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There are special considerations in the immigration laws for professionals and multinational companies workers in Panama.  Looks like the problem now is that some people took advantage of the situatio

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It seems that Panama is trying to stop the border runs for Venezuelans who have come into the country using a tourist visa and taking local jobs. 

I doubt the objection is to "perpetual tourists ." It's about trying to protect jobs for Panamanians.  Just my guess...

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Some of them might be working in Costa Rica on the Venezuelan owned Palma Farms on the Pacific Side. Costa Rica requires 72hrs out of country also on a tourist visa. I toured a Venezuelan palma farm and watched their operation near Quepos. The have a huge herd of water buffalo they use to pull their trailers on the farms. Also, they have so much respect for their animals they work them 2 days and rest them 5 days. 300 is a huge number at the same time. I wonder if Panama is exaggerating a little.

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On 3/2/2017 at 7:39 AM, Keith Woolford said:

Anyone considering making a border run to Paso Canoas to clean their Passport might want to hold off for a few days. At the moment there are about 300 Venezuelans stuck there who are being denied re-entry.

http://www.tvn-2.com/nacionales/extranjeros-denuncian-migratorio-reingresar-Panama_0_4701279858.html

Radio Chiriqui reports this morning that the number of Venezuelans who are stuck at Paso Canoas has increased.

Migracion explains that these people have enjoyed 180 days in Panama as tourists before leaving the country. They'll have to apply for status here under other provisions should they want to return

Links to articles on the subject by Telemetro and TVN here.

http://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/Decenas-venezolanos-Panama-Costa-Rica_0_1004300697.html

http://www.tvn-2.com/nacionales/Cubanos-venezolanos-mira-Migracion_0_4702029841.html

Edited by Keith Woolford
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I personally would be very nervous about exiting in Paso Canoas with the intention of renewing tourist stamp regardless of your nationality. Here is a paragraph directly from a news article posted from Telémetro News today. Where someone from Mirgration states that foreigners from ALL nationalities cannot remain in Panama as tourist their whole life. 

"El director del Servicio Nacional de Migración (SNM), Javier Carrillo advirtió este lunes a los extranjeros de todas las nacionalidades que no pueden estar en Panamá "toda su vida" como turistas"

http://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/Director-Migracion-extranjeros-pueden-turistas_0_1005499877.html

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On 3/6/2017 at 10:51 PM, SP87 said:

I personally would be very nervous about exiting in Paso Canoas with the intention of renewing tourist stamp regardless of your nationality. Here is a paragraph directly from a news article posted from Telémetro News today. Where someone from Mirgration states that foreigners from ALL nationalities cannot remain in Panama as tourist their whole life. 

"El director del Servicio Nacional de Migración (SNM), Javier Carrillo advirtió este lunes a los extranjeros de todas las nacionalidades que no pueden estar en Panamá "toda su vida" como turistas"

http://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/Director-Migracion-extranjeros-pueden-turistas_0_1005499877.html

It looks as though this is a serious problem for our friends who are border hoppers.

"The Panamanian government said Monday that it maintains its decision to prevent re-entry of foreigners who try to remain in the country indefinitely as tourists."

"He added that some of the people who have been in the border for several days have done this procedure up to four times and the solution will be to legalize the immigration status of those who meet the requirements, or they will have to return to their country of origin."

"Among the rejected are 77 Venezuelans, five Hondurans, three Salvadorans, two Nicaraguans and the rest are of several European nationalities, according to the institution."

Panama Will Maintain Steady Positions with Irregular Migrants

http://www.escambray.cu/2017/panama-mantendra-postura-firme-con-migrantes-irregulares/

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Law 591 states that Americans, Canadians, Brits and Australians need to leave the country every 180 days and all others only get 30 days.  It would be devastating to this area if they boot out all retirees living as tourists.  We bring employment and spend our pensions here without taking jobs from Panamanians.  Think of the trades people alone who would be out of work.  Most Central and South American countries encourage retirees to live in their countries and bring money into their economies.  Am I wrong?  Too much logic?

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On 3/7/2017 at 11:24 AM, MarieElaine said:

Law 591 states that Americans, Canadians, Brits and Australians need to leave the country every 180 days and all others only get 30 days.  It would be devastating to this area if they boot out all retirees living as tourists.  We bring employment and spend our pensions here without taking jobs from Panamanians.  Think of the trades people alone who would be out of work.  Most Central and South American countries encourage retirees to live in their countries and bring money into their economies.  Am I wrong?  Too much logic?

Tell that to the Brits denied entry.

"Among the rejected are 77 Venezuelans, five Hondurans, three Salvadorans, two Nicaraguans and the rest are of several European nationalities, according to the institution."

