A proposed new law in the works aimed to reduce tourist visa/stays to 30 days


Deputy Elias Castillo is working on a legislature to modify the tourist visa time limits to a maximum of 30 days as a tourist with the option to extend it another 60 days.

This comes amidst discontent for the large number of Colombians and Venezuelans who overstay their visas, commit criminal acts while in Panama or pretty much abuse of their status and have problems with nationals.

Although the new law is aimed at everyone entering the country as a tourist, being allowed a maximum of 30 days and having proof of paid hotel stay and income, the article mentions that some nationalities will still be allowed to stay 6 months.

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This doesn't surprise me and is probably a good idea.

I too think it's a good idea.. there are too many foreigners working here while just on tourist visas...

Yes, and the unemployment rate for nationals has increased. So they just want to protect their people and I am OK with that. Again, like I said and the article said, some nations will still be allowed the 6 months.

I didn't see where it said the 6 months will still be allowed. I saw it talk about how some get 6 months, but not that it would continue. 

Well, Panamanian law is reasonably clear that you have to have a work permit to work here. It's also clear that many, many extranjeros of many nationalities are breaking that law by working without a permit. Perhaps Panama should concentrate on enforcing the laws already on the books before considering new laws which stand to decrease if not kill tourism, a major source of income to the country.

I would also point out, in response to Olga's assertions, that a lawyer she often recommends has opined that a foreigner without a work permit can work so long as the work is on a contractual basis. It's easy to see how this is the exception that swallows the rule.  Under this opinion, any person of any nationality could come to Panama and work so long as he had some sort of written contract with the employer. He is confusing right-to-work law with the law relating to the obligation to pay social security. Who knows how many people are relying on this kind of erroneous advice. The government needs to step in and enforce what the law really says.

You can have a RUC or tax ID number and render professional services as long as you are not working under a schedule and out of your home but that is not the case with many foreigners who abuse the system  

If Panama wants to end tourism, this might do it. Proving income is not simple, and most tourists would consider it an invasion of privacy to provide tax returns or bank records in order to spend a few days at Bocas. There are plenty of other beaches in the world.

Well, you have to have a certain amount of cash coming in according to the length of your stay, for some (most) is $500 while for others is $750, but you can also provide bank statements or credit card statements.

The law is aimed at Nicaraguans, Venezuelans and Colombians who overstay their visas and are the cause of very polemic relationships with the nationals

Didn't they try this a few years ago? Dropped it because some tourist come down for the winter.

This is merely a report of a proposal put forth by one opposition Deputy in order to gain attention by appealing to anti-immigration sentiment. It is not a law, nor is it likely to become one.

They do want to stop border runs and everyone who actually lives here to be a resident and not on a tourist visa. This is often talked about in daily news, the law is not aimed to alienate tourists but to make people residents or stop the overstay of tourist visas for countries such as Nicaragua, Colombia, Venezuela

Keith why did you not report this on your site?

Funny, you come to Ning to give opinions on our forums, however, none of the Ning managements are allowed to be on CL, further you report news there copying our style.

If you are acquainted with Panama happenings, you will know this law is aimed mostly at Venezuelans and Colombians given all the daily problems with those two specific countries. Further the 180 days is pretty new as before everyone would only get 90 days stay, currently there are a few nations that get 180 days, all others including Europeans get 90 days.


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