If you’re an expatriate and you’re having a baby in Guatemala, be ready for some paperwork. It takes work, but it’ll be worth it.
As new missionaries in this beautiful country, we moved to Guatemala while we were pregnant and started getting all the advice we could on what paperwork we needed for our baby. Here are some of the things we learned…
Step 1: Schedule a US Embassy appointment
If you’re anywhere within three months of the birth go to the US Embassy website and set up an appointment for a couple weeks after the due date. These appointments fill up and it can be very difficult to get in if you don’t get something scheduled early. You can change it if you have to, but better to have the appointment scheduled than to find out you can’t get an appointment for two or three months after the baby is born when you may be wanting to travel.
TIP: I think you could probably have your spouse sign up so you have two dates to chose from. Then just cancel the appointment you don’t want! Continue reading ‘US Citizen born in Guatemala = Paperwork’
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As new missionaries in Guatemala, we needed to get our residency papers so we didn’t have to leave for Mexico every six months and still be legal in Guatemala. Here are some of the things we wish we had known when we were going through the paperwork process for residency after we moved to Guatemala.
U.S. Paperwork prep
Read on, but get the following papers together so you can impress your lawyer and get things moving quickly:
- Complete copy of your passport
- Yep, even the blank pages and the full cover
- U.S. Embassy validated copy of passport at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala
- WARNING: This may be the U.S. Embassy but validation takes time. Get there before 12 noon and you can probably get it at 2:30 that afternoon. Get there in the afternoon and you’ll have to go back the next day. Oh, and each validated copy will cost you US$50. They do accept credit cards if you don’t have the cash.
- Criminal background check (This should be less than 6 months old when you turn it in and will require you to get things done in the U.S.)
Guatemalan Residency Visa Options
According to our lawyer and other sites there are three main long-term residency visa options (not including student, diplomatic, etc.) Since we just had our baby here in Guatemala, we opted for the Parents of Guatemalan child option. While others are available, I have listed three main options here: Continue reading ‘Residency papers for expatriates in Guatemala’
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U.S. citizens who live abroad need to get their paperwork right when they have babies abroad. Here’s how we got our Guatemalan birth certificate and passport after our son was born in Guatemala.
Before you go
Before go to get your baby’s papers, you need to get your papers together. We went all out because we knew we’d need to get our Residency Papers filed later so we had more than required. Here’s what we needed in 2011 when it came to getting our son’s birth certificate and Guatemalan passport.
- Actual Passports of parents
- For birth certificate: copy of both parents passport ID pages and covers
- For Passport: copy of both parents passport ID pages and entry stamp page
- Birth information page from your midwife or doctor
We also needed to pay several fees at BANRURAL, the national bank where you can pay for taxes and fees for your paperwork. Often there are BANRURAL locations near the paperwork offices, but you can go to any BANRURAL to pay for the following:
- Boleto De Ornato (30Q)
- Passport fee (231.60Q)
Here’s how the process worked for us…
We went to the San Cristobal RENAP (Registro Nacional de las Personas) office because it was nearby, but they said we could not file for our son’s birth certificate outside of the district he was born in unless we could show a utility bill from the San Cristobal district that has our name on it or by brining our landlord with us to prove that we live in San Cristobal. Since we couldn’t do any of these, we had to head into Guatemala City to the Central RENAP office to get the birth certificate. You should be able to go to the RENAP in the municipality or district where your child was born without any trouble. Continue reading ‘New baby papers in Guatemala’
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When your 90-day tourist visa is about to run out for Guatemala. It’s time to visit Mexico!
Border marker for Mexico-Guatemala international border
OK, so you’re a student from Europe, Canada, or the U.S. and you’re studying Spanish in (Xela) Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. When you entered Guatemala you received a 90 day tourist visa, but that’s not long enough to really get the language down. Before your 90 days are up you need to renew your visa in the capital, Guatemala City (about 4.5-5 hours away) or you can get a fresh new visa good for 90 days by leaving the country. Time to head to Tapachula, Mexico!
At the end of 90 days you will need an extension or a new stamp in your passport to legally remain in Guatemala. That’s why you’ll need to go to Mexico. Some people say they require you to be gone for 48 hours, but we found that by leaving on Saturday and returning on Monday, we were able to gt the stamps we needed without any problems. Continue reading ‘The Quetzaltenango to Tapachula Visa Run’
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