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Thursday, Sep 23, 2021

BREAKING: New law does not allow tourists to stay longer than three months in Panama

As of October 1, 2021, the legal term authorized for the stay of foreign tourists in Panama is reestablished. According to the new law tourists are not allowed to stay longer than three months, counted from the moment the foreign tourist enters the national territory.

Tourists from visa exemption agreement countries

The tourists who come from countries that are in compliance with the provisions of the signed visa suppression agreements or that do not require a visa, will enjoy the term of up to three months of tourism, counted from the moment they enter the country.

For their entry, they must present the following requirements at the immigration control point:

1. Present passport or original travel document, with a minimum of 3 months of validity.
2. Proven reservation to leave the country, within the established period.
3. Proof of economic solvency for your maintenance and sustenance according to the term of stay in the country, which must be consistent with the terms that you declare for your stay and that in no case may it be less than five hundred balboas ($500).
4. Comply with the standards and sanitary measures established by the Ministry of Health. The foreign person who wishes to enter the country as a tourist, in addition to the indicated requirements, must comply with the interview conducted by the National Immigration Service at the control point and the corresponding security checks; Likewise, as their requirements, travel document and information provided, they will be subject to rigorous verifications by the immigration and national security authority to allow or deny entry.

Tourists from visa exemption agreement countries with invitation letter from Panama

When the foreign national of a country that has a visa suppression agreement with Panama or is a national of a country that does not require a visa, wishes to enter the national territory as a tourist and does so through the invitation of a Panamanian person; Temporary, provisional or permanent resident foreigner, prior to the date of travel to the country, the invitee must present the following requirements to the National Immigration Service:

1. Copy of the general passport of the applicant.
2. Invitation letter, in which the inviting person declares the reasons on which he bases his invitation and the purposes of entering the country of the guest, undertakes to be responsible for the guest, to assume his financial support and repatriation expenses, If necessary; as established in Article 244 of Executive Decree No. 320 of 2008.
3. When the invitee is a natural person, a copy of the identity card or residence card of the person who invites; and, when this is a legal person, a copy of the Public Registry certificate and the Operation Notice, Operation Code or license that allows it to operate.
4. The invitee must prove his financial solvency consistent with the period of stay of the guest and with the activities that will be carried out, through the presentation of at least one of the following options:

a. Bank certification or account statement of the last month that reflects the available balances, not less than four low figures.
b. Credit card with the last month's account statement that reflects the available balances.
c. Work letter accompanied by a file from the Social Security Fund, where it is verified that the invitee earns a monthly salary of not less than one thousand balboas ($1,000).
d. Document that proves the pension or retirement accrued not less than one thousand balboas ($1,000.00), with proof of payment, in the case of a retired or retired person.
e. Affidavit of income from the previous fiscal year.
f. Certified or traveler's check or bank draft made out to the applicant.
g. Any other mean that proves your income and that is acceptable to the National Immigration Service. The National Migration Service may reject the request for tourist invitations, when there is a notorious and unjustified recurrence of invitations made by a single invitee or related invitees.

Tourists from other countries

When the person who wishes to enter as a tourist is not a national of a State that maintains a visa suppression agreement with Panama or does not require a visa, the applicant must comply with Articles 17 and 17-A of Executive Decree No. 320. At their entry, these people will enjoy a period of up to one month to stay as tourists in Panama.

People who at the time of their entry are granted by the immigration authority a period of less than three months for their stay as tourists, may choose to request an extension of their tourism period before the National Migration Service, which must be carried out during the validity of their status as tourists. In no case, the total term of the tourism period may exceed three months, counted from the entry of the tourist to Panama, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 21 and 22 of Executive Decree No. 320 of 2008.

People who enter the country as tourists may change their immigration status, provided they meet the requirements established for the particular immigration category. This change may be announced through the invitation made for the entry of the foreign person, if applicable.

Applications for a tourist visa through invitation and extension of the tourism period may be submitted through a legal representative and must comply with the provisions of Articles 242, 243, 245, 247, 248 and those corresponding to Executive Decree No. 320 of 2008.

All foreigners who enter the national territory under the category of tourism are obliged to fill out the corresponding form of the Single Immigration Registry (RUEX).

Tourists are considered to be those foreigners who occasionally enter the national territory without the intention of establishing their residence in it or abandoning their residence of origin while they are in Panama, provided that they enter for the exclusive purpose of recreation, shopping, business, tourism. doctor, visit, among other purposes; and, likewise, have their own and adequate economic resources to maintain themselves while their stay lasts and that they comply with the departure from Panamanian territory, upon expiration of the authorized period.

Read the official announcement

(Video credit: I go Panama)

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