10 February 2010

Cameroon visa scam at passport control

Today some past clients wrote to us with a story of their time in Cameroon. The following scam should be a warning to all travellers: make and keep copies of your passport and your visas.

"Our trip went very well, due in a large part to your efforts. Douala (Cameroon) went OK, but another entire set of bureaucrats in another city, Garoua, did not. They demanded that I surrender my passport to go to another room and when they returned they had peeled off the visa (revenue) stamp and told me the visa was not valid because it had no
stamp. I was able to produce a copy of the visa, provided by you, indicating that the stamp was there. That did seem to slow them down, but money seemed to be the lubrication required to get the wheels of government to move." J.H. 10 Feb 2010.

05 February 2010

Panama visa update

The Embassy of Panama has just told me that they have now received official word from the immigration and passports directorate of Panama regarding Canadian passport holders. The great news is that they DO NOT require visas, despite the law requiring visas now that tourist cards have been abolished.

So as of now Canadian citizens, using Canadian passports, can freely enter Panama by airplane or cruise ship for a stay of up to 90 days, WITHOUT getting a visa.

02 February 2010


Canadians going to Panama by air or on a cruise ship are now required to have a visa in their passports prior to travel.

As of January 2010, Canadians have to get visas for Panama. This is due to a change in Panamanian law which was supposed to make tourist travel easier. Panama abolished the "Tourist Card" formerly available at airports and on cruise ships. However, Canada is on a list of countries whose citizens require either a tourist card or a visa. With the abolition of the tourist card, Canadians now must have a Panamanian "stamped visa".

Canadian citizens must apply for a visa with the proper visa application form; an original valid passport, plus a copy of the passport; a colour passport photo; a copy of the air ticket, or cruise ticket (booking confirmation form); a hotel reservation (not for people on a cruise); and a visa fee of US$35. Visas are issued in about a week.

Click here for the Panamanian stamped visa application form.