Panama Friendly Nations Visa | ImmigrationVisa Experts
Friendly Nation’s Visa Panama

Friendly Nation’s Visa Panama

Friendly Nations Visa Panama

About Friendly Nation’s Visa Panama

immigration panama

The Panama Friendly Nations Visa is a special immigration program where citizens of selected countries who have professional or economic ties with Panama are eligible to apply for permanent residency, and have the right to obtain a Panamanian ID (Cédula) and request a work permit indefinitely as long as they meet the requirements.

The provisional residency will be valid for two years before the permanent residency is granted. It will be possible for applicants to request permanent residency after that time has passed and they have proved they have met the requirements.

The Panama Friendly Nations Visa application includes one main applicant and optional dependents, such as a spouse, parents, and children up to 25 years old.

An indefinite work permit can only be obtained by naturalized Panamanians who have lived in Panama for at least ten years since their provisional residence.


There are three ways in which applicants can demonstrate economic ties with Panama:


The applicant must present a Job Offer from a Panamanian Company, including a Certificate of Public Registry and a Business License. In order to begin working, applicants must submit a work permit application at the beginning of their provisional residency application, and once the permit is approved, it takes six to nine months.


An applicant must own Panamanian property with a registered value of at least USD $200,000, which can be financed locally.


The applicant must have a fixed-term deposit of at least $200,000 in a Panamanian national bank. Fixed-term deposits must include title, value, and term, and must be free of encumbrances with a minimum validity of three years.

The applicant can make this investment in his or her own name or in the name of a legal entity in which the applicant is the natural person beneficiary.


As part of the Panama Friendly Nations Visa application, a main applicant as well as optional dependents, such as a spouse or child, must be listed. Each one has its own requirements:


  • Passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of application.

  • From the date of application, the 2nd ID must be valid for at least 6 months.

  • A total of five passport-sized photos (2 inches by 2 inches).

  • Recent criminal background certificate Apostilled/authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate in the country of issuance - valid for six months.

  • The following options are available for economic solvency

    • As part of Option 1, the applicant must present a Job offer from a Panamanian company, along with the certificate of public registry for the company and the business license for the company. Applicants must submit a work permit application at the start of the provisional residency application. Once the work permit is awarded, this takes 6-9 months, then you can start working.

    • A minimum purchase price of USD 200,000 is required for option 2. Applicants can finance the acquisition of real estate through Panamanian banks.

    • Three-year fixed deposit at a Panamanian bank for at least USD 200,000.

  • Prior to submitting the application, obtain a health certificate from a local doctor.

  • Your criminal background check from your country of origin must be authenticated at the Panamanian Consulate in your country of origin, or Apostilled there.

  • An attorney's power of attorney.

  • The repatriation fee is USD $800.00 per certified check issued to the National Immigration Service.

  • A certified check for $250.00 is issued to the National Treasury for the application fee.

  • Statement of sworn truth


  • From the date of application, the passport must be valid for at least six months.

  • A total of five passport-sized photos (2 inches by 2 inches).

  • The National Treasury has received a certified check for two hundred and fifty dollars (US $ 250.00) from a local bank.

  • National Immigration Service certified check for eight hundred dollars (US $ 800.00).

  • Recent marriage certificate and national criminal background certificate Apostilled/authenticated by a Panamanian Consulate in the issuing country - valid for 6 months.

  • The apostilled/authenticated certificates must be translated into Spanish by an official translator in Panama . The translated documents must then be legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Panama. Finally, the documents must be registered with the Civil Registry in Panama. We handle that .

  • A notarized proof of address in Panama, such as a rental agreement if you dont have we can help .

  • The bank reference letter should show a balance of USD $8,000 if the account is joint between the main applicant and his or her spouse (rather than $5,000).


As long as the dependent children are 25 years old or younger, the main applicant may include them. Dependent children require:

  • From the date of application, the passport must be valid for at least six months.

  • Two passport-size photos (2 inches x 2 inches).

  • A certified check for two hundred and fifty dollars (US $250.00) in favor of the National Treasury has been received from a local bank.

  • For children who are 12 years or older, a certified check from a local bank in the amount of eight hundred dollars (US $ 800.00).

