Sunday, March 17, 2013

Blog Issues..

courtesy Hassle-Free ClipArt

For some reason, my previous blog format suddenly went haywire and I was unable to restore it to the original layout. This happened just after I added two new blog sites to my favorites. WTHeck? All of the links on the right side of the blog shifted to the bottom and the blog title simply disappeared. Not wanting to completely re-design the former template, I settled on this dynamic Blogger template for the time being.

You can still access the favorite links by hovering over the black bar to the right of the blog post.
I would like to transfer my blog from Blogger to Wordpress, but will wait until we are in Mexico and have more time and hopefully feel less frustrated with my lack of computer geekness.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Update on 'So much to do'- Mexican Embassy

After an e-mail to the Mexican Consulate requesting information on the documentation we need for our  visa applications, and two missed phone calls, I spoke with the agent in charge. Her first question was to find out if we planned to work in Mérida. Upon informing her that my partner and I would be retiring, she asked if we were married. If not, then we would be required to apply for separate visas.

Here is the list of documents needed for the application, which I believe is for the Visa Permanente, not the Visa Temporal.

  • Fill out the visa application form.
  • Apply at the Consular Section in person, Monday-Friday, except holidays.
  • Original passport and one copy of the pages containing personal information, photograph of bearer, expiration date and extensions.
  • One front view color passport size photo, without eyeglasses and with white background.
  • Original and copy of the document that proves that the applicant is a legal resident in the USA if he/she is a foreigner.
  • Payment of the consular fee: $36.00 (Exact change, Visa or Mastercard).
  • Proof of economic solvency:  Original and copy of documents showing that the applicant has a bank account or investments with a balance of at least $119,865.00 US dollars after taxes during the previous 12 months,  OR,  Original and copy of documents showing that the applicant has had a pension or monthly income of $2,500.00 US dollars after taxes during the previous 6 months.

This sounds reasonable as opposed to some reports of having to provide odd-size passport photos and letters from the state police verifying no criminal record, etc, etc. There was no mention of property
ownership in Mexico, so we will be sure to bring copies of our fideicomiso and utility statements.

The only problematic issue with the new immigration laws seems to be the prohibition of foreign plated vehicles. This seems to have quite a few expats scrambling to drive their vehicles out of the country or going through the expensive process of importing their cars using a customs broker and paying the duty tax. 
This is likely what we will have to do because driving down is necessary and it would be ridiculous to enter on a tourist visa just to have a car and then have to exit the country every 6 months. The importation fee is a huge chunk of change, but I'm choosing to look at it this way. It will cost us about the same amount we pay in Virginia property taxes each year. The import tax is a one time deal.