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44 minutes ago, Siempre Soluciones said:

Tell that to the Brits denied entry.

"Among the rejected are 77 Venezuelans, five Hondurans, three Salvadorans, two Nicaraguans and the rest are of several European nationalities, according to the institution."

Were there actually Brits refused entry?  Does anyone know this for a fact?

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I received the following e-mail today from the U.S. Embassy:

Dear Wardens-  We here at the Embassy have reached out to immigration to obtain details about the news pasted below regarding the implementation of immigration regulations.  According to the Duty Chief at Migracion-Paso Canoas, the PNM Immigration Director is enforcing these migratory requirements across Panama.  This means that if an Immigration Official determines that a foreigner is using tourism status to reside in Panama, the entry will not be allowed.  The Duty Chief gave examples of this situation, indicating that persons who exit Panama before the 6th month approaches and re-enter after three days, which is a clear sign that the individual is residing in Panama under a tourist status, will not be allowed re-entry.

In summary, these regulations were already in the books but now it seems the immigration authorities throughout Panama are going to be stricter about enforcement.  That said, we have yet to receive a complaint from  a U.S. citizen actually denied entry at the border for the reason outlined above.  

If you receive questions on this issue, you may refer people to panama-acs@state.gov.

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7 hours ago, MarieElaine said:

Law 591 states that Americans, Canadians, Brits and Australians need to leave the country every 180 days and all others only get 30 days.  It would be devastating to this area if they boot out all retirees living as tourists.  We bring employment and spend our pensions here without taking jobs from Panamanians.  Think of the trades people alone who would be out of work.  Most Central and South American countries encourage retirees to live in their countries and bring money into their economies.  Am I wrong?  Too much logic?

Doesn't Panama offer a special visa for retirees? 

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12 hours ago, SP87 said:

Doesn't Panama offer a special visa for retirees? 

Yes, and it is called the jubilado visa. But the jubilado visa is not without a cost in terms of time, money and paperwork, etc. Also note that it is a visa with an indefinite expiration date, as opposed to an e-cédula for fully documented and vetted permanent residency status.

Re the jubilado visa cost, to my way of thinking it is a reasonable cost (other than for the widely varying and sometimes substantial attorney fees). But then for some people, any amount could be a heavy burden.

Re the jubilado visa paperwork, there are medical reports, apostilled versions of vital records, etc. These all cost both money and time. Add to that the requirement for an FBI report (or equivalent agency report for citizens of other than the USA), and the associated fingerprints. The police report and fingerprints may be a big barrier. (For instance, Marcelyn has difficulty getting acceptable fingerprints because she handled so much paperwork in her professional careers; it took at least five attempts and many months and expenses before being successful.) Further, some resident aspirants, even though upstanding citizens, might have information that they either prefer not to divulge for personal reasons or that might cause them not to be acceptable to Panama's immigration authorities.

Everyone's situation is different.

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New migrant crisis building on Costa Rica border

extranjeros-aseguran-papeles-dejan-pasar_LPRIMA20170307_0031_27-620x264.jpg

A NEW MIGRATION  problem is developing on Panama’s border  with Costa Rica, this time involving Venezuelans.

Between 77 and 150migrants  from the troubled South  American country  are stranded in the Paso Canoas area between Panama and Costa Rica.

Many of them were holders of tourist visas who went to Costa Rica to re-enter the country with updated documents.

Eduardo Gonzalez, a Venezuelan at the border, told La Prensa  he has spent 11 days in this area. He said that, during that time, he has approached the National Migration Service (MMS) window more than three times to present his papers, but Panamanian authorities do not let him

pass. “This situation is already worrying us, because more Venezuelans are coming to the area and

can not go to Panama, even though the money is running out, we do not know what to do and we cannot go back,” Gonzalez said.

He said that many  have already been in Panama with relatives who are legal, “because the situation in Venezuela is unsustainable.”

“We left Panama because that is what the law says, after staying six months we must re enter as a tourist,

Gonzalez asked for clarification from the Panamanian authorities.  Immigration officials have said that foreigners who go to Costa Rica to enter Panama again as a tourist will not be allowed in.

Mario Morales, a Panamanian who lives near the border, said that it appears as though another crisis is developing between Panama and Costa Rica.

A similar situation arose when Costa Rica refused to allow Cubans headed to the United States to enter the country.

Chiriquí Governor Hugo Méndez said that persons whose papers are not in order won’t be allowed to enter Panama

Foreigners including North Americans living in Panama often go to Costa Rica for a short time to allow them to continue living in Panama.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/new-migrant-crisis-building-costa-rica-border

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10 hours ago, Bud said:

Yes, and it is called the jubilado visa. But the jubilado visa is not without a cost in terms of time, money and paperwork, etc. Also note that it is a visa with an indefinite expiration date, as opposed to an e-cédula for fully documented and vetted permanent residency status.

