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New passport...old residence card

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sailfree
8/9/2019 07:46 EST

I renewed my U.S. passport but don't know if I now have to renew my permanent residence card. My residence card has a turista number and a pensionado number, The turista number is repeated under my photo plus another unidentified number. In the "nationality" section of the card is another unidentified number and my old passport number. I have used my new passport with this residency card on 4 trips to the U.S. with no problems departing the U.S. or reentering Panama. I dread the thought of going through the maze at the Immigration office if I don't have to. Anybody know whether or not I need a new residence card now that I have renewed my passport?

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lapapuja
8/10/2019 09:10 EST

I only had a problem once returning to Panama with a carnet. The passport numbers are supposed to match though. Long story but I made my flight. I got a cedula after that so no more problems.

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StanleySankey
8/10/2019 13:47 EST

My residency card and work permit both have my old expired passport number. I updated the DL, with the cedula number, when my license expired.

So far it hasn't been an issue. I hold on to the old expired passport just in case it comes to bite me on the behind at some future date. Then I will go update them.

In theory you are supposed to update them, but so far though let sleeping dogs lay, seems to work best in Panama.

As you mention I am looking to avoid another few rounds of pain and suffering at immigration and ministry of labour. My experience is that any dealing with the government here turns into a gong show so I try to limit them whenever possible.

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sailfree
8/10/2019 16:21 EST

Thanks. I'm with you. I don't even like to drive by the Immigration building. I had the same experience with my D/L. They made me go and change my auto registration to reflect the new passport number. They had no problem with my residence card having a different passport number. However, I think it's just another hassle waiting to happen so I will run the Immigration gauntlet and change it...one of these days :-)

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Jazzmann
8/11/2019 12:11 EST

Our one year driver's license has expired after we got our cedulas. Will we renewed we presented our sedulous and my wife's for your license was issued in the new cellular number. However, in the interim we had purchased the vehicle, in my name and passport number. I had to go to the alcalde and a t t t to retitle the vehicle reflecting my scheduling number before I could renew my driver's license. once you get a cedula all of these ministerial problems are over with.

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PanamaJackie
8/13/2019 19:22 EST

you can go to immigration to register your new passport number.

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sailfree
12/7/2019 10:56 EST

Update...Update...Update

We all had it wrong! The passport number on your residence card (carnet) Does Not have to match your new passport number BUT you do need to register your new passport number with Immigration. When you register the new number they will put a stamp in your new passport just as they did in your original passport. Luckily, there is a regional Immigration office near me so I didn't have to go to Panama City. It took 15 minutes to complete the process. You need a short note requesting to register your new passport, copies of your old and new passport, your residence card and a copy of the registration stamp that is in your old passport. They enter the new information into the system, stamp your new passport and you are on your way.

I am not fluent in Spanish so had a friend with me. A guy in the office dictated the short note to her and I signed it. The small regional office was much more laid back than PC. Little things like if you didn't have a copy of something they would make the copy for you instead of making you leave and get a copy. Honestly! :-)

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sailfree
12/7/2019 10:56 EST

Update...Update...Update

We all had it wrong! The passport number on your residence card (carnet) Does Not have to match your new passport number BUT you do need to register your new passport number with Immigration. When you register the new number they will put a stamp in your new passport just as they did in your original passport. Luckily, there is a regional Immigration office near me so I didn't have to go to Panama City. It took 15 minutes to complete the process. You need a short note requesting to register your new passport, copies of your old and new passport, your residence card and a copy of the registration stamp that is in your old passport. They enter the new information into the system, stamp your new passport and you are on your way.

I am not fluent in Spanish so had a friend with me. A guy in the office dictated the short note to her and I signed it. The small regional office was much more laid back than PC. Little things like if you didn't have a copy of something they would make the copy for you instead of making you leave and get a copy. Honestly! :-)

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stgibson
12/8/2019 09:46 EST

The E-cedula is the way to go. Once this is done it is for life and supersedes a passport number. It also entitles you to benefits of Caja Seguro. just had a complete physical with 3 pages of blood work tests and a very good doctor. Cost $0.00 I did have to pay $20 for a chest x-ray.

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VickiCollado
12/8/2019 11:03 EST

I am not sure about your statement that the E-cedula entitled you for the benefit of Social Security. As far as I understand you are entitled to use the Social Security if you pay the Social Security Taxes. When you go to the Social Security Hospital, they ask you for your id plus the confirmation of payment of the social security taxes (is called ficha). In Panama City, you can use the Santo Tomas, which is also a public hospital, but for people who do not pay social security tax. If anybody knows the rules, please share them.

