Cubans may request a purchase card to enter Panamanian territory, according to a statement issued by the National Migration Service Panama (SMP). The document will be issued at the consulate of this Ithmian country in Havana, will have a price equivalent to 20 dollars and will allow an entry for 30 days.

To acquire the purchasing card, Cubans must present their identification as self-employed, or in their absence, a certificate that they work as creators or craftsmen. There is also the possibility of obtaining the document having previously traveled to Panama or to another country.

Cubans who have a Panamanian visa will not need the purchase card. Panama grants some 1,000 visas stamped every month to citizens of the Island and so far in 2018 there are more than 35,900 entries to Panama from Cuba. Last year they were more than 71,700, a figure much higher than in 2010, when they hardly traveled 6,000.

The Isthmian country is one of the most important destinations for the so-called mules that are dedicated to import clothing, footwear, medicines and appliances to the island for resale on the black market, a way to alleviate the chronic shortage of the network of national stores.

The National Immigration Service also announced that it created the Office of Humanitarian Affairs for Venezuelan Residents. Through this entity, Venezuelan legal residents in Panama may request "family reunification" for humanitarian reasons for that relative who is within the fourth degree of consanguinity and second of affinity.

Venezuelans will be able to request stamped visas from Panama for their relatives in Venezuela. Those interested in the process of family reunification must present a copy of the passport, a copy of the resident's card in Panama, proof of relationship with the person to be claimed, a proof of economic solvency, a letter of responsibility and a proof of address in Panama.

The National Migration Service of Panama reported last October a decrease in the number of Venezuelans arriving in the country. According to official statistics, some 2,000 Venezuelans have arrived less since Panama demanded a visa from Venezuelan citizens. During this year, 3,800 visas were approved for Venezuelans and more than 1,600 were denied, explained the SNM.


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