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  1. Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (January 18, 2022) Event: Travel Advisory – Panama Level 4: Do Not Travel Do not travel to Panama due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Panama due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC's specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Panama. Do not travel to: Parts of the Mosquito Gulf due to crime. Parts of the Darién Region due to crime. Read the country information page. If you decide to travel to Panama: See the U.S. Embassy's web page regarding COVID-19. Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter. Review the Country Security Report for Panama. U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist. Parts of the "Mosquito Gulf" – Do Not Travel The “Mosquito Gulf” is an extremely remote and inaccessible area along part of the north (Caribbean) coast. Do not travel within 10 miles of the coastline, from Boca de Rio, Chiriqui to Cocle del Norte. Drug trafficking and other illicit activities occur in this area. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in this region as U.S. government personnel must obtain prior approval before traveling there and face additional restrictions before such travel is approved. Parts of the Darién Region – Do Not Travel Do not travel to the following areas of the Darien: All areas south of Jaque to Manene to Yaviza to Lajas Blancas cities to the Colombian border The city of Lajas Blancas The city of El Salto Criminal elements and drug and human trafficking networks operate in these areas. Police presence and emergency response are extremely limited. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these regions as U.S. government personnel must obtain prior approval before traveling there and face additional restrictions before such travel is approved. Assistance: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama +507 317-5000 Panama-ACS@state.gov https://pa.usembassy.gov/ State Department - Consular Affairs +1 (888)407-4747 or +1 (202)501-4444 Panama Country Information
  2. 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!
  3. 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…”
  4. The experience of traveling abroad in the midst of COVID-19 regulations means a challenge for many...in fact I recommend a lot of patience because each country has its own system of how to deal with the pandemic. That is why in this blog I want to give you recommendations given from my own experience in order for you to enjoy your trip to Panama. First, when you purchase your flight ticket to Panama and have your flight confirmation from the airline, you have to register online before making your trip to Panama; the system generates a QR code, thus letting the Panamanian health authorities know where you will be staying during your trip. Here is the Link: https://www.panamadigital.gob.pa/RegistroPacoViajero Remember that if you are traveling from Europe, the flight is long and the validity of the COVID-19 test may be compromised and the airline may not accept it and worse, may not let you board the flight. Also, investigate in time all necessary requirements not only of your destination country, but also of the country where you will make a stopover or transfer (if applicable). For example if you travel with KLM via Amsterdam to Panama you will need a PCR test (even if you have a connecting flight only). I recommend that two days before your trip (taking into account that the validity of a PCR test is 72 hours), you take the PCR test which normally gives you the result in 12 hours, but there are others that take a little longer. In order to avoid any stress, it is better to take the required test in time. This PCR test will help you to transfer through Holland or another EU country without any problem. However, when you arrive in Panama the PCR test will already be expired. To enter Panama you can also present an antigen or rapid test (according to current regulations, as of today June 11th 2021). Therefor I recommend that the same day you travel, you take an antigen test (at the airport of departure) and the result is given to you in 15 to 30 minutes. With this you can be sure that you will not have any problems when arriving in Panama. Always have at hand in a small trolley or handbag your passport, your airline ticket (which I recommend to have in your cell phone as a photo, pdf and also printed), the required COVID-19 exams (with a copy in your cell phone as a photo or pdf and also printed), because you will always be asked these documents about 10 times throughout your trip. In one of my trips I overheard while waiting in line for the boarding of the plane that an airport official complained to another passenger why he only had the COVID-19 exams on his mobile phone, that he should have them printed out as well, but that is not true, since it depends on the airport and the country, as well as the airline, it is not always necessary to have the printed documentation, but as I explained, better forewarned and be prepared than to have a bad time. Every airport has temperature control at each location, whether in Europe or Panama. As a general rule there are thermal cameras that scan the temperature of all passengers. Once you arrive in Panama you will have to wait in line and wait for your turn to get off the plane, then you will be transported to the airport terminal, and once inside you will be asked again for the