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volcan357
12/8/2019 21:13 EST

I am not either. I have the N-cedula and I never thought I was entitled to the benefits of the social security. I do know that Panamanians over 65 who never paid into social security get $120 a month in social security. However I don't think I would qualify because I get US social security. I have heard that Panamanians who are not covered get billed for using hospital services but end up only paying what they are able to afford. Maybe someone has better information?

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VickiCollado
12/8/2019 23:42 EST

If you have an N- cédula, this means that you are Panamanian by the naturalization process. Thus if you are 65 and fulfill the condition, you can receive 120 dollars. But this program is for a person in difficult situations as per the link below:

https://www.mides.gob.pa/programas/120-a-los-70/

Thanks for share.

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volcan357
12/9/2019 00:30 EST

Thanks for the info. I am not interested in $120 but I am interested to know how it would work if I had to use the public hospital. I do have the N-cedula and I am 78 years old. Luckily I haven't been to a doctor in over ten years nor do I take any pills but one never knows.

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stgibson
12/9/2019 10:12 EST

As an E or N Cedula holder you are entitled to the use of the Caja Seguro Hospitals. Your rights are not the same as a Panamanian citizen who has paid into the system. An E-cedula holder is not entitled to social security benefits payments. For Panamanian citizens all Caja Seguro hospital charges are free. For E and N cedula holders many of the hospital services are free but some you have to pay for. I have a doctor at Caja Seguro in Dolega that I visit regularly and have lab work done and there is no charge. As I stated before my doctor ordered a chest x-ray and I went to the Caja Seguro in Boquete for this and had to pay $20 (very reasonable). In August my doctor in Dolega sent me to a specialist at Caja Seguro in David. Before I could see the doctor I had to pay a fee which was 75 cents(very reasonable). Some prescriptions are free and some you have to pay a discounted rate for. I know this because one of our best friends is the administrator for the caja seguro hospitals in Chiriqui. Overall my experience with the doctor in Caja Seguro has been very good. They are not quick to prescribe drugs and often refer to diet and natural methods for remedies. Most have been educated in Cuba, Mexico, Brazil and the US. In the last two years of going to Caja Seguro hospitals my total expenditure for treatment has been less than one visit to a doctor in the US.

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stgibson
12/9/2019 10:20 EST

They ask for proof of payment of social security only for things that are not covered as an E-cedula holder, i.e., some prescription drugs, specialists, x-rays, etc., the other services are free to E-cedula holders.

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VickiCollado
12/9/2019 12:33 EST

As per my understanding, everyone (Panamanian or foreigners) who had paid the Social Security taxes are allowed to use the social security facilities and services. For instance, workers, regardless of their nationality, pay social security monthly. This tax is discounted from their pay check. The employer also has to cover a portion of this social security payment, which is monthly delivery to the Social Security.

Whenever you visit any Social Security branch, they ask for your social security cards, or id, and your receipts of payment of social security (Ficha). Without this, attention usually is denied, and the person is sent to the Santo Tomás Hospital.

As a taxpayer of Social Security, you are entitled to get medicine if available, examination, tests, surgery, which are not free, because you had been paying in advance for many years social security as a worker, or independent contractor. You may think that the attention, medicines, and other services are free, but they are not, because you already paid in advance.

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stgibson
12/9/2019 16:42 EST

I have been going to Caja Seguro hospital for two years now and have never been denied treatment. I do not work and don't pay into the system. As I said before some things like specialists, x-rays, and some prescription drugs I pay for but general doctor visits, lab testing that they preform there and some drugs I am not charged for. Apparently your understanding is wrong.

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StanleySankey
12/9/2019 16:57 EST

I have had a similar experience to StGibson however not as consistent. Some times it is free, sometimes you have to pay to see the doctor, but it is usually minimal like $10.

In theory, if you are not in CSS you should be paying a fee for services at a CSS hospital but after you have lived in Panama awhile you are only surprised when they follow the same process consistently, As that almost never happens.

Before I was in CSS, I was in the public hospital in Chitre and the doctor wanted an MRI done. There was no MRI in Chtire at that time, except a private clinic that was very pricey. They bundled me into an ambulance and sent me to the CSS hospital in Santiago for the MRI and return, the only price charged was for the MRI, $300, everything else was free.

For minor issues, you can also go to the Centro Salud (Health Center) where ever you live and see a doctor for $2.

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stgibson
12/11/2019 11:56 EST

Stanley,
you are probably very correct about consistency. So far here in Chiriqui it has been fairly consistent. the most i have paid was $20 for an x-ray, which in my mind is very reasonable. My highest doctor cost was 75 cents. $300 for an MRI sounds cheap to me as I have been told they can run $3-4K in the US. I am told that estranjeros are allowed some privileges in Caja Seguro because we contribute to the economy in Panama, which we do. In our district we are one of the few that pay property taxes.

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