How do I apply for Asylum?

Steps to make an asylum claim in Panama:


You must submit your application within the first six (6) months of your arrival in Panama.

The person who wishes to make an asylum claim must do so at the National Office for the Attention of Refugees (ONPAR) which is located in the Balboa area, Rómulo Escobar Bethancourt street, building 766 in Panama City, from Monday to Friday, from 7:00 am at 4:00 p.m.

  • When you arrive at ONPAR, you must present a copy of your personal identity documents (passport or ID) at the reception desk, if you have one.
  • Similarly, you must present the personal identity documents of the members of your basic family unit, if you have them.
  • The applicant will be given an induction on their rights and duties as an applicant for the refugee status and on the procedure in accordance with the Panamanian legislation.
  • The applicant will proceed to fill out the application form online.
  • Subsequently, the data that was provided in the application will be validated and the photograph of the applicant and the basic family unit will be taken.
  • You will be issued the certificate of asylum seeker that you must always carry with you.
  • You will be assigned a date for the registration interview.

Important: ONPAR will not share with anyone what you or your family declare or tell. Make sure you fill out all the information that is requested in the application record.

Remember that once you have submitted your application, you should not leave the country; if you do so, it will be considered that you have renounced the process.


An ONPAR official will interview you in person to verify the information you submitted in the application form online. It is very important that you answer all questions honestly. Bring all the documents you need and that you brought from your country of origin. You must also bring the certificate of asylum seeker (the sheet with your photograph and the QR code) that you received after submitting your application registration.

If you come with your partner or other relatives of legal age, the interview will be carried out individually.

Admission / Inadmissibility

After the interviews are over, the files will be evaluated by ONPAR officials. During this process, ONPAR may request other interviews, known as extension interviews, to clarify any point or information. The ONPAR will review the case and the interviews, and it will determine if the application is admitted or inadmissible to the processing.