IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Panama has removed China from its list of countries whose nationals require additional visa authorization from the National Immigration Service.

What does the change mean? Chinese nationals, including those intending to conduct permitted business activities, may apply for tourist visas at a Panamanian consulate or online at the Immigration Service’s website.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Tourist visas.
  • Who is affected: Chinese nationals traveling to Panama for business or tourism.
  • Impact on processing times: Overall processing times will be faster for Chinese nationals because they will no longer need to undergo the authorization process.
  • Business impact: The change will ease business travel for Chinese nationals.
  • Next steps: Travelers may apply at Panamanian consulates until the online appointment system is available at www.migracion.gob.pa.

Background: The decision to remove China from the list coincides with the opening of a new Panamanian consulate in China in September. The tourist visas are valid for three years and may be used for multiple entries.

As under previous rules, Chinese nationals who hold a valid U.S., Canadian, U.K. or Australian visa may continue to enter Panama and be issued a 30-day tourist visa.

BAL Analysis: The change benefits Chinese nationals by reducing processing times and allowing multiple entries on the tourist visa, which allows stays of up to 30 days, renewable twice for a total of 90 days.