latest check in info for checking in panama
quoted from the noonsite.com
On 6 March 2012, Ronaldo Menoza Tapia – Regional Manager of Immigration service
in Colon - sent a circular requesting a tightening up of the visa process, whereby when boats arrive in Panama
they are stamped into the country, and then have 3 days (72 hrs) to obtain a visa in one of the main ports
In order to obtain a visa in one of the mainland clearance ports
, skippers must provide:
1.Responsibility letter from the yacht owner/skiper (or the agent) stating that he/she will be responsible for the boat whilst in Panama.
2.Crew list stamped by the immigration officer at the port of entry.
document and copy.
4.Copies of all crew passports and the page showing the entry Immigration stamp.
5.Copy of the Panama cruising permit
6.Copy of the Panama Autoridad Maritima port captain
7.2 passport photos for each crew member
Incredibly, visas will now cost yacht crew $105.00 each, $100 for the visa and $5 for the stamp!
The same fee applies if you arrive by plane but leave on board a boat. If you arrive by boat and leave the country by plane there's nothing to pay, however you must get the entry stamp from immigration first. Once you have the stamp you are permitted a 3 day stay before getting a visa. If you stay longer than 3 days in Panama before flying out and don't get a visa you will likely be stopped by Immigration at the airport
and lose your flight.
Immigration claim that this charge has been has been on the books
since 2008 when it was made Law, however the rules have been disregarded up until now. Oddly crew on commercial
ships do not require a visa, and individuals arriving by plane still only have to pay the $15 tourist card charge.
It should be noted that in Panama, each Immigration office handles matters their own way and whilst Panama Immigration seem to be trying to make the rules more consistent, the Colon office in particular is well known for being somewhat more "difficult" than other places.
Noonsite has heard from a number of yachts who have contacted agents in advance of transit and have been quoted these new immigration fees
. However, it seems not all yachts have actually been required to pay the mentioned high visa fee.
We would be very interested to hear from cruisers who have cleared into Panama on the mainland with details of the clearance port they used and the visa fees
charged. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Our thanks to Erick of Centenario & Co. and Karsten Staffeldt for bringing this news to noonsite’s attention and assisting with further details.