New 2 Year Visa?

I am posting the following two emails, that I just received. I know nothing more than you will know after reading this email, as it is the first time I have seen it. While the first email said I can help, that would be difficult today, because my day is be pretty booked and I know nothing. However, if this is for a future event, I am available after I know more.

If you are aware of this new visa, feel free to leave a comment, but based on the email, today is the last day. However, that may be for the Bocas event.

I have sent an email to the US Embassy in Panama requesting more information on the 2 year visa, and will update when I learn more.

Saria / Jaun,

Following is copy of email sent to my Bocas List, including Americans and other foreigners, some single emails naming both husband and wife, totaling approximately 360 persons.  I will have our BocasBreeze News send similar email to their List.

In a few weeks, I’ll info you number of qualified persons desiring the 2-Yr Visa, who did not get if on 30 April.  If sufficient number, hopefully we can schedule a second Immigration event in Bocas.

In your planning of Immigration’s 2-Yr Visa event in David, if you have not done so, contact Don Ray Williams, David Warden for US Embassy Panama, at donraycc@gmail.com  , 6638 3372, or thru his David OnLine News www.chiriquichatter.net/blog .  If you plan a Boquete visit, Don can assist you.

Larry Shane
Bocas Warden, US Embassy Panama
757 9717  /  6621 1897   lary@earthlink.net

Email copy

All:

Better late than never, I am just now learning that there is a new Panama Immigration Law that may affect you.

The Law pertains to acquiring a new type Visa – good for two years.  There are certain qualifications and conditions, but for many foreigners, residing long term as Tourists in Panama, the new Visa will be a valuable convenience.

This new Visa permits qualifying Tourists to remain continuously for two years in Panama.  You will no longer need to exit/re-enter Panama every 90 days, applying for consecutive 90-day Visas (which are in fact an allowed nonconformance of Immigration Law).  Next, two years from now, I’ll not speculate what Immigration Laws may prevail.

With the Two-Yr Visa, you may choose to exit Panama and re-enter, at any time(s) within the 2-yr period; but before exit, you must acquire from Immigration a Multi Exit/Entry Permit, stamped in your passport.  If you hold a Resident Visa or a Pensionado Visa, you don’t (no longer) need this Multi Exit/Entry Permit.

The Two-Yr Visa will be granted to persons who are here with current Tourist Visas or expired Tourist Visas, if they meet the qualifications.  To qualify for the Two-Yr Visa, you must present:

1.  Proof that you have been residing in Panama, continuously more than less, for a minimum of five years previous to now.  Valid proof is: passport records, previous Visas, rent payments, utility bills, bank statements with local payments.  Other proof may be accepted upon submission.

2.  A letter from the Bocas Corregidor (Sheriff) certifying your Bocas residence address for the past five years.  You may need to present rent receipts paid by you, utility bills in your name, or other such verification of residency.  The Corregidor Office is in the Palacio, the government building near the main park.

3.  A copy of your passport ID face page, plus copy of all pages showing entries into Panama.

4.  Two color copies of your photo, ID passport type 2”x2” size.  With a digital camera, you can photo yourself and print copies on photo paper; frame photo similar size as your passport.  Or, there are Internet Stores in town offering this service.

5.  If you want a Two-Yr Visa for your child, born in or out of Panama, with foreigner or Panamanian, provide original Birth Certificate; bring child and photos with you for Visa application.

6.  If your proof of residency is that you have been married to a Panamanian for more than five years, provide original Marriage Certificate; bring spouse with you for Visa application.

The cash fee for Two-Yr Visa is:
~  $6, for person applying with current Tourist Visa
~  $56, for person applying with expired Tourist Visa
~  $50 additional for person desiring 2-yr Multi Exit/Entry Permit

That’s the good news.  The bad news is this is a kind of Panama Immigration Amnesty Program, with limited ‘windows’ of opportunity to apply for the Two-Yr Visa.  The time window, in Bocas, is Thursday 29 April (now past) and Friday 30 April (today only).  The place window, for persons residing in Bocas, is living in Bocas only (not other areas of Panama).  In other words, if you’ve been living in Bocas as a Tourist for five+ years (with current or expired Visa), and you don’t apply today – you missed the opportunity.  There are Two-Yr Visa application events scheduled by Panama Immigration Ministry in other locales (David, etc.) – if your residency has been in Bocas, you can’t go there and apply.  If your residency in Bocas is not five years+ now (even currently 4yrs, 11mos), you can’t apply now or at later date for this Visa.  Unless, Immigration opens future ‘windows’.

So, if you want a Two-yr Visa, and meet the qualifications, take your self and docs today 30 April, as early as possible after 8am, to place where Panama Immigration has work station at Golden Grill Restaurant on Main St. across from plaza park.

If you can’t make it today and miss this opportunity, email me that you qualify for and want the Two-Yr Visa.  If there are enough of you who list with me, you will be accommodated.  I’m negotiating with Panama Immigration Officials, Immigration Chief Sra. Espada and Deputy Chief Sr. Caro, to schedule an additional event in Bocas for Two-Yr Visa application.  The event is planned to coincide (same day later time, for all foreigners) with the annual Bocas visit (May or June?) of US Embassy Panama staff to provide American Citizen services.

This experience offers an important lesson of how critical it is that you are my eyes and ears in Bocas.  As the Bocas Warden for US Embassy Panama, I am a volunteer, with no staff, with no salary or expense account, not briefed on Panama daily news or matters.  There is inefficient networking in Bocas; accurate information is not centrally input for verified broad dissemination.  In other words, I am largely dependent on you to inform me what’s happening in Bocas/Panama that affects us all, so I can inform us all.

In this instance, Panama Immigration sent news releases of Bocas event about Two-Yr Visas to Panama TV, Bocas radio and Spanish newspapers – none of which are followed by more-than-a-few foreigners living in Bocas.  The BocasBreeze received no notification.  Someone attending Panama Immigration Two-Yr Visa event, held in March in Changuinola, emailed someone in Bocas, setting off a chain of emails about upcoming event in Bocas.  Neither I, nor BocasBreeze, received any such email from anybody.  But many of you did know this, because a few hundred foreigners showed up at Golden Grill yesterday on 29 April to apply for Visas.  I am concerned that there are many foreigners, not on Bocas drum links, who will miss this vital Visa opportunity, because you are not communicating to me or Allene.  Please don’t assume that we are in-the-know – the news wire service in Bocas is you!

Larry Shane
Bocas Warden, US Embassy Panama
757 9717  /  6621 1897   lary@earthlink.net

2 thoughts on “New 2 Year Visa?

  1. Hi Ryan. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I will try to go by the David Migracion office and see if I can get more information as well.

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