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Jimenarobt

Aug 9, 2009, 11:55 AM

Post #1 of 15 (8772 views)

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Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2

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Hi, I could sure use some good advice or answers on a few things. I really need some help. I am a 67 year old male married to a Mexican Lady (Last month) and the application for my FM 2 is already in progress. I have the original marriage papers with me as well as all the documentation of my (still valid) tourista visa.

1st: Now I have returned to NOB to bring my personal household effects into Mexico. I understand that I have a one time effort to bring into Mexico any personal effects, without paying any duty, is this true? What about my four year old, sixteen foot enclosed utility trailer? Is this considered a personal effect? I have also heard (on this form) there is still a duty charged for anything less than six months old . . . Is this true?

2nd: I am a 67 year old US Military Veteran with a service connected disability. I receive my health care at a VA Hospital. I am also a Permanente Resident (Green Card) Holder since 1952. My concern is that I will be able to return to the USA for my medical treatment. Crossing the border into the US . . . .is this going to be a problem for me? Does anyone know about extended (more than six months) absence from the USA without loosing a Permanent Residence Status?

3rd: I am also looking for a 3 bedroom 2 bath (or close to that) single level home, with a little terrain around it (so my Step-daughter can play with our Chocolate Lab. I need this home to be within 6 or 7 hours of Tampico so my step daughter can visit her Dad and my wife to visit her parents. I understand that because I am nt a Mexican citizen that I cannot own any property within 32 Kilometers (or is it 50 Kilometers) of the coast. I will appreciate any input on this as well.
Now a note to all and I hope this will help some other folks as well. I was very worried about having my US Military Pension Checks and my US Social Security Checks sent to a place I could get at them from Mexico. I have heard of Scotia Bank and a couple of others when I cam across a fairly new bank in Texas called "Inter National Bank". This bank is owned by Bancnorte in Mexico. As a result of this affiliation, I can use my debit card at any Bancnorte WITHOUT ANY Charge and I can buy a home in Mexico with a mortgage held by Inter National Bank. I believe this is solely possible because of this bank in Texas being owned by Bancnorte. This is especially gratifying as I will not be "held Hostage" by the Mexican "Cash Culture" necessary for buying a home in Mexico. I get my statements and can move my money around by using the Internet from my home in Mexico. I have opened my account there 2 months ago and this allows me to deposit my Social Security by direct deposit as well as my US Military Pension. This was a real relief.

Thanks for any input any of you would be able to share with me. If you have such a house to sell or if you know anyone who has such a house to sell I would appreciate knowing about it. A large pueblo or small ciudad is fine also. Humidity is not my best friend but the heat or the cold (such as it is in the Mexican winter) is not so important.
Thank you again for any and all responses. I really appreciate this forum.

Rob



Rolly


Aug 9, 2009, 1:36 PM

Post #2 of 15 (8745 views)

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Re: [Jimenarobt] Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2

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The one time duty free permit to move your personal belongings is called a menaje de casa. You cannot get it until your FM2 is complete and in your hands.

The answers to many of your questions can be found here: http://rollybrook.com/...o_move_to_mexico.htm

Rolly Pirate


Jimenarobt

Aug 9, 2009, 2:40 PM

Post #3 of 15 (8723 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2

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Thanks Rolly,

I really do appreciate this tip. I will look at this information.

Thanks Again
Rob


SecretAgent69

Aug 10, 2009, 1:36 AM

Post #4 of 15 (8668 views)

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Re: [Jimenarobt] Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2

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What does one do in terms of household items if:

1. He/she obtained Mexican citizenship

2. After obtaining citizenship, needs to bring personal items to Mexico.

Would you be charged customs and duty on old items that were just sitting in storage for years in your home country?

I know the menaje de casa can also be used by Mexican citizens, but they have to have been living in a foreign country for two years I believe. The case I am describing here is someone who obtained citizenship and then just needed to return to their home country briefly to bring some of their old stuff to Mexico.

Sorry to hijack your thread a bit. I can say this for you though...

You cannot own property within 50 kilo of the coast or 100 kilo from the border as a foreigner. You could do it through a bank trust, but there are yearly fees for that. Alternatively, you could put it in your wife's name if you are
open to taking that risk.


(This post was edited by SecretAgent69 on Aug 10, 2009, 1:40 AM)


johanson


Aug 10, 2009, 6:01 AM

Post #5 of 15 (8616 views)

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Re: [SecretAgent69] Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2

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50 Kilos that's more the 110 pounds. All teasing aside, I thought the distances were different than 50 or 100 kilometers. Am I wrong? Maybe I'm remembering it in miles and thinking that the units were Km.


