Do I need Visa to visit Panama, Central America

What are the requirements to enter Panama?

If you are visiting Panama you will require a valid passport and a return ticket.

Additional requirements vary according to nationality and are subject to change. Citizens from certain countries need a tourist card, others need an authorized visa and others do not need anything.  We recommend you to check with a Panamanian Consulate, Embassy, travel agency or an airlines that fly to Panama to obtain the most updated and accurate information.

The following countries DO NOT need a visa to enter Panama because their countries hold treaties with Panama that entitle their citizens to visit for up to 180 days without a visa:  Andorra, Angola, Antigua y Barbuda, Arabia Saudita, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Belarus, Belgium, Botsuana, Bhutan, Brazil, Bolivia, Bosnia y Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Canada, Czech Republic, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Corea del Sur, Costa Rica, Croacia, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, Fiyi, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Georgia, Gibraltar, Granada, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Holland, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Jamaica, Kenia, Kiribati, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Kuwait, Letonia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg,  Macedonia,  Malta,Mauricio, Micronesia, Mexico, Moldovia, Monaco,  Montenegro, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zeland, Nicaragua, Norway, Palaos, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Rumania, Russia, Saint Kitts y Nevis, Saint Lucia, Salomon Islands, Samoa, São Tomé and Príncipe, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweeden, Switzerland, Tailand,  The Vatican, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, USA, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Citizens from these countries can apply for an extension for up to another 30, 60 or 90 days. Petitions are approved or denied on a case-by-case basis. Immigration recommends you apply at least a week before your time is up.

Do I need a Tourist Card to enter Panama?

If you don´t need a visa you won´t need a tourist card.   A tourist card can be purchase for only $5.

Nationals from the following countries DO REQUIRE a tourist card (US $5), available from Panamanian embassies and consulates, airlines serving Panama, border crossings, or at the international airport: Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Granada, Greece, Guyana, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea, Suriname, Taiwan, Tobago, Trinidad, USA, Venezuela. In other words, if you are on this list, do not bother going to a consulate or embassy to get a tourist card: once you are on your flight you will probably be given one and if not, when you land on Tocumen Airport you will be able to purchase one before going through immigration.

Nationals from Chad, Ecuador, Egypt, Philippines, Perú, Dominican Republic and Thailand require tourist visas and should contact an embassy or consulate before coming to Panama.

There are two types of visas for Panama, “stamped visas” and “authorized visas.”

The so-called “stamped visas” let some travelers enter Panama several times throughout the year. This type of visa is only available through a Panamanian embassy or consulate, and the Panamanian authorities decide the length of the stay, which is usually 30 days per visit. Anyone who is eligible to visit Panama on a tourist card can apply for a stamped visa instead, although citizens of some countries are required to have a stamped visa. These countries include the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Georgia, Peru, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. As with other things in Panamanian officialdom, this list is subject to change.

Citizens of some countries are required to have an “authorized visa,” the most restrictive type of tourist visa. Like the stamped visa, this kind is only available through a Panamanian consulate or embassy. The officials will choose to either approve to decline the visa application, and will determine the length of stay. The majority of countries on this list are in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, or eastern Europe. These include Bangladesh, Cuba, Haiti, India, Pakistan, China, and South Africa, India, Indonesia, Iran, Irak, Jordania, Kuwait, Laos, Moan, Emiratos Arabes, Turkey, Filipines, Saudi Arabia, although the list is subject to change. The requirements can vary by consulate, so it’s a good idea to check with one before beginning the application process. It’s recommended to begin the application process at least a month before the start of travel.

Applicants for “authorized visas” will need to present the following documents:

  • A completed application form
  • A valid passport
  • A copy of the passport (including the pages that show entry and exit stamps)
  • A letter from a local Panamanian sponsor. The sponsor must also present a recent bank statement and utility bill. This letter can come from a Panamanian guide company or tour operator.
  • A copy of your ID or residence card from your home country
  • A copy of your most recent Panama visa, if applicable
  • Two passport-size photographs

Some consulates will require you to have proof of a round-trip as well.

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