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Saturday, May 25 2019 @ 04:04 AM UTC

FAQ: As A Foreigner in Panama Do I Have To Register With Immigration?

Immigration IssuesBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Received this morning via email: "Hi Don - I hear references to a "Registro de Extranjeros" but am unable to find such a site on the Internet. I remember several years ago stumbling across an official site that told who had applied for residency, who the attorney was and the date it was approved, but I can't locate that anymore either. Do you have any information about anything to that effect? Also curious whether there is a published copy of the exam for citizenship or good information about how to go about the process of obtaining citizenship. Thanks! Susie"

Ask At Immigration: If I remember correctly, when foreigners want to stay in Panama as anything other than a tourist, they first have to "register" with Immigration in one form or another to define their status. Somewhere back there in my fading memory cells, I remember having to register in this way with Immigration as I started the process of obtaining my permanent residency status as "married to a Panamanian." I think this is a formality normally accomplished as soon as you apply for your pensionado status, or what have you. And as far as asking for a published copy of the exam for naturalization? I don't think they would give up the exam, but they probably have a list of material you would have to study or something like that - roughly equivalent to Third Grade Social Studies kinds of stuff. And once again, any good immigration attorney should be able to provide that for you. I tried getting some additional information from the Panamanian Immigration website, but it's apparently screwed up (now, there's a shocker) and it was no help whatsoever...

Copyright 2011 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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FAQ: As A Foreigner in Panama Do I Have To Register With Immigration? | 1 comments | Create New Account
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FAQ: As A Foreigner in Panama Do I Have To Register With Immigration?
Authored by: susangg on Tuesday, January 11 2011 @ 06:37 PM UTC

What this poster is referring to is the Immigration Law of 2008, which provides for the establishment of a "registry of foreigners" and the requirement that all foreigners obtain a new identification card. The registry was supposed to merge data from a variety of government agencies: immigration, judicial, police, tax authorities, transit, etc. so that "your permanent record" would be available at the punch of a key. The new law contained other requirements as well, such as requiring all foreigners resident in Panama (other than tourists) to file a notification with the government each time they changed their address.
However, the database has yet to be created (I don't know if its even been started) and the template for the ID card for foreigners hasn't been created, and the bureaocratic process for notification of change of address hasn't been created.
So, none of these things can yet be enforced, since the tools needed to enforce them do not yet exist. I assume eventually they will be......or not. TIP.
A copy of the immigration law of 2008, the implementing regulations, and modifications to that law are in the VISAS folder in the FILES of the yahoo group panama laws for expats. Some of these documents have English translations, some don't.