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eleanorcr

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Everything posted by eleanorcr

  1. Welp - way back in March (and maybe before), I began documenting my quest for Costa Rican citizenship through residency, thinking it would be useful to those considering the same path. Unfortunately, that whole thread has disappeared -- maybe when the "new" forum was implemented? So... lost. However, I am thrilled to be able to tell you all that today I received an email notifying me that my citizenship application has been approved! TICA!! I am instructed to go to the nearest TSE office. However, when my friend went through the same process, they told her that her name wasn't "in the computer yet" haha and she ended up waiting a couple of weeks before she could get her cedula and then apply for passport. Next week I will be in the town where the TSE office is located so I will stop by and see what they have to say. So excited!! One of the nicest things about it is the use of my mother's maiden name as my last name. That made me kind of teary-eyed as I know she would so much appreciate that.
  2. I'm thinking that the confusion will come in when you try to leave the country with your new passport. First confusion -- checking in with the airline. Second confusion -- Migracion. "Wait... we have no record of this person with this passport number arriving in Costa Rica so ....??" I don't know the ins and outs of the law regarding this, but if it were me, I would go to Migracion and explain what happened. This will show that you are willing to come forward and look for a solution instead of just trying to avoid the whole thing. I'm hoping you have a copy of your previous passport or at least the number. They should be able to tell you about any fine and make the appropriate changes to your status and change your passport number. I would also contact the airline and explain to them so they can correct your passport number in their records.
  3. eleanorcr

    Aduanas regulations

    Can't emphasize this enough!
  4. eleanorcr

    BORDER RUN

    It's possible that delays as far as reporting deaths or the SSA "recognizing" deaths are common. My mother was collecting SSA benefits and when she died, many years ago, they continued to send the benefits for several months, even though they had been notified. My brother wisely put that money aside and when the SSA realized what had happened and sent him a letter asking for repayment, it was easy for him to just pay them back. If you are a legal resident of a foreign country and you die in that country and are buried in that country, how would the SSA know that you had died? Whoever is in charge of your affairs would need to notify them but there still might be a lag time between benefits being sent and the change being made. Using that form is one way to know.
  5. eleanorcr

    BORDER RUN

    They did not tell me either. But so what. So you get a form every two years, you fill it out and send it back. Maybe your ambitions for a busy government agency are too high? I am not sure that this happens if you are living in the US. I've been told that people receive this form only if they live in a foreign country. But I don't really know. It's possible that if you are back living in the US, you won't get this form.
  6. eleanorcr

    BORDER RUN

    It's not only "are you still alive" but has your status changed --- are you working, did you move, etc. So yes, while tedious and annoying to us, it makes sense to the organization that is sending us money every month. There are two "real" issues here: Getting the form in a timely manner and sending the form back in a timely and safe manner. It's interesting because the form has no date on it but clearly says something like "must be returned with 30 (or 60?) days." However, you don't know when that 30 days started. So we know the schedule -- you will get this form every two years, probably around August or September. I have just received the form so I can look forward to a whole YEAR of not being annoyed by this. Folks can plan for it accordingly.
  7. "More alarmist than necessary." I swore to myself I would not comment again on this thread only to be bludgeoned by a waterfall of words in reply, but lest we forget: 7 deaths out of 4.5 million people. Yes, those 7 deaths matter a lot if you are one of them or the family of one of them but there are so many issues that affect so many more people. If this is what you feel you need to do, James, then by all means do it. I would recommend you put your energies there instead of trying to convince everyone in this forum that your actions should be the norm and we should all adhere and support them. We can disagree -- it's OK. Just do your thing and let me do mine.
  8. eleanorcr

    BORDER RUN

    Well, in my experience, you CAN get a signed receipt from a PO Box. Because someone has to pick up that mail and has to sign for certified mail or whatever. I haven't had a PO in the US for many years, but when I did, they left a notice in the box that there was certified mail and I had to go to the desk to sign for it. Perhaps this has changed, but this is the way it used to work. Even if no one actually mails the receipt to you, you have a good record of having mailed back the form. You might even go so far as to take a photo with your phone of you putting the form into the certified package. I know what you mean about waiting! I just sent back my "second notice" form and stupidly didn't send it Express Mail. The last time I did that, I got a notice that my benefits would be terminated so I sent that one back Express Mail. I sweated a lot until my benefit got deposited in February. Fingers crossed that won't happen this time. The only real "protection" you have from agencies such as the SSA is your Congressional Representative. Voting when you don't live in the US is pretty straightforward: you vote at the place where you last lived. So if someone has a problem with the SSA that can't get solved, don't hesitate to contact the office of your Representative. The time I had to do this, they were like "attack dogs" haha and got the issue resolved within a week or so. A non-US citizen who collects SS benefits could have a more difficult time, of course.
  9. eleanorcr

