Panama Business Investor Program

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Panama Business Investor Program
POLS provides immigration legal services towards obtaining a Panama Business Investor Visa.

The Panama Business Investor Visa requires a minimum investment of $160,000 in any legitimate new business, or a new setup corporation.  Obtaining a commercial business license, registering with social security, and hiring 5 Panamanian employees paying their social security benefits and at least pay the minimum wage, are additional requirements.

Every Panama Busienss Investor Visa requires three 2-year temporary resident visas before becoming permanent residents.


Panama Business Investor Visa

Foreigners desiring to invest in a Panama business, with a minimum capital stock of One Hundred Sixty Thousand dollars ($160,000) per applicant will be able to request the Panama Business Investor Visa, as shareholders or officers of said business.

Foreigners who apply for the Panama Business Investor Visa must prove that the minimum investment (US $160,000 per applicant) is his/her own money.  A foreigner can start up any type of legal business [Except for businesses reserved for Panamanian nationals, such as, lawyers, doctors and retail sales.]

If the Panama Business Investor has dependents, the Panama business investment must increase by Two Thousand dollars ($2,000) for each dependent.

The Panama business must employ five (5) full time Panamanians (for each applicant), paid a salary at of at least the minimum wage established in the law for each region and detailing the position or activity that each employee carries out.  The Panama business must register its employees in the CSS (Social Security).

In addition to the requirements established in Article 28 of the Decree Law the
following documents must be provided:

1. Certificate of original legal status from the Public Registry; the trade name of the Panama business; the status of the applicant as director or officer in the Panama business; the name of the legal or authorized representative (if applicable); the capital stock of the Panama business (must be minimum of $160,000); type of Panama business activities; and the distribution of the capital stock;

2. Certification by the Secretary or Treasurer of the Panama business attesting that the minimum value of $160,000 exists. The certification must be in writing signed before a notary;

3. Copy of the Business Plan for the company;

4. Certification by the Authorized Public Bookkeeper or Accountant (CPA) for the Panama business, that accredits ownership to the foreign applicant and that there is $160,000 available for the Panama business detailing the activities of the business;

5. Statement signed by the applicant before a Notary Public, indicating the total of the minimum required capital invested, the role of the applicant in the company, as well as, detailing the Panama business activities of the company;

6. Receipt of advanced payment of the capital gains tax in case the applicant has acquired an existing company of a third party and copy of the Panama business purchase contract;

7. Copies of the Tax Return of the Panama business, with its Paz y Salvo (only in case the business had been operating months before the date in which one must present the affidavit of incomes of the tax year in effect). The Tax Return should reflect the payment of the foreign applicant’s minimum $160,000 investment;

8. For a Panama business recently started, the Unique Registration of the Taxpayer (RUC) identity number;

9. Copies authenticated by the CSS of the type of Panama business, with a minimum of five (5) Panamanian employees (per applicant), verifying the minimum wage established by law according to the region and area. (They should correspond to one of the payments performed inside the three previous months of presentation);

10. Paz y Salvo of the CSS in favor of the Panama business;

11. Proof of the minimum required Panama investment. This will be able to be shown by the presentation of at least three of the following documents that are under the Panama business name:

a. Bank Certification of the transfer of funds by the applicant originating from outside of Panama (obligatory);
b. In the event that they have acquired shares of a company already started, they should present proof of payment and the contract of sale;
c. Copy of the proof of deposit of the investment for the Panama business, authenticated by the bank;
d. Contract of buying or renting the localities where the Panama business operates;
e. Audited Financial Statement;
f. Receipts of the expenses incurred by the investor in the Panama business, accompanied by a detailed inventory prepared by a CPA. (Must also include a copy of a document that accredits the licensing of the CPA);
g . Customs inventories of the goods imported in the Panama business name;
h . Any another document that can show the capital invested in the Panama business.

