Getting the "Married to a Panamanian" Resident Visa

Friday, November 26 2004 @ 02:50 AM UTC

Contributed by: Don Winner

"jimoberlin" asked the question: " If I marry a woman from Panama, as I may, what hoops will I have to jump through to prove that it is a legit. marriage? How long before I will be able to work in Panama, if I do marry? Any other info. would be appreciated. Jim" I just finished the process a few months back. As for proof of marriage and about 15 other things you will need, your attorney can tell you what you need and , Yes, you will have to have an attorney to handle at least part of the residency visa application.

The reader's digest version of the process is that you will have to submit all your paper work after you have been married four months. At that time you will get a "90 day carnet" that says your paperwork is in processes and be applying for a work permit. Both of you will have a couple interviews (one for immigrations and one for the Labor folks) to confirm that you are in fact living together. After 90 days your paperwork is supposed to be completed and you will then be issued a one year carnet.(rarely happens, usually the paperwork is not complete and you end up getting another 90 day carnet)

Once you get the one year carnet, you will live with it for 11 months before having to resubmit all the info again and the same procedure as the first time is followed (except the work permit stuff) After again a couple of 90 day carnets your papers will be cleared and then you will receive a permanent Panamanian cedula. Just like the natives except your number will start with an "E". Oh, and every time you get another carnet you will have to get another driver's license. (They only issued for the duration on you carnets.

The whole process took about 2 1/2 years.

All that said, remember that you are dealing with government offices and not only are things subject to change, based on current administrations, specific personnel, attorneys, wind direction, tide, phase of the moon and countless other factors, they most likely will. One thing you will require is a lot of patience, but other that that it is not a big deal.
Good Luck

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