ settlements, shared by Dominicans and Haitian alike. It is a misery that affects all sugar cane workers regardless of nationality and that historically follows a tradition established by foreign investors (specifically U.S. businessmen) that, at the turn of the century, began to use Dominican territory to found plantation-like productive units, sustained by a cheaper and untrained work force brought from the other Antilles. The poverty of the Dominican economy initially and in the later decadence of the sugar industry that did not know how, could not and did not want to modernize its means of production later aggravated the situation.

Due to the decline of sugar, many Haitian workers have moved on to other productive areas and today are found on various agricultural plantations (coffee, rice, among others), in the informal sector (fruit and juice sales, gardening) or in the tourist industry; and above all in construction, one of the strongest economic sectors since the early 90s, in which Haitians constitute approximately 80% of the work force.

The Dominican Republic is a country in the process of development that suffers high levels of poverty and must effect change on crucial and basic factors for the well-being of the population such as nutrition, health, social security and education. Due to precisely this situation, many Dominicans have had to go abroad, even risking their lives. In fact, today remittances that Dominicans abroad contribute to the country have become one of the principal mainstays of the national economy. The country cannot give to the working immigrant what it cannot supply for its own citizens. But neither does it possess the sufficient infrastructure nor the economic resources to face and control the abundant illegal traffic of illegal Haitian immigrants. Nevertheless, the Dominican state has guaranteed access to primary and secondary education for minors.

At present, especially after the earthquake of 2010, Haitian migration increases every day. Although being made up of mostly agricultural workers in rural areas and construction workers in urban areas, such as tourism and in the informal sector (market and street vendors), the Haitian community includes other types of workers, such as university students and professionals, although in much smaller numbers.

The National Plan for the Regularization of Foreigners (PNRE), protected by the law 169-14, approved and enacted in May, 2014, has benefited more than 200,000 foreigners in irregular migratory situations and their descendants born in the Dominican Republic. It has been granted to foreigners who received a document or identification card that validates a regular migratory status, mostly benefiting the Haitian population that resides in the country.



The Dominican constitution establishes that those foreigners that fit into the following classifications can opt for Dominican citizenship: those that are children of a Dominican citizen; those that claim an uninterrupted residence of at least two years in the county or at least six months of uninterrupted residence if they have founded or sustained industries or if they are owners of real estate in the country; those that marry a Dominican citizen after residing six months in the country; those that serve in the Dominican Armed Forces or those that have obtained a special concession from the President of the Dominican Republic (which is normally granted to foreigners who have served with merit to the Dominican Republic).

Citizens from a diverse set of countries from throughout the world have opted, in recent years, for Dominican citizenship for different reasons.

During 2015, 683 foreigners from 28 countries obtained Dominican nationality, 421 by marriage, 228 by ordinary process and 33 by being a son or daughter of already naturalized citizens.

In the months of February and April 2016, 107 people from Cuba, the United States, Italy, Spain, Honduras, China, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Canada, Ecuador, Venezuela, Haiti, Costa Rica, France and Palestine, among others, became Dominican citizens.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Naturalization Registry (2006-2015)
(Ministry of the Interior and Police) 

  2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015 
4th Article  N/A  47  81  N/A   81   N/A  N/A  N/A  17  33 
Provisional  N/A  113  70  137   206   N/A  N/A  N/A  0  0 
Ordinary  N/A  291  141  N/A   225   N/A  N/A  N/A  144  228 
Option  N/A  139  147  N/A   364   N/A  N/A  N/A  0  0 
Marriage  N/A  190  126  N/A   186   N/A  N/A  N/A  298  421 
Privilege  N/A  3  2  N/A   4   N/A  N/A  N/A  3  1 
TOTAL  332  783  567  919  1,066  764  N/A  N/A  462  683 

Source: Institutional Memories – Ministry of Interior and Police of the Dominican 

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