Apostilled, Authenticated & Notarized….OH MY!!!


Scotiabank only needs one last thing from us in order to open our bank account and oh my goodness, I think I may have hit a little snag…They want a letter from our immigration attorney simply confirming that we have retained her services for the Pensionado application. (sounds simple..right? Well…..) I spoke with her assistant this morning, he told me that she will not do that until we have our actual Cedula (Panamanian ID) . I explained, we are not asking them to tell the bank that we have our Cedula, just that we have retained the services of an attorney to facilitate our application… He told me (sounding somewhat annoyed, I may add) that I could talk to Mayra and see what she says…Grrrrrr! It’s rather Frustrating that this one little thing could put the cabash on our ability to establish a bank account until our visa is in hand. Ug! We’ll see where this goes…

Then back to the never-ending collection of documents we need in order to get our Pensionado application under way!! No! It’s not even underway yet!! Our situation is a tad bit complicated because of the way that we are choosing to prove our lifetime income (required for this Pensionado visa). We are using an annuity to satisfy this ‘lifetime income’ requirement and so are required to show proof of validity of the institution that we purchased the annuity from. (this is our punishment for retiring early and being too young for Social Security!) This and a letter from the bank that holds the Annuity confirming that they are an actual institution. We have these two documents but here’s where we’re hitting a snag..the documents needed to be ‘Notarized’… done! (Scott did this while he was in PC, at the U.S. Embassy in PC)! Then they needed to be either “Authenticated” or “Apostilled”….Stay with me now….We had them “Notarized” at the U.S. Embassy in Panama City…then we sent them to Washington DC to the Panamanian Embassy to be “Authenticated” But oooops! They cannot ‘Authenticate’ them because they were ‘Notarized’ in Panama, not in the U.S.!!! HUH? Okayyyyyy…..(taking deep breaths and remembering to hold on tight to my Tranquilol!) so now I’m spending my entire morning trying to reach The Secretary of State in Washington DC to see if they can “Apostille” A document previously Notarized by a U.S. Federal agent at the American Embassy in Panama??? Gulp! Meanwhile folks, our FBI reports are over 90 days old…possibly no good anymore! I’m wondering if I can have the FBI report “Re-Apostilled”? Not likely, but worth asking…maybe? I have a feeling we’ll be going through the whole fingerprinting and getting a NEW FBI report all over again! But wait! I’ll keep thinking positive…. maybe just having a new Apostille will do the trick, not likely, but wouldn’t that be great! For now, here I sit, waiting to hear back from all the voicemail messages I’ve left this morning! And enjoying my blogging vent! 🙂

Meanwhile…I’m taking lot’s of deep breaths and trying my darnedest to be patient! I know a lot of people who have gone through this process, all with varying degrees of frustration, (and I know a few who had very little frustration…. sticking my tongue out at you! LOL! ) so I know I’m not alone! Honestly, some of the craziness that others have gone through makes mine seem fairly mild. Some reading this may even be saying,”What’s she whining about!, That ain’t nothin’!” Yep, I am kinda whining, but, hey…I feel much better so, be glad for me! Blah! Blah! Blah! This is just part of the Adventure! And given the fact that I’m always raving about the rainbows and hummingbirds, fresh clean air and the joys of not having to have a job anymore…I wanted to be sure to also share the parts that aren’t so wonderful!! And this part, trying to get paperwork, documents and a plethora of requirements gathered for our permanent visa and to establish our bank account are challenging my Tranquilo today. But, I’m pretty sure tomorrow will be better, heck, probably “Tonight” will be better, just gotta make it till ‘Happy Hour!” Ha!Ha!

So to all my friends and family in CA who keep asking us when we’re coming back to get our container packed up an shipped out to Panama… Geesh! It’s hard to say, as you can see. The whole reason for leaving all our belongings in storage and postponing shipping them was to take advantage of the one time exemption of import taxes on a shipping container from your country of origin that one gets with the Pensionado Residency Visa. We really didn’t expect to run into so many snags. Now we know that we should have gotten many of the documents gathered before we left the states….hindsight! The one part that we had no choice but to wait on was the proof of lifetime income. Because it’s coming from an Annuity they wanted to see three months bank statements from it and we had to wait till our house sold to purchase it. The minute our attorney in Panama City has all our required documents, Appostilled, Authenticated, Notarized and signed in Blood (okay, now I’m over exaggerating, but Geesh!) And we are “IN Process”, then and only then can we go back to the States and get our belongings all packed up and shipped out. And then the visiting can commence. But it will not be a long visit and it’ll be impossible for me to see everyone, I’m so sorry to say. My main focus will be that daughter of mine, who I miss more than anything! My fingers are crossed that we’re getting closer to being done with this part and we can send all this crap to our Attorney soooooon! There! Venting is done!! Ha! 🙂

10 responses »

  1. Excellent job of venting, my friend. See–and you were worried about not having a “purpose” in your life while Scott was busy doing his thing up on your property!! Well, I’d say, you found your “purpose” , at least for right now—if you were busy doing other stuff and trying to deal with this, too, I think your “Tranquilo” might just run out!! Hang in there—you’ll get it done~~ Wishing you the best!

  2. Holly, did your lawyer suggest that it might be be easier to get your Friendly Nation Residency than to do the Pesionado? For that you’d need the bank account though. LOL! From what I understand it isn’t as easy to get an account at Scotiabank as elsewhere. Most people I know go to Multibank. And in my opinion your lawyer shouldn’t be putting up roadblocks to you getting a bank account they should be helping you get one.

  3. Wow I sure hope things turn out on the positive side. I was wondering how long the FBI fingerprints were good for. Keep us posted!

  4. We succeeded with the bank account and our attorney, thankfully, was cooperative with the requirements from him. The residency though, you know our story *sigh* But, what is the worst that can happen? You have to take a Costa Rica mini vacation every three months? The way Scott working this might actually be a very good thing.

  5. Oh, Holly! Deep Breaths. It is so frustrating and then when you think you have one problem solved, the dates on your documents expire and you have to do it all over again. There are many things we wish we would have done in hindsight, but it was a real learning experience. I hope these little glitches can be solved rapidly. I rather enjoyed your vent. lol

  6. Holly, early on you said that you would reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly of moving to Panama — and you have certainly kept your word – in spades. We have learned so much from your posts — like to choose another bank rather than Scotiabank. Thanks to your blog, we can avoid many of the pitfalls when we arrive in June. We are looking forward eagerly to each post you make. Thanks again for all the “heads up” you have given us. We are counting down the days.

  7. Even though we didn’t use the first attorney we sat down with in Panama (wasn’t very good with follow ups), he/she did give excellent information in that we could work on the visa from the States. Not that this helps you at all, but your post confirms this–thank goodness we did the stamping on this side! And it also confirms that you blogging about your frustrations is helping so many people (you know the saying “if this helps just one person out there”…). I just hope the Secretary tells you it is okay to have had done the first thing before the next! I am sure your next post tells us this, and I am sending my fingers crossed to you! HUGS, Holly!

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