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Jingthing

Expats in Thailand considering moving to Latin America prompted by Thai visa changes

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1 hour ago, Jingthing said:

From my POV permanent residence is a very high priority indeed. Of course as another member mentioned that can be still be taken away, but of course citizenship would be much more secure. Ironically my top choice Latin American nation Colombia is the only nation that I'm aware of that has previously backed away from what they called "lifetime" visas and degraded them to 5 year visas. That happened to people that actually had lifetime visas in their passports! Not cool. Anyway, that was in the past, and their current system is interesting. For retirement you apply initially for a three year visa, then if you want to continue to stay you apply for another three year stay, but at five years you are then eligible for permanent residence. The financial pension requirements are very low and based on a multiple of national minimum wage, currently well under 1000 USD monthly. Citizenship is also an option. I recently heard of a credible report of a Colombia initial three year retirement visa being done in about week with the help of a lawyer and no need to travel to Bogota, and the financial proof was based on a social security benefits letter officialized by the U.S. embassy in Bogota. (For those aware of the behavior of the U.S. embassy in Bangkok, there is some rich irony there).That's pretty good but not the best as far as residency. Peru offers it from initial application, though the process can take months (probably best to base in Lima during that period), and Mexico has an initial option to go for permanent residence from the start (or you can do annual applications … oh what fun). Peru's pension requirements are also very low. Mexico's financial requirements based on pension are comparable to Thailand for their income method but if you show money in your home country, that's another option. Approximately 25K USD for the annual, and 95K USD for the permanent. That money does not need to be in Mexico. I was wondering if that money could be in a retirement account such as an IRA and based on what I recently read at a Mexican consulate website, I think probably yes, but that information isn't certain and would need to be confirmed. 

Thanks for going into some basic details concerning individual countries. One thing seems not to have changed since I have looked into it some 10 years ago: Once you have PR, it's done! Unil then, it needs the assistance of a lawyer, handling "the fine print" for you. And (in some countries), the initial "capital-stock" needed is relatively high.
- Let's face it: No "Immigration Countries" are left. A hundred years ago, one just could walk into the US, Canada and Australia. Those days are gone.


To establish oneself in a New Country may also cost the equivalent of 800K Baht. Maybe best to deposit the 800K year-round in a Thai Bank and do the 90 day nonsense by mail or online. That way the Thai Visa Djungle becomes managable. After all, outside of the visa circus, Thailand is quite nice overall.
Until the day comes, when only Thai-Elite-Visas will be acceptable. But that may well be 10 years into the future.
In other words: It gives a Farang the possibility to die during this period of time or marry a Hi-SO Thai national.😀

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Posted (edited)

Actually my current information is that a lawyer is not needed for Mexico, Peru, or Colombia. I've heard Colombia has made their online application more usable. I think the case I reported used a lawyer to make it easier, faster, and also to avoid travel to Bogota which he needed to do at least to go to the U.S. embassy officialize the social security benefits statement. He felt the lawyer was worth the money for all those benefits but sorry I don't know the fee he paid. Keep in mind visas are not the only thing. Latin American countries seem to have a national ID document called a cedula that is a necessary next step to do anything there (bank accounts, utilities, etc.) and that may sometimes involve dealing with immigration as well. I think a generality is that Latin American nations are not much into indefinite serial annual applications. They load the pain on early and then if you pass it, you're largely good to stay. 

Edited by Jingthing
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I've lived in both Bolivia and Chile and would never consider either as a retirement destination although I'm fluent in Spanish and eligible for bolivian citizenship as my mom was bolivian...lookin' towards Vietnam for retirement purposes these days...

 

Mexico City however would suit me fine but I think that I'd need more than my retirement income to live there comfortably...would also be nice to have Garcia Marquez and Roberto Bolano (both south american expatriates living in the D.F.) as drinking buddies but both have sadly passed on now...

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, tutsiwarrior said:

I've lived in both Bolivia and Chile and would never consider either as a retirement destination although I'm fluent in Spanish and eligible for bolivian citizenship as my mom was bolivian...lookin' towards Vietnam for retirement purposes these days...

 

Mexico City however would suit me fine but I think that I'd need more than my retirement income to live there comfortably...would also be nice to have Garcia Marquez and Roberto Bolano (both south american expatriates living in the D.F.) as drinking buddies but both have sadly passed on now...

 

 

Personally I've already rejected Chile for retirement and haven't thought much about Bolivia, but I have noticed there is an increase in interest in Bolivia. Apparently La Paz has made progress even having foodie cred. Amusingly named Cochabamba is enjoying some expat interest for those seeking a more authentic and rustic destination. 

 

Regrets to linking to the "notorious" IL website (as it has a deserved reputation for accentuating the positive and not even mentioning the negative) --

https://internationalliving.com/affordable-living-and-quality-healthcare-in-cochabamba-bolivia/

 

Retirement visa rules and residency potential for Bolivia? Does someone want to volunteer to research it and post it?

