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BP

Jul 26, 2015, 1:42 PM

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an immigration question

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Hello,
I am relatively new to the site. I am planning to move to La Paz, Mexico for 6 mos. by the end of this year, October. I am on a recon mission August 16-22nd looking at places to rent, meeting with contacts who are kind enough to guide me through and educate me about things I don't quite understand yet or know to ask.
I decided to drive from New Jersey to La Paz when it is time to move. I am looking for a furnished place, a secure place to park my car and store my bike and kayak. My budget for the casita is $500-$575 per month. I don't know if I need to re-calculate budget, if my idea of living arrangements is even possible.
So, my first decision is the visa - 180 day tourist versus the temporary resident visa. Can you please share your opinions which would be the most advantages way to go?
From what I have researched the tourist visa cost less, requires little paperwork and the downside is leaving the country in 180 days and re-entering at a border crossing.
The temporary visa is good for 4 years renewing each year which is better if I make La Paz my home, but it cost a lot more and I need to prove financial stability for the last 6 mos. which I can do. Once I leave the east coast I am no longer employed and cannot show the required $1000 monthly deposits.
I am grateful for your time and consideration. Thank you. Beverly



RickS


Jul 26, 2015, 3:23 PM

Post #2 of 15 (9990 views)

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Re: [BP] an immigration question

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Maybe one of our Posters will respond with some definitive info, but in the mean time....

I would think that one could find furnished accommodations for one in La Paz within your budget, especially since the dollar is so strong at the moment (and foreseeable future?), and because La Paz is not the tourist attraction area as is Cabo. As to a visa, it sounds like you may have no real alternative but to do a tourist visa but in any regard that would be a smart way to begin anyway. Mexico is not for everyone and Baja is probably even more iffy (for many). The tourist visa only cost around $30US for 180 days. The good news is that you will not have to acquire a permit to drive your car down to La Paz... but be sure to get Mexican car insurance. Your upcoming visit should help you one decide if this is what you want to do, and to find a furnished rental that suits your needs. "On the ground" is always the best way in Mexico to find things like this.

6-months is either a very long time or very short depending on what happens in your first 6 there. But if the Tourist visa is your only choice later, one can probably pretty cheaply fly from either La Paz, or more likely Cabo, to 'the border' where you can get another 6-month visa (and buy those few things that you have decided you just cannot live without but that are not available in La Paz!).

Good luck with your adventure....


BP

Jul 26, 2015, 6:23 PM

Post #3 of 15 (9977 views)

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Re: [RickS] an immigration question

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Thank you RickS.
You have given me substantial information/opinion; i.e. driving into Mexico and Mexican auto insurance. I will investigate auto insurance on my recon visit. I have nothing to gauge anything on and would like to hear more from those who are able to speak through experience. Thank you for sharing information.


chicois8

Jul 26, 2015, 7:24 PM

Post #4 of 15 (9972 views)

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Re: [BP] an immigration question

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have you lived in a hot and humid desert before? Here are the numbers for the last 36 years average for La Paz in August:
high =96 F
low = 76 F
daily chance of rain 10%
Humidity= 90%

Since 180 day FMM is just a few days short of 6 months and cost only $22 USD is the way to go unless you know that is where you are settling to...Then I believe you have to start the process at the Mexican Consulate closest to your home...Are you retiring or plan to work in La Paz...
Rincon de Guayabitos,Nayarit
San Mateo, California

(This post was edited by chicois8 on Jul 26, 2015, 7:26 PM)


RickS


Jul 26, 2015, 8:17 PM

Post #5 of 15 (9960 views)

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Re: [BP] an immigration question

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Assuming you keep your car plated in the US and you will probably stay with a tourist visa, there are a number of places online you can use for insurance. When time comes give us a hollar and we'll share several with you.

Once you decide to stay, I can also give you a place to get your car titled/plated (South Dakota) if your home state requires you to have it inspected, etc before they will renew... something that would be hard to do from Baja Sur!


morgaine7


Jul 27, 2015, 7:26 AM

Post #6 of 15 (9939 views)

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Re: [BP] an immigration question

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I live in La Paz, and you're getting good advice so far. Keep in mind that tropical storm season is hot and muggy, with a good likelihood of afternoon thunderstorms. In fact, we have such weather already. The average high may be 96, but we've had a number of days over 100 with heat index 120 and above, so be prepared. On clear days the sun is very strong. That said, it's a good time for a recon visit if you plan to live here, because you're likely to experience the worst of La Paz summer while hopefully avoiding major storms that could disrupt your travel.

