Free eBook Helps Make Relocating to Panama Easy
Sunday, February 02 2014 @ 08:03 AM EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
Relocating to Panama, let alone moving to any foreign country, can be stressful. Learning Panamanian laws, customs, and discovering how to get things done can take months, if not longer. That is why we've prepared a detailed Panama relocation checklist which will help make your move easier. And for a complete how to guide, download the free Panama relocation EBook.
Panama Relocation Checklist
1. Research Panama Immigration Visas to see which one would be the best fit for your family. Panama has numerous permanent residency programs for entire families including pensioners, investors, businessmen, job offers, and even for citizens of 48 “friendly nations”. While Panama’s embassy and consulate websites can provide basic information, it is better to consulate with a Panama immigration lawyer as the rules and regulations are constantly changing and securing a visa without legal assistance can take a very long time.
2. Research the Types of Vaccines needed to relocate to Panama. The U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends contacting your doctor to determine what vaccines are necessary depending on your health, vaccine history and which part of Panama you will relocate to. For instance, make sure you are up to date with routine inoculations for mumps/measles/rubella (MMR) vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine. The CDC website has a map of the world indicating Panama has an intermediate risk of Hepatitis A virus but no risk of contracting Hepatitis B Surface Antigen. Some areas east of the Panama Canal Zone heading towards the border with Colombia may require a Yellow Fever vaccination.
3. Research Customs Duty and Taxes for new vehicles and luxury items being shipped to Panama. As a foreigner on a pensioner visa in Panama, you are afforded special tax incentives when importing a car and household goods. Learn more here.
4. Bringing Pets to Panama requires rabies vaccines and specific forms from your vet and other documents. Learn about the specific steps to take when bring a pet to Panama in our free relocation EBook.
5. Medical Health Insurance covering travel to Panama may be purchased. However if you plan to fly to Panama City’s International Airport (Tocumen), you will receive a brochure explaining the government of Panama’s free medical insurance program covering you and your family for the first 30 days. After that period you can purchase health insurance plans in Panama. For information and contact details on the best hospitals and health insurance in Panama, read more here.
6. Gather Important Documents to take with you and have them Apostilled by your government within 3 months before applying for a Panama immigration visa, a Panama driver’s license, and opening a Panama bank account. These documents include:
- Marriage and birth certificates
- Passport, naturalization document, green card, proof of citizenship, etc.
- Social security cards
- Vaccinations, dental and medical records
- Insurance policies
- Academic records and diplomas
- Employment records
- Proof of residency (utility bills with your name and address)
- Driver’s licenses
- Original reference letter from your bank (two banks would be better) addressed to a specific Panama bank and signed by a bank official.
An Apostille is an internationally recognized method of authenticating government issued documents such as birth and marriage certificates and driver’s licenses. In the U.S., a state’s Secretary of State Office can do the Apostille.
7. Moving & Shipping: Locate an international moving & shipping company to help facilitate your moving needs. There are many options available, but it is recommended to read some reviews, compare prices, and look for recommendations.
8. Vehicle Insurance should be purchased and used while driving in Panama. Click here to learn more about Panama Vehicle Insurance.
9. Property Insurance is a good thing to have during shipping and relocation. There are international insurance companies who can provide coverage for expats and their relocation. Read this web page explaining Panama Fire Insurance.
10. Maintaining Bank and Credit Card Accounts requires notifying them of your move so they won’t treat you like an identity theft fraudster. Learn more about how to open a Panama Bank Account.
11. Prescription Drugs requires taking a quantity with you and obtaining the pertinent medical records which need to be kept in a safe place.
12. International Driving Permit must be obtained which will be carried with your original driver’s license. Find more information here on how to get a Panama Driver’s License and How to Drive in Panama.
13. Cancel Subscriptions to newspapers, magazines, and anything else which will be delivered or mailed to your former home.
14. Hotel & Flight Reservations should be made as soon as you verify your travel date.
15. VOIP Phone Service (Voice Over Internet Protocol) like the free Skype account to make free international calls.
16. Research the culture, neighborhoods, things you need which are not available (so you can stock up), schools, job opportunities, real estate prices, Spanish language schools, and Panama’s expat community groups and forums for networking. Download the EBook explaining all of these in details here: Panama Relocation EBook.
Panama Offshore Legal Services provides first-class legal advice, consultation, and various services to help make relocating to Panama more efficient and less stressful. Visit our website or download the Panama Relocation EBook to learn more.