COVID-19 test. As I said, be careful that they are not expired. Then you will have to go to get your luggage, which is usually coming out on the right hand side (flights from Europe). Just follow the corridor and you will see the lines, as well as the signs going down some stairs; there you will be asked again for the COVID-19 test and passport, but now, it is to register you in a database (confirming the online registration that you had already made prior to your trip). After passing the passport control (take the left row for tourists, and the right row for foreign residents and Panamanians), you will need to pick up your luggage. Be guided by the signs of the origin of your flight. At the exit of the airport you will feel the humid Caribbean heat, it will take you a few days to get used to it. Don't be surprised if people come up to you offering to help you with your suitcase and bags, asking you if you want a cab. I do not recommend taking one. Cab drivers' fares are very high, i.e. they can charge you between 20, 30 and 50 US dollars. Be careful because free competition of supply and demand rules in Panama. What I do recommend is that you install an UBER application on your cell phone, make sure you have internet connection on your phone because you can take an UBER and it will cost you a fraction of what you would pay in a normal cab, and you will be more comfortable. If you come with a lot of luggage a $21 UBER is enough room to get to your hotel using the highway. Remember that mobile data roaming in the EU is no problem, but when you arrive in Panama you may not have internet. When you arrive you will be able to buy a Sim card. Buy a non-contract prepaid one. A recharge of 20 to 25 US dollars is enough to have internet connection. Google maps will help you a lot to know how to move around Panama. To avoid internet connection problems you can download offline maps of Panama on google maps. However, if you travel to Chiriqui, you will be asked to take an antigen test before you leave the province again. If you travel by plane this test will be done by the Ministry of Health at the airport in David. There is also a private laboratory at the Tocumen airport when traveling abroad. The rapid test result will be delivered to you in about 30 minutes. However, PCR tests are not done at neither of the two airports. Nevertheless there are laboratories in Panama City and David that will help you to get your PCR COVID-19 exam for travel purposes on time, either express in 5 hours, or standard processing time between 12 to 24 hours. On your return to Europe if you travel with KLM please note that the Netherlands requires registration as well, here is the link: https://www.government.nl/documents/publications/2021/05/26/quarantine-declaration). Be well informed before organizing your trip and buying your airline ticket, each country and airport has its own rules and requirements. Have a safe trip, I see you soon!
  5. 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!
  6. The government of Panama has created over the years more than 50 immigration categories to facilitate the immigration of foreign professionals, investors, entrepreneurs, family members, or retirees. In recent years, Panama has become a popular emigration destination. The constant economic growth, the warmth of the locals, the pleasant climate, the extensive beaches, as well as attractive investment opportunities, and the US dollar as local currency are among the many advantages that Panama offers newcomers. The six most common residence permits in Panama, either as a part-time resident or to stay permanently in the country are: Retire in Panama: "Jubilado Pensionado" visa. The "Friendly Nations" Visa Especially for Italians: "Convenio Panama - Italia" For investors: "Golden Visa” Application for family reunification "Dependiente de Residente Permanente" Panama "Marriage Visa” Step by step: How to get your residence permit We have listed for you the steps to apply for a residence permit in Panama below. The individual procedures may vary in detail depending on the immigration category and the personal situation of each client: Step #1: Choosing a lawyer and first contact: The Immigration Law in Panama requires that all applications for residence permits in the previously mentioned immigration categories must be submitted by a licensed attorney in Panama. Step #2: Which Immigration category fits you: Together with your attorney you select which category suits you best and which are the required documents. Step #3: Compilation of documents: Collect all necessary documents and papers required for the application. Pay attention to the validity of the various documents and take care of the necessary certifications (apostille) in time. Step #4: Review of documents: It is best to email all documents and papers to the lawyer in Panama in advance for review in order to be sure that everything is complete and nothing is missing. At the same time, the documents can already be forwarded for translation in Panama. Step #5: Trip to Panama: Once all documents are ready, a personal trip to Panama is necessary to complete your file and submit the application in person together with your lawyer. Step #6: Completion of your file: Once you have arrived in Panama you will meet with your lawyer and hand over all original documents, sign the lawyer's power of attorney and any other documents necessary, make copies of your passport, fill out the immigration forms, get your health