ALRIGHT, LET IT GO!
After speaking with my immigration attorney a week ago, she suggested 2 options in regards to the delay. After much thought, I decided to allow the consulate to keep my paperwork and finish up the process...as oppose to having them ship it back to me and finalizing all this at a later date. Had I chose the later, I may have ran into difficulties with the visa approval process down the road.
I've been advised by SERVERAL expats and my instructor in Peru that I could simply continue with my original travel plans because the visa process "CAN BE DONE OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME COUNTRY". However, there are pros & cons to that statement. They say I shouldn't have to wait and suggest that I forge ahead as planned. My instructor in Peru stated that if I decide to forge ahead with my original dates, I could give my passport to the Dominican embassy upon arriving in Peru and they would complete the provisional visa process for me...while I'm in Peru. Considering I'll be in Peru over a month, she feels that would be enough time for the Peruvian \ Dominican embassy to complete it. Only problem with that scenario is that I'll be right back at square ONE (waiting) if the Dominican embassy in Peru is slower than the one in America. Not to mention the fact that I'll be STUCK in PERU when I'm expected to be in the DR. Thus forcing me to change my flights and DR plans once again. If I'm going to be delayed, I'd rather be delayed in my own home country.
The other downfall on NOT allowing the "ever-so-slow" Dominican embassy to complete my visa process is this: When applying for your provisional visa, there are several documents that accompany your visa application that the embassy will look at when deciding to approve your visa application. The Two most important documents (in my opinion) is the letter that I received from my employer which states my current employment status\salary etc...and the copies of my last 3 bank statements. If I opted to delay my immigration process to March (which is when I arrive back to the DR), then I'll be taking a chance on my visa being possibly denied...considering my documents are dated from November and I'll no longer be employed. So it's better to show that you have a source of income and\or a sustainable income when your application is received. Now keep in mind, this is the case with me going through the basic residency visa program. If I was working directly with an NGO (501c) then all of this wouldn't be a concern for me. But as previously stated, I've decided not to affiliated myself with any one NGOs at the moment.
This small delay has actually worked out in my favor due to the fact I REALLY needed to tie up a few more loose strings before leaving my home country. Not to mention, this has given me an extra week or so to get with all the love ones and the ones that I haven't visited yet.