As of 2021, Panamanian nationals traveling to the Schengen Area will be required to obtain an ETIAS for Panamanian Citizens. The ETIAS, or European Travel Information and Authorization System, is a new travel authorization system that is intended to strengthen the borders of the Schengen Area, guard against terrorism within Schengen member states, and make life in Schengen countries safer for visitors as well as residents. It will act as a visa waiver, and will replace the visa (or visa-free) agreements currently in place between the Schengen Area and 60 nations worldwide. While the ETIAS for Panamanian Citizens does not guarantee entry into the Schengen area, once entry has been granted, it allows the holder to travel unrestricted between the 26 member states.
Panamanian nationals wishing to travel to the Schengen Area are required to obtain their ETIAS for Panamanian Citizens prior to their arrival at their Schengen port of entry. Since the ETIAS application process is entirely electronic, however, Panamanian passport holders may submit their ETIAS Application for Panamanian Citizens from the comfort of their own home, without having to visit a consulate or embassy. Additionally, Panamanians may even apply for the ETIAS for Panamanian Citizens from outside Panama, if, for example, they are traveling to the Schengen Area from a third country.
The ETIAS for Panamanian Citizens, once granted, permits the holder to stay within the Schengen Area for no longer than 90 days within a 180-day period. Within these 90 days, travelers may exit and re-enter the Schengen Area multiple times, but ETIAS holders are advised that the 90-day limit is not reset by leaving and re-entering the Schengen territory.
Documents Required to Obtain ETIAS for Panamanian Citizens
In order to fulfill the ETIAS Requirements for Panamanian Citizens, it is essential that applicants from Panama possess a valid Panamanian passport. In addition, this passport is required to remain valid for three months or more following the date upon which the holder intends to arrive in the Schengen Area.
Alongside this documentation, individuals applying for the ETIAS for Panamanian Citizens will also need to possess the following:
- A working debit or credit card which can be used to pay the ETIAS application processing fee
- A valid email address via which the applicant can send and receive communications relating to their application, including updates on their application status, their application acceptance or rejection notice, and any communications regarding appeals to the decision on their application if necessary
ETIAS Application for Panamanian Citizens
In order to complete the ETIAS Application for Panamanian Citizens, Panamanian travelers to the Schengen area must fill in and submit an online application form for review by European authorities. The information they provide on this form will then be cross-checked against several European security databases.
The ETIAS Application for Panamanian Citizens should only take around ten minutes to complete. However, while the form is simple, applicants should carefully confirm that every item of information they provide is correct and complete, as any minor mistake on their form could lead to a processing delay, or even the outright rejection of their application.
In order to submit an ETIAS Application for Panamanian Citizens, travelers should be prepared to provide the following items of information about themselves on their application form:
- Personal details including full name, gender, place and date of birth, etc.
- Contact information such as current address, email address, and phone number
- Passport details from the passport which will be used for travel, including passport number, dates of issue and expiry, etc.
- Provisional itinerary indicating the applicants planned travel destinations and activities within the Schengen Area. It is particularly important that applicants also indicate their intended port of entry into the Schengen Area along with this information
In addition, individuals applying for the ETIAS for Panamanian Citizens will need to answer some questions that ask about their health record and criminal history.
Once their application has been approved, applicants will be informed via a confirmation email. They should then print a hard copy of this email for presentation to travel authorities when departing from Panama or to border officials when arriving in the Schengen Area.
Once it is launched, it is expected that the acceptance rate for ETIAS applications will be roughly 95%. However, a traveler whose application has been rejected may submit an appeal to the Schengen member state in which their planned port of entry is located. That state will then handle the appeal according to its national laws.
How Long Does It Take to Get ETIAS from Panama?
The large majority of Panamanian passport holders applying to visit the Schengen Area will receive their approved ETIAS for Panamanian Citizens just minutes after they submit their application, provided the information on their application form is complete and accurate. However, it is possible for processing delays to occur. As a result, it is a good idea for travelers from Panama to obtain their ETIAS with enough time to spare before they leave for the Schengen Area.