Decisions on asylum claims that determine whether someone is granted international refugee protection are made by the National Refugee Commission (“CONARE” for its Spanish acronym) and applications are to be submitted before the ONR, which is an auxiliary body of the General Directorate for Migration.
All persons who, owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and are outside the country nationality or former habitual residence can seek asylum at the international borders, maritime ports, airports or in the capital city Santo Domingo of the Dominican Republic. All applications will then be referred to ONR. In the case of an irregular entry to the Dominican Republic, the asylum application has to be filed within fifteen (15) days after the arrival to the country.
Once the applicant has manifested his will to apply for refugee protection, the ONR will open a file for the individual or the family (if applicable) and asylum-seekers will be asked to attend an interview where he or she will be asked what has happened to them and what it is they fear in their own country.
All asylum-seeker will be required to present the following documents:
- Passport or national identity document, or, if these are missing, a sworn declaration before the ONR.
- Four passport-style (front) photographs and two profile photographs taken from the side.
- Any relevant documentation that supports the the application (this could include reports, attestations, pictures, videos, etc.)
- Medical certificate stating that the applicant does not have any contagious diseases
- Certificate of no objection issued by the National Department of Investigations.
Asylum-seekers are issued a carnet that allows them to stay in Dominican territory valid for (60) days until a final decision on the asylum claim is made by the National Commission for Refugees. A Technical Sub-Committee will assess the credibility of the applicant, will study the situation in the country of origin, and determine whether the individual meets the refugee criteria contained in the 1951 Refugee Convention.
CONARE is expected to issue a decision on each case within thirty (30) days. If the decision is positive and your asylum claim is approved, individuals will be officially recognized as refugees and given a residence permit valid for one (1) year, which can be renewed. The refugee’s spouse and underage children (children under the age of 18) will also be given residence permits. If the decision on the asylum claim is negative, the applicant can file an appeal before CONARE within seven (7) days.