Panama immigration visa and residence options

Lawyers / Attorneys  Panama


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Overview of Panama Immigration

The most impressive residency program is the Panama Friendly Nations Visa. This visa allows citizens of 50 ‘friendly’ nations to apply for permanent residency and become Panama citizens with less  requirements compared to other programs. Alternately, other Panama immigration visas are developed for wealthy immigrants who are able to invest in Panama’s economy by starting new corporations or buying into real estate or other industries. Other Panama Immigration Visas include the Agricultural Investor Program, Reforestation Visa, and the Self Economic Solvency Visa. Middle income foreigners who wish to retire in Panama on a fixed pension, annuity, or retirement fund will find a visa tailored exclusively to their needs. This Panama immigration visa program is called the Retiree/Pensioner Visa Program, sometimes referred to as the Pensionado Program/Visa.

All Panama immigration applications require the applicant to hire a Panamanian lawyer who specializes in immigration law. We have the best lawyers in our office.  It is also important to note, only two Panama Immigrant Visas grant immediate permanent residency. These two visas are the Pensionado and Panama Friendly Nation visas. The other visas require a two year provisional temporary residency period before qualifying for permanent residency.

Immigration Lawyers has a Telephone Helpdesk for emergency situations. Fill in the contact form and you will be called back as soon as possible (within 24 hours) by an expert employee. It is most useful for us if you provide a short description of your problem in advance.


Have more questions?  get in touch with our immigration experts

The permanent resident status is granted to three types of foreigners: those who enter the country with the intent to settle down for economic and investment reasons, those who enter due to special policies, and those who enter for demographic and family regrouping purposes.


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General Documents Required for all Residency Programs

The following is a list of general requirements and documents that must be submitted in order to satisfy all immigration applications in Panama. These documents are requested in accordance with Panama Immigration Law. Your chosen Panama Immigration Visa will determine which additional documents are required. To have a look at some of the required forms you can find them on the National Migration Service website.

  1. Submit a formal application to be a permanent resident along with a notarized Special Power of Attorney allowing your lawyer to act on your behalf
  2. Get a notarized copy of your entire passport. Your passport should have at least one year validity.
  3. Provide a background check on your criminal history from your home country or the country where you have resided for the past two years, duly authenticated by an Embassy or Consulate of Panama, or Apostilled in the same country. This report must be prepared by a “national”, “central”, or “federal” police agency
    1. If the criminal background report does not originate in the applicant’s country of citizenship, but as a resident, his or her legal residence must be identified with a copy of the legal residency ID that must be Apostilled or authenticated.
    2. If the applicant has been a Panamanian resident for the last two years in a row (not leaving the country), the Panama national police is required to provide the criminal background report.
  4. Original medical examination report from a Panamanian doctor
  5. 2 Certified Checks:
    1. US$800 in case of applicant’s repatriation (deportation fund) payable to “Servicio Nacional de Migracion” (National Immigration Service)
    2. US$250 payable to “Tesoro Nacional” (National Treasury) for the Panama immigration application fee.
  6. Sworn Affidavit explaining the applicant’s purpose for seeking Panama Permanent Residency and ability to support family and dependents. Your lawyer will provide you a form for this purpose.
  7. All documents must be “original”, “updated”, “official”, and “authenticated”.

IMPORTANT: Once Panama immigration has issued a resolution of an approval (or denial) of your
residency application, these checks are non-refundable.

As it relates to Panama Immigration Visa application, the following definitions applies to the words “original”, “updated”, “official”, and “authenticated”

  • Original: The original document, not a copy;
  • Updated: Recently issued document not more than two (2) months old
  • Official: Issued straight from designated agency or company and not reproduced via the internet/computer, copier or other outside source;
  • Authenticated: Notarized and authenticated by the nearest Panama Consul or by Apostille.
  • Apostille: An Apostille is a certification that a public document is authentic.

 MIGRACIÓN PANAMÁBecause we are  lawyers who brings value,  I am personally interested in your business success.

  • Whether you are new business owner and want someone knowledgeable to guide and protect you
  • Whether you are an experienced investor and want a top-notch lawyer without all of the overhead

You need a one-of-a-kind business lawyer with all of the credentials, none of the ego, who wants you to succeed and grow.

Panama companies have been recognized around the world as a corporate tool that can be successfully used in various areas of international business, asset protection, acquisition planning and management in the real estate market, and in many other areas.

The combination of favorable factors for business development make Panama corporation attractive for business: Panama operates under a territorial tax system where residents and non-residents are taxed only on Panama-sourced income.

Income that does not arise in Panama or is not derived from this country is not subject to tax in Panama. There are no economic substance requirements. Dividends received by a Panamanian resident corporation from another Panamanian corporation are exempt from corporate tax. A corporation is resident if it is incorporated under Panamanian law and if the corporation’s central management and control is exercised in Panama.


Reasons For Living In Panama

  • Top expat retirement destination – Panama is one of the best expat locations in the world and ranks high on various global retirement indexes. Additionally, thecountry offers excellent retirement benefits in the form of huge discounts on entertainment, land/air transportation, prescription and healthcare.
  • Low cost of living – you can live well as an expat in Panama while spending less. Healthcare, entertainment, utilities, shopping and housekeeping costs are all more affordable compared to more developed countries.
  • Lots of permanent residency options – possibilities for residency ranges from retiree visas, investment visas, employment visas and marriage visas. Many immigration visas are also surprisingly inexpensive compared to other countries
  • Tropical climate – The weather in Panama is great all year, even during the rainy season you will still get some sun. Temperatures range from around 70 degrees Fahrenheit to almost 90 degrees Fahrenheit at sea level and hurricanes don’t exist here.
  • Location – Panama is Latin America’s travel hub with Copa Airlines headquartered at Tocumen Airport where there are endless flights to Europe, USA, Latin America and even Asia.
  • First world healthcare – healthcare services for living in Panama is way less than in the US for example and you still have access to great doctors. Panama City’s Punta Pacifica Hospital is one of the best in the region and is also affiliated with Johns Hopkins International.
  • Territorial taxes – Citizens and residents are taxed on net income earned from Panamanian sources. Income derived from foreign sources outside the territory of Panama is 100% excluded from local taxes.
  • Asset protection – Panamanian law offers one of the best asset protection and privacy legislation in the world. Many overseas lawsuits have no jurisdiction in Panama courts
  • Real estate ownership – owning property for living in Panama or as an investment is an option for expats and bargains can be found in the city, countryside or by the sea.
  • Large expat community – Panama has a large and well established community of expats from the United States and Europe. English is also widely spoken as a common language among Panama expats. Areas like Panama City, Coronado, Bocas del Toro and Boquete are popular expat spots. These communities are generally very friendly and will gladly give guidance to newcomers who are living in Panama.
  • immigration

    Panama immigration is one of the most inviting in the world, whether you’d like to travel or to immigrate. This amazing country has immigration visas that offer permanent or temporary residency. In some instances, permanent residence may lead to Panamanian citizenship and passport. How can a country that has so much to offer be so accommodating to foreigners?

    The aim of some Panama immigration programs is to attract overseas tertiary educated professionals and various skilled workers to fill the gap caused by Panama’s economic growth in recent years. The rules are clear and do not pose significant threat to Panamanian citizens due to laws that govern Panamanian companies. These laws only allow the hiring of a certain percentage of foreigners when companies are unable to locate skilled workers and professionals to fill their hiring needs. It is important to note certain business enterprises like retail businesses are off limits to residents (non-citizens). Additionally, residents are prohibited from practicing in certain professional areas such as, medical or veterinary doctor, attorney-at-law, architect, and engineer.

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