Do I Need a Passport for Punta Cana?

By Christine Bartsch

Documents to carry when you head for a Punta Cana getaway

Do I Need a Passport for Punta Cana?

Picture yourself sipping a tropical cocktail in the shade of a coconut palm on the silky white beaches of Punta Cana. This relaxing vacation is only a plane ride away – as long as you have a valid, unexpired passport. The Dominican Republic requires passports for all tourists, but that’s not all. Read on to discover the documents you’ll need and other aspects to consider before embarking for Punta Cana.

A passport and …

Aside from a valid passport – which provides proof of your identification – with one blank page, you’ll also need permission to enter the Dominican Republic in the form of a visa or a tourist card. For a nominal entry fee, visitors who can legally live or travel in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom or European Union can purchase a tourist card upon arrival in the country.

While the tourist card is valid for a year, it has a one-time-only use, and the visit cannot last longer than 30 days. Visitors might be able to obtain an extension for visits over 30 days for additional fees. This card is a requirement for entry into the Dominican Republic, unless you apply for a visa instead.

Who needs a visa

Visas are required for visitors from most countries outside of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and European Union, and they take a little more effort to obtain. Visa seekers must fill out an application and have a valid passport when submitting the application. Tourist visas are ideal for trips up to 60 days and allow visitors to make multiple entries into the country.

Visa applicants must also supply additional documents:

  • photo that meets the U.S. passport requirements
  • documents showing financial solvency
  • photocopies of your flight and hotel reservations
  • criminal record certificate that’s been translated into Spanish

Obtaining a visa to visit Punta Cana can take two weeks or more and requires an application fee of about $100.

Health concerns

Are you pregnant or even think you might be? Better cancel your plans to vacation in Punta Cana. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a travel advisory for the Dominican Republic due to the Zika virus, which can cause serious birth defects.

Other precautions to consider before embarking on the trip include ensuring that your vaccinations and immunizations are up to date. Check with your primary care physician at least four to six weeks before traveling to ensure you’re current on routine vaccinations. Also ask your doctor about other immunizations you might need, including typhoid, malaria and rabies.

About the Author

A former art instructor, high school counselor and party planner, Christine Bartsch writes fashion, travel, interior design, education and entertainment content. Bartsch earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in communications/psychology/fine arts from Wisconsin Lutheran College and a creative writing Master of Fine Arts from Spalding University. She's written scripts for film/television productions and worked as the senior writer at a video game company.