  • Certificate showing both parents' names - recently issued, apostilled/authenticated by a Panamanian Consulate in your country - valid for six months.

  • Letter from the other parent authorizing their child's application if the main applicant is the only parent on the application.

  • Additionally, if the dependent child is 18 or older, they must present:

      • Recently, a national criminal background certificate was issued.

      • Recent affidavit of singleness (or certificate apostilled by a notary)

      • Recently issued proof of full-time studies at a university/college List of academic credits, recently issued


    Permanent Residency can be applied for after two years of Provisional Residency. Applicants must submit their applications before their provisional residency card expires or they will be fined, and the process cannot exceed 6 months.

    With the exception of the National Criminal Background Certificate, the payment of USD $250 to the National Treasury and the payment of USD $800 to the National Immigration Service, the same requirements must be met as when initiating the Provisional Residency process (see above). The documents required to begin the process are a valid passport, two passport photographs, a medical certificate and a police report. Evidence of sufficient financial resources must also be provided.


You can apply for the E-Cédula (National ID) 45 days after receiving your permanent residency card (the cedula letter is valid for two years from the date of issuance). Following the approval of the Friendly Nations Visa application, you can complete this step at any time. Although this ID is not mandatory, it is highly recommended.


A Friendly Nations Visa does not entitle you to work in Panama immediately after obtaining residency. When you obtain provisional residency, you can apply for a work permit at the Ministry of Labor (Ministerio de Trabajo - MITRADEL).

Work Permits are charged separately from residency permits. It usually takes 6-7 months for MitradEL to process work permits in Panama City, and 9-10 months in David.


If you obtain Panamanian Permanent Residency through the Friendly Nations Visa program and bring a Driver's License from your country of origin, you can obtain a Panamanian Driver's License. Here are the steps you need to follow in order to obtain a driver's license:

The first step is to authenticate the foreign driver's license at the consulate of the issuing nation, followed by certification at the Panamanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.As a second step, the permanent resident must obtain a blood type test from a laboratory authorized by the Autoridad del Transito y Transporte Terrestre (ATTT). In addition to the doctor's signature, the test must include the doctor's full name, identification card number, and passport number. When the foreign driver's license (from Step 1) clearly indicates the blood type, this blood type test is not necessary.

Step 3 - The permanent resident must visit a SERTRACEN office, bringing a certified copy of the foreign driver's license (from step 1), a blood-type test (from step 2), an original and copy of their permanent residency card, and their passport. There is a $40 fee for the application, which includes tests for vision and hearing. The applicant receives the Panamanian Driver's license immediately if all tests are passed.

Before receiving a driver's license, a permanent resident over 70 must visit a psychologist or geriatric doctor.


A fast-track second residency

As previously mentioned, obtaining a Friendly Nations Visa is a straightforward process if you meet the requirements. Personal documentation as well as proof of financial and economic solvency are required. Here is more information about the requirements.

The Immigration Office can process the application within ten days or less. The application review process usually takes five to six months.

The relationship between taxes and citizenship

There is a territorial taxation system in Panama, which means that you only pay taxes on income generated inside the country. Panamanian companies are not taxed if they generate income outside Panama; if they generate income abroad, they are not taxed.

In spite of the fact that your company may have income inside Panama, you will have to pay lower taxes than you would in Europe.

The country is safe and beautiful, and if you are a permanent resident for five years, you can apply for Panamanian citizenship.

The Panamanian way of life

Being a permanent resident in Panama is a good option since the country is politically stable, it has modern infrastructure, and its health care system is affordable. In addition, the cost of living is considerably lower than in other countries such as the USA and some European countries.


Is there any income that is taxable?

Taxable income in Panama includes all business income generated on Panamanian territory, regardless of residency program. The Panamanian tax system differs from the US and European systems in that only what is generated within the borders of the country is taxed. The majority of Panama's tax revenue comes from VAT, if you're wondering how it gets its revenue. Panama also taxes the income of residents, though the rate depends on the amount of money earned. It also levies taxes on certain goods and services, such as tobacco, alcohol, and fuel. Finally, it taxes capital gains and capital transfers.

