How to apply for a visa if you have ever been arrested or detained by the police?

May 2, 2016

People who have been arrested in the Dominican Republic can apply for visas. There are specific charges, and corresponding penalties, that may create ineligibility. It is important that a visa applicant with an arrest record be forthcoming and honest about what happened, providing as much detail as possible during the interview.  Be sure to answer “Yes” to the question on the DS-160 that asks if you have ever been arrested or detained by the police – even if you were let go without being charged.  You should bring these four original documents to your interview:

  1. A certification of “No Criminal History” from the Public Ministry/District Attorney’s office in the jurisdiction where an arrest or detention occurred, also indicating whether or not there is current investigation against you for an alleged crime.
  2. A certification from the General Directorate of Prisons that there is no record of you having ever been held in any of the jails controlled by them.
  3. A certification of fingerprint analysis from the Central Directorate of Criminal Investigations.  This documentation should be accompanied by an English translation.
  4. A notarized sworn statement, signed by you, explaining your version of events.  This statement must include the reason why you were arrested, date and place of arrest.

Providing these four documents demonstrates to the Consular Officer that you are being straightforward and honest about your arrest – and, if your visa is approved, they may help expedite the rest of the process.