Jimenarobt

Aug 10, 2009, 8:54 AM

Post #6 of 15 (8388 views)

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Re: [johanson] Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2

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Johanson,

Thanks for the correction . . . . of course you are correct . . . this old mind is very cluttered these days! So much to do and so little time to do it all!

Rob


johanson


Aug 10, 2009, 11:48 AM

Post #7 of 15 (8157 views)

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Re: [Jimenarobt] Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2

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But Rob, I am not sure I am correct. I wasn't trying to correct you but to find out what the actual distances were. Please someone who is more in the know than I correct me and let me know what those distances are.

Do you mean I was right?


(This post was edited by johanson on Aug 10, 2009, 11:49 AM)


Vince3n


Aug 10, 2009, 4:33 PM

Post #8 of 15 (7952 views)

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Re: [Jimenarobt] Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2

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Question # 2:

Be aware that a permanent U.S. resident will loose his/her immigration status if chooses to live out of the country for a period of more than 12 consecutive months.

That rules applies regardless of how long you lived in the country and of you military service record.

On another note, it is a good thing that your SS check is direct deposit in a U.S. bank, should you had decided to have them deposited in a mexican or any other foreign bank, the check would have been subject to a 15% withholding by the Federal Govenrment due to your permanent resident immigration status.
But even if your permanent residency expires, you could continue to receive the SS checks in the country of your choosing and that withholding will continue to apply as long as you are not a U.S. citizen.

FWIF.

Vince


Papirex


Aug 10, 2009, 10:32 PM

Post #9 of 15 (7914 views)

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Re: [Vince3n] Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2

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You are only half right about losing permanent residency. A permanent residency card (green card) never expires as long as two conditions are met: 1. the card holder must continue to maintain a US residency address. A person does not need to actually live at the US residency address, as long as it is not used for purposes of fraud, it is perfectly legal. 2. A US income tax form must be filed every year, even if no taxes are due.


You are wrong about the Social Security deductions. Social Security checks are not taxed by the IRS merely because they are deposited in a foreign bank. Any taxation is based on total income, regardless of where you live. My own Social Security benefit was partially subject to tax when I still lived in The US, and it still is here in México, my Social Security benefit has always been direct deposited in a US credit union. There are no deductions from the Social Security deposit. I pay my total income taxes from voluntary deductions from other direct deposits from my pensions.


My suegra is a Mexican citizen, she receives a US Social Security benefit from her late husbands account, he was an American. She never held permanent US residency, although she lived in the US legally for a few years. She now has a US visa good for a term of ten years, but she does not have permanent US residency and she lives full time in México. She used to receive paper checks from US Social Security every month here in México, but she now has them direct deposited in a US credit union. Nothing is, or was ever, deducted from them.


I think you have been listening to what some people think, and not what they know. That is one of the problems with these message boards. Some posters hear something, and if they believe it, they will post it as a fact. When in doubt, do some research. Check with the appropriate agencies,US immigration, Social Security, and The IRS.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo

(This post was edited by Papirex on Aug 10, 2009, 10:34 PM)


Vince3n


Aug 11, 2009, 3:54 AM

Post #10 of 15 (7905 views)

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Re: [Papirex] Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2

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Well, I wrote the note based on my own experience and from what both Agencies told us (INS and SSA). The first one about twelve years ago and the latter four.


As far as the SS benefits, Immigration site states: "Green card holders only get half of the benefits they earned." if they choose to live abroad. Check it out on the US Government website at:

http://kb.immigrationdirect.com/...nent+resident+abroad

and you do loose your Permanent Resident status if you live abroad move than twelve consecutive months. Notice that a Green Card holder is a Permanent Resident regardless of the card stated expiration date.

You are welcome to verify it and notice that laws have changed.

I apologies if I offended you in any way but I have found your posting a bit aggresive and yes, I did my homework before posting here.

Vince


Papirex


Aug 11, 2009, 8:48 AM

Post #11 of 15 (7878 views)

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Re: [Vince3n] Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2

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The URL you posted is not a US Government site. The answers to the questions are in the form of posts, just as they are here. Most of the answers seem to be more like opinions than fact. I am not saying that they are all wrong, but some of them are not accurate.


I would not believe anything that the immigration service says about Social Security without verifying it directly with The Social Security Administration.


