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Immigration changes announced

Temas:

Many foreigners living in Panama on tourist visas crossed into Costa Rica for a short time to allow them to stay in Panama for an additional six months. Many foreigners living in Panama on tourist visas crossed into Costa Rica for a short time to allow them to stay in Panama for an additional six months.
Many foreigners living in Panama on tourist visas crossed into Costa Rica for a short time to allow them to stay in Panama for an additional six months. LA PRENSA/Archivo

Foreigners living in Panama as tourists will have to leave the country for a month if they want to re-enter Panamanian territory, a move that is in addition to other immigration restrictions, Migration Director Javier Carrillo announced.

The new measure applies to foreigners residing in the country as tourists. When they have reached five months living in the country, they must leave for at least one month if they want to re-enter, explained the official.

"It's for those who have been in the country for more than five months as tourists. Now they have to be out of the country for 30 days," Carrillo told AFP.

Panamanian law establishes that foreigners with a tourist visa have a limit of six months of continuous stay in the country. But once that deadline is nearing completion, many crossed briefly to Costa Rica with the goal that their passports show the exit stamp from Panama. They then would re-enter Panama, allowing them to stay another six months.

"The difference now is that if they leave with six months they will not be allowed to enter because people should be regularized, no one can be a tourist permanently," said Carrillo.

According to the official this measure will not affect a tourist who is in Panama for a brief period of time and then re-enters.

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