New 10-Year Multiple-Entry Visa To China

Easier Than Ever To Visit, Even To Stay In This Beautiful, Exotic, And Affordable Land

Dec. 3, 2014, Chiang Mai, Thailand: New 10-year multiple-entry visa to China makes it easier than ever for Americans to visit, even to stay in China.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Vicki and I just picked up 10-year, multiple-entry visas to China. Each entry is good for up to 60 days. The 10-year visas cost the same as a single-entry visa, about US$160. 

The new 10-year visas became available after Obama's visit to Xi in China last month. Obama and Xi agreed that citizens of each country can now visit the other over and over under the new visa program. Obama trumpeted the expected increase in Chinese tourists to the United States. More Chinese tourism will benefit the U.S. economy. 

We Americans who like to travel to China will benefit, too. China visas cost a lot, and we need to present ourselves in person at Chinese consulates. Under the new program, one time will do it, and we're good to go for 10 years. If your passport expires during the 10-year period, just carry your expired passport—the one with the visa in it—along with your new passport. Make sure the passport details, such as your name, remain exactly the same. 

In most cases, you'll have to apply for the visa in the United States at one of the Chinese consulates. Vicki and I managed to get our China visas here in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We have long-stay visas to Thailand and needed to present copies of our long-stay Thai visas to the Chinese consul. If we'd had simple tourist visas to Thailand or no Thai visa at all, I'd guess the Chinese consul would have asked us to apply for China visas in the United States.


How To Choose Where To Invest In Property Overseas

The Two Most Important Value Indicators For Overseas Property Investing

Dec. 2, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Access and infrastructure are the two keys to choosing where to invest in property overseas.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

In my office, on the wall alongside my desk, I have a map of the Caribbean that includes the north coast of South America and much of Central America. The cumulative lengths of coastline represented amount to well over 12,000 miles. Looking at it all, you have to wonder...

What makes one 20-meter stretch of this stuff worth millions...while another can be worthless?

The explanations are varied—sandy beach versus rocky coves versus cliff tops...ease of access...infrastructure and services (electricity, water, a town)...politics and economics (not a lot of demand in Venezuela or Haiti right now)...

But one of the biggest value changers is perception.

A trendy spot, beach or otherwise, can become trendy just because people begin to perceive it that way. Maybe a celebrity buys in a small town or a movie is filmed nearby or a reality show is shot on location... triggering the marketplace to believe there's something cool or interesting about a place they'd previously never heard of.


Why Retire To Buenos Aires, Argentina

Retire To The World's Most Passionate City

Dec. 1, 2014, Buenos Aires, Argentina: Buenos Aires is one of the world’s premier cities and a great choice for a cultured expat life.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

"Buenos Aires is one of the world's most beguiling places, best known worldwide for the tango, its most famous cultural export. It is a dance of passion, sensuality, longing, and nostalgia that is an apt metaphor for this city where everything is approached, considered, and conducted with passion."

So begins Argentina Correspondent Karina Martinez-Carter's full-color report on life in Buenos Aires, one of my favorite cities in the world.

Karina continues:

"Buenos Aires is also friendly, welcoming, open and accessible in a way that makes it easy, once you've experienced it, to say, ‘I could see myself living here.' This is a city that is both Latin American and European in culture and lifestyle. It's a place that feels both comfortably familiar and different and exciting. The city boasts both green, sprawling parks and impressive world-class architecture. It's a place where the new and the old worlds blend harmoniously.

"Centuries-old grand dame Art Noveau apartment buildings dating back centuries with their original crown molding and iron-railed balconies coexist in this Paris of South America alongside shiny new skyscrapers, and it all works. The city is fast-paced and trendsetting in art, design and style, but, at the same time, the cobbler on the corner and the neighborhood tailor are working in the same locations where they have been for decades. Argentines themselves are much like their city. They have a deep respect and admiration for the past, yet they are always energetically innovating and looking forward.


The Retire Overseas Challenge No One Talks About

The Retire Overseas Challenge No One Talks About

Nov. 30, 2014, Panama City, Panama: When retiring to a new country, you should be prepared to second-guess your choice to make the move, even to panic.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Planning for a retirement that includes spending some or even all your time in another country is an increasingly appealing idea. As a result, it's easier than ever to find help making a plan to retire overseas. However, one challenge you will face as you launch your new life in a new country is seldom discussed. I call it the panic stage. 

No matter how long you've planned for this or how much research you've carried out, there is a good chance that, sometime during your first year in your new country, perhaps even during your first month in your new home, you'll wonder what in the world ever possessed you to think leaving home was a good idea. 

What were you thinking? You must have taken leave of your senses. Paradise? This place is no paradise. This place is a nightmare. This isn't an adventure. This is nuts.

My best advice is to wait out the panic. It will pass. 

Moving to Ireland 17 years ago, my husband and I thought the transition would be transparent. We Americans think we know the Irish. They're just like us, aren't they? No, they're not. 

Wherever you decide to chase your dreams overseas, even if it's somewhere as seemingly familiar as Ireland, you're going to discover that the people living there aren't like you either, in ways that won't be apparent at first. You're going to find that life is more difficult than it was wherever you came from. It will be more complicated and less predictable. 

My husband and I arrived as full-time residents in Waterford, Ireland, in November. By February, I was sad. I felt indescribably sad for no reason I could identify. We were comfortable in our rental cottage on the river. We were making friends and settling in. All was well, but I was, frankly, miserable. 

Then we took a trip to Nicaragua. After a few days on that country's sunny southern Pacific coast, my sadness disappeared. What was going on? 


Meeting With Panama President Varela On The Azuero Sunset Coast

Meeting With Panama President Varela On The Azuero Sunset Coast

Nov. 28, 2014, Azuero Sunset Coast, Panama: Panama President Varela’s administration is interested in developing the western coast of the Azuero peninsula.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Living overseas you never know who you might run into. Over the years, Kathleen has met the presidents of two countries—the president of Ireland when we were living there and President Bolanos of Nicaragua when we were managing a real estate development project in that country while he was in office.

This week, we both met recently elected President Varela here in Panama. While we live in the same building as the president in Panama City, it took an official presidential visit to the district of Mariato on the Azuero Sunset Coast where our Los Islotes development community is located for us to manage to meet the man.

The Panama government, under Varela, has taken an interest in the western coast of the Azuero Peninsula. Historically, all attention has been paid to Azuero's eastern coast. As far as we know, this week's state visit to Mariato was the first-ever to that part of this country. 

We've been working away in the background on our Los Islotes project for six years, minding our own business, following the rules, and doing our best. Now, it seems, we, and this region, are attracting attention.

Specifically, the Panamanian government is talking about implementing a road project that was commissioned and approved years ago. The previous president didn't pull the trigger for some reason. This new road, though, would be an enormous boom to the region and to Los Islotes in particular. At the moment, to get from the surf breaks at Los Islotes to the world-renowned, Billabong-endorsed surf breaks at Playa Venao, you have to drive back up to the Panamerican Highway, over to the other (eastern) side of the peninsula, and then back down. That drive takes about five hours. Connecting the two sides by road at the bottom of the peninsula would create a ring allowing tourists, surfers, and locals to make a continuous trip around the peninsula. It'd also mean that Los Islotes would be less than an hour from Venao, a nice advantage.


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Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.

Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.

Read more here.


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