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Warning: Immigration Process Change


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My wife and I ran into an unforeseen and frustrating change in the immigration process this week, during a trip to Panama City to get our permanent visas (Friendly Nation).  At the Immigration office, we did the time-consuming wait in line/get a ticket/wait for number to be called process.  When we were finally called to the designated window, the clerk asked where our attorney is.  She said our attorney must be present for us to proceed.  After going a few rounds with phone calls to our attorney (in David) and our attorney calling the Immigration supervisor, we discovered that this new requirement had been put in place TWO DAYS BEFORE (March 7th), apparently without notifying the attorneys around the country.


When our attorney told the Immigration Supervisor that the attorneys in David did not know about this change, he asked if she could help “spread the word.”  What a great solution.


With a trip to Panama City costing several hundred dollars (airfare, hotel, meals, taxis, etc.), we were not happy about this abrupt and significant rule change.  Fortunately, our attorney figured out a solution where she sent a Power of Attorney to a “helper” (not an attorney) in Panama City the next morning, via Air Panama.  We went back to Immigration the next day, to start the process over again.  The helper met us at Immigration, was able to get us past the “attorney must be present” hurdle (after more haggling) and we were able to complete the process.


IF YOU ARE PLANNING to make the trip to Panama City to do anything at the Immigration office, be sure your attorney checks to see what requirements are currently in place regarding your representation.  I don’t know which transactions have this requirement, whether you can use a different attorney than the one on your paperwork, etc.  Be sure you know before you go.  Don’t find out the hard way.


-Mark Hoenig

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Hi everyone, 
In the last hours we have received a good number of questions regarding an email titled: Immigratin Process change. 
Since we have dedicated a good time answering to our clients, and many of then are stressed out, we consider it appropiate to send the clarification: 
Please know that there is not such thing as a Immigration Process Change. Actually, this is related to the method of each attorney.
At Miranda & Contreras, we have a method to avoid this last minute issue, so we divide into two steps the obtention of the permanent immigration card a Panama city.
In the first step, we do the notification of the visa "without" the client. The idea is that when the client goes to Panama city the client will not run into a delay because the notification process will be already done and all client will do is to have its picture taken.
Also, our clients will have the help of our assistant. None of our clients will go to immigration office in Panama city without one person from our staff.
In addition, we offer transportation arrangement.  Our staff can pick you up  at the airport or hotel, take you to immigration, get the permanent card done, and take you back to the hotel or airport.
We are happy to answer any further questions that you may have about immigration or our methods.
Best regards!
Juan Gabriel Contreras Sánchez
Attorney at Law and Licenced Realtor / Abogado y Corredor de Bienes Raíces.

Boquete: Don Vidal Building, second floor, Office #1, Boquete, Chiriqui, Panamá. 
Panama: Trump Ocean Club, second floor, office wing, Punta Pacifica.
Tel: (507) 730-9113; Cel: (507) 6611-9678
Skype: contreraslawyer; 
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Admiin_01 Comment. Given the nature of the two topics by NewsLady, these two have been merged into a single topic. This is NOT a normal procedure, but is being done in this instance for continuity purposes.

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