Living the Panama Expat Life

Ever wondered what it would be like to live in another country or visit another country? Maybe you just wanted to take a trip or a long vacation from your homeland to see how people in other countries live and survive.

This article is designed to help those who want to live in Panama as there are many things to be aware of such as: Where in Panama do you want to live?  What are the legalities of living in Panama? What is the infrastructure like in Panama? The questions go on and on so let’s take one question at a time and answer them.

Panama City and the Panama Province

There are some places in Panama that are pretty laid back and then there are some that are non-stop. Panama City, Panama is definitely a non-stop place as there are lots of businesses, restaurants, casinos, bars, and so much more. Many professionals like Panama City, Panama because it is a place to go and mingle and there is always something to do there.

Highlands of Boquete, Chiriqui

A place that many tourists and retirees go to is Boquete, Panama because of the laid back atmosphere, relaxing lifestyle and cooler temperatures in the mountains. Boquete is about seven hours away from Panama City and there are lots of fun and interesting things to do there such as zip lining through the rainforests, hiking to an extinct volcano named Baru, horse riding, taking tour busses through the mountains and bird watching. 

There is a rainy season in Boquete that starts around May and goes until the end of November so this would be something to consider if you prefer a drier and sunnier place to live. Many people in Boquete will spend the rainy season in another place such as the beaches or places outside of Boquete that stay dry during that time of year.

Of course, there are many bars, restaurants, spas, beauty salons and a great place called the Tuesday Morning Market or the BCP. This is a great place because many vendors come from all over to sell their products and there is always something to please everyone at this venue.

Another important piece of information about Panama is that they have the best coffee and when you arrive there you will definitely want to sample all the coffees as there are many kinds with delicious tastes.

About this time, you are probably wondering where the sources for this information are coming from so you need to know that  this article contains real life experiences about life in Panama.

Therefore, all of the information in this article can be backed up and used as a helpful guide for anyone who is thinking about moving to the country of Panama without having to reinvent the wheel.

Legalities of living in the country of Panama

With that being said, let’s move on to the next question which is what are the legalities of living in the country of Panama?

This is a very important question as there are many types of classifications and guidelines for one to gain temporary and permanent residency in Panama so let’s start with the temporary residency information first.

A temporary residency in Panama is going to be carried out through an attorney and there are many law firms in Panama who specialize in this.  Some people will contact an attorney before they move to begin getting all of their papers in order such as an FBI background check which is a must to get done before you move to Panama. 

After you have all of your papers in order, you will want to start setting up phone calls with an attorney to be sure you have all necessary papers as once you get to Panama it will be costly to do anything that requires contact outside of Panama.

Okay, you have all of your papers in order and you are in Panama, now what is next? Go to the attorney of your choice who specializes in immigration and they will set up a temporary visa status for you and this is only good for three months so please keep this in mind.

The next step is to get a driver’s license and this is only if you are planning to permanently stay in Panama as if you are only there for a visit you will not have to worry about that.  However, you will need to be aware that you have a limited period of time to stay in Panama and they do enforce the time limit.

The permanent visa is obtained through your immigration attorney and they will keep you posted on when that process is to take place, but the temporary visa process must be followed correctly first.

Moreover, there is a cost associated with moving to Panama and it is not cheap, but the country is very careful about letting people into their country if they cannot prove their financial status. Of course, this cost is associated with the kind of visa you want to obtain and there are different kinds.  You can look at the visa options on any immigration attorney’s website in Panama.

The infrastructure in Panama

Okay, let’s move on to the next question and that is about the infrastructure of Panama as the country has come a long way in that area.

We will focus on the areas of Boquete, Panama as the country is just too big to focus on the entire infrastructure. The infrastructure in Panama is different as they did not plan for the growth that they are facing now as many Americans and others are moving to Boquete, Panama to retire or start a business.

The city of Boquete has just started a sewer line project which is in progress and will enable the use of clean water used for bathing, cooking, etc. 

For more information on this project you can look up the progress on the Boquete, Panama government website.

Also, please keep in mind that there is so much more information about Panama that just cannot be written into this small article so please keep in mind that like everything else information will change and that is where you will have to do your research and make sure that you are up-to-date on the most current information available.

Again, this article is just a glimpse of what it would be like to live in Panama and the article is giving you that glimpse through another person’s eyes so what they experience and what you experience will not necessarily be the same.

In closing, Panama is a very beautiful country with many exciting things to do and see so the choice is yours to make, and whatever your choice may be enjoy life to the fullest.

Photo by Sunny Au8ust on Unsplash