Panama has always been a special place for Jonathan and I; it was where he proposed! Yes, I know, it’s so kilig! Filled with turquoise-coloured waters, powdery white sand, the interesting Panama Canal, rainforests filled with biodiversity and the seas with marine life; Panama is a growing tourist destination.
Philippine Passport Holders are required to have a visa to enter Panama. The process is very straightforward and this article will help you on how to get one. Here is the guide on getting a Panama Tourist Visa for Philippine Passport Holders!
Reminders: All applicants must apply at the Embassy of Panama in their home country or where you are a resident at. Philippine Passport Holders must apply at the Embassy of Panama in Manila, Philippines.
Quick Facts About The Panama Tourist Visa
Validity: 30 days
Number of Entries: Single
Processing Time: 5-10 days
Where to Apply: Embassy & Consulate General of the Republic of Panama
Address: 11th Floor National Life Insurance Co. Building
6762 Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Email Address: email@example.com
Telephone: +63 2 478 6495
Exemption: All travelers, regardless of nationality will be exempt from getting a Panama Tourist visa if they possess a valid multiple entry visa or permanent residency on any of the following countries:
- European Union Member States
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
A valid passport that is not less than 6 months should be in their possession.
Panama Tourist Visa Requirements
1. Letter addressed to the Consul General – You must submit a formal letter that explains your intention to travel to Panama, your proposed itinerary, your financial situation, etc.;
2. Visa Application Form – fill it up clearly and neatly
3. Passport and copy of bio-page – Passport must be valid for a minimum of 3 months from the date of entry in Panama. The photocopy of your bio-page must be colored.
4. Government-Issued ID – For Philippine Passport Holders you can submit any valid government-issued ID except for your passport. For example UMID, Driver’s License, Postal ID, PRC ID, PhilHealth or PAG-IBIG ID, etc.
5. Three (3) Passport-sized photos and with colored photocopy all three (3) together;
8. Economic Solvency Documents of at least USD 500 – You may include the latest bank statements, payslip, or credit card statements for the last three (3) months or income statements from the last fiscal year. If someone else is sponsoring you, submit an affidavit of a relative or guardian who will shoulder your expenses and proof of economic solvency.
9. Proof of employment or profession
- Employed – Certificate of employment with a monthly wage
- Self-employed or Freelancer – Accreditation by the BIR
- Pensioner or Retired – pension and retirement documents
- Student – certificate of enrollment from the school or university
10. Letter of Invitation – must be in both English and Spanish
- Invited by a public or government entity
- Letter of Invitation
- Private Company or Individual
- Letter of Invitation
- Signatory’s Cedula, if non-Panamanian, passport and work permit/visa
- Utility bill (location of the company’s office or individual’s residence)
- Bank Certificate (if guaranteeing sponsorship)
- Certificate of Public Registry (for a company only)
- Employment or Pension Certificate (for individual who is guaranteeing sponsorship)
11. Visa Fee – USD 60
Step-by-Step Guide on getting a Panama Tourist Visa
Getting a visa for Panama is relatively easy and can be done in 4 easy steps.
STEP 1: Fill up your application form and have all of your documents ready.
STEP 2: Go to the Embassy & Consulate General of the Republic of Panama from 8 AM to 1 PM, Mondays to Fridays.
STEP 3: Wait for the decision of the Embassy. Claim your passport with stamped visa in the Embassy from 1 PM – 5 PM, Mondays to Fridays.
FAQS in Applying for Tourist Visa for Panama
1. How much is the visa fee for a tourist visa? Where do I pay?
The visa fee is USD 60. You will pay in cash at the Panama Embassy. Please bring the exact amount.
2. Is the visa fee refundable?
No, it is non-refundable.
3. Do they accept walk-in applications?
Yes, but note that although walk-ins are accepted between 8 AM-1 PM, it is encouraged that all applicants set an appointment beforehand by calling them at (+63 2) 478 6495.
4. Do I need to photocopy my documents?
Yes. It is also encouraged that it should be a colored photocopy especially the ID Photos and the Copy of your Passport Biodata Page.
5. What’s the schedule of the Embassy of Panama?
It is usually from 8 AM- 5 PM provided that there are no holidays. Receiving hours are from 8 AM to 1 PM and releasing hours are from 1 PM to 5 PM.
6. Can I ask someone to submit the documents on my behalf?
No, personal appearance for the application is required. However, you can ask a third party (relative or travel agent) to claim your passport if ever visa is approved or rejected. Please prepare a notarized authorization letter as well as photocopies of both your IDs.
7. Do they accept documents by mail?
No, unfortunately, they do not accept mail applications.
8. How long is the visa processing time?
It takes around 5-10 working days.
9. How many days should I process my application?
Since it takes around 5-10 days, then it’s better to process it at least 2 or 3 weeks before your scheduled departure.
10. Do I need a vaccine when visiting Panama?
It depends. Panamanian migration authorities will demand proof of vaccination if the trip originates from or transits through the following countries:
Yellow fever: Brazil and African countries
Measles: USA, Venezuela, China, Greece, Spain, Italy
11. Do I need a medical certificate?
The medical certificate is no longer part of the requirements for regular visitors. It will only be asked for if the applicant declares plans of employment or study in Panama, or if the stay exceeds thirty (30) days.
FAQS about Panama
1. What is the language in Panama?
Spanish is the official language in Panama. Less than 15% of the Panamanians speak English, so it’s better to learn basic Spanish in your travels.
2. What is the currency in Panama?
Though there is Panamanian Balboa, USD is mainly used in Panama.
3. When to visit Panama?
December to April are dry and least humid months, that is why it’s the peak season to travel in Panama. May to November are rainy season. You can also see festivals before Lent or on Holy Week (February, March or April). There are also festivals in September and November.
4. Is Panama safe?
Panama is a safe country to travel, however, crime rates are high so always be vigilant. It’s better to have travel insurance and save emergency numbers when you are there.
5. How to get to Panama?
From the Philippines, you can go to Panama via the USA (LAX, JFK, SFO are popular) or Europe (Spain has many flights).
For Philippine Passport Holders, we are quite lucky to have a Panama Embassy in our country. With that, there is no need to fly to another country or send our documents via courier. Getting a Panama Tourist visa is easy too, just follow our instructions here. However, if you want multiple entry visas, check out our Tourist Visa Application Guides for Filipinos.
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