Thursday, July 13, 2017

[News Boquete] Info from the U.S. Wardens re Passport Renewal and Questions of the Embassy

It has come to the attention of the Wardens that the U.S. Embassy staff will be visiting Chiriqui sometime in September. The date has not yet been set, but it will be announced as soon as it is available. That announcement will contain instructions about making an appointment and about what issues will be handled.

Many people ask about the Embassy visit because they need to renew their U.S. passports. Please note: You do not have to go to Panama City or wait for an Embassy visit to renew your passport unless you choose to do so. Passports can be renewed by mail (actually, DHL). Full instructions are below, but Mailboxes, etc. in downtown Boquete knows the drill and even can take the required photograph: one-stop service.

Note that all cashiers checks to the Embassy must be made out to U.S. Embassy Panama. The check will not be accepted if made out to the U.S. Embassy. This is a bank requirement, not an Embassy requirement.

Turnaround time is approximately two weeks, sometimes less.

Secondly, the American Citizen Services unit of the Embassy has asked all U.S. Wardens to direct citizens to the Embassy itself when the questions arise relating to their particular circumstances. The address of the ACS is and the phone number is 317-5000 (public call hours Mon-Thurs 3-4:30pm). The new role of the Wardens is to answer general questions, to disseminate Embassy notices, and to respond to Embassy requests that we intervene as deemed necessary. We will continue to pass on contact information if you have a personal issue, but it will save time if you make a note of the Embassy contacts and deal with the them directly when you have particular inquiries about your personal situation.

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