March 25, 2021
Visa tips

Panama Offers 90-day Visa-free for Vietnamese Citizens

Travellers from Vietnam are entitled to a 90-day visa-free entry into Panama, according to an agreement between the governments of both countries. This visa exemption means Vietnamese citizens will no longer need to apply for a visa when going to Panama for a holiday. All they need to present at the border is their passport, which should be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.

Panama is a great country to visit for the citizens of Vietnam. This little country in Central America has an interesting culture and history and home to beautiful tropical beaches. Anyone who wishes to experience an adventurous holiday should visit Panama.

If you are a Vietnamese citizen and you want to visit Panama soon, here’s everything you need to know.

For details of the visa-free agreement between Vietnam – Panama, please see : Visa Exemption Vietnam – Panama

Requirements for a Visa-free Entry into Panama

All foreign nationals, including Vietnamese citizens, are required to present a passport upon entering Panama. The passport should be valid for at least six months from the entry date. It should also have extra blank pages for the stamp. In addition, all tourists are required to provide proof that they have at least $500 money to support their trip. This can come in the form of a bank statement, credit card, or traveller’s checks. Finally, all tourists entering Panama should have a return ticket to Vietnam or onward ticket to another country.

Take note that visa-free entry is only good for those who are staying in Panama for 90 days or less. Vietnamese citizens who wish to stay in Panama for more than 90 days should have a visa. They can apply for a visa from the embassy or consulate of Panama in Vietnam.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the 90-days visa-free entry is only applicable to those who are visiting for tourism purposes. This means that Vietnamese citizens are not allowed to take up jobs while in Panama. Those who need to go to Panama to work or do business should apply for the appropriate visa.

Arrival Airports in Panama

Most travelers reach Panama by air. There are no direct flights to Panama coming from Vietnam. Flights coming from Southeast Asia usually have layovers in the United States, such as the city of San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The main international airport of Panama is the Tocumen International Airport also known as the Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen and is around 25 km away from Panama City. This airport has recently been expanded and now features modern amenities and facilities. It has lots of good restaurants and a wide variety of boutiques and shops.

There’s also a domestic terminal at the airport that is also being used by some international travelers who needed to fly to other destinations within the country. However, some flights would require travelers to make a land transfer from the airport going to the main domestic airport in Albrook, about 31 km away from the main airport.

Extended Stays

The maximum length of time that a Vietnamese citizen can stay in Panama with no need for a visa is 90 days. But as stated in the agreement between the governments of Vietnam and Panama, the Panamanian Immigration authorities have the right to deny the entry of a visitor depending on some reasons. They also have the right to shorten the stay of the traveler if needed.

For those who need to extend their stay and would like to stay in Panama for more than 90 days, they must inform the immigration authorities and apply for the appropriate visa. Some tourists may also have an option to request for a tourist extension known as the “prórroga de Turista”.  This can be applied to the immigration office in Panama. However, it is not clear whether Vietnamese citizens are eligible for this program. It also requires a bit of time to request this extension.

Land Border Crossings

There are currently three land borders between Panama and Costa Rica. However, Vietnamese citizens need to have a visa before they can cross to Costa Rica. If you have a visa, you can cross the border at Paso Canoa, Sixaola-Guabito, and Río Sereno. Those who plan on visiting Colombia from Panama can only do so by flying since there are no roads linking Colombia to Panama. It’s also a safer option.

When crossing the land border going to Panama, make sure you show immigration officials your Vietnamese passport and return ticket to Vietnam or onward ticket to another country. Sometimes, you will be asked to show proof that you have at least $500 worth of pocket money.

There are instances when this is not being asked for, but it’s good to have them handy to avoid any issues at the border crossing. The borders between Panama and Costa Rica is open every day and is generally easy to get through, for as long as you have the right visa and requirements.


Du khách từ Việt Nam được miễn thị thực nhập cảnh vào Panama trong 90 ngày, theo thỏa thuận giữa chính phủ hai nước có hiệu lực từ 15/01/2021. Việc miễn thị thực này đồng nghĩa với việc công dân Việt Nam sẽ không phải xin thị thực khi sang Panama.