Relocating to Panama: A Comprehensive 15-Step Guide - Expat Community

Relocating to Panama: A Comprehensive 15-Step Guide

Sep 8, 2023 | Knowledge Base, Panama | 0 comments

Taking the leap to settle in Panama? It’s a brilliant decision, be it for professional reasons, retirement, or a refreshing change. To navigate this transition seamlessly, follow these 15 fundamental steps:

Engage a Reputed International Mover: Prioritize hiring a seasoned international moving company. They not only manage tasks from packing to customs clearance but also offer pivotal advice and have trustworthy contacts in Panama.

Organize Vital Documents: Prepare all required documentation for your move, including those for immigration, banking in Panama, and if you’re a pet owner, their relocation as well.

Master Some Spanish: While many expats converse in English, Spanish remains vital for daily communication, particularly in rural areas. Spanish knowledge will also ease understanding local administrative documents and utilities

Pack Essentials Thoughtfully: Your must-haves like medicines, toiletries, and some clothing should be immediately accessible, not stowed away in the shipment. If your belongings’ delivery faces delays, ensure you have enough essentials with you

Invest in Comprehensive Travel and Health Insurance: Secure yourself against unforeseen travel issues and health emergencies. Begin your Panamanian adventure with the right coverage.

Systematically Plan Pet Relocation: Touch base with the Panamanian consulate for pet entry norms. Ensure all vaccinations are current and scout for experienced pet relocation firms

Catalog Your Possessions: A detailed list is indispensable for both customs and any potential insurance claims. Enumerate substantial items and the contents of each box

Pack with Care: If you’re personally handling the packing, prioritize the safety of your items. When professionals are at work, monitor the process to ensure everything is in order.

Finalize Housing Arrangements: Plan your immediate accommodation after landing in Panama, accounting for potential delays in your belongings’ arrival.

Streamline Finances: Set up your financial access in Panama, understanding the local banking nuances. Learn about ATM withdrawal limits and transaction fees in the country.

Modernize Phone Services: Transitioning from U.S. to Panamanian phone services can enhance your communication experience. Consider platforms like Google Voice to maintain your U.S. number

Initiate Utility Connections: If your accommodation is ready, pre-arrange utility setups, including internet, to ensure comfort upon arrival.

Devise a Mail Delivery Mechanism: Panama lacks a conventional mail system. Opt for services like Mail Boxes Etc. and establish a forwarding system through Miami for timely mail receipt

Procure a Panamanian Driver’s License: Your existing license might require authentication via your home country’s embassy in Panama. Alternatively, you may need to undergo Panamanian driving tests and formalities.

Savor Your New Abode: With meticulous planning, your relocation to Panama can be a delightful experience. Once everything’s in place, dive into the rich experiences Panama offers

About the Author:

Rod Larrivee

Rod Larrivee, co-owner of Retire in Panama Tours, and Oscar Peña, his business partner, have been pivotal in assisting numerous individuals in their relocation journeys to Panama for over a decade. They offer detailed group tours, personalized tours, and an array of services tailored for newcomers to Panama. Connect with them directly via their website

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