The government of Panama announced that starting this Monday, September 11, the money that travelers must present at entry points in their territory will increase to justify. economic solvency and the number of days the visitor can stay in the Central American country is also reduced.
Samira Gozaine, director of Immigration, reported that foreign citizens they have to show 1,000 dollars as financial solvency (500 more than before) and They can only stay 15 days in Panama a significant reduction compared to the 90 days allowed until now.
Not all tourists will be subject to the regulations, although it is not yet known which travelers and which nationalities are affected by the new measures.
“The length of stay varies according to the tourist’s profile, which is determined after an interview with the immigration agents” Gozaine taught.
The main objective of the new measures is to stop the flow of illegal migrants crossing Panama to the United States, which the Central American country has declared as a national security problem.
Between January and August 2023, about 352,000 migrants entered Panama irregularly heading north of the continent. About 2,500 people usually cross from Colombia to Panama every day along the dangerous route of Darien Jungle.
That route registered 79 thousand illegal migrants last August a situation that has cost the treasury of the Central American country an estimated 70 million dollars.
In addition, the so-called “Darién corridor” is under the control of groups outside the law, such as Gulf Clan dedicated to human trafficking and extorting travelers to pass.
On the other hand, many extra-continental migrants, involved in organized crime, use formal entry points in Panama using false documentation, which will tighten controls in that area. For example, deportations will increase, especially for migrants with criminal records.
In addition, the government plans to build infrastructure near communities affected by irregular migration. Others, with a population of 200 residents, are overwhelmed by the daily arrival of between 3,000 and 4,000 migrants.
In 2022, a total of 5,961 Cuban migrants passed through what is also known as the Darién Gap.
By the end of 2022, Cuba will be in fourth place among the countries with the highest number of migrants crossing the jungle., surpassed by Venezuela (150,327 migrants); Ecuador (29,356); and Haiti (22,435).
However, the figures for 2022 and so far in 2023 show a decreasing trend regarding the number of Cuban migrants who choose that route.
As of December 2021, the flow of Cubans through the forest began to decrease after the government of Nicaragua established visa-free status for Cuban citizens a month ago.