Tag Archives: ACS

Message for U.S. Citizens: Carnival in Panama 2016

Following is the latest ACS message.


Friday, February 5, 2016 starts the annual Carnival celebration in Panama. This event is observed in Panama City and many towns throughout the country. While it is intended to be a fun celebration, it can also result in road closures and increased opportunity for crime. The American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Panama would like to draw your attention to the following information:

Currently available information indicates that The Government of Panama plans to close down the Cinta Costera from 1:00pm Friday, February 5th until Wednesday February 10th. More information is available from www.visitpanama.gov or local media outlets. The PNP will establish checkpoints on the main entrances to the Carnival area. In addition, SINAPROC, PNP, SENAFRONT, and SENAN are deploying units all over the country, including beach areas and cities such as Las Tables, Penonomé, Aguadulce, La Villa de los Santos, and Santiago.

Remember as you travel to and from the event, traffic is likely to be heavy and rerouted.

Avoid drawing attention to yourself and thereby increasing your chances of becoming a target for crime:
· Do not wear expensive jewelry or hand-carry cameras.
· Avoid displaying large amounts of money. Keep cash in separate locations on your person.
· We recommend not carrying large bags, purses, etc.
· Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.
· Use sunscreen.

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.

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

Following is the latest ACS Message.

VOTING IN 2016 U.S. ELECTIONS

Your vote counts! Did you know that many U.S. elections for house and senate have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters? All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline.

Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the 2016 U.S. elections:

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 FPCAallows 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.

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. of 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 ACS unit is closed for all U.S. and Panamanian holidays.

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

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 Embassy Panama Voting Assistance Officer at 317-5000, or at PNMVoting@state.gov.

Remember, your vote counts!

Message for U.S. Citizens: H1N1 Flu Virus

Following is the latest ACS message.

The American Citizen Services Unit would like to alert U.S. citizens residing and/or traveling in the Chiriqui Province about an outbreak of the influenza virus in the region. The Panamanian Ministry of Health (MINSA) has reported 22 confirmed cases of influenza, including two confirmed cases ofthe H1N1 flu virus in Chiriqui. Please click here to see the announcement and guidance from the Panamanian Ministry of Health. For further information about the H1N1 virus, including steps you can take to stay healthy, please consult the United States Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Zika Virus

Following is the latest ACS message

Message for U.S. Citizens– Zika Virus

The U.S. Embassy in Panama alerts U.S. citizens that there is a new CDC Advisory regarding the Zika Virus. For the full text, please visit the CDC website. To obtain Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel notices, call the CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) from within the United States, or 1-404-639-3534 from overseas or visit the CDC website.

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.

Message for U.S. Citizens: Primary Elections

Following is the latest ACS Message


The U.S. Embassy in Panama City, Panama reminds U.S. citizens that voting season is approaching. Below you will find each state’s presidential primary election dates.

State Presidential Primary
Alabama March 1
Alaska March 1
American Samoa March 1
Arizona March 22
Arkansas March 1
California June 7
Colorado March 1
Connecticut April 26
Delaware April 26
District of Columbia June 14
Florida March 15
Georgia March 1
Guam March 9 (R) May 7 (D)
Hawaii March 8 (R) March 26 (D)
Idaho March 8
Illinois March 15
Indiana May 3
Iowa February 1
Kansas March 5
Kentucky May 17
Louisiana March 5
Maine March 5 (R) March 6 (D)
Maryland April 26
Massachusetts March 1
Michigan March 8
Minnesota March 1
Mississippi March 8
Missouri March 15
Montana June 7
Nebraska May 10
Nevada February 20 (D) February 23 (R)
New Hampshire February 9
New Jersey June 7
New Mexico June 7
New York April 19
North Carolina March 15
North Dakota March 1 (R) June 7 (D)
Ohio March 15
Oklahoma March 1
Oregon May 17
Pennsylvania April 26
Puerto Rico March 6
Rhode Island April 26
South Carolina February 20 (R) February 27 (D)
South Dakota June 7
Tennessee March 1
Texas March 1
Utah March 22
Vermont March 1
Virgin Islands March 19 (R) June 4 (D)
Virginia March 1
Washington March 26 (D) May 24 (R)
West Virginia May 10
Wisconsin April 5
Wyoming March 1 (R) April 9 (D)

