If you are planning to visit Panama, you'll be interested in Panama’s immigration policy and how it works. This page contains information about Panamanian immigration policy and general entry requirements. It also has information on securing a visa online via VisaHQ so you can avoid the trouble.
Every year, thousands of tourists visit Panama while much more transit the country on the way up north. This is because of its strategic location as it connects North and South America. The country is very accommodating and works to make visitors feel at home. Being a nation rich in flora and fauna, hundreds of researchers and scientists also visit the country to conduct research in the bio-rich regions in the country.
As for its tourism sector, it remains one of the highest revenue earners and employer labor in the country. Shipping and transportation is also quite important to the economy since it is mostly a transit country.
How Long Can I Stay In Panama Without A Visa?
Visitors from many countries can stay in Panama city or other parts of the country for up to 180 days without a multiple entry visa, depending on their nationality. Some nationals can stay for up to 90 days, while others are not allowed into the country without a visa. Many of the countries on the visa waiver list are EU/Schengen countries, including Canada, the US, and the United Kingdom. Australia, South Korea, and Japan are on the authorized visa waiver list.
So if you come from any of these countries, you can stay in Panama for up to 90 or 180 days without a visa.
Panama Tourist Visa
Panama tourist visas are available for citizens of foreign countries not on the visa-exempt list. They are also allowed into the country but must obtain a friendly nations visa.
Holders of tourist visas could initially stay in the country for 180 days, but the government reduced the validity to 90 days. Only US and Canadians can stay for up to 180 days on a tourist visa.
Note that the duration attached to a tourist visa is issued at the discretion of the immigration officer on duty.
Who Needs A Tourist Visa?
The visa is required for foreigners whose countries are not on the visa-exempt list. The process is straightforward and can be completed quickly.
Panama Tourist Visa Application Requirements
All applicants applying for this visa must submit the following:
Signed Application Form: A signed application form containing accurate information about yourself. The information you provide must reflect what is on your documents.
Passport: A passport valid for at least 6 months and must have several unused pages for visa stamps.
Economic Solvency: The applicant must be economically solvent. They must have the financial capacity to cover their expenses with a minimum balance of $500 in cash, recent bank statements, or traveler’s cheques.
Exit Flight: Visitors flying by air must provide a return flight ticket back to their country of origin.
Applying For A Visa Waiver
Citizens from visa-exempt countries may apply for a visa waiver. Hoei, those from non-exempt countries may also apply for a waiver if they have six months left on the multiple entry visas they have to the following countries:
If you have a visa to any of these countries and have used it to enter the country at least once and it has at least 6 months of validity left, you can apply for a visa waiver. This waiver is subject to Executive Decree 591.
Panama Visa Processing Time
If you applied for a Panama Visa today, it would take between 30-60 days to get the visa, depending on the documents you apply for. Stamped visa takes less approval time than an authorized entry visa. For stamped visa, it takes 3 weeks to one month, while an authorized visa takes up to 60 days. So consider submitting your application in time so your plans will not be affected.
Other Vital Information
Bear in mind that it is a crime to remain in Panama without a visa for more than 90 days or 180 days, depending on your nationality. If your activities will take longer than the period of grace, apply for a work visa or any other long-stay visa. Visitors who overstay will be fined or banned from entering Panama for the foreseeable future. In addition, immigration and border agents have the right to decide whether you qualify for entry or not, even if you have the right documents in your possession. This is why applicants are advised to always provide valid documents and accurate information when applying for a Panama Visa waiver or visa.
You can stay in Panama without a visa for 90 days or 180 days. For a longer stay, you will need a long-term visa, which you can apply for simply online via VisaHQ.