Re the jubilado visa cost, to my way of thinking it is a reasonable cost (other than for the widely varying and sometimes substantial attorney fees). But then for some people, any amount could be a heavy burden.

Re the jubilado visa paperwork, there are medical reports, apostilled versions of vital records, etc. These all cost both money and time. Add to that the requirement for an FBI report (or equivalent agency report for citizens of other than the USA), and the associated fingerprints. The police report and fingerprints may be a big barrier. (For instance, Marcelyn has difficulty getting acceptable fingerprints because she handled so much paperwork in her professional careers; it took at least five attempts and many months and expenses before being successful.) Further, some resident aspirants, even though upstanding citizens, might have information that they either prefer not to divulge for personal reasons or that might cause them not to be acceptable to Panama's immigration authorities.

Everyone's situation is different.

The law is the law. Those of us who came here legally did it according to the laws and requirements of Panama, why anybody else should do it differently or illegally is beyond me. And worse yet, why would somebody try to excuse them for their actions?

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18 minutes ago, Panama Bill said:

why anybody else should do it differently or illegally is beyond me. 

"Illegally" is one thing, but "differently" is another. I don't think anyone is breaking the law by border hopping. It might be risky, due to changing law, interpretation and enforcement, but certainly not illegal up to this point.

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12 hours ago, Bud said:

Yes, and it is called the jubilado visa. But the jubilado visa is not without a cost in terms of time, money and paperwork, etc. Also note that it is a visa with an indefinite expiration date, as opposed to an e-cédula for fully documented and vetted permanent residency status.

Re the jubilado visa cost, to my way of thinking it is a reasonable cost (other than for the widely varying and sometimes substantial attorney fees). But then for some people, any amount could be a heavy burden.

Re the jubilado visa paperwork, there are medical reports, apostilled versions of vital records, etc. These all cost both money and time. Add to that the requirement for an FBI report (or equivalent agency report for citizens of other than the USA), and the associated fingerprints. The police report and fingerprints may be a big barrier. (For instance, Marcelyn has difficulty getting acceptable fingerprints because she handled so much paperwork in her professional careers; it took at least five attempts and many months and expenses before being successful.) Further, some resident aspirants, even though upstanding citizens, might have information that they either prefer not to divulge for personal reasons or that might cause them not to be acceptable to Panama's immigration authorities.

Everyone's situation is different.

Totally understandable. But in the same time, one surely couldn't have expected to be a tourist their whole life completely unaware that authorities may want to end this at some point. 

I think a lot of us got too comfortable and forgot sometimes we were in fact tourist. 

I guess it's time to weigh your options. How badly do you want to stay in Panama, for some it may be worth going through the process you mentioned or other options and for some it may not be.  

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We just crossed the border to renew our visa's. We WERE asked for our proof of airline return tickets. It seems as though Panama is headed were Equador is in relation to expat retiries. In Equador (we were there recently for two months) you get 90 days in a year (total). No border hopping. You can get another 90 day extension but it is not cheap and still retires the FBI background paper work along with all the rest of the paperwork. Or you can get the one year renewable which will cost when all is said and done about 2k per person. I think these folks are shooting them selves in the foot as many like us do not want to or have not yet decided if we want to stay in a paticular country indefinantly. Mexico was much easier. When we were living northern Costa Rica we talked to many expats that owned property and were chosing to sell (lot's of discount condo's in Coco beach) and leave the country due to these new laws as well as increasing taxation in Costa Rica. We will be leaving and if we ever decide to come back this will have to be a consideration. We are thinking Europe. This is going to cost Panama lot's. Just saying

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Bud stated: " The Jubilado Visa is one with an indefinite expiration date" Humm ok...Jubilado Visa

  I just looked at my E-Cedula which was issued June 2013.  It states clearly that it expires June 2023.  I should still be alive and (God willing) well in 2023.   It will be interesting to find out what will be required for this renewal. Anybody know?

Edited by Brundageba
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On 3/2/2017 at 0:47 PM, Uncle Doug said:

It seems that Panama is trying to stop the border runs for Venezuelans who have come into the country using a tourist visa and taking local jobs. 

I doubt the objection is to "perpetual tourists ." It's about trying to protect jobs for Panamanians.  Just my guess...

Uncle Dog

As you stated it was the genesis of the problem.  Now venezuelans have put into the authorities radar the "hole" in the law about border hoping.  But as the law should be equal for everybody and there couldnt be priviliges for any group in detriment of another groups "border hoping" will be coming to an end very soon.

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