Tag Archives: ACS

Message for U.S. Citizens: Voting in 2016 U.S. Elections

Following is the latest ACS message:

July 4th Voting Message

Celebrate democracy this 4th of July by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2016 U.S. elections!

In order to vote in the November 2016 elections, all overseas U.S. citizens need to have completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2016. Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, you must complete an FPCA each year to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.

You can always get voting assistance from the embassy/consulate or drop off your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, during the following hours:

The American Citizen Service (ACS) unit at Embassy Panama will accept ballots during regular business hours Monday thru Thursday from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM and Fridays from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Citizens do not need an appointment to drop off their ballots.

Embassy Panama will also accept ballots to be mailed to our offices at the address listed below:

Embajada de los Estados Unidos

ATTN: Voting Officer

Edificio 783, Ave. Demetrio B. Lakas

Clayton, Panama City, Rep. de Panama

Please note that mail service delivery time within Panama varies and that mail sent from the Embassy typically takes approximately two weeks to arrive at a U.S. destination. Please plan accordingly in order for your ballot to be received at its final destination by any state mandated deadline. Lastly, the American Citizen Services Unit is closed for all U.S. and Panamanian holidays.

If it’s more convenient, you can also return your FPCA or ballot to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense.

If you have never voted while overseas before, the process is easy ­– just follow these steps:

1. Request Your Ballot: Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). You must complete a new FPCA after January 1, 2016 to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2016 elections. The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which it is submitted. The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories.

You can complete the FPCA online at FVAP.gov. The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state. We encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option. Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website. FVAP.gov will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature. If you must return a paper version, please see below for mailing options.

2. Receive and Complete Your Ballot: States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.

3. Return Your Completed Ballot: Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically and others do not. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can do so free of charge at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Place your ballots in postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address them to the relevant local election officials.

Researching the Candidates and Issues: Online Resources. Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues. Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain on-line. You can also read national and hometown newspapers on-line, or search the internet to locate articles and information. For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (vote@fvap.gov). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.gov. If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact Panama’s Voting Assistance Officer at (+507)317-5000, or at VotePANAMA@state.gov.

Remember, your vote counts!

Message for U.S. Citizens: Outreach Event in David-July 20, 2016

Following is the latest ACS message.


The American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Panama would like to inform U.S. citizens in Western Panama that we will be visiting David, Chiriquí on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 to provide consular services to U.S. citizens.

We will be at the Hotel Ciudad de David in David, Chiriquí from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. We will offer the following services:

Passports and Notarial Services

– Passport Renewal (adults and minors). Please note that most adult passport renewals can by processed by mail/DHL and do not require personal appearance at the Embassy or outreach event. See this page for more information on passport renewals by mail.

Lost or Stolen Passports

Notarizations

– Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status (please bring from I-407 and Permanent Resident Card)

– Voting information and acceptance of voter registration forms. Information and registration forms for overseas voters can be found here.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

1. Please bring legible photocopies of all documents to be submitted.

· If you are requesting the notarization of your driver’s license, please bring a photocopy of the front and back page of your license, as well as your license. If you are requesting notarization of benefits documents, please bring the original and a copy of the document(s) showing the amount of benefits you receive monthly or annually.

· For adult passport renewals, please bring your passport and a copy of the photo page of your passport. For minor passport renewals, please bring a copy of the photo page of the minor’s passport, a copy of both parent’s passports or cedulas, and a copy of the minor’s birth certificate, in addition to the original birth certificate and passports or cedulas.

2. The Embassy will only accept payment by local banker’s cashier check (also known in Spanish as “Cheque Certificado”) in U.S. dollars only made payable to the “US Embassy Panama” (Banker’s Drafts must have been issued within the last five months). The Embassy will not accept cash payments for any services. The notarial fee is $50.00 for each signature of the Consular Officer. A list of passport fees can be found here.

3. Please bring completed forms. Please access the following link for information on fees, and forms you need to download, complete and bring: http://panama.usembassy.gov/service.html

Federal Benefits Services

– Medicare enrollment/cancellation (copy of current passport or cedula will be required)

– Application for SS replacement cards (copy of current US Passport)

– Application for new SS card for children under age 12 (copy of US Passport for one of the parents, the child’s copia integra and passport)

– Change of address/residence (copy of current passport or cedula will be required)

– General inquiries

A representative from our Regional Security Office will be on hand to answer security questions.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

· To apply for a new or replacement Social Security card, please bring the completed form. You may download and print the form for the Social Security card at the following link: https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5fs.pdf

Please note: No visa services will be provided. Services will be provided on first come – first serve basis.

