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Yesterday it took 10 minutes to have Migration in David stamp our E-cedula visa status  in our new Passports just received via DSL in the mail.  We left the office singing and dancing.  That had to be some kind of a record.  Two people served in 10 minutes by the nicest lady behind the Migration desk....AND to receive renewed Passports by mail?   We are pinching ourselves. 

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Hi Folks!

 

When I have to do any kind of business at any government office/agency I go knowing that I will spend the whole day, if I am lucky, at this office/agency.   Some years ago when I was still young and impatient I usually loose my temper and argued, complained and I was the whole day with a bad mood.  I criticized from head to toe all the incredible bureaucracy and tramitology of those offices/agencies of the government.    Did it helped me to solve the problem?  To do everything faster?  NO!  So my temper was very affected.

Now that I am getting "gray and older"  I decided that no one will kill me of a stroke or heart attack.  I go with a mental state knowing that I have to patient.  Almost like a Saint.  That if I get mad at some officer/employee I could be punished by leaving my business in the last position.  I go knowing that I will loose a lot of precious working and productive hours of my time there.  So I go prepared with a book or something to distract myself while waiting, a good attitude, a big smile and listening other people complaining and criticizing.  If get all my business done in a "decent time"  I will feel happy and lucky.  If it took more time of the expected... well resignation and when I have everything done.... I will complain, yell and criticize to death the system, people, bureaucracy and everybody including the people who sells chichas and empanadas.   

 

Some managers and administrators put attention to the procedures and not on the final goal.  So in order to have control measures they create a lot of paperwork that sometimes are redudant, ridicule and not worthy the paper it is filled with.  President Martinelli had a goal to make a paperless government or digital procedure and started to do something in that direction but president Varela with its slogan of doing a transparent government and to eliminate corruption stopped the project and in some places the paper work has increase.  In the construction industry we have about 28 agencies/paperwork to do before starting the real construction of such project.  It is something that our people at the construction chamber is crying aloud to the government agencies involved to solve.

But... it is the way it is.... we dont like it very much.... but we will keep on the fight to make things more quick and swift to do in Panama instead of that huge bureacracy and paperworks we are immersed today.

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'Burocracia' by Rosa Marques, was a different entry on the subject in the Notodo Filmfest.

Edited by Keith Woolford
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5 hours ago, Brundageba said:

Drivers license.  Remember how many offices each in a different location in Panama City?  Brutal

Right. But when we came in 2007, we got our driver's licenses in the Chiriqui Mall. A trip to the City wasn't necessary.

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11 hours ago, Bonnie said:

Right. But when we came in 2007, we got our driver's licenses in the Chiriqui Mall. A trip to the City wasn't necessary.

We came in 2007 !   ha ha .....unreal.  I guess that's something we needed to research a bit better.  We took a midnight bus to Panama City ...hit the many offices, stamps ,forms , and lab tests, and came back on the bus that same day. The photo on my driver's license  makes me look like I'd been on a bender for a week .  As I recall we went to PC because we needed to go first to the US consulate to have our USA Driver's license notarized.  What can I say, we were new, uninformed and amazingly persistent.  ( younger as well)

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22 minutes ago, Brundageba said:

We came in 2007 !   ha ha .....unreal.  I guess that's something we needed to research a bit better.  We took a midnight bus to Panama City ...hit the many offices, stamps ,forms , and lab tests, and came back on the bus that same day. The photo on my driver's license  makes me look like I'd been on a bender for a week .  As I recall we went to PC because we needed to go first to the US consulate to have our USA Driver's license notarized.  What can I say, we were new, uninformed and amazingly persistent.  ( younger as well)

We did not have to have our U.S. driver's licenses notarized in 2007. You may have gone to P.C. for no reason whatsoever. In fact, the first time we went to P.C. after our arrival in Boquete was to get our passports renewed in 2009. It was much easier back then: visa at Migracion in David, driver's license at Chiriqui Mall in David.

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23 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

Persons who are obviously of senior age can go to the front of the ticket line.

Fake beards work wonders!  

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13 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

'Burocracia' by Rosa Marques, was a different entry on the subject in the Notodo Filmfest.

I have never seen a video like this, and never expected to see such. It was absolutely hilarious.

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4 hours ago, Bonnie said:

We did not have to have our U.S. driver's licenses notarized in 2007. You may have gone to P.C. for no reason whatsoever. In fact, the first time we went to P.C. after our arrival in Boquete was to get our passports renewed in 2009. It was much easier back then: visa at Migracion in David, driver's license at Chiriqui Mall in David.

We arrived late August of 2007.  Hard to remember exactly but after a month or so we went to the David Dirver's License bureau .  We were told that we had to have in hand our visa before we could get the license.  We questioned how we were supposed to navigate in our car legally as our visa was still in the process of final approval.   They  advised us to continue to drive but "don't get in an accident" ( serious). There was no temporary license then.   It was 6 months later that we got our Jubilado visa . By then you had to have the USA license authenticated in Panama City at the consulate.    So for the 6 months that followed that visit to the David office in September 2007 we drove illegally and never got caught.  phew.....that's the story as best we can recall.   We were very fortunate.

