New visa rules now in effect for restricted nationals

23 Aug 18

PANAMA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Panama has changed entry requirements for visa-required nationals.

What does the change mean? Effective immediately, nationals of visa-required countries may enter Panama for tourism or business with a visa or proof of residence issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom or any other European Union member state, provided other requirements are also met.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing. The change took effect Aug. 6.
  • Visas/permits affected: Authorized and stamped visas.
  • Who is affected: Visa-required nationals traveling to Panama for tourism or business.
  • Impact on processing times: Visa-required nationals who do not have one of the visas listed above must obtain an authorized visa from the National Immigration Service. The process for obtaining a visa this way generally takes around 60 days, but may vary depending on the nationality of the applicant.
  • Business impact: Business activities are permitted for visa-required nationals who enter Panama on one of the visas listed above.

Background: Previously, visa-required nationals were permitted to enter Panama for business or tourism if they held a stamped visa or proof of residence issued in Canada, the U.S. or the U.K. or another European Union country. Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea have now been added to that list. Visas must be valid for at least six months (previously one year) from the date of entry into Panama. Visas must be valid for multiple entries and must be used at least once to enter the issuing country before travel to Panama. Travelers who have met these requirements will be permitted to stay in Panama for 30 days, renewable for up to two 30-day extensions.

BAL Analysis: Affected travelers should take note of the changes and assess whether they need to obtain a new visa before traveling to Panama.

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