Friendly Nation Visa Panama

Friendly Nations Visa - Permanent Residence Panama

On May 20, 2021, the government of the Republic of Panama enacted the Executive Decree No. 197 of May 7th, 2021, and further the Executive Decree No. 226 of July 20, 2021, which modifies the of Friendly Nations Visa Program. The new changes reduce the requirements but also the options for complying the program

    • A temporary residence visa will be granted for a term of two (2) years.
    • You can apply and obtain a permanent residency by filing a second application thirty (30) calendar days or less, prior to the expiration of the initial two (2) year temporary residency.

Previously, the residence permit as friendly nations granted a permanent residence in a single stage after the approval of the National Immigration Authority.
Before, the resident permit as friendly nations could be requested if the applicant was the owner of at least 50% of the shares of a Panamanian corporation.
Previously, the resident permit as friendly nations could be requested if the applicant was the owner of a real estate, with a value of more than B/. 100,000.00, now the value of the real state increase to B/. 200,000.00
With this Decree, the applicant do not need to prove his/her economic solvency. Before, the applicant had to provide a bank certification letter or account statement, reflecting a balance of no less than 4 average figures.
The new requirements to apply for the residence permit as friendly nations will be request as of August 20, 2021.

  1. You can apply for this Visa by showing the purpose for the residency in Panamá
  • Depending on your economic or professional activity, save for those professions and activities reserved to Panamanians. You may demonstrate your purpose:

For work reasons: The applicant must have a job already in Panama as the work permit must be submitted

For investments in real estate: The applicant must purchase real estate in Panama for a value no less than US$200,000.00. This purchase can be financed by a local bank. The purchase must be made under the name of the applicant and not through a company or private foundation, however, as other visas in Panama allow this, it is likely that this Decree will be amended in the future to reflect that the applicant can purchase through a corporation or other type of legal entity.

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This immigration program first grants a provisional residency permit, for 2 years, before applying for and obtaining a permanent residency permit.



with filing the initial application with the immigration office for a temporary residency permit.





Once the provisional residency permit is issued, it is valid for 2 years, during which the applicant must maintain the requirements mentioned below.


Friendly Nations Visa - Permanent Residence Panama

The measure aims to incorporate new investment modalities that promote the generation of economic income for the country. - Foreigners can choose
Panama, July 26, 2021. The Executive promulgated in the Official Gazette Executive Decree 226 of July 20, 2021, which improves the Program of the Permanent Resident subcategory, as foreign nationals of specific countries who maintain friendly, professional relations , economic and investment with the Republic of Panama.

The new decree, which modifies Decree 416 of June 13, 2012, specifies that the National Immigration Service (SNM) may grant a Provisional Residence permit for a period of two years to those who request the subcategory of Permanent Resident, as foreign nationals of the specific countries that maintain friendly, professional, economic investment relations with the Republic of Panama, in order to exercise economic and professional activities.

Three reasons are established to request the Provisional Resident permit for two years: work, investment in a property and fixed-term deposit.

The rule states that, in the case of investment reasons, people must provide a certification from the Public Registry of Panama that proves ownership of real estate that has a minimum value of B/.200,000.00.

In the case of labor reasons, you must provide a letter of employment, signed by the legal representative of the employer, certifying the position, the salary and the commitment to assume the repatriation expenses; certificate from the Public Registry of Panama of the employing company and notice of operation.

For the approval of the Residence Permit, the applicant and her employer will be obliged to process with the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development the work permit that authorizes the applicant to work in the national territory.

If it is for the third reason, they must provide the certification of a bank that operates in the national territory stating the existence of the deposit, its owner, the value, the term and that it is free of encumbrances, with a minimum validity of three years for a value not less than B/.200,000.00.

Decree 226 adds that they may opt for a Provisional Residence within the subcategory of Permanent Resident foreign nationals of Peru. In addition, foreigners from the countries that may opt for this permit indicated in the previous decree are kept.

All applicants for Permanent Resident for two years, in addition to the above, must meet the requirements established in article 28 of Decree Law No. 3 of February 22, 2008.

