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Tougher Measures for Illegals in Panama. Panama immigration authorities are tightening the regulations regarding foreigners living in Panama. In the past foreigners could renew the tourist visa by crossing the Costa Rica border and reentering the country 72 hours later to be able to stay for another six months and so on. Now those who overstay their welcome without regularizing their resident status will not be allowed into the country.
Recently the National Migration Service (SNM) prevented the re-entry to the country of 89 foreigners along the border with Costa Rica, who failed to meet the requirement established by the Panamanian law. 77 Venezuelans, five Hondurans, three Salvadorans, two Nicaraguans and the rest of several European nationalities were among the persons rejected, according to the institution.
In January the Panamanian Government issued an executive decree modifying the validity of tourist visas. After six months a hopeful immigrant must begin proceedings to obtain a resident visa and legalize his migratory status.
The Panama SNM said that its inspectors are becoming stricter when applying the law to people who do not comply with the entry requirements of a tourist visa and seek to avoid the present situation where foreigners leave the country briefly to renew their tourist permits and then return for six more months.
“The IT system we are using at the moment allows us to verify when the person has multiple exits and entries to renew his six months tourist visa. When that period has expired the foreigner should find another alternative under the law which will permit him to stay in the country,” SNM commissioner for the Chiriqui province, Alfredo Córdoba, explained to the Spanish news agency, Efe,
SNM explained in a statement that some of the reasons for not allowing the entry of a foreigner into the country are: not passing the interview made by the immigration inspector at the point of entry; not providing the exact address where they will stay; saying that they are working without being able to show a work permit’, and so on.
Tourists can also be rejected for ‘not having economic solvency, lacking a ticket back to their country of origin or presenting a damaged passport,’ said the institution.