The Panamanian tax rate

Income tax is not due by individuals earning less than US$11,000 per year. For incomes between US$11,000 and US$50,000, the tax rate is 15%. If your income exceeds US$50,000, you must pay 25% income tax.

The Panamanian tax residency system

As a result of obtaining permanent residency through the Friendly Nations visa, you might be interested in obtaining your tax residency as well. You need a tax residence certificate to prove your residency in Panama to other countries. For example, citizens of Mexico, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, among other countries with conventions can use this certificate to avoid double taxation with Panama.

183 days or more spent in Panama in one year is one requirement for a tax residence certificate. The requirements to request the certificate are:

  • E-Cedula

  • Passport copy notarized

  • Proof of Panamanian address

  • Panama's economic activity generating income

  • Status of residency proof

  • The details of the tax treaty to be applied

  • A certificate request is based on the tax year of the request


I live with my partner / in common law. Would it be possible for us to apply together?

Unfortunately, no. To apply together, Panamanian law requires an apostilled or authenticated marriage certificate. The applications can be filed separately, however.

Is it possible to add dependents to my application?

A Family Regrouping Visa allows you to add your family members as dependents. It will take three years for your family members to become permanent residents with this visa.

Multiple entry visas: why do I need them?

Panamanian law requires a multiple entry visa when a foreigner begins the process of obtaining Panamanian residency, and travels outside the country before the National Immigration Service resolves the application.

If the foreigner resides in Panama until the National Immigration Service resolves the issue, a Multiple Entry Visa is not required. While in Panama, a foreigner can only have tourist status during that time, and cannot work.

Furthermore, the National Immigration Service can fail to provide a resolution before a Tourist Visa expires. A Tourist Visa can be extended for a further period, usually 30 - 90 days, in such a case.

What is the validity period for my application documents?

A Criminal background check is valid for up to six months, unless it specifically states otherwise in the document. It can also be voided if the foreigner visits Panama and leaves without applying for residency.

Panamanian Health Certificates are valid for ninety days. The validity of bank reference letters is thirty days. The validity of other documents, such as a marriage certificate for immigration, is 6 months, and retirement letters are one year, unless otherwise stated.

Can you tell me how long it takes to obtain a work permit?

In Panama, the process for obtaining a Work Permit is separate from the process for obtaining a Resident Visa. In order to obtain a Work Permit, you must apply to the Ministry of Labor (Ministerio de Trabajo - MITRADEL). National Immigration Service is an independent government branch.

If you apply in Panama City, it will take you 6-7 months, while if you apply in David, it will take you 9-10 months.

Keeping my Permanent Resident status in Panama requires a certain amount of time

A person's Permanent Residency can be suspended if they are absent from the country for two or more years. In addition, a criminal conviction can cause Permanent Residency to be suspended.

E-Cedula: what is it? Is it necessary?

Panamanian Permanent Residents have the option of using an e-cedula as a form of identification. There is no requirement for it, but it is highly recommended to have one. Despite the Panama Immigration Office issuing Permanent Residency Cards, holders of these cards are required to carry passports at all times when doing legal transactions, while the e-Cedula is sufficient on its own. By doing so, the PR card and passport will no longer be required. Moreover, the e-Cedula is similar in style to Panamanian IDs and has a unique identification number.

Can I apply for Panamanian citizenship?

It is possible to apply for Panamanian citizenship after 5 years of Permanent Residency with the Friendly Nations Visa program. If you are married to a Panamanian or have children born in Panama, the 5-year requirement may be reduced to three years. It is also possible to reduce the five-year requirement under other circumstances. It can take anywhere between two and five years for an application to be approved for Citizenship, unlike Permanent Residency.

Dependents who are eligible to apply?

It is necessary for the spouse to be married, Panama currently only allows heterosexual marriages.

The requirement for full-time student status must be met by children under 25.

A birth certificate must be presented by the main applicant's parents to prove their biological relationship.

Is it possible to get a Panamanian Tax ID number?

If you are a permanent resident of the country or a foreigner who has lived in the country for more than 183 days, or if you are selling real estate acquired within the country, then you can obtain a local tax ID at the DGI.


Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Peru, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, and Uruguay.