IOM in the Dominican Republic supports information and regularization efforts

10 October, 2019

Santo Domingo. On September 26, a first meeting was held with over 50 civil society organizations to provide orientation on the processes and requirements for the renewal, change of status, and expedition of migration documents for beneficiaries of the National Plan for the Regularization of Foreign Nationals (PNRE) in the Dominican Republic. The activity was organized by the National School of Migration (ENM) with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

PNRE was a special regimen for giving foreign nationals identification documents and residence permits. It was valid for 18 months and registered a total of 288,467 people between 2013 and 2015. An estimated 200,000 people will need to renew their status by 2020.

The process to renew the migration status of beneficiaries of PNRE involves 13 steps, which mostly need to be completed online and require knowledge of the digital platforms. This prevents many migrants, who are primarily agricultural or construction workers, from renewing their documents, whether through lack of access or lack of knowledge.

The activity provided information on the official means of consultation to prevent deception by third parties through fraudulent mechanisms. Additionally, it introduced the Migration Information Hub, a space which has operated since August 2019 in the main office of the General Directorate of Migration (DGM) with the support of IOM in order to provide assistance and orientation in the process of renewing migration status.

The personnel who work in the Migration Information Hub will provide support throughout the online registration process, so that migrants will only need to obtain the required documents and make the payments required by the General Directorate of Migration of the Dominican Republic.

“For IOM, it is of highest importance to support governmental communication and orientation efforts in this area, since it enables the regularization of thousands of migrants in the Dominican Republic, reducing their vulnerabilities and promoting their inclusion and contributions to the country,” stated Josué Gastelbondo, Ad Interim Chief of Mission of IOM in the Dominican Republic.

These efforts were supported by the Regional Migration Program: Mesoamerica-The Caribbean, financed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State of the United States.