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New Presidential Excetutive Decree No. 167 of June 3 of 2016, grants a two (2) year temporary resident status for those who apply and have been staying in Panama for a year before the decree's enacting without leaving the country more than 30 days.   Nevertheless, if the expat's need is to have a longer or permanent residence in Panama, and not to start from zero once the two year period elapses....perhaps you'd like to read my article which I called:  "Panama Immigration System Pinpointed".  I hope you find it useful and let me know what you think.  I think it is somehow dense, and beforehand, forgive but immigration matters are a very delicate topic.  I've tried to include those requirements clients find the most difficult to obtain.  

Panama Residence System Pinpointed.docx

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I´m new to this site so, I don't know how to extend the initial article.  Following today's news on Executive Decree No. 167 of 2016, it seems certain colleagues are interpreting it extensively, as if it was a new regulation to "give away" residence in Panama.  I must say I'm not for or against the current government, but to advice clients at least one has to read carefully all regulations. For anybody who has read my summary article called "Panama Residence System Pinpointed", it would be clear at least the idea that Panama's Immigrations System, since Panama is a little country, with little population compared to other countries, strives to bring into the country businessmen, capital, investors, people with self solvency, etc.   The government has not responded to the threats of Constitutional sues, but I'm sure that if the Decree is read carefully - it states in Article 2 that this regulation is applicable only to expats that have been in Panamanian Territory at least one year before the enacting of such Excecutive Decree.  This is not intended to invite more expats in, as certain colleagues are interpreting.  This seems as a humanitarian solution for the immigration tidal wave we had due to the canal expansion and other state projects.  I'm attaching the mentioned Decree 167 of which I translate article 2 that clearly states:

"Article 2.  Foreigners interested in taking migration regularization procedure shall meet the following requirements:
2. To have one (1) year or longer of stay in the country at the time of the enactment of this Executive Order.  In case the expat has left the country he (she) can not remain outside national territory for a period above thirty (30) days in a row or split, which will be verified with the entry stamps. "

My advice for border hoppers, is to take advantage of the regulation, which requires no legal representation, to obtain at least a two year residence.  No one knows what will happen after that period, but for the last 16 Crisoles, State response is the same:  the expat needs to migrate to a Residence Status, leave, or apply to a new extension of "humanitarian kind - Crisol".  

Panama received a letter of recognition by the International Organization for Migrations (OIM), as a country that safeguards the rights of immigrants due to this Crisol de Razas or massive immigration fairs, as a response to the Humanitarian aspect of migrations around the world.   The humanitarian aspect of migrations is a State matter, as any other matter subject to international conventions.  The State should abide by these international instruments too.  By no means Crisol regularizations eliminate Panama Immigration laws, it just opens a space for expats who can't apply under other categories and for a limited time.  All expats that got the first 10 year residence cards have not faced yet what the State response will be when such cards expire.  Probably it will be, move one to a regular Residence Status, instead of the humanitarian status, or get an extension.   Last but not least, second paragraph of article No. 5 of the Decree states that funds collected  will be distributed 80% for the Ministry of the Presidency for social aid and security programs, and 20% for Immigration Human Resourses Development Fund.  So it is clear that part of the value created by expats in Panama will contribute to social aid programs, while immigrant's rights are protected as stablished by International Conventions signed by Panama. 

Executive Decree 167.pdf

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3 hours ago, Carmen PGLS said:

I´m new to this site so, I don't know how to extend the initial article.


You are doing exactly the correct thing. Just keep posting replies for the topic that you previously started.

If you have questions, we are here to help.

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Hello:  MarieElanie yes it is very probable there will be biometric data collected.  Price depends on the nationality. To make it simple:  

1- Those who travel to Panama with an air ticket, and do not require visa, Decree 167 attached states it is $517.00.  

2- For those that require stamped visa in Panama's Consulate abroad before entering Panama, those will pay $1,022.00, and

3- Those who require stamped Visas to enter Panama after verification by Panama's Homeland Security Council, those are restricted nationalities (Cuba, India, China, etc) those pay $2,102.00.

Reading thoroughly Decree 167 of 2016 already states that when this 2 year permits expire, ID's may be extended with requirements based on Executive Decree 169 of 2015 (which has almost the same requirements and prices).   But, eligibility seems to depend on having entered one year before June 3 of 2016 to Panama.  As I said before the government has not clarified the matter. 

Give me your like, if this helped will ya?


Pan Global Legal Services


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Admin_01 note: this topic is the merging of two separate topics by two members at approximately the same time on the same subject. They were merged for continuity purposes, with the approval of both originators.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Immigration suspends appointments for regularization program

The action is temporary.

The National Immigration Service has announced the temporary suspension of the granting of appointments for the General Migratory Regularization Procedure.

In a statement, the institution explained that the system is blocked since appointments have already been filled through September, a daily average of 50 cases.

"The reopening of the appointments will be announced in the coming days," said the institution.

According to the agency, appointments are not transferable.

To be considered, foreign residents must be enrolled in either Social Security or registered with tax authorities.


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