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This new legislature is aimed to modify the tourist visas for certain nations, however it may affect border hoppers.

If approved, this law will limit tourist visas to 30 days with a renewal option of 60 days, however, in her effort, Zulay Rodriguez aims to stop the re-entering of foreigners within a few days, or several times within a year.

This is NOT a law aimed to hurt retirees or expats who wish to adhere to the Pensionado Visas, but rather an effort to control those who overstay their visas or wait until the last day of their stay to leave and return a few days later. Also it is aimed at stopping foreigners without work permits to take jobs from nationals.

This law, if approved, will also set alerts immediately so those whose visas expire are sought out and deported immediately. There has been an increased amount of crimes committed by Venezuelans and Colombians and they are the main reason why these two deputies are looking forward to an immigration reform which is backed by a large majority of the population

http://www.prensa.com/in_english/Diputados-Castillo-Rodriguez-anteproyectos-inmigracion_21_4660243933.html

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  • Hilary,

    You are correct, FBI cross referencing is not required but they do random checks.  President Varela has three people in immigration who are trained and authorized to use foreign criminal databases.

    I have no idea what their criteria is for a random check.

    • Well maybe my running a stop sign infraction was not flagged. I'm being a smart ass. Some people think Panama should be open to anyone. Canada and the USA have strict laws.

  • Olga, so have you heard anything new on this legislation?

  • The Chamber of Commerce has issued a video calling for an end to attacks on foreigners on social networks. Chamber President José Luis Ford issued a video where he called for citizens to have respect for foreigners who come to Panama and who live in peace and with respect to national laws. "Those who come to Panama generally comply with the law and make this country theirs, because their country of origin did not give them opportunities. Many of them have contributed immensely to the development of Panama," Ford said. He also noted that most Panamanians can trace their lineage to a foreign country. "We come from a melting pot of races. And people do not want to come to a country where there are classes that express hate toward foreigners," he said. He said that Panama seeks to maintain its reputation as being open to the world. "It is important that those who come, who comply with our laws, are greeted with an attitude without arrogance," he said.
    Keith Woolford's Discussions
    Keith Woolford's Discussions | For the residents and visitors of Boquete Panama
    • Do you have a link to this?

      Keith Woolford's Discussions
      Keith Woolford's Discussions | For the residents and visitors of Boquete Panama
  • As Olga stated in the initial post, "This is NOT a law aimed to hurt retirees or expats who wish to adhere to the Pensionado Visas, but rather an effort to control those who overstay their visas or wait until the last day of their stay to leave and return a few days later. Also it is aimed at stopping foreigners without work permits to take jobs from nationals." These are two distinct issues. What is being lost in this discussion is the difference between visas and work permits. Persons with long-term residency, such as pensionados and E Cedula holders, do not have to leave the country every 90 (or 180 days if they drive), but they cannot WORK in Panama without a work permit. It's not clear to me how further limitation of the time one can remain in the country on a tourist permit would address the illegal worker problem. Strict enforcement of the work permit requirement--on both tourists and residents--would seem to me to be the better answer.

    • Correct me if I am wrong but it is my understanding that you cannot obtain a work permit if you are on a pensionado visa.

      • that is my understanding Steve.... if you only have a pensionado visa you cannot work here....but someone did state that if you do get your e cedula that you can work but not sure about that... I do see and know of many people here with just tourist visas working...(no work visas) and it's just not right. If we come to this country we should abide by their laws. Some come and think they can do whatever they want and/or pay off when they get caught....

        • Susan, I was told at the Ministry of Labor that you cannot apply for a work permit if you applied for residency on a pensionado visa. The E cedula simply gives you a permanent identification number and allows you to apply for citizenship after living here for a designated period of time which varies depending on which country you are from. If you are from the US it is 5 years, most Latin American countries only require 3 years. If you are a pensionado and successfully secure citizenship then you have the right to work.

          • That is correct if you are a Pensionado, you are not allowed to work. If you want to work try then doing the Friendly Nations Visa

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