Panama: Immigration status of foreign nationals in Panama; process for acquiring citizenship or circumstances in which citizenship can be acquired
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||8 October 2003|
|Citation / Document Symbol||PAN42080.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Panama: Immigration status of foreign nationals in Panama; process for acquiring citizenship or circumstances in which citizenship can be acquired, 8 October 2003, PAN42080.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/403dd2110.html [accessed 12 December 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
References to changes or amendments to the information provided in PAN40069.E of 5 June 2003 (visas and residence), PAN41372.E of 28 April 2003 and PAN37642.E of 31 July 2001 (citizenship), PAN35541.E of 12 October 2000 (asylum) and earlier Responses, could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
An international law firm based in Panama and providing services in immigration law – which was also cited in PAN40069.E – publishes detailed information on the various visitor, temporary residency and permanent residency visas for Panama (Shirley & Associates 2 Oct. 2003). Generally, there are five categories of visas for foreigners (excluding refugees, as per PAN35541.E):
Persons passing through (transeuntes)
Travellers in Transit or Travellers in Direct Transit
Temporary Visitors (Visas); and
Immigrants (Immigration Programmes) (ibid.).
For a brief description of the various visa categories, please find attached excerpts of the reference guides available on the Website of the law firm. For additional details on the process or requirements for obtaining each type of visa or conditions attached to each status, please refer to the Website of the above-cited law firm, which contains links to expanded information for each category.
In addition, attached below is a section of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) most recent Travel Report on Panama for Canadians, which includes details on the requirements for entering the country by air, boat or car, changing status while in the country, and minors travelling without both parents (7 Oct. 2003).
The Embassy of Panama in Ottawa can be approached for questions on specific types of visa and immigration categories, upon subsequent Request.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Shirley & Associates, Panama City. 2 October 2003. "Immigration & Visas to Enter and Reside in Panama."
Shirley & Associates, Panama City. 2 October 2003. "Immigrants & Permanent Residency in Panama."
_____. 2 October 2003. "Special Visas for Temporary Visitors."
_____. 2 October 2003. "Travellers Passing Through, Travellers in Transit and Travellers in Direct Transit."
Canada. 24 September 2003. Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), Ottawa. Travel Report: Panama.
Permission to enter another country is the sole prerogative of that country. All countries have special requirements for persons intending to reside for extended periods (usually more than 90 days) or who plan to work, study, or engage in non-tourist activities. Contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the country or countries to be visited and obtain the specific requirements for entry. Conditions are subject to change.
Selling, altering, or allowing another person to use your passport is a criminal offence. It could lead to the laying of charges and imprisonment if convicted. It could also lead to the denial of future passport services.
A valid Canadian passport is required for Canadians intending to visit Panama. The passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected departure from the country. Canadians must also be in possession of a tourist card.
Tourist cards are the most common entry document for short stays (valid for 90 days) and may be purchased in advance from your travel agent or airline, or upon arrival at a land border or at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City.
Visitors to Panama are required to have the equivalent of US$500 or a credit card, plus a return or onward ticket.
Any child travelling without both parents should carry legally certified documentation authorizing the accompanying parent or guardian to bring the child across international borders.
Canadians who wish to stay beyond three months (the validity of a tourist card) will be required to provide a "Carta de Responsabilidad", or letter of obligation, from a resident or citizen of Panama who will take responsibility for the visitor's stay. The resident or citizen will also be required to provide a "letter of solvency" and a copy of his or her "cedula". The Canadian must submit these to the Immigration Department along with a copy of his or her passport, two photographs, and a copy of his or her return or onward airline ticket. The processing fee is US$16. The Immigration Department will decide on the length of the extension. Please note that this service is not available at the airport or at land borders, and that the process must be begun three to five working days prior to the original departure date.
...Tourist Card: Required (available upon arrival)
Business Visa: Required
Student Visa: Required
Proof of yellow fever immunization may be required for travellers over the age of one year, arriving from an infected area.