Business Visa Program (BVP)

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Overview

The U.S. Embassy Panama Business Visa Program (BVP) facilitates the visa application process for qualified employees of BVP member organizations for the purpose of conducting business activities in the United States such as meetings, training programs, trade fairs, etc. The Consular Section approves companies for membership in the program and then allows program members to easily schedule priority visa appointments for their employees at expedited times.

BVP Membership Advantages

  • Priority appointment times
  • Dedicated point of contact in the Consular Section to answer visa questions via email
  • Expedited visa application and interview process

BVP Registration

BVP Registration for the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) Members
The American Chamber of Commerce Panama (AMCHAM) and all its members will automatically be approved as members of the program. To enroll in our new appointment scheduling site as a business user, entities will need to register by submitting via e-mail to Panama-BusinessVisas@state.gov a completed AMCHAM-BVP Registration Form, the company Organizational Chart, scanned examples of all authorized signatures used in the company’s job letters, and a reference letter from AMCHAM.

BVP Registration for Non-AMCHAM Members
To be eligible to apply for BVP membership, Non-AMCHAM member entities must:

  • Be lawfully incorporated and operating within Panama, regardless of the firm's ultimate nationality.
  • Have substantial and ongoing business activity with the United States.
  • Have a minimum of 20 full-time employees based in Panama on its payroll.
  • Eligible firms may include for-profit corporations, universities, NGOs and news media organizations.

Non-AMCHAM Member entities may submit via e-mail to Panama-BusinessVisas@state.gov their completed BVP application form, company organizational chart, and scanned examples of all authorized signatures used in the company’s job letters.

The Consular Section reviews new applications year-round, and informs entities via e-mail whether or not they qualify for the program. BVP-approved entities’ usernames to our new scheduling site will be electronically uploaded, and will display visually different scheduling steps from the ones available to regular users, as well as a priority appointment calendar.

U.S. Embassy BVP membership approval is subject to due diligence security checks to be conducted by Embassy staff. We may require additional documentation from you for this purpose. We reserve the right to withhold approval until all due diligence is conducted.

Initial BVP registration is valid for one year. Member entities must re-register if any authorized signatories change within that one-year registration period.

After your organization has received a BVP membership approval from the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section, your employees may seek B, H, L, and C1/D visas for your firm's business.

BVP visa applicants include only professional, permanent, full-time employees of Member entities. Casual, temporary, part-time and contract staff are ineligible. BVP-registered firms may not submit visa applications for clients, business associates, customers, domestic servants, friends, or other relatives, who must apply in the normal manner by making an appointment online. Immediate family members (spouses and dependent children) may apply via the Business Visa Program if they are applying and traveling with a qualified employee of a BVP-registered firm.

BVP Application Process

    Step 1

    Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

    Request a Business Travelers program appointment using the online appointment system. Once you have submitted your request, please wait for a response from the Embassy, which will come via email.

    Step 2

    Pay the visa application fee.

    Step 3

    Schedule an appointment using the online appointment system. You will need three pieces of information in order to schedule an appointment:

    • Your passport number
    • The receipt number from your Citibank or Banco General receipt. (Click here if you need help finding this number.)
    • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page
    Step 4

    Visit the U.S. Embassy on the date and time of your visa interview. You will need to bring a printed copy of your appointment letter, your DS-160 confirmation page, one photograph taken within the last six months, a current passport and all old passports, and the original visa fee payment receipt. Applications without all of these items will not be accepted. For more information on the visa interview, click here.