What is the change? Panama has reduced the length of time nationals of Colombia, Nicaragua and Venezuela can remain in the country when traveling for tourism or business purposes.

What does the change mean? Nationals of Colombia, Nicaragua and Venezuela are now permitted to remain in Panama on a visa exemption for 90 days, down from 180 days. Those who entered the country before May 31 will be permitted to stay for up to 180 days.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing. The change took effect May 31.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of Colombia, Nicaragua and Venezuela traveling to Panama for business or tourism purposes.
  • Impact on processing times: No impact.
  • Business impact: Business travelers from Colombia, Nicaragua and Venezuela visiting Panama on a visa exemption should take note of the change and make sure they plan their schedules accordingly.

Background: Panama allows nationals of Colombia, Nicaragua and Venezuela to enter the country without a visa for tourism or certain business activities, including attending meetings, visiting clients and assisting with training or seminars. Panamanian officials said the change came about after a number of Colombian, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan nationals were entering Panama as tourists and then conducting activities that are not permitted. Executive Decree Nª 269 of May 29 of 2017, which formalized the change in visa validity, was published in the Official Gazette last month.

BAL Analysis: Nationals of Colombia, Nicaragua and Venezuela who arrived on or after May 31 should be sure they do not stay in Panama for more than 90 days. Those with questions about permitted activities on a visa exemption should contact BAL.

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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