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Old 09-09-2016, 10:10 AM   #181
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Update on Vietnam if not already posted previously. U.S. tourists now (as of September 2016) get a default one year visa. So far, authorities are saying no more 1 month or 3 month visas for US passport holders. The one year visa allows staying 3 months max at a time, which means visa runs every 3 months for long-termers, but the visa lasts a full year. For casual tourists, this also means a more expensive visa ~$200 direct from embassy/consulate in US and a bit less if you get ~$25 VOA letter online with $135 "stamping fee" at airport. Arguably, this makes it easier for US residents to stay long term in Vietnam, and unlike Thailand, absolutely no financial or other requirements (medical, police reports, etc.). Sounds pretty automatic.

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Old 12-18-2016, 07:16 PM   #182
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I didn't see anyone mention Canada. It's a wonderful country and very welcoming to foreigners. I lived in Toronto for four years and loved it.

Also, Panama has a lot of programs for retirees and actively solicits and provides tax and even travel incentives for new expatriates to come and live there. (New residents means new jobs and income.) There are many high-rise developments marketed directly to foreigners that are full-service residential complexes. The medical care there is supposed to be quite good because their hospital system was originally built and staffed by Americans, and they offer expatriates very inexpensive health insurance - I remember hearing something like $150 per month. It's a very low cost country to live in and they use the US Dollar as currency at 1:1. I have American friends who live there and love it.
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:38 PM   #183
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Canada was giving visas to people with high net-worth willing to invest in the country, like a lot of people who fled Hong Kong in the '90s before the PRC took over.

Or a lot of rich mainland Chinese wanting to park some of their money outside the PRC.

Will they grant visas to people unwilling to "invest" in the country, beyond spending their retirement income there?

As for Panama or Central America in general, I thought people chose these areas for the low COL and proximity to the US, so that they can come back home for major medical procedures, not necessarily for medical tourism.
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Old 12-18-2016, 08:48 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by explanade View Post
Canada was giving visas to people with high net-worth willing to invest in the country, like a lot of people who fled Hong Kong in the '90s before the PRC took over.

Or a lot of rich mainland Chinese wanting to park some of their money outside the PRC.

Will they grant visas to people unwilling to "invest" in the country, beyond spending their retirement income there?
You have to either have a sufficient source of foreign income to live from or invest in a business [or both]. More is obviously better. They have a lot of Chinese on the West Coast and a lot of Europeans and Central/South Americans on the East. It is an incredibly multi-cultural country. Canada has a pretty high annual immigration quota. I think it was around 500,000 new immigrants per year when I lived there in the late 90's/early-00's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by explanade View Post
As for Panama or Central America in general, I thought people chose these areas for the low COL and proximity to the US, so that they can come back home for major medical procedures, not necessarily for medical tourism.
Medical tourism is a completely different topic, but living in San Diego I do have a lot of friends who will go to Mexico for their dental work.

In Panama, expats go there for the climate + low COL. They will use the U.S. system for more serious medical procedures. I would if I were them. My point on the Panamanian system is that they provide insurance and can handle serious issues on an emergency basis. Some similar countries are not so well-equipped.
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:31 PM   #185
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I researched a long stay visa in France for Third Country Nationals, which seems to be the official terms for non-EU foreigners. Although there are many hoops and costs, various sources (I read it on the Internet, so it must be true!) say it's relatively easy compared to other EU countries. Extending that visa or eventually becoming a resident requires learning French, unless you're over 65. There is no test, however your visa renewal appointments will be conducted in French.

The good tax news is they have a treaty with the US for avoiding double taxation. The bad tax news is, for those who have been granted residence (meaning you don't need to keep renewing long stay visas), your estate will be taxed under French law. Can you spell 'confiscatory'?

Once one is granted residency in an EU country, becoming a resident in another EU country is a straightforward process.
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:53 PM   #186
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Only advantage to residency in an EU country might be access to their health care system.

But they won't give that away that easily, though you hear a lot of stories about American tourists needing emergency care while visiting and being treated without a huge bill.

Some countries like Switzerland have private insurance but even if it's better or more affordable than US health insurance (which is probably the most expensive in the world), you pay a high COL there for everything else.
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:55 PM   #187
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Canada has a pretty high annual immigration quota. I think it was around 500,000 new immigrants per year when I lived there in the late 90's/early-00's.
Current immigration quotas for 2016 and 2017 are 300,000, with points for skilled immigrants.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cana...llum-1.3829496

Historical numbers are below.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-630-...016006-eng.htm
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:59 AM   #188
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My experience is limited to Mexico and friends who live in Costa Rica. Mexico, IMO, is just as good as a tourist. You get a 6 month tourista visa (although it's up to the discretion of the person who stamps it). 99% get the 6 months. You have to "leave" for 3 days to get another 6 months. We just drove down to Belize or flew back to the states to do some shopping.

The perm resident only benefit the property owners based on my minimal knowledge. People we know who purchased property seemed to regret it most times unless they bought 30 years ago. Still seems a pain vs. renting there. Minor health and dental was pretty easy and affordable there. We kept a policy in the states in case we came down with cancer or something major.

One thing I learned there is that you MUST realize that laws can & do change for foreigners. Tulum has had a couple incidents in recent years where people lose their property near the beach (even if they have a title held by the bank) and basically lose it all. Changes in laws or a group of connected people will target you if you have something they desire. Even if you win, you lose as they take everything inside and you have to replace it...crazy stuff for a sleepy town in Mexico.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:46 PM   #189
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One thing about South and Central America, at least when you watch House Hunters International, is that a lot of Americans who go down there opt for homes in gated communities.

Or sometimes they're taken aback to see bars on the windows.
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Old 01-13-2017, 04:31 PM   #190
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Here's some "top 10" lists of foreign places to retire.

It's not clear if these countries were listed here because you can get retirement visas or it's relatively easy for Americans to migrate there?

10 Best Countries to Retire to in 2017 | Investopedia

https://internationalliving.com/2017...ces-to-retire/
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