Bonnie

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Everything posted by Bonnie

  1. I am so sorry to hear this. What U.S. officials are requesting a death certificate translated into English? The normal procedure, unless something has changed recently, is to send the Panamanian death certificate to the U.S. Embassy in Panama City, whereupon they issue the death certificate in English. See https://pa.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/death-of-a-u-s-citizen/
  2. Exactly. There are many needs in our community, and many organizations have been established to address them. Duplication of effort dissipates support and participation rather than enhances it. I see this as an ongoing problem. Rather than supporting existing groups, too many people see the need to create their own. As to having a good relationship with the police, I know of no one who had a better relationship with the police than Marion Clamp.
  3. As I recall, Vecinos Vigilantes was an initiative of neighborhood leaders and was and is neighborhood based. The police joined the effort, at least the publicity effort, but I'm not aware of any role they had in starting it.
  4. I don't read this as saying anything about bringing a potential buyer to a realtor. I believe they're saying be open to a realtor bringing a client to you.
  5. I think they're stock photos. The website is under construction. There is another Panamaforsalebyowner website created and run by Richard Detrich, incidentally. It has been up and running for some time.
  6. It's not the Vecinos Vigilantes that has been around a while and that the neighborhood signs represent. And I find it hard to believe that the police initiated this on their on.
  7. I have IPTV as well as a Roku. I rarely use the Roku anymore because virtually everything is on IPTV (when it's not misbehaving). Occasionally, however, I access Amazon Prime Videos on the Roku. I no longer have Netflix because of the VPN issue, but I can't remember whether I need a VPN to access Amazon videos via the Roku. If I don't need it, I don't want to pay for it, of course, but another issue is that Unblock-us is interfering with several computer functions. Can someone please advise?
  8. AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES (ACS) UNIT The visitor parking lot of the U.S. Embassy in Panama will be closed to the public on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. If you require services from the ACS Unit on April 26, please make arrangements to be dropped off or find alternative means of parking. Please note that public parking facilities in the neighborhood surrounding the U.S. Embassy are generally not available. We apologize for this inconvenience. For further information about Panama: · See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Panama Country Specific Information. · Enroll in the Smart Traveler-Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. · Contact the U.S. Embassy in Panama, located at Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue Clayton, Panama, at +507-317-5030, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +507-317-5000. · Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  9. This arrived this afternoon from the Embassy: U.S. Embassy in Panama Message for U.S. Citizens March 15, 2017 The U.S. Embassy in Panama would like to inform all U.S. Citizens in Panama that on March 6th 2017, the Panamanian Immigration Authority (Servicio Nacional de Migracion-SNM) announced new guidance for Panamanian immigration officials on the enforcement of pre-existing regulations. According to the SNM, immigration officials have been instructed to be stricter about the enforcement of the regulation that foreigners entering Panama with tourist status prove that they are in fact entering Panama as tourists and not residing in Panama. Since the announcement, the Consular Section has received many questions from U.S. citizens about this new guidance. Below are the most frequently asked questions along with the responses the Consular Section received from the SNM. Should you have further questions, please reach out to the SNM directly via phone at 507-1800 or visit their website at: http://www.migracion.gob.pa In order to re-enter Panama on tourist status, does a U.S. Citizen need to return to their country of origin (the country from which they came into Panama) or can they return from a third-country (example: Costa Rica)? Answer: In the new guidance SNM does not specify if the tourist needs to return his/her country of origin. What is being implemented is that, in most cases, the person needs to leave Panama for a minimum of 30 days before reentering as a tourist. In order for a person to re-enter Panama on tourist status, what is the minimum amount of time the person needs to spend outside of Panama? Answer: The new requirement that is being implemented by SNM in reference to time spent out of Panama is a minimum of 30 days before applying for admission, in most cases. In order for a person to re-enter Panama on mariner visa status, what is the minimum amount of time the person needs to spend outside of Panama. Answer: According to SNM, mariner visas are valid for 90 days and must be renewed on the 90th day, or the day before, from the date of the previous mariner visa stamp. Mariner visas can only be renewed once before the visa- holder needs to exit Panama. The amount of time the person with the mariner visa needs to stay outside of Panama is not specified by SNM. If entering Panama on tourist status, does the method of entry need to match the method of exit (i.e. can a U.S. Citizen enter Panama on a plane and use as proof of exit evidence that they own a boat in Panama and plan to exit via boat)? Answer: The method of entry and exit into and out of Panama does not have to be the same so long as the entries and departures are met legally by using established Ports of Entry - land, maritime or air and admitted by a Panamanian immigration officer. Do U.S. Citizens with legal Panamanian residency status also require a roundtrip ticket when entering Panama? Answer: No. A foreigner with legal residence in Panama does not need to show proof of exit from Panama. Is a person applying for Panamanian residency required to stay in Panama for the entire duration of time required to complete the residency process? If so, what happens if the process takes more than the allotted six months for tourist status. Answer: If the person has an ID that shows that his/her residency is in process, the person is fine to leave and return to Panama. If there is no ID, then the person should