Panama Reforestation Investor Visa
In its efforts to promote eco-friendly initiatives, the Panama government established the Reforestation Investor Visa. This visa requires a minimum investment of US$40,000 or US$80,000 in a reforestation project certified by the state. This includes buying a minimum of 20 hectares of lands with title and an additional investment of US$2,000 per dependent. In return, applicants /investors receive permanent residency visas. Additionally, these reforestation investments have provided good returns for investors.
There are several reforestation projects around Panama ready and waiting to welcome an investment of US$80,000. The US$80,000 investment leads to a permanent residency after one year, Most of these projects are managed by foreign entities, mostly from Europe. The investor’s capital is calculated towards purchasing at least 20 hectares of forest land. Apart from doing the investment in one’s own name, the investor can also choose to make the investment using a legal Panama entity. As stated previously, an additional US$2,000 investment is required for each dependent that will be included in the submission of the visa application.
Benefits of Reforestation Investment in Panama
- Permanent residency for the applicant and dependents, this can open doors for a full Panama citizenship with a Panama passport. Panama law states that a foreigner must be a permanent resident for a minimum of 5 years before applying for citizenship.
- Highly profitable investment
- All over the world tropical rainforests are under threat and are being cut down for wood making them more and more depleted and close to possible extinction.
- The cost of timber is rising as demand increases and supply is barely able to keep up.
- Panama reforestation investment provides an ideal opportunity to save the environment by reducing rainforest depletion. Reforestation is centered on planting new trees to replace the ones cut down for their timber.
There is no doubt this recent approach to sourcing lumber from sustainable reforestation projects and not from rain forests is better for the environment. For individuals who are champions of the Earth and are able to afford this visa, this one of the most ‘green’ investments one can find. The Panama immigration reforestation visa is often referred to as Panama’s Green Investment Visa.
How does Panama Reforestation work?
One goal of Panama reforestation projects is to plant new trees, grow them, maintain them every couple years, harvest them between year 15 and 20, and plant more trees in their places. Panama offers investments in mahogany and teak reforestation. However, teak is in higher demand because it maintains better resistance to decay, is resilient to weather conditions, and repels insect infestation. Teak is often used for furniture inside and outside in addition to decking for vessels. Teak is also easy to manipulate in wood crafting because of its elastic fiber.
Because of these driving forces, reforestation of teak in Panama is very profitable. Bear in mind it will require up to 20 years for a teak tree to reach maturity. Teak may not be indigenous to Panama because it was imported in the early 1900’s however it has been well sustained under Panama’s climate
With this residency program, there is no requirement to get your hands dirty. No is farming necessary when you invest in a Panama reforestation project. The government certified companies involved in the project will sell you the required minimum hectares and carry out the maintenance during the full life of the investment. This includes thinning and selling the thinned lumber, harvesting and selling the teak at current market value. With Panama’s Reforestation Visa, going green has never been more profitable.
Panama Reforestation Investor Visa Application Process and Required Documents
General documents required for applying for this immigrant visa can be found in the General Documents Required for all Residency Programs section above.
In addition to the general documents required for submitting an application to become a resident in Panama, the following are additional documents required for the Panama Reforestation Visa.
- Ownership of a legal entity, e.g. a Panama Corporation to purchase the reforestation property
- A sworn affidavit from the treasurer or secretary (not the applicant) confirming the ownership and shares belonging to the applicant along with total capital stocks.
- Panama Public Accountant (CPA) certification clarifying in detail the total value invested in the Panama reforestation project by the applicant. The accountant must show documents supporting this.
- Certificate authenticating shares owned by the applicant.
- Copy of official tax returns showing the invested capital. If the first tax year has not ended yet, then a copy of the certificate of the corporation’s tax ID (RUC) must be submitted.
- Copy of the National Environmental Authority (ANAM) resolution certifying the reforestation project.
- Copy of the Panama Public Registry certificate of the business (corporation) and the property’s title.
- Proof of the direct investment of a minimum of $80,000 USD in the reforestation project. Acceptable documents include:
- Audited Financial Statement
- Bank certification that funds were transferred or payment was made (required)
- Documents that merchandise was imported
- Receipts for purchase and sale.
How to Extend a Panama Reforestation Visa
In order to request an extension of the Panama Reforestation Visa the following documents must be submitted.
- Certification of Incumbency (Paz y Salvo) for the applicant
- Proof of disbursements from the reforestation project during the past year or proof that the reforestation company is providing maintenance and that their contract remains in force.