Panama Visa: Do I need one to visit as a tourist?
If you wish to visit Panama, you will be in one out of three situations depending on your passport’s issuing country. Depending on the nation, you may need an authorized visa, a tourist visa, or nothing but a passport valid for at least 6 months.
Regardless of your situation, keep in mind that upon arrival to Panama, immigration officers require tourists to present a proof of exit intent from the country, usually in the form of a return or ongoing ticket.
Immigration officers may also require proof of economic solvency not lower than USD 500 or its equivalent in instruments such as cash, credit card, or traveler’s checks
Typically, tourists are granted entry to Panama for 6 months, but this period can be extended an additional 90 days upon a written request presented before the Immigration Office. This requires the assistance of a lawyer, and it’s up to the immigration office to approve or deny the request.
Panama Visa: What Each Case Means
Authorized Visa: 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. This is a longer process, compared to the other two cases, because your visit must be authorized by the Panama National Council of Public Safety and National Defense. It’s important to highlight that tourists with an Authorized Visa are usually granted a 1-month stay in the country. See all details in our dedicated article – Authorized Visa for Tourists Of Restricted Countries.
Stamped Visa: Nationals from these countries need to apply for a tourist visa in the closest Panamanian Consulate. This visa is stamped in their passport, and it’s usually for multiple entries and valid for 3 years. Consult with the nearest consulate to confirm the documentation required to submit an application. Holders of a stamped visa are usually allowed entry to the country for 30 days at a time.
No Visa: Nationals from these countries only require a passport valid for at least 6 months to enter Panama.
Panama Visa: Exceptions and Waivers
Panama waives a visitor visa to tourists who hold a passport valid for at least 3 months, holders of a multiple entry visa or residence valid for at least 6 months to enter any of these countries: USA, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan or Singapore and who have used this multiple-entry visa or residence at least once to visit the granting country.
What this means in practical terms: take for example the holder of a passport from Pakistan and a holder of a passport from Cameroon. These tourists would require an authorized visa and a stamped visa, respectively. However, Panama waives the need for an authorized visa and a stamped visa if:
- They have a passport valid for at least 3 months.
- Have a multiple entry visa or residence, with valid for at least 6 months, and issued by any of these countries: USA, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan or Singapore.
- They have used this residence or multiple-entry visa at least once to visit the granting country.
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