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Expats Blog

Picking up my fingerprints for residency

The other day was a bit of an adventure downtown. We went to pick up my fingerprints for my residency application, as well as to eat in a vegetarian restaurant I had seen on Instagram, and to obtain information about opening an account in the Banco General.

First we stopped by the Instituto de Medicina Legal y Ciencias Forenses to try and pick up the certified copy of the fingerprints I had taken 3 weeks ago for my RCMP background check. They had to be sent off to Panama City to obtain the proper stamps, and they had given me a business card telling me they would be ready to pick up last week. It is not customary in Canada for businesses to close for lunch, and so I didn’t even think about about the possibility. As luck would have it, they are apparently closed from 12pm – 2pm for lunch, and we arrived at 1pm.

After that we hopped back in a taxi to go to Mi Mundo Vegetariano. I feel a bit like a marketer’s wet dream – I opened an Instagram account, and the last 2 weeks have just been me drooling over photos. Apparently Panama is a super beautiful country…! There is so much stuff I want to do, and so much food I want to eat. The food (especially the batidos) was pretty good. I will not pass up a chance to eat a veggie burger when one presents itself!

Sweet, sweet, veggie burger.

Then we walked to the Banco General to ask some questions about bank accounts. Namely, if I can open an account without residency. They told me that one thing I would need is something that proves ties to Panama; marriage to a Panamanian, a Panamanian child, real estate, or a rental agreement in my name. I have just been living with my boyfriend while getting the documents together for residency, so that seems like the easiest way (I hope!).

Finally we went back to pick up the finger prints. After waiting in line for a few minutes, they called my name and led me down the corridor to sign and pickup a manila envelope. The next step will be finding a company in Canada to digitally scan them, and then send them to the RCMP to request the background check. I already did all of this for my Costa Rican residency, but the difference being that I did it in Canada. In that case I was just able to find an authorized company online and head downtown and have them take my fingerprints directly. From what I remember, the actual wait to get the background check was pretty quick the last time. So, here’s hoping history repeats itself.

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