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  1. Due to my business I am a frequent traveler. However, flying in times of a global pandemic brings new challenges and experiences. In the last 20 years I have never seen the airports as empty as they are now. It reminds me a lot of the 90s when I was flying for the first time without my family to England. When planning your trip to Panama there are some important details to consider. Important recommendations for passengers coming from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Spain, USA, Canada, etc. If you travel from one of the countries of the European Union, United States, Canada, etc. to Panama, at the time of arrival at Tocumen airport you must present a negative PCR or antigen (rapid) test, which must not be older than 48 hours. With this it is not necessary to take another test at the Tocumen airport or comply with any type of quarantine. If you do not carry such test, if your test is expired or if your test does not meet the minimum requirements established by the health authority, you must take a COVID-19 rapid test at the Tocumen airport (at your cost). Requirements for passengers arriving from South America, United Kingdom, India or South Africa The Panamanian health authorities established the following entry requirements for passengers coming from and having stayed or transited through the United Kingdom, the Republic of South Africa, India or any South American country during the last 15 days. In order to travel to Panama, you must present a negative PCR or antigen test which must not be older than 48 hours. Additionally upon registration with the National Immigration Service in Panama, passengers coming from or who have transited through the United Kingdom, South Africa, India or South America, during the last 15 days, must take a COVID-19 test at Tocumen airport at their own expense (costs 85USD). If this test is negative, the person must comply with a three (3) day isolation period (remember that this only applies to passengers coming from South America, United Kingdom, India or South Africa). If you are Panamanian or a foreigner resident of Panama (and have the corresponding documentation, i.e. migration ID card or E cedula and proof of address such as a lease contract or title deed) you may serve the isolation period at your residence in Panama. Otherwise, the isolation period must be spent in a non-COVID-19 surveillance hotel for non-COVID-19 travelers at state expense. Isolation may also be carried out in hotels authorized by the health authority at your own cost. In this case you must present your reservation to the airline before boarding the plane to Panama. Either if you spend the isolation period at home or in a hotel, in both cases, at the end of the three days period, another PCR or antigen test must be performed. This test must be done by the health authority at its expense in a laboratory that has an operating permit from the Technical Board of Health and is validated by the Gorgas Memorial Institute). If the test is negative the the isolation will be concluded. For passengers who test positive upon arrival in Panama, a COVID-19 RT-PCR test and +ICGES analysis must be performed, complying with mandatory isolation for 14 days. Now, in practice, what is it like when you travel to Panama? First, before planning your trip, find out where to get a PCR or antigen test, which it is legally recognized for travel purposes. Nowadays, major airports already have laboratories for such tests. Depending on the day of the week a PCR test can take about 24 hours (although I know of a lab in Vienna that delivers it in 90 min) and an antigen test result can be available in about 15 to 30 minutes. Please note that when traveling, not all countries will accept an antigen test for entry into the country. Panama accepts antigen or rapid test, Spain for example only accepts PCR tests. You will usually receive your COVID-19 test result to your email so that it is available during your trip on your mobile phone. Choose the lab ahead of time and schedule your appointment early to get your PCR or antigen results prior to your flight. It happened to me that I arrived at the airport once on a Sunday thinking I could get a quick PCR test before my trip, and no.... but that’s another story. When you arrive at Tocumen airport in Panama, you must enter with your mask on, and its use is mandatory at all times and in all airport facilities. Likewise, your temperature will be taken by airport personnel. Immigration and customs lines are properly marked on the floor. Immigration and customs agents will serve you through protective windows to ensure physical distance. To enjoy your flight and reduce your stress level, we recommend the following:: 1. Investigate the travel requirements of the country of origin and destination in a timely manner. 2. Do Web Check-In and download your mobile boarding pass. 3. Remember to bring your mask. 4. Arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before your flight departure time. 5. Take into account that in some airports, only passengers who are going to travel are allowed to enter the facilities. 6. Remember that you can bring food on board for your personal consumption. 7. To expedite the boarding process, have your boarding pass ready, as well as your passport and COVID-19 test. 8. When passing through immigration control in Panama, remember to show your passport and migration ID card or E cedula (if applicable). If you are entering Panama as a tourist, remember to have your hotel reservation or place of lodging at hand. Feliz viaje! Have a safe flight!
    3 points
  2. Foreigners using their country’s driver's license may legally drive a vehicle in Panama for up to 90 days. Once a foreigner obtains temporary or permanent residency in Panama he/she may request the homologation of his/her driver's license and obtain a Panamanian driver's license. To do so, it is not necessary to hand over your current driver's license or take any kind of driving test. The Panamanian government contracts a private company called SERTRACEN for the processing of driver's licenses nationwide. Only foreigners with residency status in Panama (either temporary or permanent) are eligible for a Panamanian driver's license, foreigners with tourist status are not. Below we have summed up the steps to follow to obtain a Panamanian driver's license for you. What documents do I need? 1. Original and copy of your migration ID card (valid and legible). 2. Original and copy of your passport (valid and legible). 3. Your driver's license (valid and legible). 4. Authenticated certification of the validity of your license. 5. Blood type: If your driver's license does NOT show the blood type and RH factor, a certification issued by an authorized Panamanian laboratory must be submitted. The laboratory certification is valid for six (6) months, counted from the date of issuance of the document. Names and surnames must be identical or coincide in all documents or requirements presented. All documentation provided must be in good condition and not damaged. Step 1: How do I get my license certified? The first step is to contact the embassy or consulate of your country to request the certification of your driver's license. The process varies from embassy to embassy, for this reason it is advisable to make an appointment in advance either by phone, online or by email in order to confirm the necessary documentation, how long it takes to issue the certification and the costs. U.S. citizens should approach the American Citizen Services at the U.S. Embassy in Panama City. There is a standard form (sworn affidavit) to request the driver's license certification. Keep in mind to verify that your name, personal information, driver's license number, etc. are written correctly on the certification when you pick it up. In addition, the certification must contain the following information: 1. The term "certify" or "declare", 2. Name of the officer in charge of validating the information, 3. Name of the applicant, identification number, number of the license to be validated; in addition to the date of issuance and expiration. If the license does not have an expiration date (indefinite) the certification must state so. 4. Place or country of issuance of the driver's license. 5. Description of the different categories of vehicles, 6. Stamp and original signature of the officer issuing the certification. 7. Apart from the certification the consulate/embassy must issue an authenticated copy of both sides of your driver's license (front and back), with original stamp and signature of the officer in charge of validating the information. Step 2: How can I authenticate the certification? The certification and the authenticated copy issued by your Consulate/Embassy must be further authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) in Panama City. The request for authentication by MINREX must be made through their web page https://sigob.mire.gob.pa/registrocorrespondencia/. Once the application is completed, the respective department of MINREX will give you an appointment. The payment must be made at the Banco Nacional after receiving the confirmation by e-mail of the amount to be paid. Step 3: Get an appointment at SERTRACEN Once the documentation described above has been completed, an appointment must be made at one of SERTRACEN's branches. All license applications must be submitted in person by the applicant. The appointment must be requested online through the following web page: https://citas.sertracen.com.pa/Citas/public/cita.jsf . On the day of the appointment you must present all documents to the officer in charge at the SERTRACEN office, your personal data (including emergency contact, organ donor or not etc.) and the photo for your new license will be taken, also an eye and hearing test must be performed. People who wear glasses can use them for the eye test. The cost of the driver's license is USD$40.00 (includes eye and hearing test). The driver's license is valid for four (4) years. If you are a temporary resident in Panama and you do not have your permanent residency yet, your Panamanian driver's license will have the same validity as your residency. Licenses issued with age restrictions will not be approved, nor will international licenses. Licenses issued in one of the EU countries must comply with the new EU format. ”Old” licenses (Papierführerschein) will not be accepted. Special requirements for drivers over 70 years of age All drivers over seventy (70) years of age must opt for a driver's license valid for two (2) years. They must also present a certificate of good physical and mental health from a Panamanian doctor specialized in internal medicine or geriatrics. The document must have the full name, passport number, stamp and original signature of the physician. The medical certification is valid for six (6) months from the date of issuance of the document. Drive carefully!
