The “Qualified Investor” immigration program was created by Executive Decree # 722 of the 15th of October of 2020.
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).
Please note that this particular Qualified Investor residency program offers a special benefit in that the investor is not required to be present in Panama, to apply for residency. The immigration application can be submitted by the investors lawyer, through a special power of attorney that must be apostilled or authenticated by the Panamanian consulate in the country where it was signed.
To qualify as a “Qualified Investor”, the investor can choose among the following three (3) investment options:
Option 1 – REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT: Invest Three Hundred Thousand US Dollars (US$300,000 in the purchase of real estate in the Republic of Panama, free of any liens. In the event that the real estate purchase is for more than US$300,000 and there is bank financing with a mortgage lien for the remaining balance above US$300,000, then the required down payment for the real estate purchase must be no less than US$300,000. The investor must hold the property for a term of five (5) years. Please note that after the 15th of October of 2022, the minimum required investment will be increased to Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars (US$500,000) for the purchase of real estate in the Republic of Panama, free of any liens.
Option 2 – SECURITIES INVESTMENT IN THE PANAMA STOCK MARKET: Invest Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars (US$500,000) in the purchase of securities on the Panama Stock Market, through any qualified and licensed Panamanian securities brokerage firm. The investment must be for a term of five (5) years.
Option 3 – TIME DEPOSIT IN A PANAMA BANK: Invest Seven Hundred Fifty Thousand US Dollars (US$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. The interest income is tax free in Panama, and there are no Panama tax authority reporting requirements on this interest income in Panama.
All of the above investments may be made in the personal name of the investor, or in the name of the investors Panama corporation or Panama Private Interest Foundation so long as the investor is the exclusive 100% final beneficiary of the Panama corporation or Panama private interest foundation. The funds invested must have originated from banks outside of Panama.
Investor Immigration Program Costs
The Panama government’s immigration fees for the Qualified Investor immigration program are as follows:
- Five Thousand US Dollars (US$5,000) to the National Treasury of Panama (Tesoro Nacional de Panama) in concept of payment of the immigration application fees.
- Five Thousand US Dollars (US$5,000) to the Panama National Immigration Service (Servicio Nacional de Migración de Panama) in concept of repatriation deposit.
- In the event that the Panama immigration application includes dependents (spouse and/or children), the above fees (to the National Treasury and the National Immigration Service) are each increased by One Thousand US Dollars (US$1,000) per dependent. So, for example, if the primary applicant wishes to include a wife and one child, then the fees would be US$7,000 to the National Treasury, and US$7,000 to the National Immigration Service.
Investor Immigration Legal Fees
The legal fees for processing the residency through the Qualified Investor immigration program are as follows:
- Three Thousand US Dollars (US$3,000) for the primary applicant.
- Two Thousand US Dollars (US$2,000) per dependent (spouse and/or children).
- Four Hundred US Dollars (US$400) for miscellaneous expenses, per applicant.
The time frame for processing the Qualified Investor immigration program, as established by the government, is thirty (30) days, starting from the date that the immigration application is submitted to the immigration offices, complete with all the required documentation.
Once the investor has been a permanent resident for a period of five (5) years, they then have the option to apply for citizenship through the Panama naturalization process. Once they have obtained citizenship through naturalization, then they may obtain a Panama passport.
- Photocopy of valid passport of the applicant (and dependents – if applicable), 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).
- Original Federal Criminal History record of the applicant, from the place of residence (and spouse & dependents over 18 years of age – if applicable), duly notarized and authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate nearest you.
- Original Marriage Certificate (if applicable – for Spouse only), duly notarized and authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate nearest you.
- Birth Certificate (if applicable – for the dependents only), duly notarized and authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate nearest you.
- Three (3) passport sized photographs of the applicant (and dependents – if applicable).
- Certificate of Good Health, issued by a licensed hospital or doctor, 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. If this document is from abroad then it must be authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate in the country of issue.
Note: Those investors who began applications (in the year 2020) for residency through the Self Economic Solvency program, can also have the option to “switch” their application to the Qualified Investor program, which will enable them to expedite their permanent residency process, however, the government fees would need to be increased accordingly.