With attractive retiree programs, tropical climate, affordable cost of living, thriving expat communities, and the use of the U.S. dollar as its official currency, Panama immigration is a great choice for many people. Additionally, Panama’s economic growth, natural beauty, and strategic location make it appealing for individuals seeking a new lifestyle or business opportunities.
Panama offers various residency options, including the Friendly Nations Visa, Pensionado Visa for retirees, Self-Economic Solvency Visa, and the Reforestation Investor Visa. Each has specific requirements and benefits, catering to different circumstances. It’s advisable to research these options thoroughly and consult with a Panama immigration lawyer to determine the best fit for your situation.
Panama Immigration & Visa Options
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.
- Panama’s Pensioner / Retirement Visa: Anyone over 18 years of age with a lifetime pension or annuity paying a minimum of $1,000 USD per month qualifies.
- Friendly Nations Visa: Citizens from any of the more than 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.
- 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.
- Panama’s Reforestation Investor Visa: Investments starting at $80,000 USD in a reforestation project certified by the government for a min. of 5 years for a 5 year temporary residency via or $350,000 to receive permanent residency.
- Panama’s Self Economic Solvency Visa: Three options exist to qualify for this visa including:
- Minimum US$300,000 investment of equity in any Panama real estate with an additional $2,000 USD for each dependent
- Minimum US$300,000 investment in a 3 year Panama bank CD. An additional $2,000 deposit is required for each dependent
- 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.
- 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:
- Invest $500,000 in a property in Panama (with no mortgage)
- Invest $500,000 in the purchase of securities on the Panama Stock Market
- Invest $750,000 in a time deposit at a bank in Panama for a term of five (5) years.
- Panama’s Business Investor Visa: Invest a min. of $160,000 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Immigration Application Process
The application process for Panama immigration varies depending on the visa you choose. Generally, it involves the following:
- Select a Panama immigration lawyer – Align on the best course of action and select the immigration visa to apply for. All immigration applications must be submitted by qualified lawyers per Panamanian law.
- Gather required documents – Documents required vary per visa type, but generally they include proof of financial means, passport, birth certificate, and police report clearance / proof of clean record.
- Submit application – Your immigration lawyer will submit the required paperwork on your behalf. When you the application is submitted you may be required to be in Panama and visit the immigration office to provide biometrics and or other information in order to receive a temporary residency card. Additionally, an application fee will also be collected at this time.
- Visa processing – The processing time for a visa to Panama can vary, but it typically takes a few weeks up to 6 months for approval.
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.
Immigration Benefits for Investors
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.
Panama Immigration Lawyers
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.
Helpful Immigration 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.