    3 points
  3. We bought two big bags of bananas, broccoli, pineapple, tomatoes yesterday. Clean store & friendly service by owner. Great prices, too!!!! We definitely will visit again 👍👍
    3 points
  4. For over 15 years I have been advising and assisting expats in their first steps in their new home country, and I have also lived and worked in many countries myself. I know from personal experience how it feels to start from scratch, to live as a newcomer in a foreign country, and to know neither the culture nor the language of the new host country. It is perhaps an unpleasant truth, but unfortunately a fact: not everyone finds in Panama what they might have hoped to find. If you are looking for a country to move, then in my opinion it is not about finding the "perfect" paradise, but to choose a country that meets your personal wishes and needs. How these are shaped and what is important to you (or not) is a very individual decision, which, in addition to facts, is always a certain decision of the heart. Therefore, I have summarized five points for you that you absolutely must know about Panama. If you find it difficult to accept these cultural differences and adapt in certain ways, Panama may not be the right place for you. Patience, patience, patience: The clocks tick differently in Panama. Time is a relative concept: "mañana" does not always mean "tomorrow" but maybe "two weeks", "ahorita" is anything but "right now", and it is quite common to arrive at private meetings much later than agreed. Unpunctuality (except at work and when dealing with authorities) is not a discourtesy in Panama. Bureaucracy and a different attitude to work mean that many processes, procedures and work steps are handled much more leisurely and slowly than we are perhaps used to in the USA or Canada. Irascible and brash behavior is often completely pointless. However, a smile and a certain degree of composure and flexibility can open many doors in Panama. “Juegavivo”: A common expression in the Panamanian culture describing a person who charmingly and with a twinkle in his eye likes to cheat a little, swindle or twist the truth in order to benefit from it. As a foreigner it is often difficult to distinguish cultural differences from "juegavivo". Therefore, always inform yourself in advance, especially in business and financial matters. You will find many insider tips and advice in my legal blogs, or simply book an appointment for a (virtual) free initial consultation. “Puente del mundo, corazón del universo” (Bridge of the world, heart of the universe): This is how Panamanians describe their beloved Isthmus and this national pride runs through all areas of life. In November Panama celebrates various national holidays, for this reason the whole country more or less stands still during this month. If you are planning a trip to Panama for business, it is better not to do it in November, and if you do, expect additional delays and allow more time than usual. "Clothes make the man": Clothes and appearance are important in Panama. Even ordinary people are careful to appear neat, clean and well-groomed at all times. Permissive, dirty clothing or vulgar behavior is not always appreciated. Foreigners who dress appropriately usually gain respect. Shorts (despite the temperatures) are usually worn only in private, at the beach or pool. Insider Tip: When attending appointments with public officials or at a bank, always make sure to dress appropriately: no flip-flops, sandals or Crocs, no shorts or miniskirts, no sleeveless T-shirts, loose-fitting shirts or spaghetti strap tops (or dresses). However, it doesn't have to be a shirt and tie. A simple short-sleeved t-shirt, jeans and sneakers are perfectly fine. Don't forget to wear a faceshield as well as a mouth-nose protection (mask) during appointments at the immigration office. “Piropos” or flattery: As a (single traveling) woman (but also as a man) you often get more attention in Panama than you are used to. Many men (and women) in Panama are often very direct when it comes to attracting the attention of the opposite sex or making first contact. If you don't want this, you can simply ignore unwanted remarks or reject them in a friendly but firm manner. Panama is unique. Using the slogan of the Panamanian Tourism Authority, “Panama is for travelers, not tourists." Whether you are looking for a destination to move, want to have a "Plan B" on hand, are interested in investing abroad, or want to spend your retirement in the sunny south. There are many reasons that speak for Panama and inspire expats for this small country. Whether as a traveler, investor or expatriate, the country enchants its visitors with mountains and beaches and offers the unique opportunity to wake up in the Caribbean and have dinner at the Pacific Ocean. In addition, Panama is an insider's tip for investing in real estate overseas. Panama is above all one thing: authentic, open and warm. Let yourself be carried away by the joy of life, openness and friendliness of the locals. It is easy to see why Panama is considered one of the happiest nations in the world. Panamanians like to strike up a conversation with others, be it in the supermarket, at passport control at the airport or in a café. Just try it out, even if you speak little or no Spanish your counterpart will always be eager to help you and make small talk. This is also true when moving around in Panama, whether as a single traveler, with or without children; you can be sure that people are always friendly and helpful. When our daughter was born in Panama, we were often approached by complete strangers on the street or in stores who congratulated us and wished us luck. One time my wife was stopped by the police asking for her driver’s license. At the end the official called over his other colleague just to have a look at the lovely baby on the back seat. And this actually happened more than once. I will never forget when at the passport control at the airport in Tocumen, an immigration officer held up our family (and the whole line waiting). We were just coming back from a trip to Europe, and of course we were tired and exhausted. While being in line for passport control, suddenly the official in charge yelled “STOP! STOP! Stop, here!”. My wife and I looked at each other confused. What was wrong? Then the immigration official pointed to our daughter in her stroller. “Now look a this little princess! Everybody, look a the sweet little girl…”
    2 points
  5. Every resident applying for a renewal Panamanian driver license (good for 4 years) must pass an eye and hearing exam. For people 70-85 years old, a certificate of good physical and mental health from a Panamanian doctor who specializes in internal medicine or geriatrics is required. All this plus an actual test in parallel parking and back-up maneuvers is required for residents over 85 years old. For us seniors the renewed license is valid for only two years. Since I meet the requirements for the actual test, I used my very small car (named Tiny Tim) and practiced for a week prior to my test date. Everyday Bud had me out doing the backing up and parallel parking drill. The word is that if your car even touches a cone on the driving test range then you fail. The cones are sometimes small and generally not visible to the driver taking the test. During my first attempt at test parallel parking on the actual license renewal day the inspector saw me turning my head to look out the rear window. Maneuver was successful, but he made me repeat the procedure and this time I used the vehicle mirrors only....instead of turning my head and looking backwards. Managed the back-up maneuvers, so inspector gave me a thumbs up and approved my drivers license renewal request. I understand that no one 90 years old or older is approved for driving in Panama. Individuals can try to renew a license at 89, but probably won't be successful. Everyone at the David Sertracen office was courteous. The only downside is the very rapid Spanish used by employees when giving instructions for taking the eye and hearing exams. Many people 85 years of age can't pass the health requirements... certainly can't perform the actual test maneuvers, so I'm celebrating my success. 🙏🙏👍👍👏👏
    2 points
  6. Dear Zion, Yes, you still need an appointment at MINREX. In order to apply for your appointment at MINREX you must submit a digital copy of the document you want to authenticate (this is the requested attachment). I am not sure about the services offered by Mailboxes Etc but our firm can authenticate the documents for you as well. You can drop off the originals in our office at Plaza San Francisco in Boquete and once we have them authenticated at MINREX you can pick them up again. Feel free to contact our office manager Ms Herrera 6980-0688 for further information. Best regards, Abel
    2 points
  7. until

    Thanks for all of the great pictures! Great memories.
