Italy and Panama have a unique treaty since 1966 called The Mutual Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty which allows instant Panamanian permanent residency for Italian citizens. This treaty also allows Italians the freedom to conduct business in Panama without the need to apply for a work permit or having to apply for an investor’s type of immigration visa. This is an indefinite permanent visa leading to Panamanian citizenship after five years.
Dependants are included. This includes the spouse, dependant parents of the nucleus family, children under legal age, and single students under the age of 25. The dependants will each have to provide a non criminal police record.
With a strong Euro over the U.S. Dollar, wealthy Italians can take advantage of Panama’s lower real estate prices, lower rents, lower wages, and the Canal to start businesses here and make other investments.
Many Italians own and operate Italian restaurants in Panama, as well as, importing Italian suits, belts, shoes and other Italian goods and products like olive oil and spaghetti. Italians are not limited to these types of business. They can start any type of business except for those exclusively reserved for Panamanian citizens like lawyers and doctors.
The process for obtaining Panama permanent residency under this treaty requires the Italian citizen to provide his or her Italian passport (with a minimum of three months before expiring) along with a second identity card such as a driver’s license or Italian tax card issued in Italy. Submit a non criminal record certification where the applicant resides showing no criminal convictions. A health certificate provided by a licensed doctor dated within three months of submitting the application. The applicant must also prove economic solvency in order to support himself and his family. Submit an affidavit of personal history and an explanation of the type of business which will be started in Panama and pay a $250 fee.
Since this is a treaty promoting commerce between both countries the Italian needs to show Panama immigration that the intent is to move to Panama to start a business. Creating a Panama corporation for this purpose will help convince Panama immigration of this intention.
Panamanian citizens likewise enjoy the same benefits in Italy where they can move and receive indefinite permanent residency and start businesses without having to apply for investor’s visas or a work permit.