Beginners Guide to Panama
Over the years, Panama has developed a reputation for great industry and development. This, of course, has attracted the attention of many expats who are eager to find a new home filled with diversity, political
Over the years, Panama has developed a reputation for great industry and development. This, of course, has attracted the attention of many expats who are eager to find a new home filled with diversity, political stability and a much more affordable lifestyle than their native country. These characteristics, along with its cultural, historical and natural richness, have also made it an increasingly popular destination for travelers and expats.
Therefore, if you are looking to live in Panama, already arrived, or just want to explore the country with the only inter-oceanic canal on the continent, this article will provide all the information you need to know about the entry requirements.
Where to begin?
Tourist visas allow you to stay in Panama for up to 90 days (or 180 days in the case of American or Canadian citizens). At the point of entry, the inspector of the National Immigration Service will ask you for a return ticket to your country of origin or to prove the continuation of the trip to another country. This is to guarantee that you do not plan to stay in Panama for more time than what the law allows you to. Please note that you need to purchase this ticket before entering the country.
You will also need to prove economic solvency of at least $500 USD to stay in Panama. This can be proved by the following means:
Besides this, there is the possibility that the Immigration inspector may ask you for a receipt of payment from the hotel or hotels where you will be staying. This may not be requested, but please understand, it is in the law.
Your passport or travel document valid must be valid for at least six months. If you are a citizen of a country that requires a stamped visa to enter Panama, you must go through the corresponding process to request it beforehand at the nearest Panamanian Consulate or Embassy representing your country of origin.
As a tourist, be sure to checkout as much of this amazing country as you can. But be careful! You may fall in love with all the surprises this amazing country has to offer.
Benefits of being a resident
If you already have residency, it will not be necessary to show a return ticket or any proof of economic solvency. You can even avoid the long lines of tourists at the airport since there is an exclusive line just for residents. This has allowed people to land and be in an Uber within 30 minutes, even with a checked bag! However, if you are currently applying for it, remember that on the day of submitting your residency application, you must also apply for a multiple entry visa that will allow you to enter and leave the country whenever you required. Otherwise, you will not be able to leave Panama, without exposing yourself to a fine, until your residency is approved.
The multiple entry visa is an entry and exit permit that every person applying for a residency in Panama gets. This visa is a QR code that is included in the ID that you receive from the Immigration Department, when you file your application. With this visa, Immigration gives you the chance to avoid the tourist lines because this document is sufficient to prove that you already started your process to live legally in Panama.
Are you ready?
Remember, if you are considering Panama as a temporary or permanent destination, keep in mind all of these requirements. Being prepared and well advised will allow you to get the most out of each new experience.
Still have doubts? Reach out to Outlier Legal with your questions about starting a new life in Panamá. As a firm specialized in helping Outliers, our purpose is to provide you with all the legal assistance you may need to achieve your dreams.