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Everything posted by Bonnie

  1. I had exactly the same experience this morning, Bud, but in reverse. I was taking Finny to The Dog Spot and got caught up in closed streets downtown. So coming back home I decided to avoid the cross streets downtown and take the Alto Lino loop only to be stopped just beyond Cafe Ruiz for downed lines. Electricity has been sporadic since then.
  2. I agree, Ray, that it's unclear. I have sought clarification via the Embassy but haven't heard back. I will share whatever answer they provide.
  3. From the Embassy's message: 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 ( 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.
  4. I don't understand either. How can you exit by the 5th month while at the same time staying for six months? Paragraphs two and three appear contradictory.
  5. I believe Roger is married. I know he has children. In any case, I'm sure I'm much older than he is. But it's always nice to get a compliment.
  6. At my age, Roger, I accept any and all compliments. Yours was particularly nice.
  7. I have written the Embassy asking them to seek clarification from Panama Immigration.
  8. 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: 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 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 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 ( 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.
  9. But my point is that the criteria don't make sense. What's to prohibit each and every person on a tourist visa from overstaying just by paying the fine. This seems to defeat the purpose of busting "perpetual tourists." How can anyone on a tourist visa not exit Panama for two years without violating the law? If the fine is paid at the end of the two-year period, isn't that person at risk of being deported after the first 180 days? What am I missing here?
  10. Bill, the "statement at nominal cost" you reference is the temporary visa you receive while yours is being processed. You can get a Panamanian driver's license with a temporary visa. The question is at what point in the process is the temporary visa issued? Before you arrive in Panama you would be well-advised to get all your documentation together: your FBI check, your marriage license apostiled, etc. The sooner all this can be given to your attorney and the process begun, the sooner you can get your driver's license and then your resident visa.
  11. Another question that occurs to me is how to deal with the driver's license issue. Can one drive for only 90 of the 180 days? It would appear so. Or is there a way to reset the driver's license without leaving the country for a month? Also, at what point in the resident visa process does one receive the temporary visa allowing that person to stay in the country until the final visa is issued? When one first begins the process, or when all documentation has been gathered and submitted? Let me know other questions and answers that aren't clear to you so maybe I can seek clarification in just one email.
  12. I don't understand the answer to the last question. It suggests that one can have a tourist visa for two years if they just pay the overstay charge. Doesn't this contradict the requirement that anyone on a tourist has to leave for one month every 180 days? Anyone reading it differently? Should I inquire further of the Embassy?
  13. FOR SALE Complete set of golf clubs for sale; includes Wedgewoos Gold Series drivers and Cleveland Big Bertha irons. $250 Individual golf clubs:. $5 to $25 Serviceable Calloway golf bag. $25 Whiffle balls (3 sets of 12). $10 15 brand new golf club grips. $3 each or $35 for all 15 plus solvent 2 large bags of golf balls, both new and used. Prices negotiable. Call Bonnie at 6709-7838
  14. It seems to me that saying you are not married in order to marry in Panama is the whitest of white lies. It's like responding to the question, "Do you think I'm fat?"A negative reply harms absolutely no one. Couples are well known to repeat the marriage ceremony to renew their vows. And Doug's argument about Panama not recognizing marriages outside the country will salve your conscience if need be. As there is no international registry of marriages, there is no issue of "getting caught" and highly improbable that the government would do anything about it even if they knew.They have bigger fish to fry. I say save yourself time and money and put this issue to rest.
  15. Home invasion crime is off topic as this thread is about residency. Maybe move to its own topic, Moderators?
  16. What size is the quilt? It's really cute! And what a deal on the ticket cost. Can tickets be purchased anywhere other than the Tuesday meeting? (The Potrerillos Venta de Patio was two days ago.)
  17. True in response to some folks' reasons for griping. Others of us, however, are not so much in a hurry as we are in fear for our safety at many downtown intersections.
  18. Bud, I don't know what your attorney advised you, but I was told by mine that being married does not entitle a spouse to make legally binding decisions for the other spouse in case of medical emergency. We were advised that a "living will" executed by a Panamanian attorney in Spanish is the only way to accomplish this. I have a very good lawyer who has never let me down. I believe in his advice, too, because when I exercised my husband's living will it was scrutinized by the doctor and the hospital's attorney. There's no way they would have allowed me to make the decision to withdraw life support in the absence of the will.
  19. They now are checking every vehicle at the checkpoint east of Paso Canoas, I have heard from people who have been there within the last few days. Please do not be advising folks otherwise. That is a major checkpoint for immigration status, and logic itself would dictate that this checkpoint would be used with the new requirements. Pat is right. The current situation is very real. Those who are taking it lightly will not receive the same sympathy the Walkers have received when they become stuck outside the country. IMHO those folks claiming not to be able to afford residency should redirect the money they are expending on travel, dining out, etc. to get legal.
  20. Not to my knowledge. All the old posts above refer to driving. One of its main purposes is to relieve congestion at the Romero/Municipio intersection.
  21. Interesting article in yesterday's NYT about the situation:
  22. I can't tell you how happy this makes me. I'll have a straight shot into town and can avoid the dreadful Romero intersection, which seems to get worse every day. This should relieve significant congestion there.
  23. I alerted Trish to this as soon as Gareth called me. She had a lengthy discussion with the British Embassy about Steve's situation. I have forwarded those e-mails to Steve.