Sunday, March 22, 2015

old times there are long forgotten

My Quicken software reminded this week that some things in Mexico continue to improve.

The reminder?  "Pay visa fee to Immigration."  It was my annual reminder that my visa to live in Mexico was up for renewal.

But it was as outdated as a February 2017 memo to President Obama will be to check for crashed Secret Service cars in the White House driveway.  The notices convey information we will not need.

The immigration reminder was once very important for me.  Each year, I had to gather copies of my financial and related documents to prove I was eligible to remain in the country where I have chosen to live.  I would then cart the load to an office in Manzanillo where I would begin the process of gaining permission to stay in Mexico for at least one more year.

All of that changed two years ago when I became eligible for a permanent resident visa.  It sounded almost too good to be true.  By taking out permanent residency, I could avoid the annual cha-cha-cha of renewing my visa.*

When the immigration official informed me in 2013 I could renew my temporary resident visa for one year or I could obtain a permanent resident visa, I immediately grabbed the long-term option.  By then, I knew that I wanted to eventually apply for Mexican citizenship.  The permanent resident visa would get me rolling down the appropriate chute.

If Quicken had not reminded me of what I no longer need to face, semana santa  would have.  My visa renewal always came at an inopportune time.

March and April are traditional travel months for me.  But that is when my visa came due.  It was always a close run thing to submit the paperwork and get my new document in a timely manner.  On one trip, I had to pick it up at the airport while I was flying off to New Orleans.

The connection with semana santa is that it almost always fell in the middle of the processing time for my renewal.  That meant a full week was often eaten up because the immigration office was closed.

But all of that is now history.  I took great pleasure in deleting the reminder from Quicken yesterday.

And I suspect the president will be similarly relieved in less than two years.  Time gives us all different options.

* -- Mexico also offers temporary resident visas in multi-year denominations.  But that is not part of this story.

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