Moving to Gto with a cat, and temporary residency—this year!
02-10-2018, 05:56 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-10-2018, 06:00 PM by junruh.)
Moving to Gto with a cat, and temporary residency—this year!
My husband and I are from Portland, Oregon – though we intend to move to Gto this year. It was great to find GTOLIST, thanks to Louisa Rogers, a friend of a friend. The prospects of connecting to others seems a lot less daunting, now.

We are leaving the U.S. because we think things will become even more chaotic than they are now. Happily, we’re newly retired and getting Social Security, so we can make our escape. And, yes – we want to move out of the U.S. because our Social Security paychecks will stretch further almost anywhere else in the world.

We’re headed to Mexico because it will be different - which, I think will be invigorating - and it will open a world of new experiences. I traveled for work in Mexico, but I really fell in love with Mexico when I saw the movie, Hecho en Mexicoyou can see it on Amazon. My husband is originally from Nicaragua and Venezuela, and he has traveled in Mexico in the past. I’m leaning on him a lot more these days to help me understand how things work in Latin America. I know it will be an adjustment to move to Mexico, but I think we can do it.

I hope you can help me figure out the order in which we need to do things to get temporary residency and move to Gto. I’ve been getting most of my info from Mexperience and their ebooks... link to Mexperience.

A complication is our cat – we intend to bring her, too. Please check the steps below and let me know if this plan should work.

  1. The first thing we need to do is get a certificate stating our cat is dewormed (she doesn’t need it) per the requirements for bringing her to Mexico. After this is done, we have to move her to Guanajuato within 6 months because the certificate can’t be older than 6 months. (Or is it a year?) I’m guessing we can bring her into Mexico even if we’re not residents – does anyone know if that’s true? The entry point will be the Mexico City airport.
  2. Also, it seems that we need to rent an apartment in Gto before the rest of the process, because we need an address in Gto – partly for practical reasons, but also for the residency process.
  3. We complete the Canje process (part 1) in Portland. Fortunately, we have a consulate in town.
  4. We complete the other health certificate requirements for our cat in Portland.
  5. We move out of our house in Portland and park our stuff in storage.
  6. We sell our house (!!!)
  7. We then travel to Gto with our cat and move in to the apartment.
  8. At that point, we have 30 days to complete the Canje process (part 2) at the INM office in Leon.
  9. After we that, we wait 4-6 weeks to get our residency cards.
  10. Once we have the cards, we can move our stuff from Portland to Gto.

Any suggestions or corrections?

It involves quite a bit of coordination, but I can tell you that it’s a lot less complicated than getting residency in Costa Rica, which we considered. Some U.S. expats there recommended a service that would ensure that every “i” was dotted and “t” crossed. The service would have cost over $5,000 USD for the two of us.

And, what happens if we goof it up? Does anyone have experience with doing things in the wrong order, or not having some requirement in place at the time it was needed? I get the sense that there is some wiggle room, and that it depends on who you ask, or even a tip can help finesse a little problem.

The biggest problem that could snarl up the plan is if we can’t bring our cat until we have our temporary residency. I hope that’s not the case. Hopefully, someone in GTOLIST has some experience / info on that.

Thank you –

Janet Unruh my Facebook
From Portland, Oregon (since 1993) and before that, San Francisco, California, and St. Louis, Missouri.
Retired, married to Francisco Arteaga, with one son, Dalton (he’s 25). Instructional designer with master’s in engineering and technology management from Portland State University.
Author, Recycle Everything; Why We Must, How We Can and The Tyranny of Psychopaths, a novel. They’re on Amazon, but just ask me for a copy.

Interests: new ideas and ways of self-organizing amid the ruins of current political and economic structures, such as basic income, coops, and sustainable living. And, wandering around in Mexico in a state of enchantment.
02-10-2018, 10:26 PM,
RE: Moving to Gto with a cat, and temporary residency—this year!
So you want to do it alone or with a helper? There are 3 different people I know who assist but they are in San Miguel de Allende, a 1:15 hr bus ride from here. Can someone watch the cat while you come and look around first? You have been here and decided this is the place you want to stay for certain, correct?
02-10-2018, 10:53 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-10-2018, 11:04 PM by DonJuane.)
RE: Moving to Gto with a cat, and temporary residency—this year!
The normal 180 day tourist visa will allow you to enter with your pet:

Once here you can establish contact with one of the various people I spoke of and for a small fraction of your Costa Rican quote for "crossing the t's" you can get the process started for any place in this state if you so desire.

For normally under $50 you can enter with your car assuming you purchase a deposit ($400 plus or minus according to year; returnable on exit) plus liability, about $250 to $400 per year; comprehensive/collision available for significantly more; your local policy holder while you do primarily reside in the US may have a wavier, e.g. Progressive ....

If you decide Mexico is for you and you want to become an official resident:

There are many cities that people locate to here, and they do vary greatly in what they offer (big stores, small/large town atmosphere strong/weak Gringo (or English speaking) infrastructure.

Is this or any other city the place for you? That may take some time to figure out and better to figure it out prior to a huge financial investment. It's easy enough to come, look around, stay for a few days and years, then make that determination. Or just cross your fingers and go for it. ;-)
02-12-2018, 12:22 PM,
RE: Moving to Gto with a cat, and temporary residency—this year!
Hi, DonJuane,

We'd love to have help. So far, we contacted Adriana at Yucatan Expatriate Service (YES) (and paid for her services) and Sonia in San Miguel de Allende Sonia in SMA.

