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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Living By Expiration Dates

Living abroad is living by expiration dates! To keep life running smoothly, it is important to calendar expiration dates a year in advance, so as not to be forgotten. Fortunately, or unfortunately, everything revolves  around the date in which you enter the country; making the month prior, a very busy one for renewals. For us, August is our busy time. Unlike living in the U.S.A., in Mexico, there are no renewal notices sent out 30 days in advance. Mexico, politely waits for you to make the inquiry; never assuming that you will continue on with their services. Hence, the need to ALWAYS calendar expiration dates!

Renewal of our Visas is always top priority. No, not our credit cards, but the permit that allows us, as foreigners, to stay in the country for an extended period of time (1 year). By choice, we have always completed the application on our own, without the help of a service or an attorney. We look at it as a Spanish language learning tool. Three years ago, Mexico implemented computer generated Visa renewal applications. This was a huge step forward by The Department of Immigration; saving time for both the department and the individual applying.

Our first attempt, 3 years ago, was a disaster. The department saved time, we on the other hand, turned a 30 minute task into an all day affair. The day ended with a rescue call to our English speaking Mexican friends for help. They in turn completed our applications, within 30 minutes, and without any translation problems! To be fair to ourselves, I need to mention that we also had some computer problems with enabling certain programs.Year two, with the aid of copies from the previous year, we achieved success within a hour. Okay, maybe it was closer to 2 hours. Year three, this year, we hit the lottery! Question number 3 asked if you know your NUE number? To be honest, I am not sure if this question has always been on the application or if it is new to this year. It is an optional fill in question. Being of the belief that less is best, we usually never give out any more info than what is required. But, for some reason this question (this year) piqued our curiosity. Not knowing what a NUE number is, we figured it must be information noted on the visa. So we grabbed our visas and started scanning line by line.The NUE number is the set of numbers listed on the front right side of the visa. Looking harmless, we decided  to type in the numbers and when we hit enter, the application auto filled. How sweet it is!

In Mexico, they have a saying, "poco a poco", which translates to "little by little". Little by little, everything comes together or works itself out. Well, it may have taken us 3 years to get to this point, but the point is, little by little we are getting there............

La Senora

1 comment:

  1. Great tip! We renew in a few weeks, so appreciate the info about the NUE.