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Panama Entry Requirements

Panama City Bay

U.S. citizens traveling by air to and from Panama must present a passport valid for at least 3 months validity when entering or re-entering the United States. Sea travelers must have a valid U.S. passport (or other original proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a certified U.S. birth certificate with a government-issued photo ID). American citizens can visit travel.state.gov or call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on applying for a passport.

The latest entry information may be obtained from the Embassy of Panama, 2862 McGill Terrace NW, Washington, DC 20009, tel. (202) 483-1407, or the Panamanian consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Juan, San Diego, San Francisco or Tampa.

U.S. tourists are allowed to stay in Panama visa-free for 180 days. To stay longer, tourists must pay $250.00 and apply for a "change of migratory status visa" through a Panamanian lawyer before the expiration of the 180 days in country (See the National Migration Service web site for explanations of types of visas and requirements). Please note that the Panamanian Immigration Office has discretion in the approval of this change in status.

U.S. citizens transiting the Panama Canal as passengers, whether or not they intend to disembark, do not need to obtain visas, report to customs, or pay any fees. If they are piloting private craft or planes then they need to have a pre-stamped visa from a Panamanian Embassy or consulate, as do persons crossing into Panama by land. The Servicio Nacional de Migracion charges USD $110 for private boats arriving as tourists. This fee would cover a three-month stay which may be extended to up to two years once approved. U.S. citizens piloting private craft through the canal should contact the Panama Canal Authority at 011-507-272-1111 or consult the Canal Authority web site.

Minors who are citizens (including dual-citizens) or legal residents of Panama are required to present birth certificates and consent from both parents (in Spanish) in order to exit the country. Note that these documents, even when already notarized in the U.S. must still be authenticated with an Apostille stamp. This documentation is required at all land, sea, and air ports.

Visit the Embassy of Panama web site for the most current visa information.

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IMPORTANT: The foreign entry requirements listed here were obtained from foreign embassies or consulates. This information is subject to change. Verify the data with the consular officials of the countries you plan to visit well in advance. For further information, see our embassy list.

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