I made up the steps based on a YES / Mexperience ebook. Sonia said the steps are okay, but we can do #3 first, and then the rest of the steps. We have scheduled a phone call with Adriana for Wednesday.

I was under the impression that once we did the residency steps in the U.S., we had 30 days to hustle down to Gto to finish the process. Apparently, that's not the case. There's a 30-day window, but I guess the clock starts ticking after we finish the U.S. requirements AND after we enter Mexico. This is what I'm trying to clear up. That would mean we could finish the requirements we need to do in the U.S. and after that, we'd have plenty of time to do things like sell the house, THEN make the big move to Gto, cat and all, in one swoop.

Sure, it's kind of wild to move to some seemingly random city in another country. I think we have to cross our fingers and go for it, and try to land someplace that can be a base camp for more exploration in Mexico over months and years.

Gto seems like a good choice for us because we want a real change of scene. It's also in a relatively calm part of Mexico and it's a gorgeous city. Also, we want to get started on the Mexican healthcare.

Your thoughts...?

I'm going to post another question on getting an apartment.

02-12-2018, 11:20 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-12-2018, 11:21 PM by DonJuane.)
RE: Moving to Gto with a cat, and temporary residency—this year!
You are talking to the right people. I would follow them 100%. I know Sonya, she has helped very dear and close friends. Stick with them.

Yes after a while here when the new wears off and if you are not working at something, being artistic or telecommuting or working on a blog, after you have tasted more of Mexico you can start to get an itch to hit the road for an adventure or two or three or four, or well maybe you'll never stop. In fact you hit upon my MO. I have been working on this "lack of direction" for about 12 years and crossed Mexico via a lot of ways, bus, auto, camper and still enjoy trying to find new experiences. So you might call me a simple drifter if you wish LOL (or something worse, just look around here if you need a hint or two, ha, ha). Anyway I play devil's advocate a lot in the various forums because I believe it is important for everyone to consider what they are getting into. I've seen the aftermath of too many disappointed people. Unfortunately as a reaction to my being interpreted as a bit harsh from time to time, some participants of these groups want to beat me up, either face to face or artistically scalp me with their scholarly word salads, yet at the same time they don't realize they're only carrying out their anger in a manner of a grade school food fight and creating the exact type of examples that I was trying to illustrate. In fact, they did all the work for me.

And speaking of grade school I guess it must be universal that we all slip into that mind set as we age. I know I am immune (ha, ha, ho, ho). Still and I don't want to beat a dead horse from previous posts but I do really feel sorry for some of the people who move to these Gringo communities and are really needy and end up with folks they just can't get along with at all - another favorite topic of mine. Without Spanish as a backup and without getting your mind down and dirty while into a full inversion process while totally absorbed into what the country and culture has to offer, well you may just be stuck with them as your only social outlet and thus be on the next plane out right behind the dog poop fellow (see Goodbye Guanajuato Goodbye), actually one of the funniest posts I've ever seen in a forum.

But it's really no ones fault; the romance is unbearable and can even continue indefinitely but then again there are those whose lifestyle it begins to clash with and in no particular finite amount of time the romance can peter out. Maybe one day you just step in one more pile of dog poop than you can handle and you can't help it - you blow. I'm having the same issue with a neighbor who doesn't work and stays home all day while he blasts his stereo all day long In fact he shut it down at 10:30 last night and started it again at 7:30AM. And I'm not an early riser. But this is simply another example of everything being a trade off here. Where I delight in there being no safety regulations as a result of some lawyer that has created me a padded and protected environment like in the US, the first time I stump another toe on one of these corners with the 4 bolts sticking up where someone removed the light pole, well then I start raising hell. So I guess some people can never be satisfied :-)
02-13-2018, 08:02 PM,
RE: Moving to Gto with a cat, and temporary residency—this year!

We went straight for Permanent Residency, since it sounded ... well ... more permanent. You have to start in a Mexican Consulate in the States to initiate the process and receive preliminary approval. After that date, you have SIX months to get to Mexico. If you miss the six month window, you have to reapply in the States, starting the process over again. One you arrive in Mexico, you must initiate part two of the process to finalize your Visa. You have to be prepared to stay here at least a month until you get your visa. If you leave México during that time without specific approval from Immigration, then you'll likely have to start over again. This one .month requirement can make it difficult for people who are still working in the US, which is why my last day of work was three weeks before we arrived (yeah!). And, we sold our house in the States on the same day. We stayed in a B and B until we found a rental - didn't look much before we got here. We were too busy getting rid of most of our stuff.

Buena suerte!
02-17-2018, 11:42 AM,
RE: Moving to Gto with a cat, and temporary residency—this year!
Thanks for those replies! They are very helpful. We'll be there from March 1-9 on our first scouting trip, and we're going to look at an apartment or two in San Javier. Maybe we'll go to the expat Sunday brunch while we're there.
02-23-2018, 12:49 PM,
RE: Moving to Gto with a cat, and temporary residency—this year!
My names Clay. I just recently went through residency process in San Miguel and now have my card. If I can help let me know. I will send my email so we can talk better. Do you need a place to stay in March. I also have an apartment near the Embajadora for rent by week etc. best of luck to you with everything . You can do it. No where is perfect and it depends on what you want but Gto is a good choice . There’s some very cool folks there. I will be there as well in July. Good luck

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