Panama Immigration, Visas & Citizenship

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

The Panama immigration lawyers at POLS 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 where foreign earned income, foreign earned capital gains, and bank interest income are not taxed nor need to be declared.
  • Relocate to a country where frivolous lawsuits are not recognized by the courts, and one can protect their assets through a corporate structure, without the risks of “piercing the corporate veil”.
  • Relocate to a country where one can do business operations economically, and without heavy restrictions, regulations, or taxes that hinder the growth of the business.
  • Relocate to a country where real estate is still affordable for purchasing homes in the city or land at the beaches, mountains, lakes, etc.
  • Relocating to Panama and purchasing a second residence in Panama or taking advantage of the Panama immigration programs, Panama resident visas, and choosing Panama citizenship with a Panamanian passport if you wish.

How To Immigrate to Panama and The Steps to Residency

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

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 faster permanent residency visa than any other Panama visa. To qualify, the friendly citizen can either buy an existing Panama business or create a new business here or be employed in a professional capacity for a Panama professional services 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).

Note: The two visas above are the only ones granting immediate permanent residency. The visas below require a two year provisional temporary residency period before qualifying for permanent residency.

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:

A minimum investment of US$80,000 in a reforestation project certified by the government including purchasing a minimum of five hectares of titled land with an additional investment of $2,000 for each dependent.

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 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.

7. Married to a Panama Citizen Visa:

This must be a valid marriage (not a sham) to a Panama citizen can apply for a permanent visa.

8. 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. The parents of future children born in Panama can apply for this permanent visa after the child’s fifth birthday.

9. Qualified Investor Program

The Qualified Investor program offers international investors an “expedited” (30 day process) opportunity to obtain legal permanent residency status in Panama, leading to citizenship in Panama (and a Panama passport). Applicants must choose one of the three available options: 1) Invest $300,000 in real estate; 2) Invest $500,000 in the purchase of securities on the Panama Stock Market; 3) Invest $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. Learn more about the Qualified Investor Program

Panama Immigration Statistics

According to the National Immigration Directory:

  • The last census in the year 2000, showed a total of 82,097 foreigners legally residing in Panama.
  • Between January 2002 and April 2005, a total of 1,118 retiring foreigners (pensionado visas) immigrated to Panama. The trend accelerated rapidly, showing a 29% increase in 2003 over 2002, and 99% increase in 2004 over 2003. 2005 showed a 400% increase.
  • In 2005 there were 2500 new resident visas issued. The largest group was US nationals, making up 67% of the total.
  • From 2004 to 2007 there were a total of 31,356 resident visas issued to foreigners relocating to Panama.
  • Statistics of the Immigration Department indicate that in the period of 2008, there was a total of 14,739 resident visas issued, coming from 96 countries, among them, 4,149 from Colombians and 2,113 Americans. (Panama America).

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

Why Choose Us

Panama immigration law is a rapidly changing environment and POLS Attorneys are constantly evolving, meeting our clients demands by leveraging the vast experience and extensive knowledge that our Panama immigration attorneys possess. Our thorough understanding of Panama’s immigration laws enables us to streamline the visa, residency, and naturalization / citizenship application processes. Our knowledge and relationships among the many facets of Panamanian governmental agencies relating with Panama immigration, enables us to efficiently represent our clients with excellence in service. Our goal is to carefully guide our clients through the sometimes complex legal challenges of the Panama immigration system in an effective and efficient manner.

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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