    2 points
  8. Dear Bud and friends, This is Laura, owner of La Cuchilla. I hope you are doing well. Thank you so much for this post. We really appreciated. We are really new on this business and we are trying hard to do things right. Our vision is give you a really good customer service, serve great food and keep it like that!! I am content to know that you have enjoyed the experience of La Cuchilla. Again thank you so much for the review. Always welcome. Greetings, Laura and La Cuchilla Team.
    2 points
  9. For the sake of brevity, I've copied here a correspondence between myself and my PriceSmart contact, the VP of Specialty Foods. This story isn't about Speciality foods but she often helps me with other questions. Question: when PriceSmart carries an item for instance Hisense A/C units, does PriceSmart make sure that there is convenient warranty service available to customers who buy their products from PriceSmart?I know there is a money back guarantee, but after an A/C unit is already installed, having warrantee service is important.This is an unrelated issue but informs the question: A couple years ago, I gifted a Farberware food processor to a friend. Why did I buy that particular processor? because it was direct drive, that is the workbowl is directly over the motor. It’s more efficient, is stronger, and won’t lug.Early on, after a short time of use, but after the warranty expiration, a part broke on the work bowl . she asked my husband to investigate it and he discovered a defect in manufacturing. BUT the warranty was expired.She gave me all the information so I could call Farberware. Come to find out that model was manufactured in 2011, and discontinued more than 5 years ago. That means the department store in Terronal Plaza,David from which I bought the processor was selling it 2 years after it had been discontinued. This leads me to conclude that probably these retailers in panama buy up merchandise like Big Lots does, and they have no concern about customer service. They buy cheap, sell high, and the customer gets stuck with obsolete goods, with no replacement parts available.So this same friend is considering buying an A/C unit, and was price shopping. But when I told her what I figured out about her processor, she’s hesitant about buying the A/C unit from just anywhere.The other question is whether the small appliances PriceSmart markets, are also obsolete models? PriceSmart: I can say with confidence that our strategy does not include purchasing discontinued/obsolete merchandise. We work with manufacturers on the latest available and most reliable models. Price and value is important at PriceSmart, but not by sacrificing quality. Please let me check with the team about warranties. I know we have a Corporate team that is dedicated to helping members with service issues, etc, so I feel confident that we will have the support behind the purchases of these items. I just don't know the exact details behind it because I've always been in the Food area. I will forward further information when she sends it.
    2 points
  10. The BCP: Let's Dispel the Myths and Rumors! If you are new to Boquete or have heard rumors about the BCP, we would like to set the record straight: Is the BCP a business? Yes and No: It's a corporation – Boquete Centro de Eventos, SA - doing "business" as the "BCP." Like any corporation, there are shareholders. However: The mission statement of the BCP is "Enriching the life of the Boquete Community through the Arts, Entertainment, Community Events, and Services." Like all members of the BCP, the board of directors are volunteers in service of our mission. Is the BCP a Theater Company? Yes – But Much More!: The BCP started as a theater group. In fact, it started the first community theater in Panama and is planning to produce many more plays, musicals, and other productions when the current health restrictions are lifted. The ticket prices pay for the scenery, costumes, and additional costs. Any "profit" from ticket sales goes directly to other BCP community efforts. No actor, producer, director, musician, or technician gets paid in a BCP production. So yes, while the BCP was and still is a "Theater Company," over time, it has morphed into an organization staffed by volunteers who are dedicated to serving and meeting the needs of the entire Boquete community. Is the BCP a Building? No – But it was … sort of: In the past, you probably heard people say they were going to the BCP. Well, we leased and remodeled an old, rundown building and spent tens of thousands of dollars, contributed by many Boquetenans, to build out the facility, including the theater. Over the years, BCP continued to maintain and remodel the building. In 2020, our lease was not renewed, and recently we've been told to remove all of the BCP equipment from the theater. What does the BCP do? The BCP Tuesday Market: The BCP took over the Tuesday Market operations 14 years ago after it was started by a small group of local ex-pats. When our lease on the building we refurbished was not renewed, we relocated the Tuesday Market to the beautiful, light, and bright Arco Iris Room at the Feria. The market's purpose has always been to promote local vendors and provide them with a place to sell their goods within a community gathering place. Like all BCP activities, any profit from the market goes right back into helping the community. While vendors pay for their market space, charities do not. The Tuesday Talks – (Now the BCP Community Chats): In 2007, the BCP integrated the Tuesday Talks into the Tuesday Market. We now refer to them as the BCP Community Chats, where the community can learn about an endless list of subjects from life in Panama to nature, health, and just about everything else. The BCP Community Chats are now on select Thursdays and held in the Boquete Library. Community Support: The BCP is dedicated to helping the various, and wonderful charities of Boquete reach their goals and connect with the community by providing them free space in the BCP Tuesday Market. We also organize and host their talks at the BCP Community Chats. And we stand with them, ready to help each of them in any way we can to meet their goals of serving the community. Theatrical, Musicals, and Social Events: The BCP started as a theater company and, while it has grown to be much more, theatrical productions remain at its heart. Due to the uncertainty with health regulations and the future availability of the theater we built, we are in the process of establishing new and exciting venues for future productions. In addition to shows, to further support the community, we are planning on hosting regular member mixers at local restaurants. This will provide an opportunity for our members to get to know each other while we support our local establishments. Can you help? Yes, you can!: The BCP is always looking for members to help us achieve our goals of serving the community we all love. Our members are the people you see organizing the market or the community chat, or perhaps taking tickets at a show. We need members to keep our long tradition of community service alive. Please consider joining the BCP and helping when you can. Boquete Community Pulse
    2 points
  11. Some more information about the covid vaccinations: The vaccine will be distributed and tracked only via MINSA, not by private doctors or clinics. They will do it in 4 groups, starting in another 1 or 2 weeks. People over 60 are in the second group. The Panama Solidario website link does in fact only accept Panamanian cédulas or permanent resident CIP cards, but everyone has the right to receive the vaccine, and MINSA will be setting up kiosks at their facilities to register people with other IDs. The online registration site is mainly to get a head count for Group 4 (the general public). Not being able to sign up there doesn't exclude a person from getting the vaccine. They know that applications for the CIP cards have been held up and people aren't supposed to be traveling. When people get the first dose of the vaccine, MINSA will issue a bar code document to be able to know who got the vaccine and to plan for the second dose.
