Friendly Nations Visa - Residence Permanent 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.
- 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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- Once the provisional residency permit is issued, it is valid for 2 years, during which the applicant must maintain the requirements mentioned below.
- After 2 years, the holder may apply for permanent residency. The immigration office usually takes 6 months (sometimes less) to resolve the application for permanent residency.
Requirements for the Friendly Nations Visa PROVISIONAL RESIDENCY
The requirements to obtain Provisional Residency are as follow:
- Five passport size photos.
- Passport and second id, such as driver’s license or state ID.
- In terms of economic capacity, one of the following:
- Employment contract in Panama: requires an employment contract between the applicant and a Panamanian company.
- Real Estate Ownership: Requires the applicant to own a Panamanian property with a registered value of at least USD $200,000, which can be financed with a local institution.
- Certificate of Deposit: Deposit of at least USD $200,000 in a national bank in Panama. This must include title, value, term, and must be free of encumbrances with a minimum validity of 3 years.
- Criminal background check from the country of citizenship, or country of residence for the last two years (in this case proof of residence permit is required). The criminal check must be national, so for the U.S. for example, it must be from the FBI.
- USD $800.00 per certified check issued to the National Immigration Service for the repatriation fee.
- USD $250.00 per certified check issued to the National Treasury for the application fee.
- Health certificate issued by a local doctor within the last 90 days prior to submitting the application.
- Sworn declaration
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.
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.
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.
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.
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