How to get a visa for Panama in Sao Paulo (Philippine Passport Holder)
I know what you’re thinking and you are probably judging me right now. I am still sticking to the plan of travelling to visa-free countries for Filipinos, however, the flight to the next destination is stopping in Panama for 22 hours. You wouldn’t want me to stay in the airport for that long, right?
It was a shot in the dark. This is my first time to apply for a visa in another country and I didn’t even know it’s possible. In Morocco, I tried to apply for a visa to Spain (since it’s relatively close) but the Embassy told me that I can only apply in my home country. Since then, I have doubted applying and travelled to visa-free countries instead.
When you are trying to research on the internet, the available information is not always clear. For example, when I applied a visa for Italy (in my home country), I brought all the documents stated on their website during my first visit. After submitting my complete application form plus requirements, they asked me to come back another day and bring additional documents. The next day, I came back with what they were asking for and then again, they told me to come back for more documents. Am I a killer or something? What do you want from me? Seriously! I am from the Philippines, not from another planet!
With this, I would like to share my experience in applying a visa for Panama in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The website clearly states that I need a visa in order to enter Panama. My friend then e-mailed the consulate saying I am not a Brazilian citizen and I am a Filipino passport holder. To my surprise, the consulate replied:
The message above states that a Filipino citizen can obtain a stamped visa in Panama. I wasn’t convinced at first because, in Panama’s Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, they are very clear that they do not offer a visa to non-Brasilian citizens or residents. In addition, the stamped visa will be ready in 2-3 days. (That fast?!)
On Wednesday, I paved the way to Paulista and had a hard time looking for the Consulate. It turns out that I was looking at the wrong address. I was searching for “43” instead of “9”. Good thing a hostel crew nearby helped me and showed me the way.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- Chile, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, El Salvador, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Granada, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, UK, USA and Vatican City.
NO FEE OR STAMPS REQUIRED. You can freely enter Panama if you’re on this list.
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
If you are on this list, you can just have your passport stamped upon arrival and pay for $5 fee.
- Dominican Republic
Required documents to apply a Panama visa for Filipinos
- Passport valid for 6 months.
- 3×4 photo (1)
- Photocopy of resident card (if any)
- Photocopy of Yellow Fever card, taken 10 days before travelling.
- Photocopy of credit cards
- Bank Statement
- Flight ticket reservation
Do I smell something fishy? Yes, I do. In the e-mail above, it says the visa will be ready within 2-3 days however, I got mine within 24 hours and was charged too much. In another website, I read that the visa fee is only $30 but I paid almost a hundred dollars. I guess they will give you the visa when they want to. Ergo, they like me and that’s the best part! Plus, there was no hassle at all. It was fast and didn’t require a lot of things. I gave them my business card in exchange for their hospitality so they’re probably reading this now.
If you are Philippine passport holder and is looking to apply a visa for Panama in Sao Paulo, Brasil, you can go to:
Consulado Geral do Panamá em Sao Paulo
Rua Doutor Rafael de Barros No. 9-Conjunto 43
Paraíso-CEP 04003-040-Sao Paulo/SP
Tele Fax: (11) 32662923
If you’re a Philippine passport holder, it is very unlikely you will apply a visa for Panama in Brasil. Have you tried applying for visas outside your home country?
How was the experience? Did they give you a hard time? Would you conclude it’s easier to apply for a visa in another country than back home? I surely do! Let me know your thoughts by leaving your ideas in the comment box below!