It has been long coming. Appxoximately 300 venezuelas are being denied entry to Panama given their practice to do border runa for three days and get their 180 day stamps.

Immigration made an announcement that border hoppers will not be allowed re entry. So far this has affected venezuelans but they are enforcing it and you do not want to be caught in the middle. If you are coming up in your 180 days, take a plane and go somewhere or speak to a lawyer first to be on the safe aide

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First I want to say we all missed you Olga and do indeed appreciate your contributions to this Community Forum that the good people at the JLM Foundation provide.   And although there are those who don’t away express their gratuities for your input, believe me when I say WE DO appreciate your services to include the NING Management Team, Thank you !!

Now I have long been an opponent of the border hopping crowds. Yes it cost several thousand dollars to apply to the Immigration Authorities but that is the law and is required if one wishes to live here in Panama. Anyone who feels they have the right to circumvent the system or otherwise manipulating the spirit of the laws are just plain wrong!! I am glad they are finally cracking down on this abusive and unethical practice.

If I were in charge there would be no border hoppers, just legal migration and only for those who meet the requirements and of course have a clean criminal history. Let’s hope it’s not temporary rather more of a permanent enforcement action.

Keep us informed Preciosa Olga

Thank you Glen much appreciated.

They are using a new system that lets them see howbmany border runs you have made, therefore determining you are not a tourist but going around their immigration laws. Yes it is a bit pricey for some but hey everyone who wants to relocate must budget those costs when selecting a country, some have a criminal past and avoid the system for 2 yrs which will also change soon. Laws are there to be followed and many abused them for a long time
Weird, I just returned home an hour ago after passing through with no problem. Maybe because I wasn't resetting my visa, as I've only been in Panama for a month this time, but I didn't observe anything out of the ordinary.
If you are not a habitual hopper you are ok
I cross the border all the time. Some times to reset my visa, sometimes not. Probably once a month I go to either Costa Rica or Colombia.

Whether it is your intention or not, is is not true that any time you cross the border your "reset" your visa?  I would think that migracio would justd look at the latest entry and figure 90 or 180 days from that.

Some friends just did a border hop at Paso Canoas this past weekend with more than 10 years of border hops and had no problem. Of course no guarantee for anyone else.

That is precisely what they are beginning to enforce, the tourist visa abusers

The latest assumption is that Americans, Canadians, Australians and Brits are all able to cross every 180 days according to the latest law update.  There is also a 2 year law that says once you have lived here for 2 years, you are able to apply for Pensionado using your record with the Panamanian justice system.  As I did not have the money when I arrived I have chosen to wait.  Every one has a different situation and reason for being here.  The law is the law and any border guard who wishes to change it to suit his/her own personal agenda is breaking this law.  While this does not speak to all guards being law abiding, it is what it is.  I went in February, stayed in Gulfito and had a wonderful time with no problems.

The law states you can stay up to 180 days as a tourist however it does not state you can become a permanent resident on a tourist visa. Perpetual border hoppers will be denied entry. This is an individual chance you are taking by continuing to do border runs after Carillo and Varela both clearly stated the tourist visa abuse will be atopped. Paso Canoas was not monitoring entries and exits as they are doing it now. The law is clear and Panama has every right to enforce its laws. Mainly aimed at younger expats who work ilegally, it will affect everyone. If you live in Panama then it is time to get legalized otherwise it is a risk you are assuming by continuing the 3 day exit through Paso Canoas. There are many changes coming so tonthose waiting 2 yrs to avoid using their criminal recorda etc, please beware this will too end soon.
You can choose to ignore changes or you can abide by them. Perhaps watching and understanding TV2 or Telemetro will help

Hi Olga,

Are you aware of the latest changes made a couple months ago?  While I am sure there will be more changes coming (who can predict) the latest one states that all nationalities with the exception of Canadians, Americans, Australians and Brits have to leave the country every 30 days.  Those mentioned have 180 days as a tourist.  Panama would be "cutting off its nose despite its face" by limiting retired persons regardless of status.  We spend our money here without taking jobs from Panamanians.  We are a revenue source.  Most Central American and South American countries encourage retirees to come to retire in their countries.  In this area alone trades people would suffer unemployment by getting rid of retirees.  Varela changed the law so that those young people trying to escape countries in difficult economic situations do not use Panama as a stepping stone to America.  Those Panamanians (like you?) who want all expats gone regardless of status have been appeased with these new changes perhaps temporarily.  If you buy my house in the Tampa area of FL I can get my Pensionado.  LOL


There are reports that at Paso Canoas they're retroactively enforcing a two year limit on border hopping preventing people from re-entering Panama.


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