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Panama Hardens Policies to Prevent Irregular Migration AFP | 16 mar 2017 08.17pm Foreigners living in Panama as tourists must leave the country for a month if they want to reenter Panamanian territory, in addition to other restrictions on immigration, announced on Thursday the director of Migration, Javier Carrillo. The new measure applies to foreigners who reside in the country as tourists, who when carrying more than five months, should leave Panama for at least a month If thhey want to re-enter, explained the official. "This is for those who have more than five months in the country as tourists and leaving for nothing more than to return to re- enter. Now you have to be 30 days outside the country," said Carrillo to AFP. Panamanian law provides that foreigners with tourist visa have a limit of six months of continued stay in the country. But once that term is drawing to an end, many cross to Costa Rica with the objective that in their passports the exit stamp of Panama and return to Panamanian territory. "The difference now is that if you come out with six months will not be permitted entry because people must go regularize status, nobody can be a tourist permanently," said Carrillo. According to the official this measure does not affect tourists who spent a short period of time in the country and re-enter at a later date. Data from the National Migration Service of Panama indicate that since 2010 there have been more than 100,000 requests for residence in the country, mainly of Venezuelans, Colombians, Spaniards, Estadosunidenses and Dominicans. A high economic growth close to 5%, a dollarized economy, climate and a relative social peace have made Panama attractive to workers and retirees from other countries. The measure is in addition to another taken at the beginning of the year when Panama eliminated the possibility of entry to foreigners with visas in the European Union. With this, Panama was intended to prevent citizens from more than 50 countries to which restricts the entry, such as Cuba, China, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, Nigeria and Algeria, take advantage of a European visa to enter. "They are nationalities that had a restricted type of visa in Panama and to continue with that process what we have done is to revise the policy toward these countries," said the Minister of Safety and Security, Alexis Bethancourt. Carrillo ruled out that the immigration policy of Panama has any relation with the plans of the president of the United States, Donald Trump, to limit the arrival of migrants to that country from Central America. http://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/Panama-endurece-politicas-migracion-irregular_0_1008500192.html