certificate and any other procedure where your personal presence is required. Step #7: Filing your application at the immigration office: As a rule, the file must be complete and all applicants must be present in person in order to submit the application. Step #8: Registration of the passport ("registro de pasaporte"): The registration of the passport is done in advance online by your lawyer. During the application process, all information is checked again and an immigration officer stamps the registration stamp ("sello de registro") in the passport of each applicant. Step #9: Temporary migration card ("carné de migración"): Once the application has been submitted, your status in Panama also changes. You are no longer considered a "tourist" but a "resident". All applicants receive an identity card from the immigration office. This card is valid for six months (enough time to process the application within this period). A photo is taken on-site for the ID card. From now on your migration ID card must be shown at passport control every time you enter or leave Panama. Step #10: Multiply Visa ("visa multiple"): The multiple entry and exit visa is a stamp in the passport that allows you to enter and exit Panama while your residence permit application is being processed. The multiply visa is valid for six months (just like the migration ID card). The Immigration Department takes about 48 hours to issue the Multiply Visa. They will hold your passport for this period. Foreigners (with ongoing immigration proceedings) who leave Panama without having a Multiply Visa stamped in their passport, or whose Multiply Visa has expired, must pay a fine of 2,000.00 US dollars (per person) to the Immigration Department upon re-entry into Panama. Step #11: Processing your application: Upon receipt of the application, the National Immigration Service assigns a case number to the file and transfers it internally to the responsible department in Panama City. After the application has been successfully processed by the responsible caseworker, the decision ("resolución") is reviewed by the head of the department. Then the Director of Immigration signs your resolution and the file finally moves to the Notifications Department. The processing of the application usually takes three to four months. Step #12: Receiving your residence permit and a second trip to Panama: Once the residence permit has been approved, you will be notified by your lawyer. A second trip to Panama is required in order to undergo the notification process and obtain your new migration ID card. Upon completion of this procedure, you will be allowed to stay in the country permanently or temporarily, depending on your immigration category. Foreigners who hold permanent residence status in Panama can also apply for a Panamanian identity card (Panama E-card or Cédula E) at the Civil Registry (Tribunal Electoral). This process is a separate procedure and is not done automatically as part of the application process. The application for the Cédula E must be submitted separately and the decision is forwarded internally by the Immigration Department to the Tribunal Electoral. Subsequently, an appointment at the Tribunal Electoral is required to verify the personal data of the applicant and to take a photo for the Cédula E. The Cédula E is not printed immediately and will be available for pick-up after approximately two to three weeks. It is not mandatory to have a Cédula E. However, in daily life, it facilitates many administrative, legal and/or business procedures such as opening a bank account. Furthermore, the Cédula E is a prerequisite to register with the tax authorities in Panama and to apply for a personal tax number.
  7. 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!
  8. 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!
  9. Traveling to Panama: New Entry Requirements Starting October 12th Panama is reopening for international visitors, reactivating international flights, tourist activities, hotels, and more. At the same time, there are new entry regulations and COVID-19 precautions that all travelers must comply with upon arrival in Panama. Upon arrival to the country every national, resident or foreigner must present a negative PCR Test Certificate or antigen, no older than 48 hours. By complying with this measure established by the Ministry of Health of Panama, the traveler will be able to enter the country without having to fulfill any type of mandatory quarantine. If the traveler upon arrival in Panama City, does not carry a PCR Test Certificate or antigen the person will be required to perform a rapid test at the international Tocumen airport (prior to passport control). Depending on the result of the rapid test, the following measures will be applied: If the result of the rapid test is negative, the traveler is exempt from any mandatory quarantine. If the PCR test is positive, the person must be placed in mandatory isolation in a hotel hospital designated by the Ministry of Health. After 7 days, another test will be performed. If the result is positive, the 14-day quarantine must be completed. If the result of the second test is negative, the quarantine is terminated. The failure to comply with the established provisions will be sanctioned by the competent authorities. These measures established by the Ministry of Health of Panama will come into effect as of October 12, 2020 and will be in force until December 31, 2020, with the possibility of extending them.
