Everything You Need To Know About A Panama Visa
traveling to Panama can enter the nation either through land, air, or sea.
However, if you are a British national and you are not arriving by sea, you
don’t need a visa.
You can stay in the country under the visa-free regime for a
maximum period of up to 180 days per visit.
you land at the airport, you will need to produce some regular documents for
verification purposes, the passport is one of them. Your British Citizen
Passport should hold a validity of six months from your date of entry into
Additionally, it should also contain a minimum of two unused visa
must also carry a return or onward ticket and cash or bank balance equivalent
of US$500 or a credit card. It is advisable to possess all the necessary
documentation required for the next destination on your itinerary.
can also enter Panama via land from Costa Rica. But if you do not hold a legal
Costa Rica citizenship, the immigration authorities usually request to present
proof of onward or return travel to your country of origin.
if all the documents are in order, the immigration authorities shall grant you
a 180-day stay period upon arrival. Do note that extensions are generally not
granted if you wish to prolong your travel plans. However, if you request to
change your immigration status within the 6-month period for business purposes
or marriage, you can be allowed an extension. For additional information,
please visit the Panama National
Migration Service Website.
you visit Panama on a tourist entry permit, you cannot renew or extend it as we
mentioned earlier. You are even not allowed to renew this document in any other
neighboring nation such as Costa Rica. If you do and you are found guilty, the
penalties are severe. You may be detained and even the British Embassy cannot
assist you in this matter.
Entry requirements for foreigners entering Panama
If you do not hold a British citizen passport, you might need a visa to enter Panama. Please check whether you need a visa here.
Note: Any national who owns a valid visa or residence permit, issued by the United States of America, Australia, Canada or the United Kingdom, and has used it for a minimum of one entry into the issuing state or can prove legal residence in the granting country, may be allowed to enter Panama without a visa.
Now, if you do need a stamped visa or a consular visa, you need to visit the nearest Panamanian consulate and make an application. You need to completely fill a stamped visa application form and attach a copy of the entire passport. The requirements for individual visas vary as per the specifications of the National Immigration Service. For further information, you can contact the Embassy of Panama in London.
Once your visa is approved, you will receive it within five working days. Depending on your purpose, a Panama visa allows you maximum stays, ranging from 1 to 3 months. If the visa is granted for 3 months, you cannot extend it. If the visa is granted for a shorter time and you need to extend your stay, you need to apply in person at the National Immigration Service Directorate upon arrival in Panama.
Arriving in Panama via sea
Travelers who seek to transit via the Panama Canal and leave their ship, may have to pass through immigration authorities who shall stamp an entry stamp on the passport. You won’t be needing a visa if you plan to stay in Panama for a period not exceeding 3 months.
Usually, immigration officials do not stop cruising ships to check passports.
Again, if you land in Panama through the sea and not on a cruise line, you will require a visa, which is granted on arrival. After the payment of a fee of $100 and $5 registration per person, crew members and passengers of vessels are issued a visa.
If you seek a cruising permit, you might have to pay extra fees.
Permanent residency in Panama
Citizens of the UK can apply for a permanent residency permit if they wish to carry out business, professional, or commercial activities in Panama. However, you must communicate with the Panama National Migration Service prior to your travel dates.
Most of the documents need to be notarized or legalized and you must get them apostilled before you arrive in the country. These processes can only be carried out through the Legalisation Office in the UK.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
The government of Panama accepts UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) for entry, airside transit and exit from Panama. Do ensure that your ETD is valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Panama.
According to reports by UK health authorities, Panama has been classified as a region that poses a risk of Zika virus transmission. So, if you travel to this country, ensure that you carry a comprehensive travel medical insurance.
Again, if you apply for and are granted a foreign driving license, note that it comes with a maximum validity of 90 days, from your entry date into Panama. Additionally, if you need emergency help from the UK government during your stay, you can contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission in Panama.