Local Resources for U.S. Citizens

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

 

The National Tourism Authority of Panama has established a new hotline for tourists.  Dial 178 from any telephone to receive information on hotels and tourism, visa policies and procedures for Panama, or to report a crime and receive assistance from the Panamanian authorities.  English-speaking operators are available.

Please visit the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Panama page for detailed information about Entry/Exit Requirements, Safety and Security, Medical Facilities, Traffic Safety, and a number of other issues.

For further information about Panamanian laws and regulations, please visit the Embassy of Panama website or the website of Panama’s National Migration Service.

The Consular Affairs/Office of Policy Coordination (CA/P) compiles news articles chosen for their general interest to Americans who travel. The articles address safe travel, are informative and memorable, and appeal to wide audience.  Although State is not the author of these articles, CA/P believes the information in these types of articles are useful and informative.

Tips to avoid being victimized on vacation. “No one knows better than the police which tricks criminals are using to prey on unsuspecting tourists.” http://www.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/traveltips/06/24/security.tips/index.html

12 lessons learned from a life on the road. “Rule No. 1: Travel is no fun. Really. If you think it’s all about smiling stewardesses attending to your every whim, friendly hotels offering fawning service, and romantic sunsets on the beach, it’s time for a reality check.”

Add blank pages to your passport to be on the safe side. “Question: My adult son, traveling with his wife and child, was recently refused permission to board a flight from England to South Africa because he had only one blank page in his passport. How do you know which country wants more than one blank page?” http://articles.latimes.com/2008/mar/09/travel/tr-spot9

Arrested abroad: A rare glimpse of trips gone wrong. “If getting arrested is your measure of trouble, the answer is Mexico. More specifically, it’s Tijuana, followed by Guadalajara, Nuevo Laredo and, across the Atlantic, London.” http://travel.latimes.com/articles/la-tr-insider28oct28

Passport rule helps collect child support. “The new passport requirements that have complicated life this summer for thousands of travelers have also uncovered untold numbers of child support scofflaws and forced them to pay millions.” http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/15/us/15passport.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1213297350-LI08jHQ6qBHL3mfqIE7LpA

Foreign roads can be deadly for U.S. travelers. “Motor vehicle crashes — not crime or terrorism — are the No. 1 killer of healthy Americans in foreign countries. And the threat to travelers is poised to increase dramatically as worldwide economic growth gives more people access to motor vehicles.” http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2007-08-13-tourist-deaths_n.htm?loc=interstitialskip

Taking the kids: What to know before your child flies alone. “How the Sims kids ended up fending for themselves in Salt Lake City is an object lesson for anyone putting kids, especially teens, on flights alone this summer — and we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of children winging their way between divorced parents, to camps, adventure trips and more — when there are unprecedented delays, missed connections and canceled flights derailing even seasoned travelers.”

Send feedback, criticism, and suggestions for articles for future editions of CA Current to the CA-P email collective.

Notice to U.S. boaters: The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens navigating Panamanian waters on private vessels to adhere to regulations established by the Government of Panama.

These include respecting the length of time the Government of Panama grants transiting crews to remain in country, and adhering to the Panamanian Government’s prohibition against operating unlicensed businesses from foreign vessels. The Embassy has received reports of crews and vessels overstaying their legal time limit in Panama, particularly in the San Blas Islands area, and engaging in tourism-related businesses without proper permits.

Information on Panamanian Government regulations is available to arriving mariners at Panama’s Ports of Entry.  Please note that there are registration fees required for the use of your boat in some coastal areas.

Minors (children under 18) who are citizens (including dual citizens) or legal residents of Panama are required to present both parents’ identification documents, birth certificates, and notarized consent (in Spanish) in order to exit the country if not accompanied by both parents. (PLEASE NOTE that the notarized consent should also be apostilled if the consent is signed in the U.S). Any child born in Panama automatically obtains Panamanian citizenship.

This documentation is required at all sea and air ports as well as at all border crossing points.

Even if minors are not documented as Panamanian citizens but are documented as U.S. citizens, they may be denied departure without the consent letter and birth certificate. Before being accepted at Panamanian immigration entry and departure points, consent documents notarized in the United States need to be authenticated in the U.S. with an apostille by the designated authorities in each jurisdiction, generally the Secretary of State’s office. Electronic scans of documents that have been e-mailed, or faxes of the documents, will not be accepted, only the original documents. You must bring the original documents with you from the U.S. if your children are accompanying you to Panama.

The Government of Panama strictly enforces the juvenile curfew law, which requires minors under 18 years of age who are not under the supervision of an adult to be off the streets between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday.  The curfew law applies to both Panamanian and foreign citizens.

Minors who commit a curfew violation are subject to detention at a police station until they are released into the custody of their parents. Parents may be fined for the violation, and the amount of the fine is up to the discretion of the Corregidor (magistrate) of the local area.  Students attending night classes must have a carnet issued by the school.  Minors who are employed must obtain a certificate of employment.