Thank you for your assistance. We look forward to seeing you.

Sincerely,

American Citizen Services

U.S. Embassy Panama

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Possible Protest Near U.S. Embassy

Following is the latest ACS message.


The U.S. Embassy in Panama City informs U.S. citizens that it has received an unconfirmed report of a possible protest this morning, June 16, 2016, at or near the U.S. Embassy. Protest organizers calling themselves the “Civic Movement for the Defense of Panama’s Sovereignty and Jurisdiction” are calling for a peaceful march to begin at Reyna Torrez de Arauz Museum at around 10:00 a.m. and ending at the U.S. Embassy. All U.S. citizens are reminded to remain diligent in your personal security.

U.S. Citizens should plan their travel accordingly and avoid all confrontations. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.

For up-to-date information on security, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov. Further information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Panama enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy/Consulate is 317-5000.

Message for U.S. Citizens: IRS Webinar on Foreign Earned Income

Following is the latest ACS message.


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will host a webinar “Foreign Earned Income for U.S. Overseas Taxpayers” on June 29, 2016, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT.
To register and attend this webinar, use the Foreign Earned Income for U.S. Overseas Taxpayers or https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/445/15416 webinar link. Attendees should log in 10 minutes prior to the start time. The session will be recorded and made available at a later time on IRSvideos.gov.

The webinar will cover:

  • Requirements for claiming the foreign income exclusion
  • Identifying which form to use: Form 2555 or 2555-EZ
  • Specifying information to include on Form 2555 or 2555-EZ
  • Live Q&A with IRS subject matter experts.

Message for U.S. Citizens: Proof of Life Forms

Following is the latest ACS message on POL. My original POL post may be found HERE.

U.S. Embassy Panama
Consular Section
Federal Benefits Unit

As part of the Foreign Enforcement Program, the Social Security Administration (SSA)has started sending out their Report to the U.S. Social Security Administration form, which serves as their “Proof of Life” to the mailing addresses on record with SSA.

If you meet any of the conditions below, you are required to comply with this requirement this year:

Beneficiary with a representative payee or
Beneficiary aged 90 and over or
The terminal digits of your SSN ends in 00 – 49

If you have not yet received your form, we recommend that you continue checking at the Post Office.

As soon as you receive the form, please answer the questions applicable to you and sign it.  Before mailing the form to the SSA, please make a copy for your records and mail the form with your original signature to the following address:

Social Security Administration
Wilkes Barre Data Operations Center
1150 E. Mountain Dr.
Room 341
Attention: FEQ Analyst, FEQ Forms 7161-7162
Wilkes Barre, PA 18702-7997

Please note that at this time you can only submit the original form with the bar code sent by the SSA.  It is not possible for you to request a blank form at the Federal Benefits Unit to comply with this process.

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Protest Notification

Following is the latest ACS message.

The U.S. Embassy in Panama alerts U.S. citizens that protestors have completely closed via Transistmica near the University of Panama. Clashes between protestors and police are reported.Expect heavy traffic delays in the area.

For up-to-date information on security, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov. Further information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Panama are encouraged to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in case of an emergency.

To unsubscribe from future messages please go to the following link: https://step.state.gov/STEP/Pages/common/Subscribe.aspx

Message for U.S. Citizens: Department of Treasury Designation Under the Kingpin Act

A recent ACS message.


The American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Panama would like to inform U.S. citizens that, pursuant to the Kingpin Act, on May 05, 2016, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated eight individuals and 69 entities for their involvement in international narcotics trafficking-related activities. As a result of the OFAC action, U.S. persons, including all U.S. citizens, nationals and permanent resident aliens, regardless of where they are located, are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with these persons and entities. For further information, please see the Department of Treasury’s press release here. The names and identifying information of the eight foreign individuals and 69 entities can be found here.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Panama enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. You can also download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes and the Android market, to have travel information at your fingertips.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website at http://travel.state.gov, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.

New Passport Renewal by mail for U.S. Citizens Residing in Panama

A couple ACS messages came out, while I was out of town and unable to post. I will post them now so that you will know about them in case you didn’t get them from another source. As a reminder, all American Citizen Services messages will be sent directly to all U.S. citizens that have registered on STEP.

The U.S. Embassy in Panama is pleased to announce its new passport renewal by mail for the convenience of U.S. citizens residing in Panama. Beginning May 2, 2016, eligible adult U.S. citizens will be able to renew their passport without appearing in person at the Embassy. To qualify for the program, you may renew your passport by mail if your most recent U.S. passport:
· Is undamaged and can be submitted with your application;

· Was issued within the last 15 years;
· Was issued with 10 year validity;
· Was issued in your current name or, if you have changed your name, you can submit legal documentation such as a marriage certificate to prove this change; and
· You are resident in Panama.