  10. I have just completed planning and purchasing airline tickets for a month long visit to multiple cities in the US. Using the Internet to do so is a must and can be an exhausting process. If you are looking for the best deals with cheapest prices, things have changed in recent years. It used to be a quick visit to (Oribiz.com, Expedia.com, or Travelocity.com ) would be a great place to compare fares and find a good deal. Then, over time I noticed that sometimes going direct to the actual airline website gave a better deal or other flights that were not advertised. That made the process of getting the best deal a lot of work. There have been many other websites that advertise "cheap tickets". Visiting most of those is even more time consuming and rarely did I find better deals. That all changed when I have discovered two websites that gave significantly different and better information when planning a trip with cheaper airfares. The first one is called Sky Scanner. https://www.skyscanner.com/tips-and-inspiration/best-time-to-book-usa Not only do they give great pricing deals, they have a tool that shows how many weeks in advance to book plus many tools to find the very best deal. I used it extensively and was impressed with the volume and detail information available. We planned many one-way hops and the prices varied greatly. It is now my "go-to" website for getting airfare information, tho I often still book with the actual airline. The second one is called Skip Lagged https://skiplagged.com/ This site has some useful information but is more aimed at a traveler that does not have and checked luggage. Often times airlines will have flights that are multi-stop and are cheaper than direct flights to one of the layover points. I never understood why flying further was less expensive - can't we just pay by the air mile? For example, say you wanted to fly from Atlanta to Denver. The airfare for that direct flight might be more expensive than a flight that goes from Atlanta to Portland, with a layover in Denver. So you could purchase the longer flight to Portland but you would not board the plane for the second leg from Denver to Portland, thereby getting to Denver on a cheaper airfare. This would not work if you had checked luggage since your luggage would go all the way to Portland. On the other hand it provides a useful option for some people. They also give a very interesting graph of airfare prices between now and when you plan to go, helping you see when the cheapest times are to fly. So, if you are planning a flight, I would suggest checking out these two sites. Then book direct with the airline or take the information to your favorite travel agent. I have easily saved almost $1,000 over our extensive trip. I only wish I had learned of these tools earlier.
  11. until
    You are invited to the ultimate Equinox renewal retreat! Just a few spaces are still available on this intimate soul voyage as we... -- Realign with the rhythms of nature deep in the untouched cloud forests of Panama. Epic prehistoric foliage, waterfalls and rivers will guide us. -- Harness the sacred Spring Equinox energy available as we plant the final seeds of intention and desire in our 2018 gardens. -- Awaken every layer of BEing with ancient wisdom and modern practices in mindfulness, movement, plant medicine and energy healing. _______________________________ WHAT'S IN STORE? -- Daily Hatha yoga flow -- Daily guided meditation -- Reiki Level 1 Certification with emphasis on crystal healing and plant medicine -- 60 minute healing therapeutic massage + sauna -- Guided waterfall + river hike -- Entrance to Orchid reserve with over 2,000 varieties -- Crystal and Herbal Toolkit to support your practice at home -- Locally-sourced organic vegetarian meals. ALL Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners included -- 4 nights accomodations in a virgin cloud forest. It's pure magic and potent energy! _______________________________ CURRICULUM OF WELLBEING Awakening Physical Wellbeing Daily Hatha Yoga Flow Our body is communicating with us every moment of every day, quietly (yet persistently!) giving signs and signals of where it is functioning at its absolute best and where it could use a little help. In our daily Hatha flow, we will first learn how to clear away static in the channels of communication and tune into the infinite wisdom of our body. Then, we will explore kind, intentional, powerful movements to support physical wellbeing. The result is an immediate alleviation of tension, stress and dis-ease, and an awakening of vibrant energy. *** Awakening Mental + Emotional Wellbeing Primoridal Sound Meditation Learn an ancient meditation practice that is scientifically proven to reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, improve overall health, reverse the seeds of illness, expand self-awareness, increase brain function, super-charge innovation, and inspire creative problem solving and allow you to live with unshakeable compassion for yourself and others. Together, we'll dispel the misconceptions about meditation, and help you develop a daily mindfulness practice that will support you all year long. *** Awakening Spiritual + Energetic Wellbeing Reiki Level I Certification with Crystal Healing An immersion for those ready to advance on their Spiritual path and serve themselves and the world by accessing this powerful energy-healing modality. Reiki means "Universal Life Force Energy" which comes from the divine and is connected to every living being. It travels through the practitioner, to heal on all levels – body, mind and spirit. Reiki is a very subtle, warming energy, inducing a state of relaxation and rejuvenation. It has the ability to harmonize energies, release blockages, accelerate healing, assist in cleansing toxins, treat chronic and acute physical conditions, enhance creativity and develop a deeper self-awareness. We'll learn to harness crystal healing and plant medicine to support our work as healers and practitioners. _______________________________ SOUL INVESTMENT $888 - $1288 Send email to monica@soulbare.com or whatsapp 6643 9543 for cabin availability. _______________________________ ABOUT YOUR GUIDE Monica Graves is an international Speaker, Educator and Retreat Architect who has been studying global health + wellbeing traditions for more than a decade. She spent 7 years as Master Educator and Retreat Host at The Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, CA under the mentorship of Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. David Simon and many other world-renowned visionaries, before launching her company Soulbare Retreats + Lifestyle in 2015. She now travels the world to facilitate adventure retreats, meetings curriculum, and transformational workshops, and is on an unapologetic mission to instigate healthy, whole, purpose-filled living within each and every person she meets. To learn more, visit soulbare.com/myjourney _______________________________ SCHEDULE + SACRED FLOW Day 1 - March 21 5:00pm - Welcome Reception, Orientation and Dinner 7:30pm - Opening Equinox Ceremony Days 2-4 - March 22-24 6:30am - Sunrise Yoga + Meditation 8:00am - Breakfast + Free Time 10:00am - Awakening into Wellbeing Workshop 12:00pm - Lunch + Free Time 3:30pm - Hands-On Reiki Workshop 5:00pm - Evening Meditation 6:00pm - Dinner 7:30pm - Optional Evening Activities Day 5 - March 25 6:30am - Sunrise Yoga + Meditation 8:00am - Breakfast + Time to Pack 10:00am - Reiki Certification Graduation + Closing Ceremony 11:00am - Depart *Schedule is tentative and subject to change as best supports the overall retreat experience.
