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STOP PRESS!

The latest information from any source is provided here in as much detail as is available. When the full facts are known the verified news will be added to the appropriate tab and country page.

"ECUADOREAN ALTERATIONS"

The government of Ecuador has just promulgated a new set of laws governing entry to that country. These laws cover all kinds of entry for all purposes. The New Mobility Law or “Ley de Movilidad Humana” is in effect now. However, the accompanying and necessary regulations which govern the administration of the law have not yet been published. All current applications for visas have been suspended until the Ministry has determined the exact requirements for each type of visa.

The new law repeals all previous legislation dealing with entry to the country and consolidates the legal framework for entry to Ecuador for transients, tourists, residents, and applications for naturalisation. The situation with respect to applications “in progress” is unclear.

Retirees considering a move to Ecuador will have to re-assess their needs. It may be that the minimum requirements of desired personal freedom may no longer be available in Ecuador or that the new two-stage process for permanent residency is too onerous or unsuitable. Eventually, it will be necessary to investigate how this new law and any others relating to different details of life in Ecuador or movement to that country varies the rights of new immigrants, specifically retirees, so far as earning capacity and capital movements are concerned.

The new law sets out some twelve categories (including retirement) specifying who can apply for the new “temporary residency". This temporary stage is now necessary before an application for permanent residency can be made. The temporary visa must be held for 21 months and holders may not be absent from the country for more than 90 days each year. This period increases to 180 days each year for permanent residents for the first two years of residency. After this period it is possible to be absent for up to 5 years.

After 3 years as a permanent resident is it possible to apply for naturalisation. No period of absence from the country prior to applying for citizenship is now specified.

It is unlikely that the required documentation to support any application will change substantially. It must be anticipated that other changes will occur as the new regulations are instituted to enforce the new law. This may well include a limit on the number of countries whose citizens can enter the country but there has been no suggestion as yet that this will happen even though it is what the U.S.A. wants to enforce.

These changes to Ecuadorean law reinforces the fact that all retirees must look carefully at the personal freedoms that may need to be relinquished, even temporarily, to settle in a new country. The care required in making financial arrangements is emphasised by these changes. Where governments are concerned nothing is set in concrete. It is up to individuals to protect themselves physically and financially and this is especially vital for retirees. There is usually little time for a retiree to recover once adverse circumstances have occurred.

"SOVEREIGNLIFE HAS BEEN SUPERCEDED"

The ideas and principles of the philosophy remain. They are continued as is the service to members at Freedom Confidential. It is recommended that you go to this site for a full explanation of what is offered. Current members of SovereignLife can take advantage of "free porting" to Freedom Confidential for a short period. This is worth $97 and is clearly well worthwhile.

For the moment the Reseller License is suspended and no longer available. Watch this space for later developments.

THE NEXT COUNTRY AND BOOK

The details provided in the next country to appear on this site and in the companion book will countain special observations from the author's experience in that country and in dealing with relevant government departments.

The book "How to Retire in the Philippines" by Les Johns has been published and is now available at the usual outlets - Amazon for Kindle, Barnes & Noble for Nook and Apple via SmashWords for other e-readers.

THE LATEST ON THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Reports are available that suggest that there is a crack down in progress on all those in the Dominican Republic without the correct, in date and legal immigration papers or visas.There is no evidence of hysterical action or mass arrests. The exercise seems to be directed, predominantly, against Haitian citizens. Those non-Dominican Republic citizens who have the correct and up to date visas, cedulas and other identity documents would seem to have nothing to fear.

THE LATEST ON PANAMA

It should be remembered that a condition of becoming a naturalized Panamanian citizen is that all previous citizenships must be renounced. This may not be always observed but failure to renounce previous citizenships could result in the loss of Panamanian citizenship. Presidents must approve naturalization applications. Some are more in favor of this process than others.

The "Specific Countries" visa was introduced by Presidential Decree. Following elections due in May 2014 a new president could revoke this kind of visa. This election could also affect naturalization approvals.

GOOD HEALTH NEWS

Ecuador has just announced changes to its national health care plan and it is very good news for all new residents and especially for retirees on a tight budget. Age and pre-existing medical condition restrictions for those who want to join the system voluntarily have been removed.Voluntary membership is open to all citizens and legal residents at a cost of just US$70 a month. Ecuador has a high standard of medical care which is comparable with that in the U.S.A. People living in Cuenca, Quito, and Guayaquil have access to the best doctors and services, while those in rural areas may not receive the same level of care or will be required to travel to facilities in larger cities. It is also possible to receive treatment at hundreds of private health care facilities under contract with the government. Many private pharmacies also have agreements with the government.

Expansion of the system has brought its problems with respect to both personnel and equipment. The government says it working to fix the problems and plans to hire 2,000 more doctors by the end of 2014 and is actively recruiting in Spain and Cuba. Given the usual levels of bureaucracy and red tape involved in government services it will be very useful if those who are not fluent in Spanish take a translator with them at least for initial visits to clinics and services.

