PANAMA ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
It’s not difficult for tourists to enter Panama, especially those coming on flights from North America or Australia or Europe . All foreign nationals need a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of entry. Tourists must also be able to prove that they have at least US$500—a bank statement, travelers checks, or a credit card usually works. Finally, all travelers entering Panama must have a return or onward ticket out of the country.
Panama divides tourists into two groups – those that need a tourist visa, and those that only need a passport.
Citizens of the following countries only need a passport to enter Panama: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States. It is important to note, however, that this list can change. Check with your home embassy for the current requirements before traveling.
There are two types of visas for Panama, “stamped visas” and “authorized visas.”
The so-called “stamped visas” let some travelers enter Panama several times throughout the year. This type of visa is only available through a Panamanian embassy or consulate, and the Panamanian authorities decide the length of the stay, which is usually 30 days per visit. Anyone who is eligible to visit Panama on a tourist card can apply for a stamped visa instead, although citizens of some countries are required to have a stamped visa. These countries include the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Georgia, Peru, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. As with other things in Panamanian officialdom, this list is subject to change.
Citizens of some countries are required to have an “authorized visa,” the most restrictive type of tourist visa. Like the stamped visa, this kind is only available through a Panamanian consulate or embassy or we can handle this service for you . The officials will choose to either approve to decline the visa application and will determine the length of stay. Most countries on this list are in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, or eastern Europe. These include Bangladesh, Cuba, Haiti, India, Pakistan, China, and South Africa, although the list is subject to change. The requirements can vary by consulate, so it’s a good idea to check with one before beginning the application process. It’s recommended to begin the application process at least a month before the start of travel.
Applicants for “authorized visas” will need to present the following documents:
- A completed application forms
- A valid passport
- A copy of the passport (including the pages that show entry and exit stamps)
- A letter from a local Panamanian sponsor. The sponsor must also present a recent bank statement and utility bill. This letter can come from a Panamanian guide company or tour operator.
- A copy of your ID or residence card from your home country
- A copy of your most recent Panama visa, if applicable
- Two passport-size photographs
Some consulates will require you to have proof of a round-trip as well. Considering this, it’s recommended to have a refundable ticket in case the application is declined.