    2 points
  12. UPDATE: The cost for the rapid test at Tocumen Airport is US$50.00. Three stations have been set up in Terminal 1 (prior to passport control) to perform the rapid test. The results are available in approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
    2 points
  13. How to Keep Your Panama Visa as a Part-Time Resident With the current restrictions implemented on international air traffic, border closures, and controls due to COVID-19 it is difficult for many temporary, part-time or permanent residents in Panama to travel to Panama and thus maintain their current permanent residency status. Most foreign residents in Panama know the golden rule of "having to travel to Panama every two years to maintain your resident status". But are there any exceptions to that rule? Can I lose my residency in Panama? The answer is, "Yes." In fact, the law establishes a list of reasons that may cause the loss or denial of residency in Panama. Some of the most important are the following: Have been convicted of committing a fraudulent crime or tax fraud. Have a criminal or police record in your country of origin or perform criminal acts within Panama. Having been absent for more than two (2) years from the national territory, unless such absence is justified and authorized by the Director of the National Immigration Service. What are the consequences if, due to the current circumstances, I cannot travel to Panama in order to maintain my status as a resident? The Law stipulates that there must be a reason for the absence. It is presumed that a global pandemic is a sufficient reason to justify the absence since the National Immigration Service of Panama has suspended all terms for the time being. Are there any legal procedures to recover my residency if it is canceled? If the National Immigration Service decides to cancel your residency in Panama (remembering that in our country nothing happens automatically), there are legal procedures to request the reactivation of your status as a resident, in case you have been out of Panama for a period of more than two (2) years and up to a maximum of six (6) years. To get your permanent residency back, you must meet the following requirements: Copy of the resolution that granted the permanent residency or in its defect a copy of the migration ID card issued by the National Immigration Service of Panama. Copy of your passport and of the registration stamp. Copy of your Cedula (E-card), duly authenticated by the Tribunal Electoral. Sworn Affidavit before a Notary Public in Panama, stating the reasons for your absence. You will have a term of 30 working days to present the petition for recovery of your residency, starting on the day you re-enter Panama. The request must be filed by a licensed immigration lawyer in Panama. What happens if I can not travel to Panama for more than six years? Foreigners who have remained more than six (6) years outside of Panama and whose residency has been canceled by the National Immigration Service will lose their status permanently and must start a completely new immigration procedure in accordance with current regulations at that time. There is one exception to the golden rule... If you are an Italian citizen and obtained your residency in Panama under the "Panama - Italy Treaty" Visa, you will not lose your status. This is a special cause protected by the Law. Bella Italia!
    2 points
  14. Marriage On The Test Bench: The Marriage Interview When Applying For Family Reunification In Panama There are times in my legal practice when I observe clients frustrated with the bureaucracy of certain legal processes in Panama. It is for this reason that today I want to tell a personal anecdote since I am probably one of the few lawyers in Panama that have been an attorney and an applicant in an immigration process at the same time. My wife is Austrian and in 2011 after many years of living and working around the world, we decided to return to Panama. This same year we got married in Austria and later on, we applied for her residence permit in Panama. At this time the option of the "Friendly Nations" visa did not exist yet, so we opted for a residency application under the "Family Reunification - Married to a Panamanian” category. The basic requirements for this migratory category are similar to the others: a complete copy of the passport, apostilled police record, a health certificate (among others), payment of government expenses, and above all proof of the marriage bond. That is to say, marriage certificate (duly registered in the Civil Registry of Panama), birth certificate of the Panamanian spouse, copy of the Panamanian spouse's identification card (authenticated by the Civil Registry of Panama), letter of responsibility, and proof of marital address. In the first application, a temporary residence permit is granted for the term of two years and after this term, it is possible to apply for permanent residency in Panama. What color is your spouse's wallet? A curious and mandatory step in the whole process is the "marriage interview” (unless the couple has two children in common). I recommend watching the movie "Green Card" with Gérard Depardieu and Andy MacDowell, which by the way is one of my favorites because in the practice the process of the marriage interview in Panama does not differ much from that romantic comedy. The date of the interview is assigned by the immigration authority in Panama and there is a catalog of (personal) questions that the candidates have to answer (separately). Among them for example the color of the marital mattress (and who bought it), the last gift you received from your spouse (and on what occasion), the color of the wallet of your spouse, of the toothbrush, of the towels in the bathroom, the favorite food, assigned tasks in the household, etc. The whole process takes about an hour and if the answers to the questions do not match, the application for the residency will be automatically rejected. It should be noted that the interview must be done twice. Once in the first application and the second time for the application of the permanent residence permit. “So test therefore, who join forever…” (Friedrich Schiller) In the first marriage interview, the officer wanted to know when (on exactly what date) and in which specific place my wife and I met. It seems like an easy and logical question, but sometimes practical life does not fit the legal norm. Since my wife and I have known each other since 1999, I do remember it was by the end of that year, but I would be unable to say on what date exactly. But mostly to this day my wife is convinced that we first met at my younger brother's prom, while I am sure it was at my parents' house. Do you have children? Why not? Even more surreal was the second marriage interview two years later. By that time my wife was already six months pregnant. It was obvious that she was expecting. The first question in the interview was: "Do you have children? Yes or no?" My wife looked at the officer and answered with a "Not yet.” “Do you want to have children? Why don't you have children yet?" were the next questions. My wife took a deep breath, and said very calmly, "I'm pregnant. The reason why we don't have children yet, is because the baby hasn't been born yet". Visit our NEW website
    2 points
  15. For many expats, Timoteo was the face of the spay/neuter clinic. Often he was the first volunteer you saw keeping order in the waiting area and making sure the admission process went smoothly. RIP Tim.
    2 points
  16. In all this doom and gloom, just want to say a positive word about Ramtec. I went into the Terronal Mall store yesterday to look for a new washer. I met a delightful young sales lady there who showed me what they had and mentioned that if I needed something special to just let her know, she would source it and give me a price. Then if we agreed on the price they would order it for me. Long story short, returned there today and bought a washer. Good service. I asked for home delivery, it was there as we arrived home about an hour later. Recommended!
    2 points
  17. Marcelyn and I joined a few other amigos last Friday late afternoon for a dining experience. The name of the eatery is La Cuchilla, which is Spanish for "the knife". La Cuchilla is located in Bajo Boquete where BQT used to be located before the pandemic caused its demise. I have to tell you right up front that the customer service was superb. For instance, there are both outdoor tables and indoor seating (kinda "indoor" given that the "walls" are such that air can circulate; see below). We opted for the indoor seating because Boquete has been windy and cool recently, and this was late afternoon with the sun beginning to set. The entire staff came out to arrange the tables so that we could sit as a group. We did not even ask for that kind of service, but there it was. Below is a picture of the food delivery station; the order station is on the right side of the container building. I purposefully left in the image the bamboo "wall" (on the left side of the image). The bamboo walls can be a good clue for when you are trying to locate the restaurant. The food selection is as expected for this kind of restaurant. See the below picture of the menu selections. Prices are very reasonable. The food preparation and quality of the ingredients was excellent. Serving sizes were large, but not enormous (thank goodness). Drink selections are bottled water, soft drinks, and beers. There is no hard liquor. Much to our surprise, credit cards are accepted. The staff listens well, and notes special requests. For instance, Marcelyn does not like onions and wants her meat to be well done (not even pink'ish). Those special requests were honored. Further, the very fresh hamburger bun was toasted, which is not normal here in this area. Toasted buns is one of our desired food preparation steps. Some of our dining group participants ordered different varieties of chicken wings. One of our group was raving about the chicken wings being perfectly prepared, some of the best he had ever eaten. Below is a picture of the great staff, all with smiles and willing to give good customer service. Bottom line here is great food and good value. We will return. As for contact information, the cash register receipt gives 720-7294 as the telephone number, and info@restaurantelacuchilla.com for email. For location: when exiting Bajo Boquete but before going up the incline and left curve as you would to pass by CEFATI, go a bit further past the right exit for the Haven Spa, and you will see a left angle exit off Calle Principal. Take that left angular exit, go no more than 200 feet, and then turn right into the parking grounds for La Cuchilla. According to Google Maps this business is still flagged as "BQT Sport and Grill", which is obviously old information. The street address is shown as Calle 13a Sur 6111, Bajo Boquete, but without street signs that kind of address is of little benefit.
