It is truly hard to believe that I have been living in the Republic of Panama for over 4 years. It just seems like yesterday that I moved here leaving my former life behind. Panama Expat Living seems to be a perpetual vacation. Is it tough sometimes? Absolutely, but it is far better than the life that I left behind!
Every few weeks my wife Anabell and I meet someone new and make friends. The endless parade of like-minded expats making the move to Panama makes for an interesting life. I don’t know the exact numbers but the amount of expats who move here and stay for the long haul is pretty high. I only know of a few who have left and they were mainly for unforeseen personal reasons.
This year had a few highlights concerning Panama expat living that I would love to share with you. As many of you know I like to share my Panama experiences so that if and when you decide to make the move you can make an informed decision.
I am Officially a Panama Legal Resident – Panama Expat Living Gold!
Yes, we decided to go for it and start my process of becoming a citizen of this country. First step in the long process is my two year Carnet. Since I am married to a Panamanian I applied for my residency through marriage. There are plenty of other options like, “Friends of Panama Visa, Pensionado Visa and the Investor Visa”. The only one of those that can lead to citizenship is the Investor Visa. Citizenship in Panama takes a very long time. We only know of one who friend who accomplished it and she was from Peru. The goal should be to get your Cedula which allows you to apply for credit, buy a house without a huge down payment and just makes life easier.
Here is my Residency in Panama Carnet. This was my temporary before I completed the interview.
Many people wonder about the interview by the immigration people. If you are already married or are planning to marry a Panamanian be prepared to do the interview in Spanish. Sure you can hire an interpreter but what fun is in that? My interviewer had a few laughs at the expense of this Gringo! On a serious note, they take the interview very serious and I had to do a second interview for my work authorization. The funny thing is they force you to pay for the work authorization, I still have not picked mine up. The Residency in Panama has done more to make Panama expat living easier than anything else.
We Launched VIP Panama Tours
Early in January we decided to launch VIP Panama Tours. Our primary company High Impact Media Group Panama is doing great but we noticed that our marketing capabilities within Panama were untapped. We approached a few other companies within the Panama tourism industry but none of them thought that we were valuable enough to provide them marketing. So we decided to do it on our own.
VIP Panama Tours Special Offer.
What do you do with over 5 Million views online concerning Panama per month? You turn it into a marketing platform to generate leads for a tour company. Anabell and I love the tourism industry but we do not want to deal with large groups or children so we decided to only work with small groups of adults. These small groups will be treated to an amazing experience of Panama. This will also make the tours more enjoyable for our guides.
Panama Drivers License in Hand
I won’t bore you with the details about this part of my Panama expat living. If you want to know about, “The Panama Drivers License Process“. Please click the image or the link and read the article.
My Class D Drivers License in Panama. I was delighted that they honored my New York Class D License.
What I will say is that one of the biggest headaches about Panama expat living is the requirement that you have to leave the country every three months to keep your foreign license eligible. This makes for a frustrating driving experience, as you never know when you will have to pad a Police officers wallet. The Transito Police like to set up checkpoints all over the country to check your drivers license, license plates and insurance. Make sure everything is in order because nothing is more annoying than having a cop ask you to buy him or her a cup of coffee.
Panama expat living is not for everyone! If you want to see what living here is like, why not live here as a tourist for an extended period of time? Try living in different parts of the country for 3-6 months at a time and see if you really like this lifestyle. Living in Boquete, Panama is much different than living in Bocas Del Toro or here near Panama City, Panama.
I dread seeing people who make the move, buy a house in an area but have only spent a short amount of time in the area. Do your due diligence folks, you will save yourself a ton of headaches down the road. If you have any questions about Panama expat living feel free to contact me.
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