“Getting married in Panama is easy”
That seems to be the consensus of websites topping my “how to get married in Panama” interweb search. Some of them temper the “easy” bit by adding, “provided you have all the necessary paperwork and follow the correct procedures.”
of course that’s like saying swimming lake gatun is easy, provided you’ve read up on crocodiles, and can swim really fast.
except for finding corrupt officials, growing pineapples, or getting hit by a killer bus, nothing is easy in panama. say you really are foolish enough to get married. and you’ve come all this way to meet the love of your life: a simple chola with dirty feet and scary sex drive. this is a happy time for you. you’ve got your script for blue pills, paid off her burro, bought her mama new teeth. you’ve even remembered to bring certified and stamped court documents of your birth and divorce. now all you need is a judge or priest to say a few meaningless words at your funeral blessed union and you’re ready to pound wally pound.
not so fast pendejo.
(1) certificado de nacimiento y solteria de ambos.
yeah, they want your birth and bachelorhood certificates, but if you’ve been married, they also want a certificate of divorce. and get this, these documents must be authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate in your home country.
in the U.S there are consulates in several major cities. but if you’re in Panama you won’t want to hop an expensive flight back. so you’ll plead with several governmental officials who will not be particularly helpful. you’ll get frustrated, confused. you might even be tempted to call the marriage off.
you toad, you can’t give up that easy. what if her mother needs cataract surgery? or her sis needs money for school? who will be there to pick up the tab?
papers get stamped at the consulate nearest your jurisdiction. for example, i’m from Massachusetts, so New York would be the closest consulate to me. still, i can’t just fed-ex the papers to the New York consulate. that would be too easy.
first i need a check for $90 ($30 for each document), drawn on a U.S bank, the original papers (no copies) from the Massachusetts courts, and then (i’m told by a consular officer) the papers must be hand delivered and picked up. no mail.
That assumes you can find a court to declare you single. if you can’t you need two people to swear you’re single, get the document notarized, and send it to the consulate with your other papers.
how long will it take consular officials to rigorously research the documents and affix their precious stamp? depends really. how long does it take for a crocodile to consume a 200 lb gringo? there are so many variables: how big is the croc? when did he last eat? will he store his victim on the lake bottom for a late night nosh?
one day, if you survive the swim, you will have your stamped papers in hand. only then can you and your sexy chola head down via espania to the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores and the Department of Legalizaciones y Autenticaciones, and get them authenticated. again.
2. certificado medico de salud prenupcial
if you haven’t given up, you’ll also need a medical certificate from a Panamanian doctor 15 days (now they tell me up to 2 months) prior to the wedding. a doctor will need to do these tests: urinalysis, HIV, blood test and V.D.R.L. but the doctor should really be checking to see if you’re crazy to put up with all this.
3. dos testigos que sean mayores de edad.
round up two witnesses of adult age. they can’t be relatives. i think a couple of strippers would be a nice touch.
4. pasaporte o carnet de migration vigente.
you need a passport yo.
All of the above must be presented to the Juzgado de Turno en Matrimonios (Marriage Court), ideally two or three days before the wedding. remember, if you plan to marry a Panamanian citizen, he/she/it needs the same paperwork. it’s just easier for them to get it.
and that’s all there is to it really. what could be easier? some of you may think this process is actually kind of difficult. don’t kid yourself. once you’ve jumped through these simple hoops, and paid for the official seal, doctor, judge, dress, ring, wedding party, viagra, honeymoon, and visa, it’s only going to get much worse.
if i were you i’d just rent the girl. or live in sin.