    1 point
  18. RODNY DIRECT I can not laud Rodny enough for the work he does for our community here and especially for those who do not speak Spanish. Rodny Direct provided the same heroic response for us here when a neighbor and his wife were beaten and robbed in a home invasion. Rodny's handling of the entire situation was beyond the call of duty and we will forever be enormously grateful. I might add...the spouse of our neighbor is a lady who is totally fluent in Spanish, a Panamanian. She was unable to function. I might also add, he went the extra mile as my neighbors who needed help were NOT his clients, we were. Our neighbors immediately subscribed to his service ! When you have a crisis, a cool calm head and a person directing the first-responders is GOLD. He knows exactly who to call and how to deal with the situation. ( any situation......have a car break down in the middle of nowhere?...Rodny will get you a tow truck. City street light out in front of your house?...Rodny can get that reported and attended to) Bill and I consider Rodny Direct an essential necessity here. Alison
    1 point
  19. Hello. One option is to use a firestick (which you can purchase from Amazon) .... then program it. There are several "Live" channel apps that you can program (which include U.S. channels/English). There is a great website that teaches you how to program the firestick. I found it better to learn it myself rather than pay someone. https://troypoint.com
    1 point
  20. Apparently, it is a current trend! https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/28/unruly-behavior-from-passengers-has-never-been-this-bad-union-chief.html
    1 point
  21. I've long thought that there are extraterrestrials hiding among the expat population in Boquete. Not sure about the "intelligence" part.
    1 point
  22. Could the fact that Chiriqui Province has the highest number of COVID cases is because we still have no vaccine available in this area? Just wondering!!
    1 point
  23. How wonderful. There is so much talent in the small hamlet of Boquete and Theater will definitely make use of it. Much Kudos to those who are making this happen.
    1 point
  24. Panama has always positioned itself as an attractive destination for expats, businessmen, retirees and foreign investors. Forty percent of real estate assets in Panama above USD$140,000 are purchased by foreigners. Despite the pandemic we can see that the Panamanian real estate market is going through a boom by international buyers. Work from Anywhere Both commercial and residential real estate market trends are changing due to COVID-19. Before the pandemic, digital nomads were a phenomenon of the digital revolution. Traveling and seeing the world with a flexible job working online was a unique way of life for a small group of freelancers, innovative entrepreneurs or highly digitized specialists. But in 2020 an emerging trend became a mass movement. Large, traditional companies that previously demanded a work culture from their employees where the team must be physically "present" in one place, suddenly felt compelled to jump into the 21st century, and all within a few days. Home Office - The New Normal But the home office lifestyle has not only created new fashion trends, sudden shortage of office supplies such as home printers, change of laws, and strange and sometimes even comical situations due to the use of new means of communication such as Zoom, Google Meet, Skype among others, for team and client meetings. People are waking up to new possibilities: Why do I live in an apartment whose rent eats up most of my income, if work can be done after a morning run on a Caribbean beach, while saving a lot of money living in a warm place? Because of the COVID-19 crisis, millions of people are starting to work from anywhere. Even big hotel chains are remodeling their rooms in order to convert them into small, temporary, beach-side home offices for holidaying remote workers. Something for Everyone The type of real estate available in Panama is very varied. The isthmus of Panama boasts mountains and beaches, and allows you to wake up in the Caribbean and have lunch overlooking the Pacific. Although Panama City is a dynamic and modern city, much of inland Panama remains quiet and remote. This geographical diversity converts Panama into an interesting market for buyers who prefer the city, as well as those who do not. In recent months we can observe two trends of real estate buyers in Panama, the purchase of unique spaces located in the interior of the country and the investment in centrally located apartments in Panama City with the aim to put them up for rent and thus create an additional source of income in the long term. Foreign Real Estate Investment in Panama Alberto Grajales, commercial director of encuentra24, a digital portal specialized in classified ads, indicates that 250,000 visitors are registered monthly in the English version of the portal, of which the vast majority are looking for information about real estate properties in Panama. Unlike other tourist destinations, foreigners and nationals can buy almost any type of property in Panama. It is also possible to own and sell property titles in your own name (although it is not recommended) or through corporations or foundations, even without being a resident, only with tourist status. Panama has a fully dollarized economy, with the US dollar being the legal currency in the country, which allows diversification out of the Euro zone. And the current exchange rate between the dollar and the euro favors European investors even more. New demand and opportunities arise from changing lifestyle circumstances due to the new way of remote working, global economy and financial and personal priorities.
    1 point
  25. Sincerest condolences, Brandy. 😪
    1 point
  26. Many clients moving to Panama want to start taking their first steps in the Panamanian banking system, and they always ask me the same questions. It is for this reason that on this occasion I want to talk about banking products in Panama. The Panamanian banking system does not resemble the South American banking system, nor does it resemble or copy the European banking system nor that of the United States. In Panama we are used to take the best of each country and then make our own version. Over the years Panama created its own banking system which I want to explain in general today. What is a Savings Account in Panama? In Europe banks are not paying interests for keeping our money with them. If we remember well a bank lives by using other people's money and makes money that way. There are many ways how the bank can make money from other people's money, but we are not going to talk about that subject this time. When we say that we want a savings account in Panama, it is not the same as a savings account in Germany, nor is it the same as a checking or commercial account. That is to say, the savings account in Panama can be opened by any person, but it does not mean literally that it will be used exclusively to save up money. For the Panamanian banking system you can manage the savings account as you see fit. That is to say, you can use it to receive your salary, to pay the expenses of your household and you can even give the account a commercial use, in case you are an independent entrepreneur or freelancer. It is important to mention that banks in Panama do not distinguish between accounts that are being used for savings, for personal use, or even commercially. It is even possible for a corporation to open a savings account. The bank will pay you interests on your Panamanian savings account. These interests are calculated per year and are paid monthly at the closing date of each month. In Panama, bank accounts are not restricted or limited to a number of monthly transactions, as it is the case with certain banks in the United States where they tell you that you can issue transfers or move your money from one place to another only for a certain number of times. In Panama there is no limit, I can wire as many times as I want from the bank account and I am not charged for it. There will be charges made by the bank for the handling, that is, if I send money abroad from Panama or receive money from abroad into my Panama account. There are also fraud insurances that are basically deducted on a monthly basis, but they are no banking fees charged for the bank account to exist. If you want to withdraw money from your bank account in Panama using your ATM card (tarjeta clave) it is recommended that you use an ATM of the bank where you have your account. Otherwise, banks usually charge a small fee for the use of the ATM. In Europe there are still banks that offer savings passbooks, which are exclusively for personal savings. This modality existed in Panama, but was discontinued. Perhaps a reference of this can be found in the state bank called Caja de Ahorros de Panama. Bank interests are not taxable in Panama. In Panama the updated Tax Code states that interests recognized or paid on savings, fixed-term deposits or any other type of account held in banking institutions physically established in the Republic of Panama, whether they are local or foreign deposits, will not be subject to income tax in Panama, according to the definition provided in article two of Cabinet Decree 238 of 1970. What is the difference between a Savings Account and a Checking Account in Panama? A savings account pays interests, but a