exit as a tourist (i.e., before the sixth month approaches). How long does the FBI Identification Record process, required for purposes of obtaining residency in Panama, take? Can this process be expedited? Answer: For information on the FBI identification record process, individuals may visit https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks. According to the FBI website, the current turnaround estimate for these records is 12 to 14 weeks plus the amount of time the results may take to arrive in the mail. Currently there is no option to receive the response electronically. For questions on this topic, individuals may call (304) 625-5590 or write an email to identity@ic.fbi.gov Tourists are only allowed to drive in Panama for 90 days. Is there an exception for this given that tourists are allowed to stay in Panama for 180 days? Answer: According to the Transit authority (http://www.transito.gob.pa/sites/default/files/reglamento_decreto_640..pdf Artículo 110) foreigners that enter Panama as tourists are not permitted to obtain Panamanian drivers’ licenses and are only allowed to drive with a foreign license for 90 days. There are no exceptions to this rule. Can SNM waive the FBI Identification Record process if a person does not exit Panama for two years? If so, would there be an exception to the 180 day stay limit for tourists for a person trying to obtain this waiver? Answer: If a person stays in Panama for more than two years then the FBI requirement does not apply. The waiver of the FBI requirement applies to those people that stay in Panama two years, without exiting. In these cases, a fine is paid by the person for overstaying their tourist visa and the person is only required to present a PNM police record rather than the FBI check.
  10. As I said, the March 15 MASCOT is all we're get from the Embassy after three separate e-mails from me. Individuals are responsible for seeking interpretation from Panama Migracion.
  11. Within the last couple of weeks I sent the following to the U.S. Embassy seeking guidance for U.S. expats in interpreting various segments of the new Immigration Decree: Stephanie, a week ago I sent two questions to ACS that have arisen out of the Embassy email about changes in the visa process. People are bugging me daily about these two issues as well as a third one which I've added below. Any chance of the Embassy getting some clarification soon? The questions are as follows: (1) According to the Embassy memo, "If a person stays in Panama for more than two years then the FBI requirement does not apply. The waiver of the FBI requirement applies to those people that stay in Panama two years, without exiting. In these cases, a fine is paid by the person for overstaying their tourist visa and the person is only required to present a PNM police record rather than the FBI check" How can a person stay for two years without violating the requirement that persons on a tourist visa have to leave every 180 days? If the fine is paid every 180 days, it defeats the purpose of requiring tourists to leave the country after 180 days. It appears that Venezuelans, Colombians, Nicaraguans, as well as U.S. citizens, could choose to simply pay the fine for two years rather than leave every 180 days. That would defeat the purpose of the law, it seems. Too, wouldn't a person be at risk for deportation after 180 days? Surely he cannot just say when his credentials are checked, "I'm staying in Panama for two years so as not to have to comply with FBI requirements, so I don't have to leave." Example: John Smith, a U.S. citizen, is in Panama on a tourist visa. He reads the above-referenced memo and, having encountered difficulty getting an FBI report for one reason or another, decides to stay for two years so as to eligible instead for a Panamanian law enforcement check. He is fine on his tourist visa for 180 days (and on his U.S. driver's license for 90). On day 181 or thereafter, he is stopped at a checkpoint, his credentials checked, and deemed to be in violation of the 180 day requirement. Does he then go pay a fine, thereby becoming eligible for an additional 180 days? Absent being discovered as beyond the 180 day allowed stay, can he (or any other nationality) go to Immigration on day 181, pay the fine, and stay for another 180 days in apparent contradiction of the purpose of the law? (2) The following is from a newspaper article: "The president explained that 'we cannot afford for the six-month tourist permit to be used to cross the border and then return, and stay here as if you were a permanent resident.' " On Friday, Javier Carrillo, the director of the National Migration Service, said that foreigners living in Panama as tourists must at the end of five months leave the country for at least a month if they want to re-enter Panamanian territory. Carrillo said that the new measure “is for those who have more than five months in the country as tourists and leave for nothing more than to re-enter. Now they have to be out of the country for at least 30 days." The President and Director Carrilo seem to be contradicting each other. Can someone on a tourist visa stay in the country for five months or six months? (3) While one can get a temporary visa upon applying for residency, it is unclear at what point in the process a temporary visa is issued. Is it upon first visiting a lawyer and starting the visa process, or is it at the time all the required paperwork is submitted to the government? The concern here, of course, is that 180 days may not be sufficient to fulfill some of the requirements, particularly the FBI report. Thanks, Bonnie This morning I received this response: Bonnie, As we noted in our MASCOT to all U.S. citizens on March 15, 2017 that I’ve included below for your reference , based on the guidance we received from Panamanian immigration officials, in the vast majority of cases and what is being implemented right now, the U.S. citizen needs to leave Panama for a minimum of 30 days before re-entering Panama again as a tourist. Since Panamanian officials implementing the law on the ground have discretion in their decision-making, we can’t give definitive answers to individual cases. We encourage any U.S. citizen with specific questions about their own cases to call Panamanian immigration authorities directly at 507-1800 for guidance. Best, Thao Anh It looks like the March 15 message is all the help we're going to get from the Embassy. The March 15 message is above, as is the e-mail about Price Peterson and Senor Diego Obaldia having received some additional some additional clarification directly from Migracion.
