Copa Airlines to offer facilities to Cuban travelers following Panama’s transit visa requirement

copa airlines plane

Panama’s Copa Airlines announced that it will be flexible with Cuban passengers who need to modify their travel plans after Panama announced a transit visa requirement for Cubans.

Passengers who need to make changes to their travel plans can contact Copa Airlines and its reservations center or go to the company’s sales offices, the statement said.

Panamanian authorities approved Executive Decree 19, dated March 8, 2022, which establishes the transit tourist visa requirement for Cuban nationals.

The transit visa applies to those Cubans transiting through Panama to another destination or returning to Cuba for a period of 3 months, the press release explains.

This transit permit will take effect as of next Sunday, March 13. Travelers making their trip before that date will not need this visa.

As of this Thursday, March 10, the Panamanian consulate in Cuba has already begun to attend to the holders of air tickets with dates as of March 31, 2022.

The decision of the Panamanian authorities has generated the rejection of many Cubans who gathered spontaneously on Wednesday around the Panamanian consulate in Havana to protest the decision, events that were even timidly echoed by the official Cuban press.

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The vast majority are Cubans flying to Nicaragua with transit in Panama. Since November 2021 Nicaragua is a visa-free destination for Cubans. The intention of most Cuban travelers is to arrive in Managua and continue illegally to the United States.

Full statement issued by Copa Airlines

The government of the Republic of Panama announced, through Decree number 19 of March 8, 2022, the creation of a transit tourist visa for Cuban nationals transiting through Panama to another destination or returning to their country for a period of 3 months.

This requirement will become effective as of March 13, 2022 as stipulated in resolution number 4635 of March 9, 2022 of the National Immigration Service of Panama.

The transit visa has a cost of US$50 and may be granted for a maximum period of 24 hours and only authorizes to stay in the transit area so that the passenger may continue his/her trip.

The transit visa must be requested in person at the Panamanian consulate of the country you are in, at least 15 days prior to the date of travel.


  • Any person in possession of a valid visa or residency issued by Canada, the United States, Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Singapore and any of the countries of the European Union.
  • The visa must be a multiple visa that has been previously used and must be valid for no less than six months at the time of entry into Panama.

In light of this new requirement, Copa Airlines will offer flexibility to passengers who need to modify their travel plans to comply with the new requirements. To reschedule your travel, please contact our Reservations Center or visit our sales offices.

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