We are aware that the title of this article is somewhat contradictory but the tourist visa issued to foreigners in Panama has been confirmed by Embassies and Government officials to be 180 days, doubling the amount of time from the previous 90 day visa.
Many tourists have been questioning whether or not this is true for the past few months because there has not been any official legislation passed or government statement released to the public. Officially there is no legislation on the books that provides for the 180 day tourist visa and adding to the confusion the actual visa stamp in one’s passport doesn’t currently state the allowed duration of one’s stay. But, rest assured, President Martinelli’s administration, several Embassies, and many immigration officials have confirmed that the tourist visa has been extended to 180 days if you entered into Panama after May 2010.
Ex-pat business owners are likely to be the most appreciative of this change because the majority of them run their businesses legally while in the country on tourist visas since it is extremely difficult to obtain a work visa. One Ex-pat entrepreneur living in Panama City stated that “having to take a forced vacation every 3 months wasn’t exactly a bad thing, but it did provide an unnecessary disruption when running your own business.”
Martinelli, a self-made successful business man and now President of Panama since May 2009 is continuing to add to the positive incentives for foreign investment and living in Panama.