Panama: Mandatory Online System for Minors' Exit Permits Forthcoming

The Panamanian Immigration Office has implemented a new online system which will generate exit permits for certain Panamanian and legal resident minors leaving Panama with one or no parents on or after April 1, 2018. The new system is expected to streamline the exit permit process for minors.

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Mar 16, 2018
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The situation

The Panamanian Immigration Office (Servicio Nacional de Migración) will implement a new online system for obtaining exit permits for minors traveling with one or no parents on April 1. The system will be mandatory for the eligible groups of users.

Eligibility for online system

Eligibility for the system will be limited to Panamanian or legal resident minors traveling with:

  • One parent where the other parent grants authorization; or
  • An authorized third party where both parents grant authorization.

The below groups of individuals will not be eligible for the online system:

  • Minors traveling alone. Minors traveling alone will require a notarized letter signed by both parents.
  • Deceased parent. Where one parent is deceased and the other parent seeks to leave Panama with a minor, the parent must present a death certificate of the deceased parent.
  • Guardianship. If the guardian seeks to leave Panama with the minor, the guardian  must present a copy of a judge’s guardianship authorization.
  • Parent living abroad. Parents living abroad who have granted power of attorney to the other parent to travel with the minor must present the legalized and translated power of attorney.

In such situations, in addition to the above-mentioned documents, the adult traveling with the minor must also present a legalized birth certificate, and, if applicable, notarized copies of the birth certificate translated into Spanish.

Process

The process for obtaining an exit permit for minors will be as follows:

  • Parent(s) of the minor complete the application form online and attach a copy of the parent(s)’ or accompanying adult’s Panamanian identification card or passport and a copy of the child’s birth certificate in PDF format.
  • The system generates a printable permit.
  • The parent brings the permit to a public notary for certification by the non-traveling  parent(s) (if that is the case).
  • The notary certifies the child’s information in 30-60 minutes and the notary uploads a digital copy of the certified permit in the online system.
  • At the time of travel, the immigration official accesses the registered permit online.

The minor can travel as soon as the certified permit is uploaded to the online system. The minor should carry a printed copy of the permit when traveling.

Impact

The online system is expected to streamline the exit permit system for minor Panamanian citizens and legal residents, who are currently required to carry notarized and legalized documents with them when traveling. However, foreign nationals should expect delays while the system is being implemented.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email topanamacityinfo@fragomen-mfn.com.

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