Friday, May 27, 2011

Things Robert Told Us

You don't know Robert, I don't "know" Robert... but he is an extremely kind man who I "met" on a forum all about ex-pat life in Mexico.  He has kindly bestowed upon us a WEALTH of information, and personally spoke with Papi and I the other night for over an hour.  Below is a summary of the notes I scribbled all over a piece of paper... put here for my own personal reference and perhaps for you to consider if you are moving abroad.

-Make an accordion file to take with you as you travel to Mexico.  In it put the following items:
  • All identification papers, multiple copies (at least three) . This may include your passport,  multiple certified copies of your birth certificate , marriage certificates, wills, general power of attorney, car titles, your casa de menaje .
  • Other important documents, such as the written prescription for any prescription medication you are taking with you across the border.  If you taking animals with you, a recent letter from your veterinarian stating that the animals are up to date on all vaccinations
  • If you are a parent, all of the above documents for your children.  In addition, if you are traveling without the other parent of your child (because you are divorced, the other parent has passed away, or other reasons), you will need a document giving you permission to take the children out of the country, which in most cases needs to be signed by the missing parent.  I'm sure that if the parent was never involved in the child's life, there is a way to have a court sign a permission form stating that you have sole custody.  I haven't had to deal with this, but ask your local courthouse on these regulations.  If you are lucky, your children with have dual citizenship (if one parent is a Mexican national like Papi is).  If this is the case (yay! like us!)  register their birth at your local (in the United States) Mexican consulate.  I will create a separate post dedicated to this, in case you need help figuring this out.
  • Have all of the above documents translated into Spanish and English, have as many of the documents that can be notarized, notarized.  Leave copies of these important documents back NOTB with someone you trust.
-He also advised us of the following
  • Put all vehicles in both of our names- using and/or (or y/o in Spanish) .  For example ;  My Name Here and/or Papi's Name Here.  This way, in case something were to happen (heaven forbid), the other person would still have ownership of the vehicle and/or would be able to sell it.
  • Open up a bank account in Texas, at a bank called Inter National Bank.  THREE WORDS.  He says there is also an "International bank" , which is NOT the correct bank.  The bank is owned by the Mexican bank Banorte, which makes banking in Mexico MUCH MUCH easier.  He says that a  REAL person answers the phone for customer service from 7 am to 7 pm.  There are no ATM fees for withdrawing money in Mexico with your debit card (at a Banorte bank I presume).  They apparently don't charge to convert dollars to pesos, which is important because it is now required to receive money in Mexico to be converted into pesos before being sent to Mexico.  He suggested I called Inter National Bank (as we don't currently live in Texas) to get my account set up, and receive my debit card before we make our trip.  He did this, and they had his debit card waiting for him at the bank as he made his way SOTB driving through Texas.
  • Obtain a general power of attorney in Mexico, and have it translated into Spanish and English by a "proper translator".  Obtain a notario for this and all other legal documents when in Mexico.
  • If you are a Mexican National coming home, and bringing your family, you can call the Mexican Aduana office ahead of time and tell them you are moving home.  They will tell you what the current rules are on how much you can bring into the country duty (ie tax) free.  It has been 15,000$ in the past, but rates may have changed.  Also, ask them what the particular law/article number of this rule is, and see if you can find the text of it on the Internet (hopefully more on this later).  Print off this law and put it in your accordion binder- and if the Aduana gives you a hard time about it, pull it out and show them.  Be respectful yet firm- know the law and you will avoid paying more duties than necessary.
  • Apparently you can only import 1 computer per person!
  • If towing a trailer , make sure you have a weight distributing hitch (new 450$ or used 200$ approximately).  Don't use cheap tires from China, as some roads in MX are rough on the tires.  Check out special mirrors for the vehicle towing the trailer to extend  your visibility.

-Random other tidbits he told us
  • Medical costs in MX are amazingly low- when his wife gave birth to their child, the costs were 3400 American dollars.  And the care was better than he had ever received NOTB, the nursing staff actually cared and were very helpful.
  • Dental care and cost is also great
  • Buy one, or two , or three English-Spanish dictionaries (if you don't speak Spanish.  The one he uses is: VOX Everyday Spanish-English Dictionary by McGraw-Hill.  The ISBN # is 0-07-145277-X
  • You (as an non-Mexican) can enter the country using the tourist visa (formerly the FMM) which is good for 6 months.  Then either at the border or when you reach your destination you may apply for a more long term visa.  These visas were formerly called the FM3 and FM2, and have changed names twice since then (more on this later).
  • When preparing the casa de menaje - label label label.  Make a very detailed list, label boxes with a number and coordinate it with the list.  Make a MAP of your trailer or vehicle and number where the boxes are located in the trailer- it makes it easier for the Aduana and other officials to check your trailer and let you go on with your life/trip!! Example menaje here . The entire blog is extremely helpful !

More to be added on moving to mexico, what to consider when moving, how to do it and WHy to do it : ) !  Of course, much more will be added after we actually move to Mexico.  Anyone else with helpful tips, or comments, leave them below!

Check out (their forums) for more help on ex-pat life in Mexico!

PS : Countdown until departure: 125 days!

1 comment:

  1. Hey there this is a great list. IF you go to my blog there is a link to an e-book called the trick to living in Mexico. It was writen by an expat that lived here for a long time. I got the book after living here almost a year and I had so wished Id had it to read before I moved here. Some of it wont be as funny until you have lived here a bit but the informative part for sure will be helpfull now rather than later. Check it out.