Panama Immigration: Visas & Citizenship | Immigration Lawyers

Panama Immigration, Visas & Citizenship

Panama immigration processing services requires Panamanian lawyers who are specialists in immigration law.

The Panama immigration lawyers at International Relocation Firm have extensive experience in processing all types of Panama residency visas, and for more than 20 years, we have been helping clients immigrate to Panama and obtain citizenship.  Our team of licensed immigration lawyers has processed 1,000s Panama visas for foreigners seeking residency in Panama.  Moreover, our firm has established a strong presence in the Panama legal community, making the immigration process as streamlined as possible.

As Panama immigration law specialists, we can provide legal solutions for all residency, visas and Panama citizenship options available.  Upon request, we can provide multiple references of clients that have used our immigration services with success.

Through special laws, foreigners are able to obtain permits for temporary or permanent residency in Panama, Panama work permits, and in some cases, Panama citizenship and / or Panama passports. Most of these Panama immigration laws have been created to promote foreign investment in Panama which benefits the local environment and/or local economy.

Many international investors and companies find excellent opportunities for Panama investments in reforestation, manufacturing plants, assembly plants, distribution facilities for import/export, software creation facilities, call centers, and a variety of other business activities. Many times, investors find that a Panamanian residency visa is just an “extra benefit” to the Panama investments that they are making. The fact that there are different Panama immigration visas and Panama residency programs suited for investors is an incentive for relocating to Panama and obtaining Panama citizenship and a Panamanian passport. Relocating to Panama and getting Panama legal residency can be easier by using our experienced Panama immigration lawyers.

Below we have listed several of the Panama residency visas. Some of these Panama immigration visa programs offer temporary residency permits, or permanent residency permits, while some offer full citizenship and Panama passports, but others may not. Also, some of these immigration programs only offer temporary resident visas, or Panama work permits.  We encourage you to contact us for a free personal consultation to determine which type of resident visa will best fit your needs.

Why Immigrate & Become a Resident of Panama?

  • Have a second home in Panama, a tropical country where one can peacefully live in Panama, or visit Panama on a part-time basis.
  • Have a “safe haven” in Panama to escape to in the event of war or any type of political or civil unrest that may threaten ones’ family.
  • Actually live in Panama permanently, perhaps after retirement and obtain a Panamanian residency visa.
  • Relocating to Panama to a tropical, stable, safe country where it is very economical to live in comparison with most other developed countries such as the US, Canada, Europe, etc.
  • Relocate to a more “tax friendly” country and enjoy the benefits of Panama’s territorial tax system (only pay taxes on locally sourced income). NOTE: this does not apply to US persons (citizens or residents) who are taxed world-wide regardless of second residency or second citizenship status.
  • Relocate to a country where one can do business operations economically, and without heavy restrictions.
  • Relocate to a country where real estate is still affordable for purchasing homes in the city or land at the beaches, mountains, lakes, etc.

How To Immigrate to Panama and The Steps to Residency

Learn the details about the most popular Panama immigration visas and the requirements.

9 Permanent Residency Panama Visas

This is a summary of the 9 permanent residency Panama visas currently available:

1. Panama’s Pensioner (Retiree) Visa:

Anyone over 18 years of age with a lifetime pension or annuity paying a minimum of $1,000 USD per month qualifies. Another $250 must be paid per month by the annuity or pension for each dependent. The annuity or pension can be paid by a private company, military, government agencies, corporations, a bank, an insurance company, or a Trust. This Panama visa provides several discounts from movie theaters, restaurants, hotels, pharmacies, concerts, and domestic airlines along with other products or services.

2. Friendly Nations Visa:

Citizens from any of the 50 nations considered “friendly” to Panama can move here with their immediate family and acquire a permanent residency visa. To qualify, citizens of the 50 friendly nations can either buy a property in Panama for a value of US$200,000 or be employed by a Panama company. The 50 friendly nations are: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Marino, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United States of America, Uruguay, United Kingdom (Great Britain & Northern Ireland).

3. Professional Employment Visa:

Foreigners working for a Panama company in a “professional” capacity paying social security taxes and holding a college degree and a professional license (if required by his or her country) can become a permanent resident after two years of being a temporary resident. The term “professional” is not limited to the definition in Panama’s Constitution or the laws defining a professional for citizens.

4. Panama’s Reforestation Investor Visa:

Panama’s Reforestation Investor law recently changed, and now offers these options:

  1. A minimum investment of US$80,000 in a reforestation project certified by the government, grants temporary residency for a period of 5 years.
  2. A minimum investment of US$100,000 in a reforestation project certified by the government, grants a 2 year temporary residency and then one can apply for the permanent residency status.
  3. A minimum investment of US$350,000 in a reforestation project certified by the government, grants permanent residency status within a period of 30 days.

All of the above reforestation investments must be held for a period of 5 years, and they can be made in your personal name or in the name of a Panama entity, corporation or foundation.

5. Panama’s Self Economic Solvency Visa:

Three options exist to qualify for this visa created to attract wealthy foreigners:

  1. Minimum US$300,000 investment of equity in any Panama real estate with an additional $2,000 USD for each dependent.
  2. Minimum US$300,000 investment in a 3 year Panama bank CD. An additional $2,000 deposit is required for each dependent.
  3. Combining the first 2 options by investing in both a Panama bank CD and Panama real estate where the cash and equity total a minimum of US$300,000 (or foreign currency equivalent). An additional $2,000 USD must be invested for each dependent.

6. Panama’s Qualified Investor Program:

Investors have 3 options to obtain expedited (30 days) permanent residency in Panama (leading to citizenship and Panama passport after 5 years) with this program:

  1. Invest $300,000 in a property in Panama (with no mortgage).. Please note that after the 15th of October of 2022, the minimum required investment will be increased to Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars (US$500,000) for the purchase of real estate in the Republic of Panama, free of any mortgage.
  2. Invest in the purchase of securities on the Panama Stock Market, through any qualified and licensed Panamanian securities brokerage firm. The investment must be for a term of five (5) years.
  3. Invest Seven Hundred Fifty Thousand US Dollars (US$750,000) in a time deposit at a bank in Panama (the bank must have a general banking license), for a term of five (5) years.

All 3 of the above Qualified Investor investment options may be made in the personal name of the investor, or in the name of the investors Panama corporation or Panama Private Interest Foundation so long as the investor is the exclusive 100% final beneficiary of the Panama corporation or Panama private interest foundation. The funds invested must have originated from banks outside of Panama.  Learn more about the Qualified Investor Program

7. Panama’s Business Investor Visa:

A minimum US$160,000 investment in capital stock of a Panama corporation. The foreigner can be a shareholder and/or an officer. An additional $2,000 must be invested or each dependent.

8. Married to a Panama Citizen Visa:

This must be a valid marriage (not a sham) to a Panama citizen, and the applicant can apply for a permanent resident status.

9. Parents of Child Born in Panama Visa:

The parents of a child born in Panama who is over five years old can apply for this permanent visa.

Helpful Links:

Click Here to view a list of all of the countries that holders of Panamanian passports may travel to Visa Free.

Click here to view all the Panamanian Consulates in the World.

Click here to read about Authenticating Documents by Apostille

Click here to read about Authenticating Documents by the Panamanian Consulate

If you are interested in Relocating to Panama, and obtaining legal residency or citizenship in Panama, please contact us for a personal consultation.

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