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PANAMA – Entry Rules Relaxed for Schengen Visa/EU Residence Holders and Indian Nationals

Effective 4 April 2018, valid Schengen visas and EU residence permits are again accepted for entry into Panama.

Moreover, effective 1 June 2018 Indian nationals will be able to enter Panama with a stamped visa, rather than an authorized visa.

The moves do not affect visa waiver nationals, including all nationals of EU countries, the United States or Japan, who can enter Panama without visas for short stays.

Schengen Visa Holders

Holders of valid Schengen visas and residence permits of European Union countries who normally require an authorised or stamped visa to enter Panama are again exempt from the entry visa requirement.

The previous entry visa exemption for Schengen visa holders and EU residents was eliminated in December 2016.

Panama continues to accept certain visitor or residence visas for United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, which is outside the Schengen Area.

Those entering Panama on one of the visas listed above must also be sure that the visa is valid for multiple entries, is valid for at least one year from the day of entering Panama and has been used at least once to enter the issuing country before travel to Panama.

Travelers who have met these requirements will be permitted to stay in Panama for 30 days, renewable for an additional 60 days.

Indian Nationals

From June 2018, India will be included in the list of countries whose nationals required a stamped visa, rather than an authorised visa, to enter Panama. Stamped visas are usually processed much more quickly than authorised visas

Action Items

  • Indian nationals and holders of Schengen visas or EU residence permits travelling to Panama should check the latest entry visa requirements with an immigration specialist.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Morgan & Morgan and Lambraño, Bultrón & de la Guardia.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.