panama visa immigration

Why Immigrate to Panama?

Panama, for a long period, has maintained an attractive migratory reputation for those foreigners who seek a country with a pleasant climate and that allows them to participate in the labor force. For many, moving to Panama is a new phase of their lives, with many moving with commercial goals in mind. In addition to being a great place to live, the region is a key Latin America business hub. Many companies set-up operations in Panama to take advantage of attractive tax regimes, geographic location and access to the Panama Canal. When looking at attractive Latin America countries to immigrate too, Panama ranks as one of the best, along with the likes of Costa Rica, Chile, Peru and Mexico. 

In addition to the steps to incorporate a company in Panama, individuals and companies should be aware of the procedure to obtain a visa in Panama. Setting up a business and moving to Panama is accessible with the right support. 

Requirements to Immigrate to Panama 

Panamanian Visa

Authorization can be granted to a foreigner to enter the national territory as a non-resident and for a certain time period. This authorization is requested from their respective countries (at the Consulate of Panama in their home country) or may be requested by a lawyer residing in Panama. The individual must meet all the requirements of the National Migration Authority, and if the visa is approved, the Consulate of Panama is notified in that country so that the visa is stamped in the passport and the person can travel to Panama. 

Editor’s note: Changes have been made to the Panama Friendly Nations Visa, applicable as of August 2021. Read more here.

Panamanian Entry 

In order to enter Panama, the individual must have a valid passport and be able to prove economic solvency, hence, the importance of the migration classification made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Some individuals belonging to countries that can enter Panama without prior permission (i.e a visa stamp on arrival). For some individuals, unfortunately, they will have to be granted prior permission before arriving in Panama. In this case, they will be required to arrange an appointment with a Panamanian Consulate. 

Panama visa requirements
Visitors to Panama require a visa unless they are citizens of one of the eligible countries who do not require a visa for up to 180 days.

National Migration Service of Panama

The National Migration Service of Panama, in recent times, has experienced a high demand for applications for temporary and permanent residency visas. It should be noted that each nationality is categorized and has a ‘permitted period of stay‘ within the country. This has the purpose of promoting an internal system of migratory planning, in order to avoid traffic jams of foreigners in transit. 

For all foreigners, at the time that they leave for any trip, they may be subject to a review by an Inspector appointed by the National Immigration Service, who may request the following:

  • A return flight/boat ticket.
  • A valid passport (at least 6 months at the time of leaving the country)
  • An official verification to ensure that there is no exit impediment that prevents the individual from traveling.

All those foreigners who want to carry out a migratory process to stabilize their migratory situation in Panama, for the purposes of acquiring residency, must go through the following immigration processes using an experienced local lawyer. The process includes the following steps:

  • Pre-registration of foreigner individual. 
  • Registration of the foreign in the governmental platform.  
  • Create the individual’s immigration file according to migratory category and documents (that must be duly apostilled and certified). 
  • Make an appointment for the issuance of the migratory card.

Key Reasons to Immigrate to Panama 

An Attractive Country 

Panama is a promising country to reside in, much more so for those foreigners who wish to venture into the various tourist destinations that Panama offers. Additionally, given its geographic location, there are plenty of options to travel to Central and South America during one’s free time. 

Stable Economy and Government 

Panama enjoys one of the most stable governments and economies in Latin America and is an exception trading hub for keen entrepreneurs interested in importing or exporting and taking advantage of the Panama Canal. 

Attractive Business Environment

Panama is one of the most appealing Latin America jurisdictions to conduct business activity. In addition to the advantages that the Panama canals bring, the government has, for many years, been very pro-business and pro-investment. For those looking to immigrate to Panama and conduct commercial activities, with the right local support, it is a straightforward process. Additionally, Panama’s national currency is the US dollar. 

Panama visa requirements
Panama enjoys one of the most stable governments and economies in Latin America and is an exception trading hub for keen entrepreneurs interested in trading. 

Do you Require Local Support in Panama?

Panama remains as one of the most popular locations for foreigners to both invest and live. The region is extremely business-friendly, has economic stability, a range of attractive sectors and a pleasant climate. Because of the aforementioned, Panama has a large and active expat community. Immigration to Panama is in your reach, however, the process can be slightly complicated without the support of a local partner to guide you through the steps.

If you want to enter Panama to live and/conduct commercial activities, then get in contact with Biz Latin Hub. We have a team of local and international experts who can provide you with personalized support. Contact us here for personalized assistance.

Offshore businesses are extensively used as an efficient business structure for both wealth management and asset protection. Check out the short video below to discover the key reasons to form an offshore company in Belize or Panama. 

YouTube video

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.
Legal Team Panama

Legal Team Panama

Legal Team Panama is the Biz Latin Hub leading experts on doing business in Panama The Team writes on the news, doing business, law, and changing regulations. The team are experts in corporate law, Administrative law, Employment law, Immigration law and legal advisory services. Read more about them here. You can contact Legal Team Panama via our "contact us page".

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