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The end of the perpetual tourist in Panama ?

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Dear Wardens-  We here at the Embassy have reached out to immigration to obtain details about the news pasted below regarding the implementation of immigration regulations.  According to the Duty Chief at Migracion-Paso Canoas, the PNM Immigration Director is enforcing these migratory requirements across Panama.  This means that if an Immigration Official determines that a foreigner is using tourism status to reside in Panama, the entry will not be allowed.  The Duty Chief gave examples of this situation, indicating that persons who exit Panama before the 6th month approaches and re-enter after three days, which is a clear sign that the individual is residing in Panama under a tourist status, will not be allowed re-entry.


In summary, these regulations were already in the books but now it seems the immigration authorities throughout Panama are going to be stricter about enforcement.  That said, we have yet to receive a complaint from  a U.S. citizen actually denied entry at the border for the reason outlined above.  


If you receive questions on this issue, you may refer people to panama-acs@state.gov.


Kind regards,






The National Migration Service (SNM) adopts a stricter stance and says that it will not allow the entry of foreigners who travel to Costa Rica to seal their passport and subsequently wish to enter Panama as tourists.

The announcement was made by the institution through its official account in the social network Twitter this Monday, March 6.

This statement follows the case of dozens of Venezuelan immigrants who have been stranded for several days in the Paso Canoas area and who denounce a "immigration blockade."


Stephanie Espinal

Unit Chief/Jefe de Unidad

American Citizens Services/Federal Benefits

Unidad de Asistencia a Ciudadanos Estadounidenses/Beneficios Federales

Consular Section / Sección Consular                  

U.S. Embassy Panama / Embajada de los Estados Unidos de América en Panamá

e-mail: Panama-ACS@state.gov  Tel: (507) 317-5000

http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://redirect.state.sbu/?url=http://panama.usembassy.gov    Fax: (507) 317-5303       


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