At POLS, our Panama immigration lawyers are specialists in Panama immigration law and we can assist you with obtaining an immediate Panama Passport and Panama residency through the “Rentista Retirado” visa permit. We refer to this visa as the “immediate Panama passport program”.
The Rentista Retirado visa offers Panama residency and a special Panama passport for the applicant and immediate family members, as per law 9 of 1987. The immediate Panama passport program requires an investment in a 5 year US Dollar certificate of deposit (CD) in one of the two Panama government banks, and the CD must generate a minimum monthly interest of US$850. The amount of the Panama bank CD deposit required to generate US$850 per month in interest will depend on the interest rates offered at the time of making the deposit. Contact usfor a quotation on current interest rates.
This “special” Panamanian passport looks like any other passport and it includes the applicants’ original country of nationality. For example, if a Chinese citizen obtains the Immediate Panama Passport, the Panama passport will state that the passport holder is a Chinese citizen, not a Panamanian citizen. This special Panama passport is useful for traveling, however, it does not grant Panamanian citizenship.
The applicant has the option of making the CD investment (time deposit) in either the National Bank of Panama (Banco Nacional de Panama) or the Caja de Ahorros Bank, both of which are Panama government banks. The Panama passport is only valid for the Panama bank CD term of 5 years, and early withdrawal of the CD will result in the cancellation of the Panama passport and Panama visa.
The 5 year bank CD must remain free and clear of any mortgage liens or encumbrances. Violation of this requirement will result in cancellation of the Panamanian passport and Panama resident visa.
In addition to the Panama Passport, the Rentista Retirado Visa applicant will be granted a five year Panama residency visa which can also be renewed by renewing the 5 year bank CD.
Under the Rentista Retirado Visa, immediate family members of the applicant are also eligible for the Panama Residency Visa and Panama Passport. This includes the applicants’ spouse and children under 18 years old, or up to 25 years old if they are in school).
Procedures for Applying for the Immediate Panama Passport:
1. Provide all required documents, and sign the Special Power of Attorney for our law firm to handle your immigration paperwork.
2. The Panama bank account is opened, and you deposit the funds for the Certificate of Deposit (CD – time deposit) for a 5 year term. The bank then provides a “Certificate of Deposit” (CD), and a copy of the time deposit contract.
3. Our law firm submits your application and documentation to the Immigration Department of Panama, for the Panama Passport.
4. Within approximately 2 to 4 weeks, the Immigration Department will issue the Panama Passport. At this point, the applicant is required to go physically to the Immigration Department for picture taking and thumb printing, for the issuance of the Panama Passport.
* Note: It is not necessary for applicants to reside in Panama to qualify for or maintain the Panama Passport, however, a short visit to Panama is required for the processing of the passport. The Immediate Panama Passport Program will provide you with a 5 year Panama residency visa. However, the applicant does not obtain permanent Panama residency nor Panamanian citizenship through this program.
Procedures for Applying for Rentista Retirado Panama Resident Visa:
1. Register applicants’ passport at the Panama Immigration office.
2. Present Rentista Retirado visa application with all required documents to Panama immigration, with Government fees & Repatriation Deposit.
3. Panama Immigration department issues applicant a Temporary Panama Resident Permit (Visa) & Panama Multiple Entry-Exit Visa.
4. Panama Immigration department issues applicant a 5 year Panama Resident Visa.
* Note that Panama immigration requires applicants to be present physically present at the immigration office in Panama, at the time of Visa application.
** Note: Panama Immigration office does not permit wearing shorts, t-shirts, or sandals when entering the Panama immigration office – all visitors must wear long pants or dress, collared shirt, and shoes.
When your Panama resident visa is approved, please plan to visit Panama for two weeks for processing since immigration will need to hold onto your passport for at least 5 business days while they insert the official stamps and Panama resident visa information in the passport.
Required Documents (for Panama Immigration processing):
1. Photocopy of valid passport of the applicant, including the picture page (that shows the picture, name, date of birth, passport number, place of issue, etc.), and all pages showing entry/exit stamps (all pages used in the passport).
2. Original Police record of the applicant, from the place of residence, duly notarized and authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate nearest you. For US Citizens, an FBI criminal history record is required. Contact us for details.
3. Original Birth Certificates of the applicants’ dependent children (if applicable), duly notarized and authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate nearest you.
4. Original Marriage Certificate for the applicants’ spouse (if applicable), duly notarized and authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate nearest you.
5. Three (3) passport sized photographs of the applicant.
6. Certificate of Good Health, issued by a licensed Panamanian hospital or clinic, signed by a registered, licensed physician, indicating that the applicant has no contagious diseases and is in good mental and physical condition. THIS MUST BE DONE DURING YOUR INITIAL VISIT TO PANAMA.
* Note: for authenticating documents through the Panamanian Consulate, please contact us to request the contact information of the Panamanian Consulate nearest you.
** Note: To request an extension of the Rentista Retirado Visa, besides the requirements mentioned above, the applicant must submit a National Paz y Salvo (Certification of Incumbency) from the Ministry of Finance of Panama, in favor of the interested applicant (this is to certify that the applicant is free and clear of all tax debts with the Panamanian government).
Documents that the National Bank of Panama will provide to you:
1. Banking certification from the National Bank of Panama or the Caja de Ahorros Bank, which certifies: the fixed time deposit (CD), the monthly interest that it generates, the duration or term of the Panama bank CD, and that the Panama bank CD is free of all liens or encumbrances.
2. Certified copy of the Certificate of Deposit issued by the Panama bank.
Documents that our law firm will provide to you:
1. Special Power of Attorney, signed by the applicant, authorizing our law firm to process the Panama immigration applications and documentation.
2. Panama Immigration applications.
Required Documents for opening bank account / Certificate of Deposit:
1. Photocopy of valid passport of the applicant, including the picture page (that shows the picture, name, date of birth, passport number, place of issue, etc.), and all pages showing entry/exit stamps (all pages used in the passport). The photocopy of passport should be notarized (our law firm can notarize the copy).
2. Photocopy of second Identification Card, such as a drivers license, state or national ID card.
3. Two Original Financial Reference Letters: These can be from any bank, brokerage firm, or credit union. They should be on the financial institutions letterhead, signed by a representative of the financial institution, and show the contact information (address, tel, fax, email, etc.) for the reference to be verified.
4. Two Original Commercial Reference Letters: These can be from any company or professional (a company, attorney, accountant, etc.). They should be on the company or professionals letterhead, signed by a representative of the company (or the professional), and show the contact information (address, tel, fax, email, etc.) for the reference to be verified.
5. Two Original Personal Reference Letters: These can be from any person that you know (a friend, family member, doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc.). They should be signed by the person, and show the contact information (address, tel, email, etc.) for the reference to be verified.
6. Proof of Applicants Home Address: This could be a rental contract, utility bill, or property title deed showing applicants personal name and address.
7. Proof of Origin or Source of Funds: The Panama bank will require documentation to support the origin or source of the funds to be deposited. This should include a letter addressed to the bank, and signed by the applicant, explaining how these funds were obtained (for example, lifetime savings from working at a job or business). In addition, applicant should include copies of personal tax declarations or tax returns for the previous 2 to 3 years, or audited financial statements.
Note that Panamanian government banks require that the applicant be physically present for the personal interview with the banker at the time of submitting the bank account applications.
For Primary Applicant:
Legal Fee – Processing of Panama Passport: US$5,000
Government Fees and Costs: US$1,400