    BORDER RUN

    Haha..... yeah. We all know how that works out. For most, the only answer is apartado which, apparently, the SSA recognizes as a street address which is what they require. My advice re SSA -- the only little piece of advice I can give you -- is this: When you get that form from the SSA every two years where you declare any differences in your status, don't mail that thing by normal Costa Rica to US mail. Spend the money and send it Express Mail or whatever category gives you a signed receipt. I have been "threatened" with cutting off of benefits twice because the TWO FORMS I filled out and mailed back were lost somewhere. This is especially important to those of us who only check their mail sporadically. On the "off year" for SSA sending this form, I might go for a couple of months without checking my mail. Otherwise, monthly. So bottom line -- it's the government! Did you expect something different?
  10. eleanorcr

    BORDER RUN

    It is difficult when, as you say, someone takes their marriage vows seriously but finds their life is totally disrupted by their spouse. How to help that situation? I really don't have an answer. When someone won't admit they have a problem, it's impossible to help. And you cannot "babysit" 24 hours a day, and even if you could, it seems impossible for you to actually do anything to change or improve things. My daughter has had mental health issues all her life. I did the best I could for her for many years, but at some point, I felt I needed to have a life of my own Everyone will have to get to that point - or not - in their own way.
  11. For 15 years I have lived with black widow spiders, scorpions (which are not deadly) and fer de lance snakes. I have never been bitten by either black widows or fer de lance, even after having spent YEARS working in the fields on a farm and doing guide work. I have had numerous scorpion bites which are painful, but not deadly and sort of equivalent to a bee sting. No one here is talking about the bushmaster (plata negro or cascabel muta) which is the deadliest snake in Costa Rica. Full-grown cows have been killed by a bushmaster bite. The local saying is that if you get bit by a bushmaster, just lie down in the grass and watch the clouds go by because that will be your last memory. There are also many caterpillars (larval stage of Lepidoptera) that can feel like acid when touched and can produce a serious allergic reaction. There are also bullet ants (paraponera clavata) which can cause an allergic reaction. To say nothing of being attacked by angry monkeys, feasted on by piranhas (pygocentrus natteri), clawed by a jungle cat, eaten by a crocodile (they have been known to attack and ingest calves), attacked by an alligator mom protecting her young, bitten by a sea snake, stung by jellyfish, bitten by the neighbor's dog or scratched by the neighbor's cat. I'm sure I have left something out that everyone can be afraid of. Oh yes, not animals -- but drowning in the ocean is pretty common. At least it is unlikely someone will shoot you dead over a parking space.
  12. eleanorcr

    BORDER RUN

    tibas9: Frankly, I don't think your post about marriage successes is helpful. Some marriages are successful and some are not. Sometimes people stay together for various reasons that don't have to do with being happy with the situation. Versatile is reaching out to us for help and support and information, I think, and that's what we should be doing and not implying that he has done something wrong. We don't know what the situation is totally but we know that he is having a hard time and that's what we need to focus on, I think.
  13. eleanorcr

    BORDER RUN

    Versatile: In regards to your health problems --- if you decide to separate from your wife and you are concerned about your health, there's no need for you to consider going into a nursing home in Costa Rica. You could hire a woman to come into your home to cook and clean and care for you as necessary. This would be your least expensive and more desirable thing to do, I think. If you decide to return to the US, then that's a different story. My advice (worth what you pay for it) is that if you end up separating from your wife, consider staying in Costa Rica a bit longer. This way, you could have a chance to be more relaxed and make a better decision about what you want to do.
  14. eleanorcr

    BORDER RUN

    allendickinson70@yahoo.com 8502-6305 He owns a car repair business in Santa Ana so if your car needs any work, I wouldn't hesitate to have him do it. Great guy and super honest.
  15. eleanorcr

    BORDER RUN

    Really sorry to hear about your situation, versatile. And having health problems just makes it worse. You might want to make an appointment with a lawyer and see just what your rights are so you could correctly handle either staying in Costa Rica but living separately or leaving your wife and leaving Costa Rica. Then you will know what to do and not do and don't have the additional stress of worrying about that. And no, I wouldn't tell anyone in the family what you are doing. Once your "ducks are in a row," and you are ready to leave, you could contact Allen Dickinson if you wanted to sell your car. He has been helpful to me and lots of other people in that regard. Let us know how things are going. And good luck.
  16. eleanorcr