checking account does not pay interests. A checking account is entitled to a check book, which will be charged separately by most banks. This type of account exists practically for doing business or execute commercial activities. The conditions to open a savings account in Panama reduce the initial deposit amount, as it is a savings account, but when it is a checking account the initial deposit is higher. This initial deposit cannot be withdrawn and must always be kept as a minimum monthly balance of the checking account. Otherwise the bank will penalize you. What types of cards exist in Panama? The three most common types of cards issued by banks in Panama are: ATM cards, debit cards (with Visa or MasterCard logo, etc.) and credit cards. ATM cards are exclusively connected to a savings account. This type of card only works in Panama and the bank handling fees are very low. This card usually has no name, some have numbers, some do not have much information, this is normal. They can be used to withdraw money at any ATM nationwide or to pay in supermarkets or stores by using a PIN number. Debit cards with Visa, MasterCard or other logos basically work like a prepaid credit card, i.e. you pay with your own deposited money, but without entering a PIN code, but like a credit card; However, the card has no credit line. If the bank account that is connected to this debit card does not have sufficient funds, the card will be rejected. Credit Cards in Panama Credit cards in Panama works like the credit cards in the United States, this means, the bank opens a credit line for a specific amount depending on your income. The bank will lend you that money and with that money you pay with the card. The money the bank lends you is not connected to your savings or checking account. The bank will give you 30 days to pay back the money. In the practice the bank will give you the opportunity to pay back the amount well before the 30 days, but they will not tell you until the end of the month. Then the bank can charge you a monthly interest for the money you borrowed. Mismanagement of a credit card can create indebtedness. If you pay the full amount spent on the card before the closing date, you owe the bank nothing. If you don't, you must make at least the minimum monthly payment to be “in good standing” with your obligations to the bank. And so the monthly cycle begins again. In Panama there exists the Panamanian Credit Association (APC) which registers the credit and service relationships that a person maintains. Based on this registry the banks investigate and verify your degree of indebtedness. Therefore, banks may contact you to offer you more banking services and products. In Panama it is normal for people to keep three, four or five bank accounts since each bank can offer them different products and services in competition with other banks and there are banks that will offer to pay you better interest rates than others. It is well known that in Europe people often stay with one bank for 40 years, this practice is not the same in Panama. Online Banking in Panama Banks in Panama also offer online banking, many with their own mobile APP. We recommend that when you are opening your bank account in Panama you do not leave the bank until a bank officer helps you get the online banking running and your card activated. There are banks in Panama that do not invest much in the quality of customer service and although they offer to pay good interests and have a nice selection of banking products they are very deficient in customer service. So, if you are abroad, getting the bank to help you with Online Banking is going to be a problem. Digital Banks and Fintech Banks In Panama there are no Fintech banks. For this reason banks with banking licenses are very jealous and for this reason there are banks that will not accept to receive international transfers from Fintech banks (like Wise, formerly known as Transferwise). Fintech banks as we know are digital banks that are very economical and have zero maintenance costs because they do not exist physically in one place and do not have employees in an office offering walk-in customer service, and therefore they can compete. These Fintech banks are distinguished by handling multiple currencies in a single account and thus compete with the fees of physical banks. But as everywhere in the world, demand creates new services and products and we might see some interesting changes in the Panamanian banking market in the future. What is your experience with the banking system in Panama? Send me your questions!
    1 point
  27. You are looking at a vintage UCHIKAKE Wedding Coat Kimono. It is silk with Cranes embroidered using metallic and satin threads. Uchikake are the outer layer of a traditional bridal kimono that don't get tied by the obi. They are quite long and are meant to trail along the ground slightly , the hem is padded to prevent wear. The ladies holding the edges show you some perspective of the size. The kimono is highly decorative with auspicious images such as in this one with Cranes. In Japan, Cranes are traditionally believed to live 1000 years. They are a symbol of longevity. This wedding coat has never been used albeit vintage. It is in great condition with no signs of age or wear or use. It has been donated to the Handicap Foundation by a lady who purchased it more than 35 years ago. It is clean and does not have any odor. It is lined in red satin interior and trim. Your purchase includes the bamboo display frame. The dimensions are: 76" long 52" arm to arm 26" armpit to armpit. Similar wedding kimonos are advertised on Ebay for about $500 plus expensive shipping. The Boquete Handicap Foundation would like to receive $300 for this beautiful item. Email Penny at pjbarrett@aol.com or text WhatsAp 6510-8934.
    1 point
  28. I am stunned and majorly disappointed that Newsboquete would distribute such an announcement. Yes, I do care about the children. This announcement is basically inviting all of the Newsboquete readers to participate in a public protest. When I got my residency I was warned not to get involved in Panamanian politics because it can lead to losing residency status and being deported. Protest if you wish, but just know that you are placing at risk your status here in your guest country.
    1 point
  29. Who in their right mind would go to the Fish House Restaurant in downtown Boquete and not eat fish? During many years enjoying their fish and chips I kept hearing people talk about their beef meals -- hamburgers, steaks, etc. So, a couple of months ago I ordered the cheese steak. Now, I have to tell you I've had Philly Cheese Steaks from the original provider in Philadelphia. Never did I expect a sandwich so big and so delicious. Chock full of tender beef, sauteed onions and green peppers. It was delicious and very inexpensive. I've now had 4 occasions to order this sandwich and I can never eat it all. It's a delicious lunch the next day. The Fish House is a wonderful little restaurant right on the river. The atmosphere is welcoming, the waitress is wonderful, and the prices are dirt cheap.
    1 point
  30. Thanks Bud. I'll try it tomorrow for Friday's hike.
    1 point
  31. With the aim of increasing investment in the country and creating a positive impact to the economy hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government of Panama has approved the creation of five new free trade zones in the country, generating a combined investment of US$21.9 millions and more than 10,000 jobs. Some of the free zones are investments of Panamanian entrepreneurs and others of foreigners. The new free trade zones authorized will be located in the provinces of Panama, Chiriqui and Herrera. Three of them will be dedicated to agribusiness, with the objective of becoming important sources of economic growth in vulnerable regions of the country and at the same time strengthening the national logistics supply, knowledge transfer and the incorporation of new technologies in the productive processes. Two facilities will be built in the eastern area of the province of Panama, the Panama Agroindustrial Free Trade Zone (Pacora) and the Aristos Free Trade Zone (Chepo, Puerto Coquira). The Panama Agroindustrial Free Trade Zone will be the largest free trade zone in the country, promoting year-round commercial agricultural production, incorporating the concept of vertical farming and thus lowering water consumption by 95% compared to field production. The objective of the Aristos Free Trade Zone is to promote the agricultural and fishing sector in the area, to support the various production sectors to offer their products in the national and international market, and to increase exports of national products and create new opportunities for the border area with Colombia. In Panama Centro, Zone 1 of the Juan Díaz Terminal will be built, a warehouse for merchandise, manufacturing and logistics activities. In Pesé (province of Herrera), the Las Cabras Free Trade Zone will be installed focusing on agroindustrial activities (fruit processing, production of organic fertilizers, production of high-end liquors, etc.), creation of a productive chain cluster, biomass processing, and management and treatment of urban waste as a source of energy generation. In the province of Chiriquí (Bugaba), the construction of the Global Logistic Free Trade Zone was authorized, targeting companies related to international trade to Central America.