12. Documentation that proves the existence and location of the Panama business, by submitting at least three of the following documents (can be any of the following documents or another that shows the existence of the Panama business)

a. Rental agreement of the commercial localities where the headquarters of the Panama business operates;
b. Last service billing for electric power, telephones, or drinking water supply service;
c. Contract for security services;
d. Proof of payment of the ITBMS tax to the Department of Economy and Finances.
e. Proof of payments to the Municipality.

13. Copies of the Notice of Operation.

To request continuance, besides the requirements mentioned above,, the applicants should submit the following documents:

1. National Paz y Salvo of the Panama business and of the applicant;

2. Copies of the tax return of the Panama business, with its respective receipts of payment. In the tax return (in the section patrimony, course of action) the payment of the totality of the actions of the foreign applicant (that should be greater than $160,000) should be registered;

3. Copies of the Form 03 presented to the Department of Economy and Finances;

4. Paz y Salvo from the CSS in favor of the Panama business in effect.

- Disadvantage of this visa: complex documentation, and long term processing to obtain permanent residency status.


Documents that are necessary to process legal residency and passport:

1. Power of Attorney allowing our law firm to act on behalf of the applicant (and dependents – if applicable).

2. Certificate of Good Health, signed by a registered, licensed physician, indicating that the applicant (and dependents – if applicable) has no contagious diseases and is in good mental and physical condition.

3. Notarized and authenticated police record from the place of residence for the applicant (and spouse & children – if applicable).

4. Certified or notarized Birth Certificate of the dependents ( if applicable).

5. Marriage Certificate for the applicant and spouse (if applicable).

6. Valid passport of the applicant (and dependents – if applicable).

7. Three (3) passport sized photographs of the applicant (and dependents – if applicable).

8. Financial reference letter from your bank, credit union, or brokerage / investment firm.

*All documents must be apostilled or authenticated by the Panama Consulate in your country


Procedures to Obtain Panama Resident Permits (Visas) is as follows:

1. Register passport at Immigration.

2. Present application with all required documents to immigration, with Government fees & Repatriation Deposit (if applicable).

3. Immigration department issues applicant a Temporary Permit (Visa) & Multiple Entry-Exit Visa.

4. Immigration department issues applicant 2 year Temporary Permit (Visa).

5. Immigration department issues applicant Permanent Residency Permit (Visa).

6. After 5 years of Permanent Resident status, applicant may apply for citizenship through Naturalization process (once a citizen, then passport may be obtained).

Note that immigration request that the applicant for any type of visa, be present physically at the immigration office in Panama, at the time of visa application.

Panama Immigration will not allow people to visit wearing shorts, t-shirts, or sandals. 

When the immigration visa is approved plan to visit Panama for two weeks because immigration may hold onto your passport for 5 business days while they insert the official stamps and information in the passport.

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POLS Fees:

For Primary Applicant:

Stage 1:
Legal Fee – 2 year Panama Temporary Immigrant Visa: US $2,000
Government Fees and Costs: – To Tesoro Nacional (National Treasury): US $250
- Repatriation Deposit (refundable once permanent visa is approved): US $800
- Other Fees: US $350
Total Government Fees & Repatriation Deposit: US $1,400

Stage 2:
Legal Fee – Panama Permanent Residency Visa: US $1,500
Government Fees and Costs: US $500

For Dependents (spouse or children under 18 yrs):

Stage 1:
Legal Fee – 2 year Panama Temporary Immigrant Visa: US $1,500
Government Fees and Costs: – To Tesoro Nacional (National Treasury): US $250
- Repatriation Deposit (refundable once permanent visa is approved): US $800
- Other Fees: US $350
Total Government Fees & Repatriation Deposit: US $1,400

Stage 2:
Legal Fee – Panama Permanent Residency Visa: US $1,500
Government Fees and Costs: US $500


If you are interested in relocating to Panama, or obtaining legal residency in Panama, please Contact Us for a personal consultation with POLS.


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