Great news for citizens of India in our April 2018 immigration update!
The National Immigration Service of Panama rescinded the Authorized Visa to enter Panama as a tourist. Executive Decree 1113 establishes Indian nationals can apply for a stamped tourist visa. The Security Council of Panama does not need to review each application for a stamped visa.
Indian citizens may receive a multiple entry-exit visa for Panama for up to three (3) years. They must fulfill the requirements of the Consulate and Immigration Department and pass the necessary filters. For this purpose, Panama will assign employees of the Immigration Department and the Ministry of Security to both of the Consulates in India. These additional employees will review and approve the stamped visa applications.
As mentioned, Panama has 2 Consulates in India: one in New Delhi and another in Mumbai. The contact details for Mumbai are available here: https://www.mire.gob.pa/index.php/es/asia/india/9144-mumbai. And here are the details for New Delhi: https://www.mire.gob.pa/index.php/en/india-direccion-y-horario
The costs of the stamped visa application are: US $50.00. (Payment does not guarantee that the application will be approved).
Once in Panama, it will be possible to apply for a residency permit. You still must fulfill the necessary requirements for immigration – such as economic solvency, investment options or 2nd passport application. Check the requirements before you arrive in Panama. Make sure you have all the necessary documentation with you or plan a second trip to Panama to apply for the residency. You may want to check it out before you decide to move here.
We also have a new form available on our website, which will help us provide you with the information you need for your investment visa application.
Back in September 2017, Panama already rescinded for Chinese citizens the requirement for Authorized Visas. Chinese citizens may now travel to Panama merely with a stamped visa also. As of last week, Panama is receiving flights directly from China into Tocumen International Airport.
Other restricted nationalities
APRIL 2018 IMMIGRATION UPDATE: OTHER AUTHORISED VISAS NEWS
For other restricted nationalities that usually require an Authorized visa, if they have residency in Europe, they do not require an Authorized Visa. However, their Schengen Visa or residency for Europe must be valid for no less than one year from the date they arrive in Panama (i.e. the visa needs to be valid for at least another year). Countries which require an Authorized Visa for Panama are those such as Cuba, Albania, Bahrein, Jordan, etc. (See the complete list here: http://www.atp.gob.pa/requisitos-de-entrada-panama).
Another option for investment residency in Panama is the 2nd passport program, known as “rentista retirado”. This basically translates as “retired personal income”. Unlike all of the prior options, this 2nd passport offers a passport “up front”. When you immigration application is approved, you get the passport.
Common concerns regarding this 2nd passport:
The passport indicates, under “nationality”, the country of your original nationality. While this is an effective travel document, some countries do NOT recognize the indication in the passport that says “you should be afforded the same rights and privileges as a Panamanian citizen”. What does this mean in practice? In practical terms, this means if you needed a visa for Spain (this is the most common issue), this passport doesn’t give you visa-free travel to Spain. You need a visa for Spain. Spain recognizes you as a resident of Panama, but they will not grant you visa-free travel.
However, this passport restriction is a small limitation. The majority of countries honor the “rights and privileges” afforded to a Panamanian passport holder. For all other effects, it is identical to any other Panamanian passport.
The primary requirement of the 2nd passport program “rentista” is
1. that the applicant must have a time deposit, generating at least USD$850.00/month.
2. You make the deposit at either Banco Nacional de Panamá or the Caja de Ahorros de Panamá (state owned banks). Unfortunately, the interest rates offered at these banks are typically the lowest available in the market.
3. This time deposit is for 5 years.
4. If you cancel the time deposit, the immigration department cancels your passport.
As with the other investment & work visas that we have discussed, you need your police report, duly Apostilled. You also need the paperwork for opening a personal bank account, in order to set up the time deposit.
PROS & CONS
This option is not typically the first option we offer to clients for permanent residency, for the following reasons:
1. It ties up a considerable sum of money in a time deposit in order to generate an interest income of US$850.00/month;
2. You do not obtain citizenship, even after 10 years of having this passport or residency;
3. If you cancel the time deposit, you lose your residency status.
4. You cannot use the time deposit to borrow against it: if you do a back-to-back loan, it is no longer valid for immigration.
On the other hand, it is the only visa option that offers a Panamanian passport immediately upon approval of your immigration application.
For more information, please