Message for U.S. Citizens: Embassy Closure for Holy Week & Cash Only at the Embassy.

Following is the latest announcement from the US Embassy.

CLOSING ANNOUNCEMENT

 

THE U.S. CONSULAR SECTION (AMERICAN CITIZENS SERVICES, FEDERAL BENEFITS AND VISA UNITS) WILL BE CLOSED AS DESCRIBED BELOW:

 FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2014 – CLOSED ALL DAY

 On Monday, April 21, 2014, the Consular Section will resume full operations with its regular schedule (please see http://panama.usembassy.gov).

Message for U.S. Citizens: Cash Only Services

Due to computer software upgrade problems, the Consular Section is not able to accept credit cards at the cashier window. We can only accept cash for services at this time. The problem should be resolved within two weeks.

Please be advised that there are ATM machines and a bank a few minutes from the Embassy at the Farmacia Arrocha shopping plaza. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Message for U.S. Citizens: Possible protests in Panama City

Following is the latest ACS message.

Per mainstream and social media reporting, the construction union, SUNTRACS, has called for nationwide strikes and protests tomorrow, April 1, 2014. Many major thoroughfares may be closed which will significantly impact traffic flow in the city. U.S. Citizens should pay close attention to media reports for disruptions and plan their movements accordingly.

Message for U.S. Citizens: Newsletter Available

The March issue of the American Citizen Services Newsletter is now available online.  Inside you will find information on requirements to continue receiving federal benefits, voting from overseas, filing taxes while abroad, and much more.

The newsletter is available in the ACS webpage under Alerts & Messages.  It may also be accessed directly from this message.  See full URLs below.

Alerts & Messages page:

http://panama.usembassy.gov/announcements_and_warden_messages/newsletter.html

Newsletter:

http://photos.state.gov/libraries/panama/1057633/ACSNewsletter/Panama ACS Newsletter – March 14.pdf

Message for U.S. Citizens: Carnival in Panama

Following is the Embassy’s Carnival message.

Today starts the annual Carnival celebration in Panama.  This event is observed in Panama City and many towns throughout the country.  While it is a fun celebration, it also results in road closures and increased opportunity for crime.  The U.S. Embassy would like to draw your attention to the following information:

In Panama City, the Cinta Costera will be closed from 12:00 noon, February 28th until 12:00 noon Wednesday March 5th.  There is a map below that shows information about access and the flow of the event.  More information is available from www.visitpanama.gov or local media outlets.

Remember as you travel to and from the event, traffic is likely to be heavy and rerouted.   Be cognizant of the high-crime areas of:

Plaza 5 de Mayo, Avenida B, Avenida Cuba, Avenida Peru, and Avenida Central.

AVOID DRAWING ATTENTION to yourself and making yourself a target for criminals:

*Do not wear expensive jewelry or carry cameras.

*Avoid accumulating cash all in one place. Keep cash separately on your person.

*We recommend NOT carrying large bags, purses, etc.

*Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.

*Use sunscreen lotion.

Use the same security measures when traveling to the Interior. Also keep in mind:

*Make sure you get enough sleep before driving long hours.

*Hantavirus and Dengue have been confirmed in these areas.

*Remember to bring mosquito repellent.

If you are the victim of the crime, please be sure to report it to local police.  Attached is a victims of crime information sheet should a need arise to use it. Click Consular Crime reporting – Final Draft for the crime information Sheet.

Attempting to locate a U.S. citizen

Message from the ACS in the U.S. Embassy in Panama City.

Hi dear Bocas del Toro and Chiriqui Wardens,
Greetings from the Consular Section!

We are attempting to locate a U.S. citizen named Rolando A. SUAZO, who is probably residing in Chiriqui or Bocas del Toro. We appreciate your assistance in posting a simple message in your websites, just asking Rolando A. Suazo to please contact the American Citizens Services Unit, Consular Section, tel: 317-5000.