A green card does not expire if the holder is outside The US for twelve months and has met the two conditions to prevent it from expiring. My Mexican wife does have a green card. It was issued in the 1980s and there is no expiration date on it. We have lived in México for many years. Her green card is still valid as we do have a US residency address and we file a joint US income tax return every year.


Her green card has been run through a scanner a couple of times when going into The US at the border. The magnetic strip on the back of it has all the information necessary, including our US residency address. It is still valid.


It is a good idea for a green card holder that has lived here for over a year and that has met the conditions to keep the green card valid to carry a US drivers license if they still have one, US issued credit card statements, if they have them, and a copy of their last years filed income tax forms, anything that shows their US address, if questioned about the validity of their US address when entering The US. My wife has never been questioned about our US address which we use for our banking, credit cards, etc., and I use as my US voting address.


My wife is far too young to qualify for a Social Security benefit, And when I leave this earth, she may continue to receive SS on my account, which will be far higher than using her own earnings. I don't know anything about any possible reductions for SS benefits for a green card holder, but if true, a reduction is different from a deduction.


These facts are not my opinions, but they are our experience. You may want to check this site:
http://www.visalaw.com/01jan4/12jan401.html It is not a US government website, but it is a law firms immigration site. I have found it to be reliable.


There are no one size fits all answers.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Vince3n


Aug 11, 2009, 11:07 AM

Post #12 of 15 (7848 views)

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Re: [Papirex] Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2

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This is the official US Government website: US Citizenship And Immigration Services (USCIS) http://www.uscis.gov/files/article/B5eng.pdf and states what I had originally posted:

• Your Permanent Resident Card becomes technically invalid for

reentry into the United States if you are absent from the United

States for 1 year or more.

• Your U.S. permanent residence may be considered as

abandoned for absences shorter than 1 year if you take up

residence in another country.

Further to the point, The government clearly outlines that “Continuous residence” and “physical presence” are interrelated requirements,The concept of “continuous residence” concerns the maintenance of the applicant’s domicile in the United States over the period of time required by the statute. In other words, a permanent resident must physically reside in the U.S period.

Since you wanted facts and not opinions, here you have them. I cannot comment on your examples, but I will say that just because some laws are not applied, does not mean that they do not exist and you are taking changes every time that you are not in full compliance.

The above supports what I had originally posted, and as I mentioned before, I did my homework before posting.

Vince





jerezano

Aug 12, 2009, 8:29 AM

Post #13 of 15 (7789 views)

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Re: [Papirex] Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2

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Hello,

WARNING! This information is from memory only since I have no need to check either the current Social Security requirements nor the Immigration requirements. However it should be read for possible problems.

Domicile vs Residence:

The IRS and the US government consider your last permanent residence in the US as your domicile unless you specifically change it. Since Rex is filing an income tax return with the IRS he may continue to use that domicile address until he dies. Or at least that's the way I personally read the laws. I have been doing that for more than 20 years with the IRS with no problem.

But just to be on the safe side and belay any possible future arguments I have recently purchased a mobile home in a trailer park. I have my voter registration card which shows my new residence address and which came in handy with a new bank when it would not accept my mail drop address. It, the registration card, has not proved useful as yet in any other circumstance. The purchase of the home was really looking forward to the possible future need to return to the USA for health reasons. It has proved useful when I return for medical reasons. I now save on several nights of Motel bills.

As to Social Security and payments to foreigners living outside the United States. Withholding tax of 15%? is automatically withheld on social security income directed to a foreign address unless that person (or the country?) meets certain specific requirements And that withholding tax is not recoverable to the beneficiary by filing an income tax return because of the requirement to file as a foreigner. It used to be recoverable and for several years I aided many Mexican citizens in filing a return. So be careful about changing addresses with the Social Security Administration. Now those poor fellows who really need the money have seen that withholding vanish into thin air.

Also for people like Rex who is married to a Mexican, when he dies she will NOT be entitled to full survivor benefits UNLESS SHE HAS LIVED FOR FIVE CONSECUTIVE YEARS IN THE US. If not there will be a reduction or maybe she will not be able to collect. I forget specifics as I have not read the Social Security requirements for several years now. But I remember that requirement as being there then and I suspect it has not been removed. I would suggest that all of us in Rex's position be sure and check with Social Security so a work-around can be arranged.

