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Here is a direct quote from the US State Dept. website “Tourists must present a return trip ticket or fare back to their home country or next destination upon arrival.” 

So there are three options. There has been "funny business" in the past about this. So cuidado. And no I will not mention on a public forum what the funny business is.

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1. return ticket

2. fare back to home country

3. ticket to next destination

So I assume the return ticket would be to the last point of debarkation, which was in my case Colombia.

In any event the operative word is "or"

Ask yourself this question, do you think the State Dept is doing funny business on this issue?

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This topic was moved from the Charities forum to this forum. It clearly did not belong in charities, but could properly be in one of several other forums. I opted to place it here because the border crossing subject frequently is related to those who choose an extended stay/residence in Panama without benefit of formal residency status, choosing instead to make periodic border crossings to "reset" their passport stamps.

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Exactly, you can not get an online ticket (boarding pass). All you get is the itinerary for the flight and important info like where it says, "purchased" and "date" and "name" and "departure  country" and "desination country" and "passport number on it". It can be bus, ship or airplane.

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Pantah,

He didn't have all the correct documents or he had other issues (but failed to tell us why HE and WIFE were held up for a few hours). The do NOT hold you up if your documents are in order and you follow the rules. Read it close. Then he goes on to talk about "some guy" needed proof of plane fare out of country and didn't have it. None of this would have transpired had they been prepared. He complained the locals ripped "some guy" off at an internet cafe trying to get a copy of a ticket. There are holes all in his story. He even said he knows the laws have been changed and they have not. None of this would have happened if They had their documents in order. He also states they are making truckers wait long periods of time. He doesn't understand they have to inspect these trucks. The border closes at night and trucks line up all night waiting for the border to open and then it is a slow process for them to cross. There is more to his motives for giving out this information. Just what they are is unknown. But, it sounds like he doesn't like border hoppers and he was one for two years. These kinds of stories about Panama border crossings is what gives Panama a bad name, sadly.

Quote from Ross;       "The government is pushing immigration to stop those people who are misusing the system by doing border runs."

Another bit of misinformation. Crossing the border is perfectly legal with proper documentation. They could care less about your motives if you are legal and play by the rules and laws of Panama.  

Edited by Hil
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I know for a fact that Ross doesn't speak any spanish and often mis-interprets things.

The rules haven't changed. Sometimes they are not uniformly enforced. If he has his cedula as claimed, he doesn't have to cross the border to reset his visa and he certainly doesn't need an onward ticket out of the country. I was at Paso Canoas on Friday and it is true that trucks were lined up for a very long ways waiting to cross into C.R. so there may have been some kind of delay going on. Often, their computers crash and they can't get them re-started and that causes chaos.

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2 hours ago, Hil said:

Pantah,

He didn't have all the correct documents or he had other issues (but failed to tell us why HE and WIFE were held up for a few hours). The do NOT hold you up if your documents are in order and you follow the rules. Read it close. Then he goes on to talk about "some guy" needed proof of plane fare out of country and didn't have it. None of this would have transpired had they been prepared. He complained the locals ripped "some guy" off at an internet cafe trying to get a copy of a ticket. There are holes all in his story. He even said he knows the laws have been changed and they have not. None of this would have happened if They had their documents in order. He also states they are making truckers wait long periods of time. He doesn't understand they have to inspect these trucks. The border closes at night and trucks line up all night waiting for the border to open and then it is a slow process for them to cross. There is more to his motives for giving out this information. Just what they are is unknown. But, it sounds like he doesn't like border hoppers and he was one for two years. These kinds of stories about Panama border crossings is what gives Panama a bad name, sadly.

Quote from Ross;       "The government is pushing immigration to stop those people who are misusing the system by doing border runs."

Another bit of misinformation. Crossing the border is perfectly legal with proper documentation. They could care less about your motives if you are legal and play by the rules and laws of Panama.  

He didn't have his cedula at the time. He didn't have correct documents at the time he thought he was being harrassed.

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Thanks again Hil. I read the same thing after I posted here. I was concerned that the "helper" guys were trying to pull off something. Totally agree that if you have all the right docs you should be OK.

I am little concerned that maybe now they require proof of payment of a ticket, rather than an unpaid reservation. I do believe they check the reservation number on their computers if they have time. I have in the past experience at five different Panama border control points, and it is always a moving target.

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6 hours ago, Pantah said:

Thanks again Hil. I read the same thing after I posted here. I was concerned that the "helper" guys were trying to pull off something. Totally agree that if you have all the right docs you should be OK.

I am little concerned that maybe now they require proof of payment of a ticket, rather than an unpaid reservation. I do believe they check the reservation number on their computers if they have time. I have in the past experience at five different Panama border control points, and it is always a moving target.

The reservation or itinerary has purchased on it, Pantah. Usually cancelled within 24hrs. By law in the USA they have to refund FULLY if you cancell within 24hrs.

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