What is the change? Panama has eased entry requirements for foreign nationals holding Schengen visas and for Indian nationals.

What does the change mean? Indian nationals no longer require an authorized visa to enter Panama and may instead obtain a stamped visa. Foreign nationals who normally require an authorized visa or stamped visa are exempt from an entry visa if they hold a Schengen visa that is valid for multiple entries and that has been used at least once and will remain valid for at least one year as of the date of entry into Panama.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Authorized visas.
  • Who is affected: Indian nationals; foreign nationals holding a Schengen visa or residence in an EU country.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing times will be shorter for Indian nationals and for nationals holding Schengen visas but will depend on the consulate.
  • Business impact: The relaxation of the visa policy will facilitate business travel for certain restricted nationals.

Background: The Panamanian government requires that certain nationals obtain an authorized visa from the National Immigration Service, which increases processing time. Indian nationals have now been removed from the list, but must still apply for a stamped visa at a consulate. Schengen visas have again been added to the list of visas allowing holders to be exempt from entry visas (they were removed in January 2017); others on the list include holders of visas to or residence in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

BAL Analysis: Indian nationals and other restricted nationals holding Schengen visas will benefit from the eased visa policy, but should note that visas will only be granted for 30 days, extendable for up to an additional 60 days.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Panama. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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