Panama: New Consular Visa Exemption Eliminates Exemption for EU and Schengen Visa Holders

A new decree replaces the current Consular Visa exemption with a new one only for those holding a valid Australian, Canadian, UK or U.S. multiple-entry visa valid for at least one year from the date of entry and used at least once, for stays up to 30 days initially, renewable twice for 30 days each stay through an in-country process. The previous exemption, allowing EU or Schengen country visa holders to qualify for the exemption as well, has been eliminated.

Panama: Temporary Identification Card and Tourist/Business Visitor Visa Now Have Shorter Validity Periods

The Panamanian government has issued an executive decree that implements a new validity period for temporary identification cards and tourists' and business visitors' stays.

Temporary Identification Card Validity Period

Temporary or permanent residence applicants will be issued a temporary identification card with a six-month validity period, instead of the previous one-year validity.

The temporary identification card serves as proof of status while the residence permit is being processed, which can take three to four months

Panama: Employers of multinational visa holders must now return identification cards

Host employers must now return SEM (Multinational) visa holders’ identification cards when notifying the immigration authorities of the end of the assignment so that the National Migration Service can cancel the foreign worker’s visa.  The deadline for notification is 20 business days from the end of the assignment.