Friendly Nations Visa PANAMA – Residence and Work Permit

PANAMA FRIENDLY NATIONS VISA

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Panama Friendly Nations Visa

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 residence, and have the right to obtain Panamanian ID (Cédula) and request a work permit indefinitely as long as they meet the requirements.

This program is one of the faster options to obtain residence in Panama.

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

Friendly nations

Friendly Nations Visa & How to get it

“Specific Countries that Maintains Friendly, Professional, Economic and Investment Relations”

Friendly nations

Friendly Nations Visa & The process Panama

The National Immigration Service is relatively simple to obtain, hence this category offers the shortest process time-frame to obtain the permanent residency,

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Approximate time to obtain the Permanent Residence

under this category Panama Friendly Nation Visa is between four (4) to five (5) months. The working permit can take between two (2) to three (3) additional months.

Document Specifications ( All documents must be fresh

(within 2 months of visa application) and passports must have at least 1 year to run)

All documents must be authenticated by a Notary and by the nearest Panamanian Consulate, or by a Notary and the Apostille.

The Apostille (The Hague Convention of 1961) is a faster way of authenticating documents and is normally obtained through the Secretary of State Department in your home state (in the USA) or through the Foreign Office

Birth and/or marriage certificates that prove the relationship between dependents and the applicant are required.authenticated by a Panamanian consulate or Apostilled.

Documents Required

Copies of the passport(s) of the applicant and dependents that have been notarized by a Panamanian notary.

8 passport-size photos.

A copy of the applicant's driver's license or a government-issued photo-I. D. that has been authenticated by a Panamanian consulate or Apostilled.

A criminal history report that goes back at least two years and has been authenticated by the appropriate federal or governmental agencies in the country of which the applicant and by the Panamanian Consul in that country or by an Apostille.

Proof of legal residency if the applicant is not a citizen but is a resident of a friendly nations.

Documentation indicating the applicant is a member of the Board of Directors or is a majority shareholder in a Panama company or corporations (when the application is based upon economic ties).

Marriage Certificate with Apostille (if married)

Birth Certificate with apostille (when children coming with the parents)

Friendly nations Visa Panama has been expanded to 48.

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.

 

Friendly nations Visa Panama

1050 usd
  • All documents must be authenticated by a Notary and by the nearest Panamanian Consulate, or by a Notary The Apostille (The Hague Convention of 1961) is a faster way of authenticating documents and is normally obtained through the Secretary of State Department in your home state (in the USA) or through the Foreign Office (in UK and Canada).
  • Does not include attorneys' fees and miscellaneous expenses
  • Contact

How much does it cost?

The Panama Friendly Nations Visa requires USD $1,050 in government fees for applicants and dependents 12 years old or more. This is split in $800 for the National Immigration Service and $250 for the National Treasury.

Besides government fees you need to consider other costs such as legal fees, multiple entry visa, opening a corporation, opening a bank account, or obtaining a work permit.

For instance, you should budget around USD $4,800 for a process that includes Permanent Residence, Multiple Entry Visa, and Opening a Corporation for one person.

How to demonstrate

Professional or Economic Ties

Applicants to the Panama Friendly Nations Visa program must demonstrate ties with Panama in the form of an employment contractownership of a company, or real estate ownership.

EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT

Requires an employment contract between the applicant and a Panamanian company. Other required documentation includes a letter from the employer.

This assumes the applicant has at least an offer of employment, or a conditional contract pending the immigration process.

OWNERSHIP OF A CORPORATION

Requires the applicant to have controlling ownership on a Panamanian company such as an IBC or a LLC. Such controlling ownership is demonstrated with a notarized Certificate of Company Shares and a notarized Certificate from the Public Registry.

Expats frequently choose this option, which requires opening a Panamanian company with its associated costs.

REAL ESTATE OWNERSHIP

Requires the applicant to own Panamanian property with a registered value of at least 5 figures in the Panama Public Registry. Such ownership is demonstrated with a notarized Property Certificate less than 6 months old.

Application Requirements

The application for Panama Friendly Nations Visa includes a main applicant and optional dependents, such as spouse or children. There are different requirements for each of them:

MAIN APPLICANT
  • Power of attorney
  • Original passport valid for at least six (6) months.
  • Five (5) passport-size photographs
  • Certified check for two hundred and fifty dollars (US $ 250.00) from a local bank in favor of the National Treasury
  • Certified check for eight hundred dollars (US $ 800.00) from a local bank in favor of the National Immigration Service
  • Second form of identification, e.g. identity card or citizenship certificate
  • Criminal background check from your country of origin, less than 6 months old
  • This document must be authenticated at the Panamanian Consulate in your country of origin, or Apostilled in your country of origin
  • Medical certificate of good health issued in Panama by a qualified doctor
  • Documents to demonstrate professional or economic ties with Panama
  • Proof of the economic solvency, through a bank reference letter showing a balance of at least USD $5,000 in a Panamanian bank.
DEPENDENT SPOUSE
  • Original passport valid for at least six (6) months.
  • Five (5) passport-size photographs
  • Certified check for two hundred and fifty dollars (US $ 250.00) from a local bank in favor of the National Treasury
  • Certified check for eight hundred dollars (US $ 800.00) from a local bank in favor of the National Immigration Service
  • Marriage certificate, authenticated or apostilled (valid for 1 year)
  • Notarized proof of address in Panama, e.g. rental contract or letter from hotel
  • Proof of economic solvency: if the bank reference letter comes from a joint bank account (under the name of the main applicant and the spouse), it is recommended to show a balance of USD $8,000 (rather than $5,000).
DEPENDENT CHILDREN

The main applicant is allowed to include dependent children as long as their are 25 years old or younger. The requirements for dependent children include:

  • Original passport valid for at least six (6) months.
  • Five (5) passport-size photographs
  • Certified check for two hundred and fifty dollars (US $ 250.00) from a local bank in favor of the National Treasury
  • If the child is 12 years old or more, certified check for eight hundred dollars (US $ 800.00) from a local bank in favor of the National Immigration Service
  • Authenticated or apostille birth certificate, less than 1 year old, demonstrating that the child is related to the applicant.
  • If the main applicant is the only parent in the application, letter from the other parent authorizing their children application
  • If the dependent child is 18 years old or more, it is necessary to demonstrate the child is single and enrolled as a full-time student in Panama.

