Authorized Visa for Tourists of Restricted Countries
Nationals from these countries may apply for an Authorized Tourist Visa through their closest Panamanian Embassy or Consulate, or with the help of a lawyer in Panama.
The applicant must submit a request 60 days in advance, because it is the Panama National Council of Public Safety and National Defense who verifies the application and provides an answer.
This National Council, along with the National Immigration Service, have full discretion to decide whether to approve or not the Authorized Tourist Visa.
Requirements to apply for an Authorized Visa
All documentation must be translated to Spanish, and must be apostilled or notarized in the closest Panamanian Consulate:
- Application form properly completed
- Power of attorney, if the visa is requested through a local lawyer
- Four color passport-sized photos
- Passport valid for at least 6 months
- Two Passport color photocopies including all pages, even blank pages
- Two color copies of the national ID or Residence Card
- Two color copies of a second identification
- Pre-Booked, round trip, airfare reservation
- Proof of economic solvency, demonstrating no less than USD $500
- Proof of economic income, such as employment letter, pension documents, or equivalent
- Copy of any previously approved immigration permits issued by Panama
- Hotel Reservation or Invitation Letter from the person / company responsible of the applicant’s visit
About the Invitation Letter
The last requirement above mentions an Invitation Letter from the person or company responsible for the applicant’s visit to Panama. This is required when there is no Hotel Reservation. Natural persons (whether citizens or residents) or Companies (government or private) may issue this invitation letter.
A natural person who issues the invitation letter must provide other documentation such as:
- Copy of National ID, Residence Card, or Passport
- Copy of Utility Bill to verify the host’s address
- Bank Reference Letter
- Letter of employment, indicating salary
Likewise, a company who issues the invitation letter must also provide other documentation such as:
- Letter of responsibility from the entity’s legal representative
- Copy of Utility Bill to verify the company’s address
- Proof of financial solvency, whether by Bank Certification (not older than 3 months) or Income Tax Declaration, from those people within the company who are responsible of the applicant’s visit
- For private companies: Certificate from the Public Registry and Commercial License (Aviso de Operaciones)
Citizens of restricted countries are exempt from the Panamanian Authorized Tourist Visa if they meet these 4 criteria:
- Have a Residence or Tourist Visa issued by the US, Canada, UK, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Northern Ireland, Singapore, or European Union countries
- This Residence or Tourist Visa must be valid for at least 6 months
- This Residence or Tourist Visa must be for multiple entries
- This residence or Tourist visa must have been used at least once to visit the granting country
Panama Authorized Tourist Visa Required for citizens of the following countries:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Alto Volta, Angola, Anguilla, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, People’s Republic of China, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tanzania, Tajikistan, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, Zaire, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
Note: Executive Decree 248 of 2009 allows citizens of any of the above-mentioned countries to be granted a visa to enter Panama if they possess a visa to enter Australia, any European Union country, Canada, or the U.S. Apply with the nearest Panamanian Consulate and present current passport along with the visa from one of these countries. Visa should be approved within 48 hours.