Flickr Photo by J Aaron Farr

Alert New Changes to Tourist Visa for Panama

Alert New Changes to Tourist Visa for Panama As of Today

Yesterday, President Varela altered the Panama Tourist Visa requirements. Executive Decree No. 320 done in August of 2008 stated that tourist Visas were offering Visas for 6 months.

This was changed yesterday to reduce the 6 months to (90 days) 3 months. No longer can tourists remain in the country legally after 3 months. This applies to all foreign visitors.

Those who are in the country now (before January 10, 2017) still have 6 months before their tourist visas expire.

For those who are in the midst of applying for migratory, temporary or permanent residency visas the National Migration Service is  granting a term of a six months visa at a cost of $50.

How this will effect tourism and business is anyone’s guess. But as all things Panama, it might change tomorrow.


Whether or not the law has changed or was not written as described, different interpretations of the law seem to floating around now in the news. Some say certain countries are excluded from this new law and so they will retain the 180 days.

People I have talked with coming back from Paso Canoas after the 10th told me they were told it is 90 days. So it is a matter of interpretation of who you talk with, even the immigration people at the border. So please be advised that this new law and my news of it may not be the interpretation you receive. Things here are often a work in progress.



3 thoughts on “Alert New Changes to Tourist Visa for Panama

  1. Where did you hear that people who arrived before Jan 10th have 180 days? I know someone in that situation so I’ve been looking for answers, but haven’t found anything definitive. Do you know if you can still do border runs every 90 days and be OK to continue to stay in Panama? I have heard that the 72 hour thing is being enforced most of the time now, but not always. I’m sure this will all come clear eventually, as clear as anything ever is here, but right now there seem to be a lot of questions. And, as you said, anything can change at any time without notice.

    • I read it on the Panama news. I know that everyone is interrupting the law differently. I have talked with people who came back after the 10th and were told it is only good for 90 days. They are Canadians. They entered at Paso Canoas. It depends on who you talk with.

      • I think it has been cleared up now. People from the US, Canada, and other countries with reciprocal agreements have 180 days, no change there. People from other countries who have to apply for a visa before they can come to Panama, those visas are now 90 days. Immigration must have gotten a lot of calls because they recently clarified everything.

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