According to the Decree, the Executive considers it convenient to adjust the requirements and other provisions of the subcategory of Permanent Resident, so that they are in accordance with the current needs of the country, to incorporate new investment modalities that promote the generation of economic income to the country by of the applicants and in addition to incorporating another country that also maintains friendly, professional, economic investment relations with the Republic of Panama, contributing to national economic development.

To opt for Permanent Residence, applicants must apply to the qualified investor program, regulated by Decree 722 of 2020, which specifies that foreigners must invest in real estate for a minimum of B/.300,000.00 during the first 24 months.

The new Decree 226 of July 20, 2021 bears the signature of the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo Cohen; and the Minister of Public Security, Juan Manuel Pino.

Requirements for the Friendly Nations Visa PERMANENT RESIDENCY

To obtain permanent residency, the applicant must have hold the provisional residency for at least 2 years.

The application for permanent residency requires the same documents used to obtain provisional residency, which must be up to date. On top of that, the applicant must also submit his provisional residency.

Including Dependents

If the applicant wants to include his/her spouse, a marriage certificate (valid for 6 months only) and all the requirements listed above must be presented.

Likewise, if the application includes dependent children, you must include the birth certificate for each of them.

Important Remarks

All documents originating abroad must be Apostilled (at the Secretary of State) or authenticated at the Panamanian Consulate in your country.

The formal wording of this permanent Panama residency visa

is for “citizens of friendly nations with professional

and economic ties with the Republic of Panama

The economic activity requirement is now limited to two options:

Be employed in Panama by a legal Panama Corporation with a formal labor contract, and a work permit.

Purchase a real estate property with a minimum value of US$200,000 (bank financing is permitted).

Please note that those who already submitted

their applications for residency under the Friendly Nations program

and are in process, or those who submit their applications

before the 5th of August 2021, they will enter under the

previous Friendly Nations law requirements.

However, those who have not applied by the 5th of August 2021

will be required to comply with the new requirements.

Panama: Modifications to the migratory category of friendly nations


Executive Decree No. 197 of May 7, 2021 (the "Executive Decree") was published in Official Gazette No. 29290-A of May 2021, which modifies and adds articles to the migratory subcategory of Permanent Resident as foreign nationals of specific countries that maintain friendly, professional, economic and investment relations with Panama ("Friendly Nations"), originally created by Executive Decree No. 416 of June 13, 2012.

In order to update the immigration regime and adapt it to the current needs of the country, the Executive Branch enacted the Executive Decree that will become effective 90 days after its enactment, that is, on August 18, 2021.

The main changes brought about by this Executive Decree are as follows:

1. The Republic of Taiwan has been eliminated from the list of countries whose nationals may apply for permanent residence as Friendly Nations.

2. Permanent residency will no longer be granted at the time of visa issuance. Thus, the process will consist of two stages:

  • First, provisional residence is granted for a period of two (2) years.
  • Once the two (2) years have expired, the interested party may apply for a permanent residence permit, complying with the same requirements demanded at the beginning of the provisional residence process, according to the reason for which he/she applied, with the exception of the payment of US$250.00 for the migratory category application fee and the US$800.00 corresponding to the repatriation deposit.

3. The reasons for applying for this permit have also been modified to the following:

  • For employment reasons: This implies that a letter of employment on letterhead, Public Registry Certificate and Notice of Operation of the employing company must be submitted. Additionally, the applicant and the employer will be obliged to process the work permit before the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development.
  • For reasons of investment in real estate: This implies that a Certificate of the Public Registry must be filed demonstrating the ownership of a real estate of a minimum value of US$200,000.00 in the name of the interested party. The acquisition of the property may be financed by a local bank.

Friendly Nations Visa Panama

Friendly nations Visa Panama has been expanded to 50. See below for a complete List of Countries included in the Panama Friendly Nations Visa program. In order to apply for a permanent residency visa: The applicant must have either economic or professional ties with the Republic of Panama.

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