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About CountDown

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    ARCR Forums Expert
  1. Thanks Paul. Now if Ryan could clarify that last part...? The "appropriate amount" (assuming $60k) makes sense. You deposit the money and they give you a letter saying you deposited it... "for the applicable period" does not... unless you cannot withdraw it until the end of that period, or it assumes it is a laddered CD? Does it now require a letter from a C.R. bank or can the letter come from a non-C.R. bank? Not an issue for me but the ambiguity is intriguing...
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    Reliable INTERNET in Costa Rica

    CRWifi has repeater towers over much of the country. Doesn't require line-of-site to Atenas. They're probably the best ones to ask whether they cover your area though. I've used them off and on over several years and they've always been the best. Two thumbs up!
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    Health Insurance

    ---Thank you for your military service Rick. Your commitment is greatly appreciated. Two years was a very long time in those days.
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    Health Insurance

    The only "old fashion way" for those of us who worked 40+ years in the good-old USA in the non-Federal private sector is to fund our retirement from savings and pay for our own medical. No "retirement benefits". Federal employees still had the medical/pension options we lost in the 60s and 70s. I envy you and wish it were different but Social Security and Medicare are the only options. So INS (with temporary coverage for travel) and CAJA are our best options living here...
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    Reliable INTERNET in Costa Rica

    The 3G connection has the potential to be adequate for minimal activities, but there are so many variables that would affect its performance that I (no one) can give a reliable answer. I've used it for Skype both successfully (voice only) and failing miserable (long latency, network saturation, completely unusable.) Network saturation, either at the cell tower level or entire subnet, is a regular occurrence. The best options of which I am aware are WiMax (from ICE), Acelera (ICE), CRWifi (private provider)... So the short answer is "no", I would not consider it a reliable option for Internet if that is important. It might work, at least intermittently, but if remote access to your computer is important I'd pick a different option.
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    Looking for a ride

    Just a question... Are the requirements the same for entering Panama with a dog that we have here in C.R.? How about coming back? Don't plan to do it but just wondered...
  7. And Bill, when you (or anyone else) have done it, please post the result. We who got residency long ago can only answer questions based upon our own experience or what we've read in local publications... OR what worked for the next victim (er, "applicant"). So please let us all know.
  8. SB, I am very sorry to hear of your predicament. Although we regularly hear of Perpetual Tourists who make border runs to renew who are given less than 90 days, you're almost the first I've heard who got less than 90 when entering after a long absence or for the first time. Not giving all family members the same visa duration is just cruel too. If I understand correctly you just arrived (Oct 2) so you have 10 days before needing an exit. I don't see a way to avoid that, but if there is an alternative I'd suggest immediately contacting Ryan Piercy at ARCR. We (forum members) have opinions and experience but no direct contact with those (Immigration) who can definitively say one way or the other. For a 6 month sabbatical it does not make sense to begin any residency proceedings (e.g. Rentista). It is not a visa. It can be very expensive and it can take several months just to accumulate and submit the documents. Then you must wait for them to be judged complete and accepted. Your 6 months could be long passed. So unfortunately the visa period is whatever they stamped on each passport. It may be that "90 days" is perceived as saying "I'm not on vacation, I'm living here and haven't applied for residency". More likely she must have been having a bad day, and chose to make your life miserable in 15 days. Again, I'm sorry. There may be those who have other advice, but overstaying your visa can be a problem prior to leaving the country. If asked for your passport (e.g. in a supermarket as I'd seen recently) or stopped while driving (your license is only good while visa is valid) you could have a very different problem than just a border trip. Ask the question of Ryan (2233-8068 or 2221-2053) M-F 9:00-4:30. Or plan on a border trip to renew.
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    Private Health Insurance in Costa Rica

    Also, based upon the non-trivial number of folk who move here and realize it isn't exactly their cup of tea, you might want to keep BC/BS affiliation until you've been here long enough to know for sure. Or at least check what re-enrolling and corresponding start-up costs and exclusions might be.
  10. So the question would seem to be "how to you 'unsubscribe' from these heartfelt messages?
  11. Thank you CRF! I was just about to do this month's planilla and would have had to call INS too. Update: filling to the end of the field didn't work. Going beyond the end didn't either. I finally just erased them all and added one zero at a time until it accepted the entry. It stopped before the end of the field. At least now we know how to solve it.
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    Licence Plate renewal

    Hmmmm... Apparently my friends expected a new number (to match the new format), and I just passed it on as gospel. See how "reliable" forum experts can be? I just researched a bit more and it seems that already-registered vehicles retain their plate number. (Makes sense). The new style plates (with anti-reflective covering and a matching decal to stick on the front windshield) are re-issued with the existing plate number. If you got both new plate style and a decal with your plate number (my friends did) you've upgraded to the new format. Thanks for the comment SCORP! You made me "trust but verify"...
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    Licence Plate renewal

    CAVEAT: - two friends went to Zapote three weeks ago specifically to get the new format plates. Both replaced their license plates in about an hour. They were given freshly-made plates exactly like the old. Not the new format plates nor new alphanumeric plate. Apparently there is some criteria for when the new plates are issued (which apparently isn't published). Now they'll need to return for the new format plates (whenever they are known to be issued for their make/model/type/year or whatever criteria caused them to get the old ones re-issued.)
  14. I'd followed the Tico Times since 1971 but in recent years I've only tracked the digital version. I'm guessing that their hard copy distribution was no longer cost effective, but I'll miss seeing it. I also miss the San Jose News (2nd largest English language newspaper) from the 1970s. It has been gone a long while but they'd offered me a job in 1973 and I still think I should have taken it! RIP to the hard copy edition.
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    Bank documentation

    So the truth here (I can't say "reality") is that all of us who've posted "what it requires" have different experiences based upon many factors. And we all confidently state them (or have them re-posted) as experienced (dare I say?) experts. I can confidently state what was required at my branch, and it conflicts with what someone else required at the same branch. So all of us who say "this is what you need" are correct, but only for our own experience. Anyone following our advice and visiting their own branch will find they've brought too much, not enough, or the wrong stuff. Not a complaint. I love it here in C.R. but see so many widely divergent experiences in this banking context that I think we're on different planets.

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