Detailed information on the procedures for renewing your passport by mail, including payment and mailing instructions, can be found here. If you do not qualify for passport renewal by mail, or if you prefer to renew your passport in person at the U.S. Embassy, please follow the instructions here.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Panama enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. You can also download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes and the Android market, to have travel information at your fingertips.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website at http://travel.state.gov, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.

Message for U.S. Citizens: Reminder Regarding Appointment Procedures and Telephone Hours

Following is the latest ACS message.


U.S. Embassy – Panama
Consular Section

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The American Citizens Services (ACS) and Federal Benefits Units (FBU) would like to remind all customers that they operate on an appointment-only system for all services except emergency ACS cases and adult passport renewals.

American Citizen Services

To schedule an appointment, or to obtain more information, please see the Embassy’s ACS page, which can be found here.

For automated information, please call (507) 317-5030.

To speak to an ACS representative please call (507) 317-5000 within the following hours:

Monday-Thursday: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Friday: 10:30 am – 12:00 noon

Federal Benefits

To schedule an appointment, or to obtain more information, please send an email to Panama-FBU@state.gov. Please only send one e-mail regarding your issue. We aim to respond to your inquiries within 3 business days.

Please note that the Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) of the U.S. Embassy in Panama cannot take or process claims for the Social Security Administration (SSA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), or Veterans Affairs (VA), and those entities do not have staff in the FBU. We rely on receiving responses from these various U.S. Federal government agencies (SSA, OPM, VA and others) to answer most benefits related inquiries.

For automated information, please call (507) 317-5030.

To speak to an FBU representative please call (507) 317-5000 within the following hours:

Monday-Thursday: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Friday: 10:30 am – 12:00 noon

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

Embajada de los Estados Unidos – Panama
Sección Consular

INFORMACIÓN IMPORTANTE

Los Servicios a Ciudadanos Americanos (ACS) y la Unidad de Beneficios Federales (FBU), desean recorder a todos sus clients que trabajan bajo un sistema de citas únicamente para todos los servicios, excepto para casos de emergencia de ciudadanos americanos y la renovación de pasaportes de adultos.

Servicios a Ciudadanos Americanos

Para programar una cita, o para obtener mayor información, favor ver la página de ACS de la Embajada, que puede encontrar aqui.

Para información automatizada, favor llamar al (507) 317-5030.

Para hablar con un representante de Servicios a Ciudadanos Americanos favor llamar al (507) 317-5000 dentro del siguiente horario:

Lunes-Jueves: 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Viernes: 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Beneficios Federales

Para programar una cita, o para obtener mayor información, favor enviar un correo electrónico a Panama-FBU@state.gov. Favor enviar solamente un correo electrónico en relación a su caso. Nuestra meta es responder sus consultas dentro de los siguientes 3 días hábiles.

Favor tomar nota de que la Unidad de Beneficios Federales de la Embajada de los Estados Unidos en Panamá no puede aceptar o procesar reclamos de la Administración de Seguro Social (SSA), de la Oficina de Administración de Personal (OPM), o de Asuntos de Veteranos (VA), y de aquellas entidades que no tengan personal dentro de FBU. Dependemos de recibir las respuestas de estas entidades gubernamentales Federales de los Estados Unidos (SSA, OPM, VA y otras), para dar respuestas a la mayoría de sus consultados sobre beneficios.

Para información automatizada, favor llamar al (507) 317-5030.

Para hablar con un representante de FBU favor llamar al (507) 317-5000 dentro del siguiente horario:

Lunes-Jueves: 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Viernes: 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Message for U.S. Citizens: Embassy Town Hall

Following is the latest ACS message.


Ambassador John D. Feeley
invites
U.S. Citizens in Panama Province
to a Town Hall Meeting

When: Wednesday, April 20th
Where: Wyndham Hotel at Albrook Mall
Time: 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

Representatives from American Citizens Services, Regional Security Office, and Federal Benefitswill be available to answer questions during the meeting

Please register here NLT than April 17th. Space is limited to 100 guests so sign up early. The Conference Hall will open at 2pm for all participants.

IMPORTANT: After registering, you will receive a message confirming your participation. You must present this confirmation along with proof of citizenship to enter the conference hall.

Thank you for your cooperation.

No Video Cameras or Video Recording Permitted