Friendly Nations Visa Panama

Friendly nations Visa Panama has been expanded to 48. 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.

AndorraArgentinaAustraliaAustriaBelgium
BrazilCanadaChileCosta RicaCroatia
CyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkEstoniaFinland
FranceGermanyGreat BritainGreeceHong Kong
HungaryIrelandIsraelJapanLatvia
LiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMaltaMexico
MonacoMontenegroNetherlandsNew ZealandNorway
ParaguayPolandPortugalKoreaSan Marino
SerbiaSinganporeSlovakiaSouth AfricaSpain
SwedenSwitzerlandTaiwanUruguayUSA

Frequently Asked Questions

Work Permit

The permanent resident status does NOT entitle you to work in Panama right away; however, Panamanian law provides another process to apply for a work permit at the Ministry of Labor (Ministerio de Trabajo – MITRADEL), after the residence process is completed.

The process to obtain a Work Permit is independent from that of obtaining permanent residence, and it has a separate cost. MITRADEL usually takes 1-2 months to answer work permit applications.

Panama Immigration Lawyers

Panama Residency al steps how to start with the process

WHAT IS PERMANENT RESIDENCE?

PERMANENT RESIDENCY REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

Required Documents to Apply for Panama Immigration Permanent Residency Panama immigration laws require the following documents for permanent residency:
File a Formal Application to be a permanent resident along with a notarized Special Power of Attorney so our law firm is authorized to act on your behalf.
1. Submit a notarized copy of the entire passport.
Provide a Criminal History Background Report from your home country or the country where you have resided in for the past two years. This report must be prepared by a “national”, “central”, or “federal” police force on criminal investigator agency. (a) If the criminal background report is not coming from the applicant’s country of citizenship, but as a resident, his or her legal residency must be proven with a copy of the legal residency identification which must be Apostilled or authenticated. (b) If the applicant has been a Panama resident for the past two years consecutively (not left the country) the Panama national police must provide the criminal background report.
Faq

Residence only grants you with the right to reside (live) in the country legally; in other words, you can stay legally in the country for as long as your residence status allows it. Working is another right yet to be granted, by applying for a work permit. There are specific residences that will make you eligible to apply for a work permit, and if so you are intending, then it is important to consider those types of residence options in the first place.
 Multiple Entry Visa is required by any foreigner that has a residence application pending of approval, and intends to travel abroad during that time frame. A temporary resident that leaves the country without having that visa, will be fined for USD $2,000.00. We usually include the Multiple Entry Visa in our clients application, by default.
Upon approval, you can stay in the country for as long as you decide. If you leave, it is important to visit back the country at least once every two years, so that your residence might not be subject of revocation.
Criminal Record is good up to 3 months, unless the document itself specifically states differently – the catch though is that once issued, if you visit the country and leave without applying, it also gets voided. Health Certificate issued in Panama is good for ninety days. Bank reference letter is good for thirty days. Marriage and Birth certificates are valid for 6 months. Other documents, such as retirement letters are good for one year.
How long do I need to stay in the country to apply for residence, if I live abroad?

usually at least five (5) business days are required, but eight (8) to ten (10) days are recommended:

  • one day to get the current passport notarized;
  • one day to do the registration at Immigration;
  • one day to apply for the residence, and for the multiple entry visa;
  • two more days to be granted the multiple entry visa;
Do nationals of restricted countries need a Visa, and how long is it good for?
 Nationals of restricted countries, require to apply for a special Visa in order to visit the country, called VTR. Nonetheless, if the applicant has a Visa to the USA or England, and has used it before, he can visit the country for up to 30 days, without a VTR. Some of the countries considered restricted are: India, China, Pakistan, Iraq and Bangladesh.
Do you assist me to obtain a driver's license?
Residence is required in order to apply for a local driver’s license. That is a simple process, for which I can give instructions on the process, but I choose not to personally assist on it, as it is NOT a procedure whereas an attorney is required.
Can I drive with my foreign license?
Foreigners are allowed to drive with their foreign license, up to 90 days only, nonetheless, once they apply for residence, they are not longer allowed to drive with it, as they will be requested to obtain a driver’s license from Panama.
 How long do I have to request an extension for my temporary residence?
 According to Resolution 15703 from August 24, 2012, you have 6 months.
Please ask us if you have more question 
panama immigration

This Visa is required by Immigration to EVERY foreigner that has a file in process.
This means that if you have applied to a Residency or Visa
in Immigration and it is in process and you want to travel from Panama,
you should request the Multiple Visa

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There are many reasons why the Panama's Friendly Nations Visa always comes up when people search for the Easiest Country to get Citizenship.
The main reason why Panama is the easiest country to get citizenship is the popular Friendly Nations Visa and over 20 affordable Residency visas. Many of these Permanent Residency Visas lead to a Second Passport and Panama Citizenship. These newly established Immigration programs were created by a group of Ministers and senior government officials who were successful business people prior to serving their government and wanted to make the panama nationality as a model of a prosperous country.