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Travel Brief: Updates on Panama Travel

photo of Panama Canal, Centennial Bridge

On March 10, 2017, the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) reported as follows:

Entry requirements section – you may be detained by immigration officials if you attempt to renew your tourist visa by visiting a neighboring country, including Costa Rica; you must follow the relevant rules and procedures when seeking to extend a visa.

UK health authorities have classified Panama as having a risk of Zika virus transmission.

The following Requirements for Entry apply to U.S. travelers:

• Passport valid for at least three months past the date of entry
• Return Ticket to home country or onward destination
• Money - either $500 in cash or its equivalent or credit card, bank statement, letter of employment or travelers checks
• Criminal Record Restriction - Panamanian immigration reserves the right to deny entry to any person with a criminal conviction. • HIV/AIDS - Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Panama. Panamanian immigration does not require an HIV/AIDS test, but Panamanian law does allow for deportation upon discovery by immigration. The U.S. Embassy is not aware of any U.S. citizens who have been deported due to HIV/AIDS. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Panama before you travel.

The following Requirements for Exit apply to U.S. travelers:

• 180 Day Stay-Tourists can only remain in Panama for 180 days. This rule is strictly enforced by Panamanian immigration. Travelers apply to must ensure that immigration officials place an entry stamp in their passport. For further information contact the Government of Panama Migration Service.
• Minor Travel- Minors (children under 18) who are citizens (including dual citizens) or legal residents of Panama are required to present both parents’ identification documents, birth certificates, and notarized consent (in Spanish) in order to exit the country if not accompanied by both parents. Any child born in Panama automatically obtains Panamanian citizenship.
• Entry by Sea-The Servicio Nacional de Migracion is currently enforcing an entry permit fee of $110 for sea travelers piloting their own boats and arriving as tourists. This fee permits entry into Panama for a period of three months, which can be extended for up to two years through an approved application with the immigration authorities in Panama. U.S. citizens navigating private craft through the Canal should contact the Panama Canal Authority at (011) 507-272-4570 or consult the Panama Canal Authority web site to make an appointment.


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