    BORDER RUN

    I do think it's definitely easier. Similar paperwork but after two years of marriage to a Costa Rican, you are eligible to apply. The TSE website has a clear and complete list of what you need to do to apply. And there's no fee. The only fees you pay are to get your documents (birth certificate, police report) and have them translated by an official translator. You also have to put an ad in La Gaceta which is around 8,000 colones. (This says if anyone knows why you should not become a citizen, they should come forward.) My Australian friend got her citizenship in about 5 months - by marriage - and I got mine in about 6 months (residency). For us, the biggest problem was not getting citizenship but having to change that cedula number in all bank and government things. Bank accounts, driver's license, etc. It's funny how you think you know what has to be changed but all of a sudden you need to get something done and the person says..."You have a different cedula number...." and there's one more you have to change. There's really no need for a lawyer. You go to the website, get the list of things you need to do and then do them. Birth certificate, police report - apostilled and translated - and you have to bring two witnesses with you who are "in good standing" and can testify to your worth of becoming a Costa Rican citizen. You need a copy of the letter from the SSA with the amount of your pension. That's it. As per usual, I brought copies of everything I could think of..... just in case. But my application was complete then and there, no problem. They are also responsive if you call or email about your application.
  17. The actual sentence in the actual letter to apply for citizenship via residency: "Renuncio a mi nacionalidad actual" That's easy. I can write that or say that but it has no meaning, in reality. If the Costa Rican government required to see a copy of your letter to the government of the USA renouncing your citizenship, that would be a different thing. But they don't. In addressing stfree's fears -- my first thought was: "Gosh, people who have money have a lot more problems than me!" haha I don't worry about taxes because I make so little, no government is interested in my paying taxes. Besides which, you'd probably have to make great gobs of money before having to actually pay anything. As for "taking up arms" and defending the country: I would do this in a heartbeat! Bad knees and all! No problem for me. As for SSA payments -- you don't have to be a US citizen to collect SS benefits. Of course, all this can change. An asteroid could also hit earth tomorrow. I think one could make a case for acquiring citizenship or not acquiring citizenship. It's a very personal decision and should not be entered into lightly.
  18. eleanorcr

    BORDER RUN

    versatile, you sound like that old saying: If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all. You have had a real struggle! Hopefully, things have settled down for you and all is going well.
  19. eleanorcr

    questions re terciopelo anti-venom

    I guess that makes the rest of us who have experience and knowledge just chopped liver. Well, at any rate, no worries.
  20. eleanorcr

    questions re terciopelo anti-venom

    It kind of goes along with --- "What if you live 45 minutes from a hospital and you have a heart attack?" So from the time they dispatch the ambulance (assuming one isn't closer), then it's 45 minutes to get to you and then, in a "soporto basico" (which is a taxi with a bed....) you really get no treatment and if you are still alive when they get to you, then it's 45 minutes to the hospital.... OK 35 minutes in an ambulance.
  21. eleanorcr

    renting out property

    Or.. you can just buy liability insurance. There is also insurance through AirBnB but I don't know the details.
  22. I think each person will have to make up their mind whether it is "desirable" to become a Costa Rican citizen or not. It's kind of like "Why get married?" It's a commitment. For those of us whose lives are totally in Costa Rica, it makes sense. Why wouldn't you? For those of us who are disgusted by what is going on in our home country, it is a little itty-bitty personal protest. Each person will have to make up their own minds. For me, it's a commitment to the country I love, the country that is my home. It's also that itty-bitty protest. The advantages I see are being able to vote, not having to look at the ground when someone says something about "outsiders" or "foreigners," the ease of doing certain things that must be done -- such as being able to renew a driver's license at the BCR. My Caja payment is really low so that's not an advantage to me but Caja payments could be reduced once one becomes a citizen. Being able to use a Costa Rican passport to visit other Latin American countries without hassle is also a plus. Some South American countries have enacted punitive entry fees in reaction to the entry fees enacted by the US. I think I paid $150 to enter Argentina. I have been a citizen for only a few weeks so I can't speak to the experience as a whole or if there is a downside. I can't think of what the downside would be - unless one's birth country enacts a law that says it is illegal to hold dual citizenship and one must give up one or the other.
  23. eleanorcr

    questions re terciopelo anti-venom

    Costa Rica is a country of the Tropics. As such, there are lots of snakes.... some venomous.... some not. It's really the 'price you pay' for living in such a beautiful place where you never see ice or snow. Or sleet. As such, Costa Ricans have learned how to deal with snakes (spiders, scorpions, et al) because some of them deal with snakes in their every day lives. Boots, watching where you put your hands when working the fields, etc -- these are all things that people do to guard against snake bite. And being ever observant. I lived and worked on a farm for the first 7 years of my life here in Costa Rica and saw a couple of terciopelos in that time. My employee, Mario, saw 4 or 5 - I can't really remember- but he was definitely more in touch with looking out for snakes. We worked in the fields something like 5 days a week. We were much more upset about the huge boa that came and ate two of my chickens!
  24. eleanorcr

    questions re terciopelo anti-venom

    For those of you looking for actual statistics: http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0005662 Note that this is not a newspaper story or someone's guess but actual figures that were published in an actual journal. If you look in "Figures" you will see a chart of all countries studied with information on the number of bites in Costa Rica and the number of deaths.
  25. eleanorcr

    BORDER RUN

    STW: the OP mentioned he was doing a border run and was not a resident but probably should be applying for residency. The recommendation for doing it himself came from information that he is married to a Costa Rican and thus has a 'pool' of Spanish-speakers and knowledgeable people to help him and he lives in the Central Valley. Getting ARCR to help with driver's license is fine if you are really that nervous about it. But, once again, it's not rocket science. Get the physical exam, take the number given you and go to the DL place, walk through the process, leave the building with your license.
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