    1 point
  32. We shopped at this wonderful fruit/vegetable stand again yesterday. Getting to be one of our favorite places to purchase great produce. Clean, well displayed items, and the guys working there are helpful, speak English and are so friendly. Best prices in the area. Suggest you arrive early for best selections. (P.S.... I found picture-perfect broccoli and carrots plus onions.) Bananas and papaya ready for eating. Plenty of parking, too !! Good addition to Boquete.
    1 point
  33. Boquete is listed as "GAP" in English. This has Always been the translation for Boquete.
    1 point
  34. BCP Community Chats are held in Boquete Library, on the top floor, starting at 11:00
    1 point
  35. We bank at Multibank (the Boquete branch) and are quite happy with the ability to get US funds into our Multibank account, with no fees involved, and completed in five business days. When posting previously about our experience in getting US funds into Panama we have been "blasted". Some people say it is not possible. Well, I no longer try to refute other people's claims. All I can do is to tell you that we can deposit a US check (up to $3,000.00 at a time), and the funds are immediately on deposit, but with a "hold". That "hold" is five business days for us. There are no fees involved. I typically see the check clear our US bank on day two, but occasionally on day three. I am not concerned about where my money is because I can see it. The fact that I cannot withdraw for five business days has never been an issue for us. After the five business days I can do that process all over again (but rarely have done that). We believe that the five business day may be a result that we have been in Boquete a long time (almost 20 years for me), and we are both cedula carrying residents, AND we own property and Multibank is aware of our "permanent" residential (homeowner) status. No, Multibank is/was not involved in funding the construction of our home. I think the bottom line is that we have good banking "history" here. This last paragraph is pure supposition on my part. The first two paragraphs are fact.
    1 point
  36. From the album: Brundageba's Photo Album

    Merry encapsulated Christmas ! ( Bill's card to Alison)
    1 point
  37. From the album: Brundageba's Photo Album

    My card for Bill this Christmas 2020
    1 point
  38. JOIN IN THE SPIRIT OF GIVING THIS CHRISTMAS!!! Dear friends! Dog Camp wants to wish you a Merry Christmas in this difficult time that many people are going through. DogCamp has 43 dogs right now, waiting for 2 new rescued dogs that are coming tomorrow, 10 dogs that we have in great foster homes, 15 dogs we are feeding every day that live in the streets. So, we are helping 70 dogs right now! If you are an ANIMAL LOVER... we invite you to make a difference for these animals. Please help us to continue helping them, without you, this will be impossible!! How can you contribute to DogCamp? We have many ways: Adopt a dog Foster a dog Sponsor a dog Make a donation by paypal, using this link https://paypal.me/kirstenmiaquimby and please mention DOGCAMP Make a donation to our DogCamp jar at La Granja Boquetena Buy dog food at La Granja Boquetena Buy our nice stuff at La Granja Boquetena since colorful bracelets, great bags, beautiful cloth masks, face shields masks, coffee cups, key holders, magnets and more!!!! Coming soon we will have great DogCamp shirts and coffee cups! Please make this Christmas special for these dogs!!! If you need more info about DogCamp, please contact us dogcampboquete@gmail.com Thank you!!! DOG CAMP
    1 point
  39. Tuesdays are mens' days. I don't think the market can declare the 29th a womens' day.
    1 point
  40. With our first step inside David Airport for our first trip (Friday, November 27th) since the pandemic began, we were stopped by an attendant using a camera-like device to take individual’s temperature. Then it was a very long walk to board the COPA flight. After arriving at Panama a bus ride (20 passengers per trip) delivered us inside terminal. We had no luggage to claim, so we went immediately to taxi pick-up area. Very few passengers in Tocumen Airport. Boarding return flight was time consuming with attendant taking forehead temperature and carefully checking all hand-carry items. No food service; each passenger was given a plastic bag containing chips and bottle of water. Arriving in David, passengers were deplaned one row at a time. Walked to terminal and formed four rows waiting to pick up baggage. Only ten passengers were allowed at a time to obtain luggage from the carousel. No visitors allowed inside terminal. So guess where visitors, friends, and taxi personnel were waiting? On sidewalk outside the one exit door that was unlocked and allowed to be used! What a crowded mess! Airline passengers could not push their way through the crowd, and so could not exit the terminal building. Scary for several minutes until people finally moved away from exit doors. No Covid-19 test required for flights between David and Panama City.
    1 point
  41. Some will be familiar with today’s topic: Traveling with Children. In fact, taking a car, especially when the children are young, means carrying more luggage than passenger space in the car. But things don’t get easier when taking an international flight. In the practice, it means that you will need additional legal documents, such as valid passports, certificates, and others to have a pleasant and smooth trip. Traveling with Children: Are there any special documents I should bring? If your child does not have residency in Panama and only enters the country as a tourist there is not much to think about. You only need to have the child’s valid passport to pass the immigration control. But, it is highly recommended to bring a birth certificate (duly apostilled), just in case. Are there special requirements if my child is a resident of Panama? If your child has a Panamanian passport or residence permit (either temporary or permanent), you must present the child’s valid passport and residence card (immigration ID card) at the border control of Panama. Additionally, you must have a birth certificate (duly apostilled) and translated into Spanish. What happens if I travel alone with my child and the other parent does not accompany us on the trip? If you are traveling alone with your child and the other parent does not accompany you on the trip, you require a “Permiso de Salida de Menores de Edad del País” (Permission for Minors to Leave the Country). In order to leave Panama and pass the Panamanian border control with a minor who holds a Panamanian passport or resident status in Panama the consent of both parents is required. In the event that one or both parents do not accompany the minor on the trip, the National Immigration Service of Panama requests a series of documents to protect the life and integrity of the minor. How can I apply for a “Permiso de Salida de Menores de Edad del País”? In the past, it was enough to present a simple authorization from the other parent, but a few years ago the National Immigration Service of Panama changed the requirements and turned the process into an online procedure: Step 1: Go to www.migracion.gob.pa and select the migration online icon. Step 2: In the application option click on “Permisos de Menores”. Step 3: Read the requirements carefully and then fill out the application. The necessary documents depend on and vary according to each family's individual situation. Step 4: Attach the required documents, birth certificate or cédula juvenil to the online application form. Once completed, save the application number. Step 5: Print the application and make a copy of all the documentation submitted. Take everything to a Notary Public and legalize the signature(s) on the application. Step 6: On the day of the trip you should have all the original documents and a set of copies at hand. What do I need if I am traveling alone with my child and the other parent is abroad? The procedure is the same as described above. In this case, you must present the original or an authenticated copy of the authorization issued abroad. The same must be duly legalized, either by means of Apostille or Authentication through a Panamanian Embassy or Consulate abroad. Remember these requirements only apply if your child has a Panamanian passport or permanent or temporary residence permit in Panama. For foreign children with tourist status, it is not necessary to apply for any permission. Likewise, for foreign resident children, the “Permiso de Salida de Menores de Edad del País” is only required if the child is traveling with only one parent or a third person (grandparents, etc.). Safe traveling and enjoy your stay in Panama!
    1 point
  42. No disrespect to ACCB which has done wonderful work raising money for local charities . . . . however, I don't think it's right that they are calling the theater in the Tap Out building "the ACCB theater". BCP built that theater. They put thousands and thousands of dollars and uncountable man hours of labor into that theater. I think that contribution should be respected by calling it the BCP theater.