 

Edited by Jingthing
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1 minute ago, ChristianBlessing said:

In the late 1990s I lived and worked for 3 years in Paraguay (decidedly not a retirement destination for most) and still have a number of Paraguayan friends with whom I regularly stay in touch. I found it quite easy to befriend locals in spite of my (then) limited Spanish and Guarani language. I've since traveled extensively in the "southern cone" and found the citizens of all countries to be friendly, outgoing and generous. Given the familiar cultural touchstones we all bring some essential apriori experiences and backgrounds.

 

One country rarely mentioned as a potential retirement destination is Uruguay. The country ranks first in all of Latin America for democratic freedom, peace, low levels of corruption, and is an advanced, innovative country. Not the lowest financial bar but far easier to obtain residency than most.

I totally agree Uruguay has a lot of appeal. I did look at it and decided for me qualifying was iffy and that I also would want to live in the Montevideo area which would be prohibitively expensive even if I could get approved. Many want to live in the beach areas, also on the more expensive or very expensive sides. But I do think it's on the possible and desirable list for a large chunk of people that aren't fabulously wealthy. 

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21 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

Personally I've already rejected Chile for retirement and haven't thought much about Bolivia, but I have noticed there is an increase in interest in Bolivia. Apparently La Paz has made progress even having foodie cred. Amusingly named Cochabamba is enjoying some expat interest for those seeking a more authentic and rustic destination. 

 

Regrets to linking to the "notorious" IL website (as it has a deserved reputation for accentuating the positive and not even mentioning the negative) --

https://internationalliving.com/affordable-living-and-quality-healthcare-in-cochabamba-bolivia/

 

Retirement visa rules and residency potential for Bolivia? Does someone want to volunteer to research it and post it?

 

Haven't seen this site http://www.southamericaliving.com/ mentioned in this thread so might be of interest... a quick glance at the Bolivia section suggests US guys can get a 5 year visa for Bolivia for $135...  http://www.southamericaliving.com/living-in-bolivia-visas-fees/ 

 

U.S. citizens can purchase a Tourist Visa before entering the country, or at any border crossing. Bolivia also requires a Yellow Fever Certificate but is not enforced across the board. A vaccine may be administered at the border if you have not already had the shot – or you may be allowed to enter without it.

Officially, the requirements for the visa for U.S. citizens also includes proof of income (bank statement, credit card, etc.), passport photos, return ticket out of the country (if arriving by air) and a hotel reservation or ‘letter of invitation’ from a Bolivian national. When entering the country by land, you most likely will only need to show your passport, Yellow Fever Certificate and pay the fee, but there is no guarantee.

Most importantly – to make the process go smoothly – have your $135 USD reciprocity fee ready to hand-over in U.S. dollars. The visa is valid for five years, multiple entries. Do not lose your passport (that has the visa stamp) or you will have to pay for another visa ($80 USD for replacement) and redo the process all over again.

Departure tax when leaving Bolivia

They don’t let you off the hook when you leave the country either. Bolivia charges a departure tax of $25 USD for international departures. If you are flying within the country, the fee is minimal – only 15 Bolivianos ($2 USD). To save any hassle, have the correct amount ready to pass over to the Immigration money collector, in U.S. dollars.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Jingthing said:

The trick is identifying the safer cities in the target countries. Fear mongering about Latin America in general is not helpful here. Nobody here is considering Caracas for obvious reasons.

 

Sent from my Lenovo A7020a48 using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

 

 

 

Well good luck - let us know where you end up.

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9 hours ago, DrDave said:

I'm surprised that there's been no mention of Belize and Honduras (Bay Islands/Roatan, not the mainland). Both have relatively painless visa requirements for retirees, as well as simple pathways to permanent residency. Both very popular with expats, and Belize in particular is an English speaking country.

Both countries are crime ridden pits and Belize is expensive, unless you want to live out in the jungle

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17 hours ago, sanemax said:

Did you have sex this morning and last night again ?

people who live in the past have not yet arrived at last night... just sayin. 

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As to Central/South America... they don't have enough candles to hold a candle to living in Thailand... my opinion, of course... and by your being here, maybe you agree. 

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Just now, kenk24 said:

As to Central/South America... they don't have enough candles to hold a candle to living in Thailand... my opinion, of course... and by your being here, maybe you agree. 

It's another JT fantasy thread, pick a place so far away that you'll never dare go.

Vietnam/Philippines/Cambodia are too close, too easy and too realistic an option to consider.

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1 minute ago, BritManToo said:

It's another JT fantasy thread, pick a place so far away that you'll never dare go.

Vietnam/Philippines/Cambodia are too close, too easy and too realistic an option to consider.

ok... when I fantasize it goes to other areas, not geographic. 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, kenk24 said:

As to Central/South America... they don't have enough candles to hold a candle to living in Thailand... my opinion, of course... and by your being here, maybe you agree. 

no, citizenship & national health care holds more candle

than all the oil fried bugs in thailand put together.

i'm only here cause my body dont allow that far travel as of yet, and i know JT is waiting on recover most of the money he spent on his condo before he can finally leave

Edited by brokenbone

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Mexico is good and Belize. Watch youtube Jerry Brown Travels. Tangerine Travels. & JC Travel Stories

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