Consumatum est …. that is Latin, sort of for … ‘it is done’ Immigration Update! 2/10/2014
Well, we were told to check the website daily, and we did. I had begun to doubt that the site actually functioned, since it had only a single entry since we started in Mid-November on the application to change our ‘Visitante’ visas to a ‘Residencia Temporal’ — a temporary resident rather than a visitor.
Well, on Friday 1/24/2014, yesterday … we checked and, lo and behold, we found what you see below in both out immigration files… remember we are waiting for these documents to leave La Paz and start seeing the mainland of Mexico. The purpose is to be able to travel south without having to return over and over to the US to get new visas.
See screenshot below!
All these entries showed up yesterday … so looking everyday is necessary, but you may not see the status changes until the final entry. Interestingly, this is like the screen that the official showed us about a week and a half ago when he said to “Stop worrying, because the Residencia Temporal has been approved … the cards just need to get here to La Paz.”
He was right. The last entry says, loosely translated, ” The immigration document has been processed. Present yourself to the office where you applied for the document.”
Big smiles all over here. We did it without an agent … ourselves … with just the Spanish we have learned since getting to Mexico. We pick up the cards on Monday morning. We gave notice yesterday to Marina de La Paz, because we will be heading to the mainland on Friday or Saturday, weather allowing.
Will post pictures of the cards on Monday.
I hope this narrative of the process has helped you if you are following the blog, coming to Mexico, or in Mexico thinking about this process. It takes time, they will help you, it will try your patience … but it is kind of a milestone … cause if you are able to negotiate it … in our minds, it says, perhaps you (or we) ready to go on with your stay here. It is not a simple process … but it is not at all impossible. Good luck!
2/10/2014 Update and Footnote “Not so fast there, Sparky!”
This footnote is not about any problem, rather an oversight and opportunity. Turns out a couple of weeks ago when we had our finger prints taken and the files “sent off” for approval in Mexico City, we should have received a document called a CURP (don’t ask me what it stands for). Ok, I looked it up, Clave Única de Registro de Población. What it is, basically is a sort of Social Security like card, in that many benefits you can get to require the use of this card.
We only found out about it by accident when we had to turn around on our attempt to sail to La Cruz because of an engine overheating problem. That story is covered in a new post called “A Gathering of Old Birds.” Anyway, when we returned and were working on the boat engine we had some time so, Lady Spiritus (Carolyn) decided to put her time to use trying to get us enrolled in Seguro Popular and the Mexican Senior citizen discount program. In fairness, this time she worked with a local attorney because time was short. His help saved us days.
They both require the CURP card which we had never heard of. Turns out despair was not an issue as, all you have to do is go online herehttp://consultas.curp.gob.mx/CurpSP/ and print it for yourself. Seems that the program is sometimes not up, so probably the day we picked up our Residencia Temporal cards, the system was offline and they just forgot to tell us.
A few minutes later, we had this new card.
With the CURP in hand and the remaining pictures from our initial photos for the Residencia Temporal we got in about three days, both the Seguro Popular and the Tarjeta Inapam accounts.
Seguro Popular is a very basic set of health insurances that covers many types of conditions and emergencies. The cost about $100 each for the first year. That was $100 (one-hundred dollars) for a years coverage. First insurance coverage we have been able to obtain since I left my last job and the extension under COBRA of benefits ran out. It is designed to provide coverage for individuals who are self employed or without employment. They people of Mexico extend it even to residents who are not citizens.
Compare that to the US where even had we been willing to pay we could not find coverage. Also note that the US in its infinite compassion will not allow usage by retirees in Mexico of Medicare benefits. Any other country, yes! Mexico, no you can not use it there. If you are in Mexico for more that 60 days, my understanding is that Medicare will not help you unless you return to the US for care.
Can’t you just feel the American Medical Association’s lobbyist hands all over this limitation. Capitalism and free enterprise when couples with restrictions of choice and freedom make is so the hospitals and doctors don’t really have to compete against any other form of medical care. It is a sign of their willingness to inflict misery that 1.5 million Americans who live in Mexico for at least part of the year have to return like swallows to the us to get medical care when there is a great system of care just across the border at vastly reduced rates. The free enterprise system for medicine works really well as long as the ultimate customers, the patients, can’t go somewhere else. I wonder if that is what the fences along the border are really all about. Are they keeping you in or them out.
Enough soapbox. Just a former medical care provider frustrated at having no medical coverage after providing a life time of care to others. I am not alone in that.
This actually supplies the answer to a sailing koan that we raised here a few months ago about the small gated communities we call marinas in Mexico. The koan was “How does a marina in Mexico differ from an extended care center for senior citizens?” The answer is … in a senior care center you can use your Medicare Card.
The second program is the Tarjeta Inapam, the Senior Discount program. This also has some basic insurance coverage but also helps lower the price of everything from a simple bus ride on the Colectivo, or the cross-country Mexico buses, to half price on drugs. It helps in many stores and business as well. Don’t know all the benefits yet. Will write more when I do.
She got all this accomplished while I was busy working, between appearances in government offices, on Spiritus’ engine.