Panama, Oct 12. -Panama will extend as of Friday to five years the duration of stamped visas, for multiple entries and exits, to citizens from Cuba, China, Dominican Republic, India and Venezuela, according to executive decree.
In all cases, those citizens had restricted visas, which needed to be approved in the National Immigration Service (SNM), while later that power passed to the respective consulates in the “stamped visa” modality and it was valid for three years.
When announcing the application of the decree, the SNM said that the approval will follow the officials' verification criterion, and the objective of the measure is “to facilitate travel procedures for tourists and businessmen who regularly enter the country and contribute to the development and economic growth.”
The institution recalled that the maximum stay for those visitors is 30 days, while reaffirming “their commitment to apply the current migratory provisions, based on full respect to human rights and the laws of the Republic of Panama.”
Since June, the SNM has opened an online pre-appointment system for its consulates in Havana, Cuba, and Caracas, Venezuela, in order to assess the demand in both countries to apply for a visa to Panama.
Last year, the Panamanian chancellor, Isabel de Saint Malo, told reporters that when the visa was applied to the Cubans, “there was fear, because it could imply a massive flow to Panama with the objective of establishing in the country', but the she monitored that 98 percent of Cubans returned, she said.
The stamped visa was implemented for the first time with the Cuban citizens following the visit to the island of Panamanian President, Juan Carlos Varela, in September 2015, and it was subsequently applied to Dominican Republic, Venezuela, China and India. (Taken from Prensa Latina)