    1 point
  43. When making a trip from your country of origin to Panama, each traveler or family traveling together has a limit of cash that they can take with them which is $9,999.99. If you travel with cash exceeding $10,000, and you do not duly declare it at Customs, the total amount of money can be taken away. This modality is called "Commission of a Customs Fraud Crime" or even smuggling. The reason is mainly that by not declaring the "extra" amount of money, the customs authorities assume that the intention is to harm the tax interests of the country or even to use that money for illegal purposes. Therefore, the sworn statement that is signed to confirm the amounts is a legal document, and the declaration of "false" facts is a crime. In addition to that, if you cannot prove the origin of the funds to the authorities, for example through an income tax return, bank account, or some other means that prove the origin of the money and the use that will be given to it, the respective authority will automatically think that money is supposed to be used for illegal purposes. Many times language barriers prevent us from explaining ourselves easily. If the origin of the funds is not confirmed, the customs authorities will confiscate the total amount of the money and in addition to that, they may initiate a criminal investigation. By not declaring the origin of the funds at customs, you may have legal problems and even be prevented by the competent authority from leaving the country, until the investigation is completed. Do not sign if you do not understand what you are signing In Panama the customs declaration is made by using a form under oath of the traveler, at the moment of your entrance to the territory of Panama (the airport). I personally received that form at one time in English, sometimes in Spanish. Please do not sign if you do not understand what you are signing. It is a binding legal document and no matter how simple the form looks, the problems behind not understanding what you are signing are bigger than they seem. If you don't understand the language, please ask the flight attendant to give you one that you can understand, and if you don't speak English either, ask for help at customs when you arrive at the airport. In our practice we have seen cases where clients traveled with different currencies and had not noticed that the total amount of cash exceeded ten thousand dollars and not understanding what they signed or thinking that the limit applies per person and not per family, the money was confiscated. Do you want to know what the government of Panama does with the money confiscated in Customs every year? I don't think you're going to like it, but I'll tell you. The Law in Panama stipulates that all the money collected by travelers who did not declare their money in Customs, a part of it will be distributed among all the Customs officers at the national level, as a bonus for their work – as some kind of war booty (...); the rest of the money will be distributed among other institutions in Panama, as money for their operations budget. The authority confiscates quickly, but when they have to return the money the process is very slow and nerve-racking. It must be proven to the customs judge that the money is not illegal, and there was never any intention of violating the customs law, but to make investments in the country, that you have a connection with Panama (not as a tourist, but as a resident or potential resident in the country), maybe even a business, and that you pay your taxes in Panama. Remember, that "ignorance of the law does not exempt from responsibility". So, keep learning and informing yourself, and in case of any doubt ask your trusted lawyer, who will surely be happy to help you. Have a nice trip and safe travel!
    1 point
  44. The President of Panama created a new Golden Visa for Panama to encourage foreign investment in the country. Unlike the existing immigration categories, this new permanent residence permit has four important advantages: 1. VIP counter for the reception and analysis of the Golden Visa. 2. Processing of the application in a maximum period of 30 working days. 3. Option of presenting the application without personal presence in Panama. 4. One-time application with the right to permanent residence permit and E-card (“cédula”). How is the new Golden Visa different from other existing investor visas? Something very interesting about this application is the fact that it can be presented by a Panamanian lawyer without the personal presence of the applicant. Until now, in order to apply for a residence permit in Panama under the different immigration categories, it was mandatory to personally appear with your lawyer before the immigration offices. However, for the new Golden Visa, the National Immigration Service of Panama will be creating a special department to receive these applications, like a VIP counter. Additionally, the government is required to process the application in a maximum period of 30 working days. Therefore, the applications may be submitted through an attorney, before the applicant and his or her dependents travel to Panama. Once the applicants arrive in Panama they must comply with the normal passport registration process in order to receive their migration ID card. It is innovative that such legal procedures can be managed remotely, without being physically present in Panama. We hope that this type of positive change will be replicated for other categories and processes as well. Unlike the other existing investor categories, the Golden Visa offers the opportunity to obtain permanent residency in Panama with a one-time application, conditioned to the investment being maintained for a minimum period of five years (which will be verified annually by the government). If the investment ceases to exist before the fulfillment of this term, it will result in the cancellation of the permanent residency granted. What are the requirements to qualify as a Golden Visa investor? In addition to the basic requirements such as police record, health certificate, government expenses among others, proof of an investment made in Panama with funds from a foreign source is required. There are three investment categories for the Golden Visa: 1.Real Estate Investment 2.Investments made through a Panamanian brokerage house 3.Investment in fixed deposits (CD) with a Panamanian bank. The minimum investment in real estate must be USD$300,000 (free of liens). If the property has a higher value, the surplus may be financed through a mortgage loan granted by a bank or financial institution in Panama. After two years (i.e. from November 2022) the required minimum amount for real estate investment increases to USD$500,000. Besides the purchase of a real estate property there are other investment options in order to qualify for the Panama Golden Visa, for example: Real estate investment through a sales promise for USD$500,000 made through a trust deposit managed by a bank or trustee in Panama; Investments made through a brokerage house in Panama for a minimum amount of USD$500,000; Investment in a fixed deposit (CD) with a Panamanian bank for a minimum amount of USD$750,000. This deposit must be free of any encumbrances. Promising investment opportunities for a Plan B Housing trends are changing. The experience due to the current situation takes people away from city centers, in search of unique spaces, but meeting basic needs such as access to fresh water, electricity, and fast internet connection (to be able to work remotely). Although Panama City is a dynamic and modern city, much of the interior of Panama remains quiet and unexploited. But it is not only the location that will influence investors’ decisions when purchasing overseas. The second important point to consider is residence. In order to stay a significant amount of time in a country or move to a part-time or second home abroad, a residence permit is required. When countries began to close their borders, tourists were the first group to be blocked. But in the case of Panama, foreign residents were allowed to enter at all times. Now for the first time, the opportunity was created to obtain a permanent residence permit remotely through an attorney. Opportunities arise from crises. Panama is considered a "safe haven” in the region. Despite the immediate economic contraction, Panama continues to be the strongest economic power in Latin America and the outlook for recovery (according to the risk rating agency Moody's) is positive (BAA1). Real estate investors are well advised to follow the development in the country closely, as the new price environment together with the appropriate strategy, creates space for very interesting investment opportunities.
    1 point
  45. Jim, do you have any documents saying the loan application was pulled from IMF was NOT for Covid19?
    1 point
  46. Dear Christine, Currently there are two types of diagnostic tests: 1. Molecular (PCR) tests and 2. Antigen tests. Both are acceptable to the Ministry of Health in Panama. There are several new diagnostic test methods available, including rapid tests (point-of-care diagnostic tests) where results may be available in minutes. These rapid tests (POC) may be molecular (PCR) or antigen tests. For further information see the Coronavirus Testing Basic published by the FDA: https://www.fda.gov/media/138094/download Best regards, Abel Gomez
    1 point
  47. The lockdowns around the world have disrupted supply lines, and folks are now playing catch-up. The US west coast ports are suddenly very busy, eastbound transpacific cargo rates are at high levels, the container manufacturers are booked solid through next February. Retailers stocking for Christmas are behind schedule. Coats has 60 manufacturing plants around the world, but none in the US, and I imagine they too are playing catch-up with Amazon and all their other US customers.
    1 point
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