Editor’s note: Changes have been made to the Panama Friendly Nations Visa, applicable as of August 2021. Read more here.
“Panama was picked as the number one place to go by the New York Times”
Panama is a small Central American country, about the size of New York State, with a lot to offer, including tropical rainforests, Caribbean and Pacific Coastlines, a sophisticated western-style capital, great nightlife, numerous cultural sites, colonial architecture, world class adventure and water sports and not to mention it is home to the 8th wonder of the world, “the Panama Canal”. In addition to this, it is also one of the world’s top offshore havens; proving residents and investors a very appealing tax regime and strong privacy laws. Now is a great time to commence the residency visa process or incorporate a company in Panama.
Panama Visa Types
For those considering begging the visa process and applying for residency in Panama there are a number of options, six of the most common options are outlined below:
Panama’s Pensioner (Retiree) Visa
To get a retiree visa, the applicant must show evidence of a lifetime retirement income (or pension income) of a minimum of USD$1,000 per month. In the event that the income shown is less than USD$1,000 per month, but at least USD$750 month, then it is permissible for the applicant instead to purchase (and show) any type of property in Panama with a value of at least USD$100,000.
Friendly Nations Visa
The Friendly Nations Visa is considered one of the most attractive and easiest to obtain, to be eligible the applicant must hold a passport from one of the designated 50 countries and that are must either create a new business in Panama and/or buy an existing business and/or be employed by a Panamanian professional services company.
Professional Employment Visa
Foreigners who have been temporary residents of Panama for a minimum of two years and are working for a Panamanian domiciled company and paying social security, local taxes and who holds a college degree and/or a professional license can apply to become a permanent resident of Panama.
Panama’s Self Economic Solvency Visa
Like many other countries, Panama offers residency to “high wealth individuals”, criteria for applying for this visa are outlined below:
- Deposit a Minimum of USD$300,000 in a Panamanian Bank for a minimum duration of three years. If the applicant has dependents, then they must deposit an additional USD$2,000 for each dependent.
- Purchase any type of Panamanian property valued at not less than US$300,000 investment (USD$2,000 additional for each dependent)
- Combining the first 2 options by investing in Panamanian Real Estate and by depositing in a Panamanian Bank for a minimum of (3) years a minimum combined value of US$300,000 (additional $2,000 for each dependent).
Panama’s Business Investor Visa
The applicant must show a minimum investment of US$160,000 in capital stock of a Panama corporation (additional $2,000 must be invested for each dependent).
Married to a Panama Citizen Visa
A foreigner married to a Panamanian citizen may apply for permanent residency.
The Biz Latin Hub group has a team experienced immigration lawyers who can assist you with the visa process so that you are able to obtain your residency in Panama. Get in contact with Craig here for more information.