Panama: Law Eliminating Melting Pot Halted

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.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

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. reports that the Minister of Public Safety, Rodolfo Aguilera, "...stated that the matter can not be resolved by barring entry to tourists as 33 aircraft belonging to different airlines from Colombia, arrive in the country .... it is a 'complex problem' because Panama is attractive as it has less unemployment, better wages and better per capita income. "

The minister also revealed that of about 57,000 legalized people, only 74, i.e 0.13% were linked to crime and explained that of the 16,000 prisoners in the country, 1,604 are foreigners. 'It is only 10% foreigners and 95% of them did not enter by way of the 'Melting Pot' fairs."

More on this topic

Tightening of Immigration Rules in Panama

January 2017

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:

Panama Changes its Immigration Policy

May 2015

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 of the Republic of Panama has approved an executive decree establishing immigration controls and regulating the immigration status of foreigners whose extraordinary provisional migratory permits have expired.

Panama Changes its Immigration Policy

September 2014

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." 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'."

Costa Rica Issues Migration Regulations

June 2012

The General Migration and Foreign Affairs Office issued new regulations and guidelines for entry visas.

A press release by Lexincorp Central America reads:

On May, 17th, the highly anticipated Alien Bylaws were finally issued as a complement to the General Migration and Foreign Affairs Law, which is in force since March, 10th 2010.