If you currently reside outside of the U.S. or will be outside of your voting jurisdiction for any election, you will need to fill out an absentee ballot form and return it before your state’s deadline. To find out your state’s deadlines for registration, absentee ballot request, and ballot return, refer to https://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/States/eVAG.pdf. For more information, visit https://www.fvap.gov/.

Message for U.S. Citizens: Important Information from the US Office of Personnel Management

Here is the latest announcement from the FBU portion of the ACS.

In the payment dated January 4, 2016, some overseas beneficiaries of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) had U.S. taxes deducted from their annuity payments.

OPM stated they are under additional requirements from the IRS about reporting income and were updating their systems for the new data fields and many overseas beneficiaries had taxes withheld from their annuity. They are working to have this corrected. They stated that most or all annuitants should see this corrected and paid by their February 1, 2016 payment.

For further information you may call OPM at 888-767-6738.

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Martyrs’ Day

Here is the latest ACS message.


Martyrs’ Day is a Panamanian holiday, which commemorates the January 9, 1964 riots over sovereignty of the Panama Canal Zone. The incident is considered to be a significant factor in the U.S. decision to transfer control of the Canal Zone to Panama through the 1977 Torrijos-Carter Treaties.

The U.S. Embassy in Panama City advises all U.S. citizens in Panama that Martyrs’ Day will be observed this year on Saturday, January 9, 2016.    The U.S. Embassy alerts U.S. citizens to possible street closures and traffic congestion due to scheduled marches and other events around Panama City.  All U.S. citizens are reminded of the sensitivity of this day and urged to remain diligent in your personal security.  

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.

Message for U.S. Citizens: Consular Section Closure (December 24 and 25)

Here is the latest ACS message.

THE CONSULAR SECTION (AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES, FEDERAL BENEFITS, AND VISAS UNITS) WILL BE CLOSED ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24 BEGINNING AT 12:00 AND FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25

 

The Consular Section (Visas/American Citizen Services/Federal Benefits Unit) at the United States Embassy in Panama will be closed to the public on Thursday, December 24 beginning at 12:00 for the Christmas Eve Holiday and Friday, December 25 for Christmas Day.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.  No routine service will be available in the Consular Section.  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 Monday, December 28, 2015, the Consular Section will resume full operations with its regular schedule (please see http://panama.usembassy.gov).

Message for U.S. Citizens: Anniversary of Operation Just Cause

Here is the latest ACS Message.


The U.S. Embassy in Panama City informs U.S. citizens that it has received a report of planned demonstrations in Panama City related to the anniversary of Operation Just Cause on December 20, 2015.  One demonstration is scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m. in the traffic circle between Clayton and Albrook and continue to the U.S. Embassy.  A second demonstration is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. on the Cinta Costera.  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: Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT)

Following is the latest ACS Message.

U.S. Department of State

Invites you to take action…

Your career starts by visiting our website at www.careers.state.gov where you can explore who we are, what we’re about, and more.  It’s also where you can register for the next Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT).

All registrations for the Foreign Service Officer Test must be completed online.  The link to online registration will be available at our website and the registration package must be submitted at least 48 hours prior to the opening of the window.  The test will be offered quarterly, each year, and registration for the FSOT will be open on a continuous basis. 

  • Applicants must be citizens of the United States.
  • Applicants must be at least 20 years old.
  • Applicants must be available for worldwide assignment.
  • No specific level in a foreign language is required for applicants.

      Next test at US Embassy Panama will be on February 2nd, 2016 at 9:00 am.