Unfortunately as to green cards I know even less, but Vince's statements about 1 year and short permanent absences is absolutely correct. Rex's recommendations about maintaining a US driver's license and other document is worth following. For example I have a friend with a green card who drives up to Texas with me every few months and we always have the motel bill put in his name so he can prove return to base. He also maintains a current Texas driver's license and gives both the green card and the driver's license to the Immigration officer. Even so, immigration would be able to shoot holes in his proofs if they should decide to investigate. So the idea is to forestall them from making such a decision.

Red tape!

jerezano.


Papirex


Aug 12, 2009, 10:33 AM

Post #14 of 15 (7759 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2

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Thanks for your comments Jerezano. They are cogent and correct. As to our US residence address it is our daughters house in Fairbanks, Alaska, we receive mail at that address, including some small dividend checks. My voter registration card lists it as my address, and since Alaska has voting via fax it is quite easy for me to vote, and I do vote every two years in the US general elections. We also use that address when filing our joint US income taxes every year.


I did not know that there was a possibility of my wife receiving a reduced Social Security benefit after my death. Maybe that is a new restriction. I do know that an ex-wife may file for reduced benefits on an ex-husbands Social Security earnings with no reduction of the ex-husbands benefit if the marriage lasted for ten years and the ex-wife has not remarried. I tried to help my first wife by gathering all of the information about how she could do that when she retired several years ago. She had remarried and divorced after about one year, but she still qualified to file for SS benefits on my account. Still being a blockhead, she decided not to file on my earnings, it would have nearly doubled her benefit.


Many people do not remember that Social Security was never intended to be a full pension, but only a supplement to any other retirement pensions or plans a person has. It does that very well, we could live comfortably on the three union pensions I earned without Social Security, which is sort of a nice bonus to us every month. My 3 union pensions actually slightly exceed the amount I netted when working a 40 hour week at the time of my retirement, even after the hefty reductions to assure 100% survivors benefits for Doris. Normally, I did work 70 hours per week though. It would not affect Doris' Lifestyle if she lost SS after my death, she wouldn't need to feed me anymore or pay for my extra expenses.


Doris did live in The United States for over twenty years with a permanent residency card. Doris' father was an American, and if she wanted to, she is eligible to apply for “derivative citizenship”. She doesn't want it. Applying for derivative citizenship does not automatically gain a person US citizenship, but it puts them at the head of the line to take all the tests for citizenship.


Doris does belong to an international family. Besides her late father, she has many aunts. Uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews that are US citizens either by birth or naturalization. She also has an aunt and an uncle that are Canadian citizens by naturalization. Her Canadian uncle had to flee México to save his life during the “dirty war” here in the early 1970s. He wandered the world for a few years, and nobody knew his whereabouts. He finally settled in Canada and gained Canadian citizenship.


The Canadian aunt is married to a man from an eastern European country, I don't remember exactly right now, but he might be originally from Lithuania. He is a naturalized Canadian citizen too. Her uncle in Canada is married to a lady from Cuba, she is also a Canadian citizen now.


Sometimes when we are having family gatherings at our house, there are so many languages being spoken, it sounds like the tower of Babel.


Back to pensions. I had to accept a 36% reduction in monthly benefits for two of my pensions to enable 100% survivor benefits for Doris after my death, and a 39% reduction on one of them. It was costly to assure that she would receive 100% of the amount that I receive now, the reductions are based on the present age of the beneficiary (Doris) and the estimated number of years that the beneficiary is expected to live beyond the estimated lifespan of the person that earned those pensions. Doris is 23 years younger than me, so barring an accident or serious illness, she would normally be widowed for 31 years after I die, so I had to plan for her future as well as my own.


I will do some more research on any recent changes for SS survivors benefits though.
Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Vince3n


Aug 12, 2009, 10:37 AM

Post #15 of 15 (7757 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Moving My Personal Household Effects with an FM 2

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Hi There,

Since the topic of SSA dependent benefits were not asked in the original threat, I did not brought it to the table but, I am glad that Jerezano did. It is important to know that an alien resident spouse's benefits will not fully be there, as long as he/she resides abroad. Perphaps one can find its way around and still collect the full amount, don't know.

It is a fact that a Green Card holder's spouse living abroad will not receive full late's U.S. primary citizen benefits. At any rate, by law they will collect a downward adjusted amount.

This subject reminds me that not long ago, those who have deposited they SSA monthly benefits in a Mexican bank, did not received the additional $250.00 stimulus one time payment because the checks were not deposited in a U.S. territory.
They can and will try to withheld benefit payments to anyone and for whatever reason at all cost, I know this first hand.

Vince
 
 
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