While La Paz is less touristy than Los Cabos, the pool of affordable furnished rentals is limited. The biggest challenge, at least in central La Paz, may be secure parking and storage. Properties tend to be small, and many are built close together, almost like row houses. Garages are rare and street parking is common. You may find a furnished unit that suits your needs, but be prepared to spend time at it and consider locations outside the city center. Six months starting in October is high season for part-time residents and visitors. You'll need to avoid pricey "vacation rentals" that may be double your budget or more.

There is a Yahoo group called La Paz Gringos that you could join to get more information. Good luck with your plans!

Kate


BP

Jul 27, 2015, 6:29 PM

Post #7 of 15 (9893 views)

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Re: [chicois8] an immigration question

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I am originally from California. I traveled in and through Mojave dessert reaching 120 degrees temperatures....it is hot! Mid-90's are workable. I plan to swim mid-day to cool off and avoid sharks! haha! The east coast is brutal because of the humidity. I can take dry heat but was surprised to see 90% humidity. Well, I shall see.
If all works well and I find La Paz to be a place I can call home then I would work to support myself. So far my research supports what you said - I'll have to apply for either Permanent Residence at a Mexican Embassy in PA.
Thank you very much for your response. I am learning more and more through everyone's candid posts.


RickS


Jul 27, 2015, 6:47 PM

Post #8 of 15 (9890 views)

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Re: [BP] an immigration question

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Keep in mind that a Residente Permanente cannot drive a foreign plated car in Mexico these days.....


chinagringo


Jul 27, 2015, 6:49 PM

Post #9 of 15 (9888 views)

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Re: [RickS] an immigration question

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Is that the case on Baja these days? It seems to me that they have always had different rules?
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



playaboy

Jul 28, 2015, 6:23 PM

Post #10 of 15 (9847 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] an immigration question

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Residente permanente can not legally drive foreign plated cars anywhere in MX (with a few exceptions). Baja, Qroo, Sonora free zone are not one of those exceptions.


TedZar

Jul 30, 2015, 6:53 PM

Post #11 of 15 (9798 views)

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Re: [playaboy] an immigration question

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There are literally thousands of us in Baja driving USA plated cars with residente permanente. Things are different here. Whether something is legal or not versus being a problem or not are different issues. So many people here are driving cars with NO plates at all. Or California plates that expired five years ago. Once they clean that up . . .


(This post was edited by TedZar on Jul 30, 2015, 6:54 PM)


playaboy

Jul 30, 2015, 7:02 PM

Post #12 of 15 (9793 views)

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Re: [TedZar] an immigration question

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Same thing goes on in QRoo. About 5 years ago the police chief in Solidaridad started to enforce the law and impounded cars,especially cars with expired registration. I personally know someone that lost his van. Then came a new administration, new police chief, and no more problems.

The letter of the law is that permanente's can not drive foreign plated cars. We all should know that the law isn't always interpreted the same way.


TedZar

Jul 30, 2015, 7:17 PM

Post #13 of 15 (9791 views)

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Re: [playaboy] an immigration question

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I imagine we will hear quickly if things change.
Then to each his own action to solve the problem.
Personally? Not worried about it.
I can drop PR for the 180 days visa and piggyback on my wife when the car is old enough to import.
Not a problem to cross the border regularly here.


playaboy

Jul 30, 2015, 7:31 PM

Post #14 of 15 (9787 views)

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Re: [TedZar] an immigration question

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A lot of people here do exactly what you are doing It is only 4 hours away to the Belize border.

Personally, I bit the bullet and imported my throwaway 1987 van last year at the border. Now it is a non issue for me.


TedZar

Jul 31, 2015, 5:11 AM

Post #15 of 15 (9771 views)

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Re: [playaboy] an immigration question

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For people in this area it is 90 minutes to the border and many seem to make the run semi-regularly anyway.
 
 
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