panama business visa

Panama Business Visa - Definitive Guide

With several services such as the Panama Canal and the Colon Free Trade Zone helping in the trade and business sector, Panama has been a popular destination for businesspersons from around the globe. The Panama business visa has aided severely in this growth, providing entry to people for taking part in business activities. 

What is Panama Business Visa?

The Panamanian business visa is an endorsement that lets individuals travel to the country to take part in business-related activities such as meetings, conferences, negotiations, and so on. A large percentage of nationalities have visa-free entry into the country. However, since India is not among them, a Panama business visa for Indian citizens is a requirement to travel to the nation. 

Note that If you possess a valid multiple-entry permit from Australia, Canada, Schengen/EU, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, UK, or the US, you will be able to enter Panama without a Panamanian business permit, for a stay of up to 90 days. Although, the above-mentioned permit must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry and it must have been previously used to enter the respective country before. 

How to Apply for Panama Business Visa?

Panama business visa for Indians

The application for the Panama business visa for Indians is an entirely offline process. Since doing on your own would require you to physically travel to the Embassy in New Delhi and further complications, it is suggested that you apply through a visa agency. 

However, before starting your application, you must ensure that you are eligible to travel to Panama on a business category. You may then proceed to make the application as follows - 

  1. Visit the website of the Panamanian embassy and download the application form.
  2. Fill in the application form with all the required details. 
  3. Affix your photograph and sign the application form. 
  4. Along with the application form, documents, and the fees, submit them at the Embassy of Panama in person or through a visa agent.

Ensure that you fill in the application form with all the correct details, and provide only genuine documents. Providing false information or fake documents can lead to visa rejection. 

Eligibility for Business Visa for Panama

In order to apply for the Panama business visa from India, you must meet the following eligibility criteria - 

  • You must be living in India while lodging the application. If you are living on a residence permit in another nation, you will have to apply to the respective authority there.
  • You must hold a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of your entry in the country. 
  • Your primary purpose of the visit must be to take part in a business. 
  • You must be invited by a Panamanian organization. 

Documents Required for Panama Business Visa

As per the Panama business visa requirements from India, you must submit the following documents at the embassy to complete your application. 

  • A passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of intended travel.
  • 2 completed application forms. 
  • 2 photos as per the specifications.
  • Covering letter from the sending Indian company mentioning the details of the visit.
  • Round trip flight tickets. 
  • Invitation letter from the Panamanian company.
  • Letter from the Chamber of Commerce in India.

Photo Specification of Panama Business Visa

The Panama business visa photo requirements state that the photographs submitted must meet the following specifications - 

  • Dimensions: 35mm X 45mm
  • Colour: Coloured
  • Head must occupy the central position
  • Must be captured within the last 3 months
  • Background: Solid, plain white or grey
  • 80% face coverage
  • Neutral expression
  • Glasses: Non-thick framed and prescription glasses
  • Headgears - only for religious reasons
  • Facial hair - permitted

Processing Time of Panama Business Visa

The time taken to process the Panamanian business permit is around 4-5 working days. However, this can vary significantly based on several factors such as the volume of applications at the embassy, the duration and validity, and so on. As a result, ensure that you apply well in advance. 

Panama Business Visa Fees

The application fee for the business permit can vary slightly depending on the foreign exchange rates.  Apart from this, there may be processing charges, and service charges levied by the visa agent for the application. As a result, ensure that you check the exact amount before starting your application.

Entry Stay Duration Validity Fees
Entry Visa 60 days 90 days 8000.0

After Submission

Once you have made the application for the business permit at the embassy, it will then begin processing. If the embassy requires it, they may ask you to attend an interview in person or even to submit additional documents. Note that, once you have made the application, you will not be able to modify it. 

Once a decision has been made regarding the application, you may collect the passport from the embassy during the allotted hours on the working days. 

How to Check Visa Status?

Since the entire process is offline, there is no online tracking service provided by the embassy. However, if you have applied through a travel agent, you can contact them to check if they can check the status by contacting the embassy. 

When you have this visa

On successfully obtaining your business permit, you must keep in mind the following few points to ensure that you have a hassle-free journey -

 Before you travel - 

  • Note the validity, stay duration, and the number of entries mentioned on your visa. You must not stay in the country beyond this period. 
  • Carry all your travel documents before you travel to the country. 

At the border

  • You must show your passport with the visa to the immigration officer at the port of entry. Your entry stamp will be placed on the passport.
  • You may be asked to show the documents submitted as part of your application. 
  • You may be asked about the basic details of your visit. This may include questions regarding the nature of your business. Ensure that you answer honestly and without any hesitance. 

When you enter Panama

  • While you are on a business permit, you cannot work on the payroll of a Panamanian company.
  • You may be able to extend this type of visa. 
  • Carry a copy of your passport and visa while you are travelling within the country.
  • You must respect the culture and customs of the country, as well as abide by the immigration laws during your stay. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Extend My business Visa for Panama?

Thanks to government initiatives, it is easily possible to extend the business permit in most cases.  You can apply for an extension by making an application at the immigration department in Panama. However, ensure that you apply for it with sufficient time left for your visa expiry. If you are unable to get an extension within the time, you must leave the country.

After Expiring My Panama business permit, How Long Can I Stay?

Upon expiring the business permit, you are not allowed to stay any longer in the country. As per the regulations, you are expected to leave the country before the exact date of expiry mentioned on your visa. Staying back in the country after the permit expires is considered as an offence and can lead to fines and even deportation. 

What is the Medical Test for business Visa for Panama?

According to the embassy requirements, there is no mention of medical tests required for the business category. However, it is expected that you are in good health during your visit. As a result, it is suggested that you get a medical test done before travelling to a foreign country. 

Can I Convert My Panama business permit into a Work permit?

No, it is not possible to convert the business category into an employment permit. Both these categories are independent of each other.  You are also not allowed to work while you are on this. If you require a work permit, you must apply for one once you are back in your home country. 

How Much Bank Balance is Required to Get a business visa for Panama?

The Embassy requirements for the business permit does not mandate proof of funds. Since you are a business person, it is expected that you possess enough funds to support your entire stay duration or you are sponsored by the inviting company. However, it is highly recommended to possess enough funds for your day-to-day activities.  

How many months before the trip should I apply for a Panama business permit?

Even though the processing time for the Panamanian business permit is around 5 working days, it can take much longer depending on a number of factors. As a result, you must apply well in advance. As per the recommendation, it is advised that you apply at least 10 working days before your intended travel date. 


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