ETIAS Visa Waiver for Travelers from Panama

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The EU has not forgotten the Central American nation of Panama, and its 4.3 million citizens with its new ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System), despite the current drama over the inclusion of the UK and the USA in the ETIAS system.
Because of the changes, Panamanians must apply for ETIAS to enter the Schengen area, but not until 2023. The change was initially planned in 2016 after one of the deadliest years for terrorism in European history. 135 people died, and the European Commission decided it was time to implement more rigorous measures to vet travel into Europe.
After negotiations, they decided to copy the visa waiver model currently used by nations such as the USA. The USA introduced this middle-ground between a full visa and no documentation in 1986.
Ensuring they know everything about the ETIAS visa waiver will help Panamanians avoid being caught out by it. They can discover everything they need to know below.

How will the EU Effectively Run this New Visa Waiver?

As the threat of terrorism seems to be ever-growing, the EU has been forced to go through the administrative marathon of setting up a new visa waiver system. However, unlike other visa waiver systems, the launch will be aided by modern technology.
Artificial intelligence technology has developed massively in recent years with a vast array of uses. It is the ability for AI to learn data processing that will allow ETIAS to process unprecedented quantities of traveller data. The system will check all applications and raise alerts if it finds something suspicious. At that point, a human will check closer and make a decision.
The plans have been fairly well enacted by the EU, with all computer systems already in place. There have been some difficulties hiring the larger number of administrative and border force workers required for the ETIAS system, but the EU is not indicating it expects delays.
Processing applications is not the only part of ETIAS requiring a substantial amount of labour. On the border, further biometric checks for ETIAS holders are required. These have the potential to be time-consuming, and Panamanians must expect longer queues on the border.

Which Countries may ETIAS Visa Waiver Holders Enter?

The visa gives Panamanians the right and ability to go to all counties in the ETIAS program:
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Latvia
  • Belgium
  • Liechtenstein
  • Iceland
  • San Marino
  • Monaco
  • Slovakia
  • Hungary
  • Slovenia
  • Czech Republic
  • Spain
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Greece
  • Malta
  • Germany
  • Portugal
  • Luxembourg
  • Lithuania
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • France
  • Vatican City
  • Poland
  • Croatia
  • Bulgaria

Panamanians’ Applications

When a Panamanian do an application for ETIAS, their supplied documentation and answers to questions on the ETIAS application form will determine if they are a threat to the EU. The most important questions determining this are...
  • What travel has the Panamanian made to Europe?
  • Has the Panamanian taken suspicious trips to conflict zones?
  • What serious convictions does the Panamanian have?
  • What is their travel itinerary?
  • Do they carry any infectious diseases?
Further information and documentation than this is required, but it is simple for all Panamanians to gather it. They are passport, proof of address, full name, etc.

When will a Panamanian not need to Apply for ETIAS?

The ETIAS is slightly unusual compared with other visa waiver systems because of the circumstances when one is not required. Panamanians will need one in all short-term travel circumstances, but not if they entered the country by train.
Alternatively, if the Panamanian is planning travel longer than 90 days, they must arrange a full visa and a residency permit.

The Security and Public Health Reasons that Justify Rejection of an ETIAS Application

The EU has begun to announce the circumstances for the rejection of an ETIAS application. To match their goal of stopping travellers from posing a terrorist or criminal threat, the EU has recently announced its decision to block Panamanians who have had a terrorist conviction in the last 25 years. Panamanians with criminal convictions will also struggle to get an ETIAS visa, as these will stay on the system for 15 years.
The terrorist threat is not the only one that the EU aims to counter through the ETIAS visa waiver system. All infectious diseases will begin to be treated as a potential next global pandemic, and therefore ETIAS will block Panamanians with infectious diseases entry into the EU.
If a Panamanian is unhappy with their ETIAS rejection, they can appeal. Roughly 5% will have their application rejected, and therefore be eligible for appeal. The Panamanian will have 96 hours to gather any extra information and documentation required. These Panamanians will see their travel heavily delayed, even if their application is accepted. A wait time of 4 weeks for a response is expected.


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