  12. Does anyone have any information on how many midday flights (12:06 pm PTY-DAV or 3:49 pm DAV-PTY) Copa have been cancelling lately due to weather or too few passengers?
  13. Danny Panama Travels will lead a 6 day 5 night trip from Panama to Havana, Cuba March 30-April 4. Our 1st trip, the week of March 22-27 is sold out, so please contact us soon to reserve a place. Go to our website for all the details...www.dannypanamatravels.com
  14. Come visit Havana,Cuba this March with Danny Panama Travels. March 22-27 OR March 30-April 4 These are two small group tours of 8 people and the 1st trip is already half full. Please contact us asap to reserve your place. Check out our website: http://www.dannypanamatravels.com/cuba-trip.html
  15. Popular trip back to Medellin in December with Danny Panama Travels Come with Danny Panama Travels and visit Medellin in December. We depart Dec 1 and return Dec 5 for a fun filled excursion to the city filled with millions of holiday lights and much, much more. Our trip was so popular in 2015 that we needed to add another week. Go to our website and check us out...http://www.dannypanamatravels.com
  16. https://mebeinpanama.wordpress.com/
  17. From the album: Brundageba's Photo Album

    ...reminds me of Barbados...or maybe cake decoration
  18. From the album: Brundageba's Photo Album

    Limones, Burica penninsula
  19. From the album: Brundageba's Photo Album

    Looking towards the mountains of the interior of Chiriqui from Limones on the Burica penninsula....................
  20. Danny Panama Travels is offering its 2nd trip to Cuba for June 8-14. This trip will be a bit different than the 1st one in April. Please check out our website for all the information. www.dannypanamatravels.com
  21. Danny Panama Travels is taking a small group to Cuba in June! You know you want to go!
  22. Have you ever noticed how people behave when they travel? We were on a plane recently and observed many people undo their seat belt (you can hear the click) as soon as the plane is on the ground but still moving toward the terminal. Then up they jump into the aisle preventing other passengers from reaching luggage and not offering help to elder people struggling to reach into those crowded airplane bins. Of course these people wait in the aisle several minutes until the pilot turns off engines, etc.and parks the aircraft. I see these same people waiting for luggage and standing so close to the carousel no one else can see approaching bags. I've never figured out how standing right next to the carousel is a good idea for everyone. Noticed one female who pushed people aside so she could stand close to the carousel, finally she saw and grabbed her small bag, turned to leave but others would not move so she was trapped while people reached over and around her for their luggage. Poor thing was wild eyed after minutes of this activity. There is one airport (maybe in Germany) where a yellow line on the airport floor marks how close passengers are allowed to stand while waiting for luggage. Everyone can spot their bag on the moving belt, step forward, take their possession, and leave. Pretty efficient method. Another scene in Africa was interesting. All luggage was taken off the airplane and dumped in one big pile. Seemed my lonely bag was always at the bottom of the heap. For my safety, I stood back and waited until other passengers had picked through this display. Funny how my luggage was never taken by mistake. Just my observations of airport behavior.
  23. I notice yesterday that there is a new Air Panama office on Main St next to the AirBox office. I am not sure what services they offer as it was close when I was there.
  24. In transferring from one Copa flight to another in Panama City, we found the staff friendly and helpful. All scheduled flights departed on time! Have heard horror stories about navigating through Tocumen, but we experienced none of this. We have traveled from David to PC via Air Panama, but now find Copa a better choice for meeting our needs.
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