Message for U.S. Citizens: Consular Section Closed February 26

Following is the latest ACS message:

THE U.S. CONSULAR SECTION (AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES, FEDERAL BENEFITS, AND VISAS UNITS) WILL BE CLOSED ON

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2014, DUE TO INTERNAL TRAINING

The entire Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Panama will be closed to the public on Wednesday, February 26, 2014.  No routine service will be available those days in the Visas, American Citizen Services, or Federal Benefits Units.  If you are an American Citizen and have an emergency, please contact the Embassy at 317-5000 and they will put you in contact with the appropriate officer.
On Thursday, February 27, 2014, the Consular Section will resume full operations with its regular schedule (please see http://panama.usembassy.gov).

*************************

LA SECCION CONSULAR (OFICINAS DE SERVICIOS A CIUDADANOS ESTADOUNIDENSES, BENEFICIOS FEDERALES Y VISAS) ESTARAN CERRADAS EL MIERCOLES, 26 DE FEBRERO DE 2014

POR ENTRENAMIENTO

La Sección Consular de la Embajada de los Estados Unidos en Panamá estará cerrada al público el día miercoles 26 de febrero de 2014.  No se realizarán trámites de rutina en las secciones de Visas, Servicios a Ciudadanos Estadounidenses ni Beneficios Federales durante esos días.  Si usted es un ciudadano estadounidense y tiene una emergencia, por favor llame a la Embajada al 317-5000, y ellos le pondrán en contacto con el oficial adecuado para atenderle.

La Sección Consular atenderá nuevamente al público en su horario regular (favor ver la siguiente página de internet: http://panama.usembassy.gov) a partir del día jueves, 27 de febrero de 2014.

Message for U.S. Citizens: Voting in Upcoming U.S. Elections

Here is the latest ACS message from the US Embassy in Panama City.

Dear U.S. Citizens,

If you want to vote in a Federal Primary or Special Election in March, April, or May 2014, you should visit http://www.fvap.gov/citizen-voter for information on registering to vote and requesting your absentee ballot according to State deadlines and requirements.

States must provide requested ballots 45 days before an election.  If you do not receive your requested State ballot at least 30 days before an election prepare, print and sign the backup Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) at http://www.fvap.gov/citizen-voter/overview.

March Primary and Special Election Dates:

Texas: March 4

Florida (Special General Election): March 11

Illinois: March 18

April Primary Date:

District of Columbia: April 1

May Primary Dates:

Indiana: May 6

North Carolina: May 6

Ohio: May 6

West Virginia: May 13

Nebraska: May 13

Idaho: May 20

Georgia: May 20

Oregon: May 20

Arkansas: May 20

Kentucky: May 20

Pennsylvania: May 20

Texas (Primary Runoff): May 27

View the complete 2014 Primary Election Calendar at FVAP.gov for more information.

Check your State’s election website for specific information on candidates, elections, contact information and links to your local election offices.

Regards,

The ACS Team

American Citizen Services |  Embassy of the United States of America | Panama City, Panama

Chiriqui Outreach-12 & 13 Feb 2014

The David and Boquete Outreach by the US Embassy in Panama City has been scheduled. A town hall will also be held in Boquete.

All,
Our outreach trip next week is planned and approved. Attached is our notice and DHL instructions for returning passports by DHL. The DCM will host a Boquete town hall on Thursday morning, 09:00 am at the Boquete Library. Please disseminate the information to residents in Chiriqui.

For future planning, we are tentatively scheduling outreach to Chiriqui in May, August, and November. As we approach those months we will start providing specific dates. Thanks again for all your help!

Respectfully,

Chris Reyes
Vice-Consul, ACS Chief
U.S. Embassy, Panama

Click for Outreach notice:

Click for DHL instructions:.

February US Embassy Outreach

I just received the following message related to US Embassy Outreach in Chiriquí.

NOTE: This is a pre announcement. When the details are finalized, they will be posted.

Dear Wardens,

We would like to inform you that the first of our planned outreaches for 2014 are being finalized.  We will be sending an ACS officer and ACS assistant out to Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro in February.  We plan to be in David on 12 Feb and Boquete on 13 Feb.  A separate team will be in Bocas on 12 Feb.

We are tweaking the details of the days but we anticipate having a Boquete town hall with the DCM on 13 Feb.  We just wanted to start getting the word out to your areas.  As we finalize budget and plans we will start sending more concrete instructions, times, and details.

Respectfully,

Chris Reyes

Vice-Consul, ACS Chief

U.S. Embassy, Panama

This email is UNCLASSIFIED.