  12. Yesterday, I sent the following e-mail to the Ms. Thao Anh at U.S. Embassy: Here is the response I received: It looks like each person is on his/her own here.
  13. Vecinos ayudando a vecinos
  14. Can't neighbors in Brisas band together and file a denuncia, or file multiple denuncias? It's harder to ignore the demands of justice from a mob.
  15. I can't imagine on what basis she can claim that the attack on Buddy by her dogs was not her fault or that driving from a parking place, across a sidewalk, and through a plate glass window of a bakery was not her fault. People like this are reprehensible. Again, Keith, I'm so sorry about Buddy. He was such a good dog and such a good friend to you.
  16. This is a great way to spend a late Saturday afternoon. Hope to see you all there!
  17. This is the International Living of language schools, it appears. Anyone who has studied a foreign language knows that it is impossible to acquire a new language in three days. My advice is not to waste whatever money it may cost.
  18. Terrific news for those who use them on a regular basis.
  19. I was surprised the Embassy became involved at all as they repeatedly say that they're not in the business of interpreting Panamanian law. But when they issued the first message to U.S. expats interpreting the law, they inserted themselves into the fray, IMO, and have some duty to follow up. Also, Embassy personnel have contacts within Panamanian governmental departments, which puts them in a much better position to seek answers than most expats.
  20. Now I think I remember. There is a scary bridge involved if memory serves. It's amazing how many "back" ways there are connecting the various parts of the community. I'm sure I know only a few--which I either happened upon by accident or was directed to take as a detour.
  21. The language "as long as your 180 days stamp is not expired you should have no problem re-entering" concerns me, "should" being the operative word. I know that Michelle Walker's 180 days stamp had not expired when she was denied reentry at Paso Canoas. My fear is that the border officials may not all be in agreement about interpretation of the decree, and that fear is exacerbated when I can't get answers in writing. If I were here on a tourist visa I wouldn't know what to do. I have no record of the 317-5200 Security number that TwoSailors refers to. I wonder why you call "Security" to be referred to the "Duty Officer" (whatever that is.) The information I received from the Embassy is to call 317-5030 during the day and 317-5000 for emergencies. The emergency number is the most important to have with you should there be a problem after hours at the border or airport or when there is no one available at the main number. And now we have a third number. Well-stated, Sheila. I don't understand why it's so difficult for the Panamanian government to answer these questions. I don't believe the Embassy knows the answers, but I certainly hope personnel there are pressing for them. I wrote the Embassy again yesterday but have received no response.
  22. I have had a long-standing problem of scheduling lunch with friends on Monday through Thursday because we never know what is going to be open and when. For example, innumerable times we have tried to meet at The Fish House on Tuesday at noon only to find it closed although there is evidence that it opened later that day. My Tuesday lunch group has met at Big Daddy's often in the past on Tuesday, but today I found out that it now is open on Monday but closed on Tuesday. I discovered quite by accident that The Sandwich Shop is closed on Thursday. Also, most restaurants are closed on Monday, but it would be nice to know which ones are open in order to schedule on that day. Does anyone else have this problem? More importantly, does anyone have an idea about how to accomplish a compilation of this information. Most Boquete restaurants don't have a website, and their Facebook pages seldom contain the days and hours of operation.
  23. I can't figure out exactly where this is. Is it the main Volcancito road?
  24. From printers now retired, I have four cartridges: two HP 46 (black), one HP 46 (color), and one HP 662XL (color). Ten dollars ($10) each. The two HP 46 black are in one box, so they would be $20. Email me at ridgelandres@yahoo.com or call me at 6709-7838 if you have a need for them.