Immigration process


What is permanent residence?

Permanent residence is the right to live permanently in a country irrespectively of whether the holder of the status is exercising Treaty rights as a worker, self employed person, self sufficient person, student or family member of one of these categories. Basically, the first five years of residence depend on being a worker etc, but after that the person can lose their job, cease economic activity or cease being a family member but still be entitled to reside in the country concerned.

Immigration Process Permanent Residency Required Documents


Required Documents to Apply for Panama Immigration Permanent Residency Panama immigration laws require the following documents for permanent residency:

Essential Steps to apply for an immigration status in Panama

Request your criminal record. The criminal record is a document that you shall need for any immigration status you want to apply. You can request it in your country of birth or the country in which you currently reside (in this case, you shall also have to provide a copy of the identification certificate proving your
residency in such country). If you are a citizen or resident of the United States, you must provide the certificate issued by the FBI. Likewise, if you are a citizen or resident of Mexico, you shall request the document at the agencies of the General Prosecutor´s Office or at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Federal District only. Check in your country about the validity and processing time of the criminal record, so that it is effective at the time in which you plan to apply for your
residency in Panama. This document must come Apostilled or legalized by the Consulate of Panama in the country of issuance.

Make sure that your family documents are complete. If your intention is to include your dependents within the residency application, request marriage and birth certificates of your children in advance.  If any of the children underage is a child of one of the spouses exclusively, you must provide evidence that the responsible parent has the custody and an authorization letter from the biological parent, so that the minor resides in Panama. All these documents must come Apostilled or legalized.

Consult a lawyer before making any decisions. Before making the decision to reside temporarily or permanently in Panama, seek the advice of our lawyers with experience and professional background, so that they can recommend you the options that best meet your current situation.


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.

  1. The criminal background report must be authenticated by a Panama Consulate in the country which issued the report or by Apostille (internationally recognized authentication by a government agency with attached seals). Click here to see a list of Panamanian Consulates around the world.
  2. Original Panama doctor’s medical examination report.


  1. 2 Certified Checks: (a) $800 USD for Immigration in case of applicant’s deportation; and (b) $250 USD for the National Treasury as the immigration application fee.

Note: These checks are non-refundable whether the applicants is approved or rejected. 7. Sworn Affidavit which explains the reasons for applying for Panama permanent residency along with the ability to support the applicant’s family and dependents. (Our law firm will supply you with this form).

  1. All documents must be “original”, “updated”, “official”, and “authenticated”. Here are the definitions for these terms:

Original: The original document, not a copy;

Updated: Being recently dated not more than four (4) months since date of issue; Official: Directly issued by the agency or company and not printed via internet or scan or another external source;

Authenticated: Notarized and authenticated either by a nearby Panama Consul or by Apostille.

Definition of Apostille an Apostille is a certification that a public document is authentic. The Apostille originated with the 1961 Hague Convention which abolished the tedious requirements for legalizing foreign public documents. In its stead, a simple certification by a public official is accepted to every nation which signed the 1961 Hague Convention. This is also known as The Hague Convention Apostille. The U.S. signed it in 1981. In the U.S., an Apostille of a driver’s license or marriage or death certificate can be done by a state’s Secretary of State. The Apostille is an official stamp or seal along with the signature of the government official. Documents certified by notary publics can also be Apostilled certifying the notary public’s authority by a state’s Secretary of State.

An Apostille eliminates the need for a document to be certified by the state and then by the federal government or embassy. The Apostille can be used for birth certificate, marriage licenses, death certificates, driver’s licenses, court judgments, patents, and a notary’s authentication that a of a person’s signature. The receiving country’s officials upon seeing the Apostille stamp or seal can be assured that the other country has authenticated that this is a legitimate copy of a public record. 104 nations have signed The Hague Convention Apostille including Panama and the U.S. However, Canada has not signed on.

 “Sworn Affidavit which explains the reasons for applying for Panama permanent residency along with the ability to support the applicant’s family and dependents. (Our law firm will supply you with this form).”

Residency Panama: “By obtaining citizenship in another country, the investor becomes a citizen of that country which entitles them to carry that country’s passport.  “Depending on the countries involved, the investor will be able to keep their existing citizenship and passport and thus the new passport becomes their second passport.”


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As a law firm that specializes in Panama immigration, we can provide legal solutions for all residency programs and Panama visas available.  Upon request, we can provide multiple references of clients that have used our immigration services with success.

Through special laws, foreigners are able to obtain permits for temporary or permanent residency in Panama, Panama work permits, and in some cases, Panama citizenship and / or Panama passports.

Most of these Panama immigration laws have been created to promote foreign investment in Panama which benefits the local environment and/or local economy