Edited by Brundageba

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Pondering this I can only reflect on thoughts Bill and I had when we first decided to reside outside of the USA for our retirement.  Laws change, procedures change and the climate of life changes ..and possible more so in foreign countries.   We were also aware that in spite of all our research we may have missed something.   We knew that it might not be easy and at times frustrating but decided we would weather whatever transpired.   It's been 10 yrs and some things have in fact changed and we did miss a few things we should have known I guess but we are happy here.  Very happy.  We've had some fun times navigating bumps in the road in fact !

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5 hours ago, Bud said:

I have never seen a video like this, and never expected to see such. It was absolutely hilarious.

I just watched it again....boy we can relate to this!!!

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20 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

'Burocracia' by Rosa Marques, was a different entry on the subject in the Notodo Filmfest.

It is a very funny but real description of bureaucracy.

...and I thought that Panama was the only country with this problem of excessive bureaucracy.

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2 hours ago, Roger B said:

It is a very funny but real description of bureaucracy.

...and I thought that Panama was the only country with this problem of excessive bureaucracy.

Hola Roger,

the thing I thought about was my last trip to the DMV and dealing with a used car salesman just before that.  Gotta be two of the worst ways to spend a day.

jim

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22 minutes ago, JimAndNena said:

Hola Roger,

the thing I thought about was my last trip to the DMV and dealing with a used car salesman just before that.  Gotta be two of the worst ways to spend a day.

jim

Woa....Our good friend Keith is a used car salesman and what would our life be without him here?

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4 minutes ago, Brundageba said:

Woa....Our good friend Keith is a used car salesman and what would our life be without him here?

Might be another clue about Panama, Alison. Only there would a used car salesman be considered trustworty!:D

jim

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The e-mail address of the Boquete U.S. Warden received the following email today, portions of which have been redacted to protect the privacy of the sender. It may be of interest to folks who have been here a long time on a tourist visa. (I forwarded the email to the Embassy.)

I am an American who has been staying in Boquete for more than ten years. I do not have my residency, so I would leave the country and return on a regular basis as per the time of stay allowed for tourists.

After spending over a month in [redacted], I was denied entry into Panama at Tocumen on Thursday May 25th and flown back to [redacted] because, they said, of a very old arrest record. I was among several Americans detained and sent back to the US because of an old arrest record (more than 10-15 years old) that day.

I’ve never had any problems entering Panama before. I was curious if you could help me with this situation or enlighten me with some idea of what my options are. I’d be grateful for any help. We also may want to warn other US citizens of this situation.

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Can you really blame Panamá for denying entry to people with criminal records from entering their country? Regardless of how old the crime was? I certainly don't blame them. 

Im just wondering why they didn't stop them from entering at some point earlier in the last ten years?? 

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This person would have had the opportunity to get residency, using a Panama Police check only, for several years under the Crisol de Razas program.

It's notable that the letter doesn't say what the arrest record is for.

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Something doesn't quite sound right.  An arrest is quite different than a criminal conviction.  

It also seems odd that Panama is now capable of running a complete criminal background check on American tourists arriving at Tocumen and returning all those who who ever ran afoul of a policeman at any point in their lives.  Did they hack into the FBI?

We all know the scrutiny on permanent visa applications as well as the effort to end "permanent tourism."   

But that is far different than turning away every American businessman or tourist with an arrest from long ago. 

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I agree something doesn't sound quite right. My first thought was what are the odds that several Americans all entered with arrest records at around the same time.

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5 hours ago, Uncle Doug said:

Something doesn't quite sound right.  An arrest is quite different than a criminal conviction.  

It also seems odd that Panama is now capable of running a complete criminal background check on American tourists arriving at Tocumen and returning all those who who ever ran afoul of a policeman at any point in their lives.  Did they hack into the FBI?

We all know the scrutiny on permanent visa applications as well as the effort to end "permanent tourism."   

But that is far different than turning away every American businessman or tourist with an arrest from long ago. 

 

President Varela had three Panamanian immigration officials trained in Washington DC in the use of the FBI's systems as well as others for random back ground checks.  They haven't published any criteria for initiating their random checks.

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Random means, by definition, no selective criteria.  I do not believe that several Americans were detained and then returned to the US last Thursday because of random background checks. 

Either it didn't happen,  or it was no coincidence. 

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I saw this addition to the travel guideline and advisories from the Canadian government travel page for Canadians going abroad. I don't ever recall seeing this portion before. I haven't checked the American site yet though. 

I do wonder like most of you, how Panamá is finding out about the convications but in any case, who can blame them for being stricter on who they let in. If you don't have a record you have nothing to worry about. If you do...it's not Panama's fault. 

Like one poster said, had that person got their paperwork together before leaving for 30 days, they could have gotten a police record here by the Panamaian police and become a resident and not had to worry about this. If you have been in Panama for 2 years or more without leaving for more than 30 days at a time, you don't need a police record check from your home country when applying for residency, you can get one from the Panamaian police. I just wonder what would happen whenever you do try to re-enter using your Panamaian Cédula and American passport (if you have a record) if they find out about a previous record would they strip you of your Panamaian residency. 

Anyways, if you don't have a record you have nothing to worry about. I'm sure you all wouldn't want your home countries to allow people in with criminal records either. 

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