Where is Panama
Panama is located in Central America. Panama City, which is the capital of Panama, is a modern city surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and man-made Panama Canal.
Panama is a country popularly known for its beaches, mountains, modern cities, and historic monuments. There are a lot of activities that go on in the country, Mostly, tourists can visit any of the beaches in Panama to relax and surf. There are also many national parks in Panama where tourists can enjoy beautiful animal sights. Other activities that can be engaged in by foreigners include white water rafting, hiking, horseback riding, etc.
In 2013, over 1.5 million foreigners were recorded to have visited Panama. The number of tourist visits has steadily been on the rise since the turn of the decade and is expected to increase year after year. Panama has once been named as the best place to visit by The New York Times Magazine. Foreigners are required to declare a currency of up to $10,000 on entry and exit from Panama.
Basic Travel Requirements for Nigerians visiting Panama
Travelers are required to fulfill the following requirements in order to apply for a Panamanian Visa
- A Nigerian passport which must be valid for at least six months and must exceed the expected date of entry into Panama.
- Duly completed and signed application form.
- Parents or legal guardian’s signature on the form (if the applicant is a minor).
- A passport photograph taken in white background.
- Three (3) identical photographs must be submitted. The passport photographs should be 3 x 3 cm in width and height.
- Travel document.
- Recent bank statements that show proof of financial standing
- Documentation that shows the applicant’s ties to the home country. This could be verification from the applicant’s employer.
- Medical insurance and medical report
- Documentation confirming the purpose of travel.
- Some embassies may also request a criminal record certificate from the applicant
Types of Panamanian visas
- Panamanian Tourist Visa: This is issued for a short period for leisure in order to visit friends and family in Panama. With the Panama tourist visa, no business activity is permitted. It is the type of visa issued to persons intending to visit Panama for tourism purposes. It is a restrictive visa that visitors need to obtain before they enter Panama.
Requirements to obtain a Panamanian Tourist Visa
- Any visitor or Nigerian who wants to visit Panama as a tourist will need to be in possession of a valid passport and an onward or return ticket
- The duration of stay granted to a tourist is determined by the migration authorities. Most times, this is usually 90 days.
- In the stead of an authorized tourist visa, Nigerians who intend visiting Panama can also get a visa stamp or a tourist card. Any of these can still permit a visitor to enter Panama several times throughout the year. Generally, the validity of the visa stamp is 30 days per visit.
- Applicants must ensure that the passport photograph they use matches or corresponds to all the specifications required for visa photographs. Applicants must submit two copies of the passport photograph along with the visa application form.
- In order to be eligible for a Panama tourist visa, you must provide proof of your financial ability to support yourself during your stay in Panama.
- The visa application fee is non-refundable. That is, whether or not a visa is granted, the fee will not be refunded.
Panamanian Business Visa: This is issued to those who want to participate in short term business activities in Panama.
Requirements for obtaining a Panamanian Business Visa
- Presentation of a certificate from your employer which states their permission of your business travel (If you are employed)
- It is required that you present your bank statement for 2 recent months as proof of sufficient funds to cover the costs of stay.
- Self-employed people may need to submit proof of business registration.
- Documentation that makes clear whether your trip will be sponsored by the employer is required.
- Proof of payment of visa application fee must be submitted.
- The embassy/consulate reserves the right to ask for additional documents or personal appearance for an interview in some cases.
- While submission of all the documents does not guarantee that a visa will be granted, not submitting all documents or refusal to appear for an interview will definitely result in the rejection of your visa application.
There are four categories of visa which are available for business travelers to Panama. They are:
Inversionista (Investor): For those who are investing in businesses in Panama
Permiso Temporal (Temporary Permit): This is for executives transferred from a country to work in Panama temporarily. This could also be technicians working with a company in Panama for a limited time.
Visa Corta Estancia Por Negocios (Short Stay Business Visa): This is for business people coming to Panama for the purpose of setting up a branch office of a foreign company in Panama. This visa is valid for up to nine months and is non-renewable.
(Friendly Nations Residency Permit). This visa is for citizens of some nations specifically noted as friends to Panama. It is for individuals coming to Panama with the purpose of pursuing commercial or professional activities. Once approved, this visa grants an indefinite residency in Panama. However, applicants must submit proof of commercial or professional activity. He or she must also show a bank account with approximately $5,000 or more.
Panamanian Transit Visa: This is issued to those traveling through a port in Panama to a third destination. This is generally valid for 3 days or less.
There are other types of Panamanian visas that are available for Nigerians. These visas include student visa, temporary worker visa, parent visa, spousal visa or partner visa for Nigerian nationals.
Where to apply for Panama Visa
There is currently no Embassy of Panama located in Nigeria. However, there is a Panama Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. This embassy is located at 239 Kloof Ave, Pretoria, South Africa and here, you can process your Panama visas.
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