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Wednesday, August 20 2014 @ 10:38 AM EDT

Ninth "Melting Pot" Immigration Fair Started Today

Immigration IssuesToday the "Melting Pot" Immigration fair started, and will run daily until Friday 22 June and will serve more than 5,000 foreigners who are in Panama. Thousands of people have flocked to the Roberto Duran arena to be granted one of these special permissions from the National Immigration Service, some sleeping outside the doors since last Friday on inflatable mattresses or tents, wanting to be first in line. More than 400 officials from the National Immigration Service will be working at the event who will be serving the public from 9:00 am until 7:00 pm. Some of the requirements - foreigners must have been in the country for at least a year. Entry stamps in their passports should not be more than six months apart. They should not have already started some sort of legalization process through Immigration under another program. And, they must apply in person. (Dia a Dia)

Editor's Comment: There were about 650 people waiting in line over the weekend. If they expect to attend more than 5,000 people during the week, that would be about 1,000 per day. There are notary public services available on site as well for those who have to make documents official. Through this program you can get "legal" for two years, and get a work permit. The government is using these fairs to get people who are already here and working anyway to become "legal" in the system, so they can pay into the Social Security system, pay income taxes, etc. The permits are only good for two years so they can yank it at any time.

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