The timeframe for tourist visas has been reduced to 90 days and the period of validity for temporary cards for those seeking temporary or permanent residence reduced from 12 to 6 months.
From Decree 590 of the Executive Branch, published in La Gaceta:
"...Article 16.Immigration authorities at the National Immigration Servicewill issue tourist visas valid for a period notexceeding ninety (90) days, if foreigners comply with the requirements of this regulation without prejudicing what is established in international agreements ratified by the Republic of Panama and the principles of reciprocity."
A new edict orders procedures which are very similar to the "melting pot" held under previous administrations, in order to regularize the status of undocumented immigrants.
An article on Prensa.com reports that "...Decrees 167 and 168 issued on June 3, 2016 by the Executive for general regularization and also for migrants from China, respectively, have generated a debate about its resemblance to Decree 547 of July 22, 2012, whereby migratory regularization fairs known as the Melting Pot were created during the administration of Ricardo Martinelli."
It has been announced that there will be an end to liberality in granting residence permits in the so-called melting pot, and the revision of the immigration status of resident foreigners whose papers have expired.
From a statement issued by the Presidency of Panama:
The government has asked the Assembly to return to the first legislative body a bill which eliminates the immigration fairs and to start discussions to establish a migration code.
At the request of the executive branch, "... The document was dropped from second to first debate, "arguing that it had to go back for review and take into account the considerations of the business sector, particularly the hotel industry and businesses linked to the Colon Free Zone.
An international call has been announced for the development and implementation of an immigration system and the issuance of passports, an event which will take place in March.
From a statement issued by the Commission for the Promotion of Public Private Partnership (COALIANZA):
The commissioner of the Commission for the Promotion of Public Private Partnership (COALIANZA), Miguel Angel Gamez announced that in March they will be launching an international competition for a Modernization Project, for the Improvement, Management and System Operation of Immigration Control and Passport Issuance in Honduras.
An announcement has been made that the next round of issuance of residence permits to foreigners will be the last, in a change to the policy "aimed at strengthening borders to preventing the influx of illegal immigrants."
Panamaamerica.com reports that "On 12 October, on the same day as 'Día de la Hispanidad' Panama will hold for the last time the fair for mass regularization of foreigners, known as the 'Melting Pot'."
Businessmen are demanding that costs be reduced and the procedures required for immigrants to obtain temporary work permits be simplified.
The Chamber of Exporters of Costa Rica (Cadexco) has asked the General Department of Immigration and Foreign Services for migration processes to be improved and for a reduction in the cost of issuing permits, which currently "... has a cost of $98 for issuing a document which only lasts one year, so if you want to come in the next harvest you will have to pay again, which affects not only the employee but also the employer."
The National Development Plan of K'atun projects that in 2032 79% of the population will live in urban areas, and identifies the areas with the greatest potential for investment.
Currently 58% of Guatemala's population reside in urban areas, the National Institute of Statistics expects that in 2032 that percentage will rise to 79%, which allows a future map of national wealth to be charted.
Another 11,000 foreigners from 44 different countries have regularized their immigration status and obtained work and residency permits.
" ... Some 54 foreign nationalities have regularized their status, in the seventeen days that the process takes, without any hitches, although the number of regularized people has increased compared to the previous processes," said Javier Carrillo , director general of the National Immigration Service (SNM by its initials in Spanish) .
In 2012, 648 new residency permits were granted to Spanish citizens, approximately double that of 2007, when the number was 350.
Driven by the growing economic crisis in the Iberian Peninsula, more and more Spanish people are coming to try their luck in Panama, attracted by the opportunities offered by the economic growth the country is experiencing.
Miguel Miranda, owner of Mondaisa, was going to board a plane that would take him to Peru where he has business deals for exporting his products, however, because he lacked the visa that the country requires Costa Ricans to have, he had to postpone his trip, not having been aware of the requirement. After several efforts in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry and the Embassy of Peru, he was able to board a few hours later.
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