TAX ALERT

TAX ALERT UPDATE

The following tax change was repealed on Januray 10th, 2014 with retrospective effect. Apparently no-one has been dismissed or reprimanded so the caution remains that are there those at or close to the centre of government who may favor such a change. It must be in the back of everyone's mind for the future with respect to a move to Panama.

Panamanian taxation law was changed recently. The action was thought to have been at the sole instigation of one tax official. It was exacerbated because the usual oversight measures were rendered ineffective owing to the time of year. Many officials were neither in office nor in town when the new law was passed. A couple of riders were added to a bill already approved by Panama's legislative authorties. The effect was to change Panama's tax reach from a local to a world-wide basis. The implications of such a change resonate with respect to individuals and businesses with possibly devastating results.

It is understood that work has already started to rescind this measure. What the effects might be before this takes place is unknown. Some business and individuals will have already reacted. Some who were in the process of moving to Panama may be re-thinking their future.

This move underlines the importance of flexibility in financial affairs and the importance of keeping in touch with policical opinions. It is vital that any necessary adjustments can be made with speed when an event like this occurs. Whether or not this was the intention of the government of Panama is to some extent immaterial. It is clear that there are some in the country who have different views from the current administration with respect to revenue raising measures. Should such opinions become those of the majority in power a change of this kind could recur and become permanent.

BANKING ALERT

Some consequences are now being felt as a result of the USA FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act). This will have many consequences for US citizens and residents of which just a few will be more expensive offshore banking, geater difficulty in finding a bank willing to open an account and restrictions on capital transfers from the USA.

It has been reported that some banks in Panama are requiring US citizens and residents to close their accounts. Non-refundable application fees for US citizens and residents are now being applied by some banks. Apparently the Balboa Bank and Trust is one of the organizations in Panama which is still friendly towards foreigners.

Banks in Belize are requiring US citizens and residents to sign a waiver with regard to the normal privacy rules and to pay a fee of $250 to cover FATCA compliance costs.

Some US banks are imposing restictions on wire transfers to overseas organizations. It is reported that a 30% withholding measure is being applied to transfers to non-FATCA compliant FFIs (Foreign Financial Institutions).

As usual it will be necessary for account holders to check with their own banks on matters of detail and in the early stages there will as usual be a lack of consistency. It will probably be necessary to go beyond the first line of defence at any bank - the smiling, greeting "banker" - to get any reliable information.

What is certain is that offshore banking and financial dealings will become more difficult and more expensive for US citizens and residents.

New Visa for Panama

In mid-May a new type of visa for Panama was approved by the President.It is available to residents from certain friendly countries. There are minimal capital requirements ($US5000) and the intention is that it should be approved rapidly. It is politically contentious and may be discontinued after the next Presidential Election. At the moment applications need to be made before March 2014. The visa is intended to improve the skilled workforce in the country although there is no need to have a job or plans for a business venture before applying. Some "younger" pensioners may like/need to work and they can take advantage of this new visa to acquire residency and after five years citizenship. (Under the terms of the long standing Pensionado visa it is not possible to take local employment.)

Details will be provided on the Panama pages when details have become settled.Brief details are available at this site and more details can be seen here including a list of the specific countries. There is some doubt about the countries from which prospective applicants can come and the number varies between sources of information from 22 to 47.


RETIREMENT ABROAD - YOUR COMPLETE RESOURCE

by Les Johns

HAS BEEN PUBLISHED.


To buy this new book hit the "Your Choices" item on the left menu and then the "Purchase e-book" choice on the left menu on the new page and scrolldown for buying instructions or CLICK HERE to go directly to your buying alternatives.


PUBLICATION UP-DATES.

How to Retire in Malaysia has been published (11/26/2012) for viewing on Kindle and Nook and this site has been updated.

How to Retire in Ecuador has been published (03/15/2013) for viewing on Kindle and Nook and this site has been updated.

How to Retire in Uruguay has been published (06/22/2013) on Kindle and the information has also been incorporated into this site. It will appear on Nook shortly.

How to Retire in The Commonwealth of Dominica has been published (12/12/2013) on Kindle and the information has also been incorporated into this site. Please see the item on the "Errors & Omissions" page for some relevant details.

How to Retire in Your World has been published (02/01/2014) on Kindle and Nook and the information has also been incorporated into this site.

How to Retire in The Republic of Colombia has been published (19/04/2014) on Kindle and Nook and the information has also been incorporated into this site.

Analogue Clock Display

The analogue clock display on the "Climate and Time" pages is no longer a viable option for reliable display. It has been replaced with "Click" option for access to current time displays in a digital format.

Access to Articles

The complete text of all articles published by Les Johns can now be accessed via the "blog" tab under the menu item "Access to Full Articles as Published".The article selection can be made by clicking on the title in the blue widget. To be notified of articles as they are published enter your e-mail address in the red widget and hit the "Submit" button.

Reasons of editorial guidelines specified by EzineArticles.com prevent some articles from being published by that organization. The article summaries indicate which articles are available only from this site. For articles not published on EzineArticles.com hit the "Your Choices" item on the left menu.Follow the appropriate choices on the new left menu to request the article(s) that you require.

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