Panama Residency al steps how to start with the 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Original Panama doctor’s medical examination report.
- 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).
- 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.”
Living and Working in Panama
Currency Stability: World currencies can fluctuate depending upon political or economic conditions in each country. Avoiding the problem with exchange rates can relieve worries and pressures. Some currencies have restrictions moving into and out of certain countries. Look for a country whose own currency is stable while having banks which can handle deposits in different currencies
Avoiding Income Taxes: Panama is considered a “Tax Haven” because it does not tax income generated outside of Panama. For income generated inside Panama, all of the normal business deductions are available (rent, utilities, wages, equipment & supplies, business entertainment, etc.) while income tax rates are low.
Panama the fasted country in the world for Immigration visa services -Residency & Citizenship
Planning of Alternative Citizenship and Residency for high net worth individuals
Several countries in the world today offer attractive residency programs to high-net worth individuals and investors who promote economic growth while also enhancing their own investment.
Investors, business professionals and entrepreneurs who have experience in business and can show a credible background of employment are eligible to gain residency through investing a certain amount into the economy of their chosen country.
We can help document your assets, handle communications, advice on investment instruments and ensure all governmental rule are being met.
Panama Residency, All the required documents sign, for a,
Special Power of Attorney, which authorizes us to act on your behalf
with Panama immigration
We always must start to register your and your spouse
and dependents passports with Panama immigration.
Provide us with all the Panama migration application
fee and repatriation deposit (if required).
Migration office Panama will issue a Temporary Permit (Visa) and a Multiple Entry-Exit Visa.
Immigration will issue a 1 year Temporary Permit (Visa) this is the start.
Naturalization can be asked after 5 years permanent residence
Note: The applicant does not have to reside
in Panama during this time period.
However, a trip to Panama will be necessary in order to process
the Temporary Resident Permit.
We recommend that you visit Panama for an initial 3 weeks
Panama Residency, al steps how to start with the process ask information
Panamanian entry requirements can be difficult to pin down. Government officials may say something different from the government website, and some rules seem to be in constant flux. That said, the website for Panama’s immigration and naturalization office
Panama immigration office usually has the most up-to-date information. Before you travel to Panama, check it for visa and other entry requirements.
Panama Immigration Procedure
Panama Immigration Procedure
Option 1: Set up a new Panama corporation (
or purchase an existing Panama corporation). This option proves an “Economic Activity”, which means the applicant owns a Panama corporation (either a newly set-up corporation or purchase an existing corporation) which does business in Panama. Please note that Foreigners (non-Panamanian citizens) are prohibited from owning a Panama “Retail” business.
Option 2: Be hired to work as an employee for an existing Panama corporation. This alternative option proves “Professional Activity”, meaning the applicant must be employed by a professional Panama corporation, must obtain a Panama work permit, and must be registered with Panama’s Social Security system. In this case, proof of income such as the employment wages must be provided by the employer. Documents proving these activities must be submitted. Please note that Foreigners (non-Panamanian citizens) are prohibited from practicing certain professions such as: medical & veterinary doctors, attorneys, architects, and engineers. In either of the above Options, Proof of Economic Solvency is a requirement. This requirement can be met by opening a Panama bank account and depositing at least $5,000 USD (plus $2,000 for each dependent). Whether an applicant is solvent enough is not clearly defined, leaving the matter up to the discretion of the immigration officials. Dependents include the spouse and children up to the age of 25 if they are full time university students. The applicant must provide a written letter of responsibility regarding the dependents. Every son or daughter dependent over the age of 18 must prove they are not married by providing an authenticated certificate of “single” status (not married) from their respective country. After the application is filed along with all required documents the immigration office will issue a one-year temporary residency card (carnet) which will be replaced by a permanent residency card once the application is approved. Once the application has been approved, the Client / Applicant can apply for a Work Permit. Panama’s President recently issued a Presidential Decree ordering Panama’s Ministry of Labor to fast track acceptance of work permits for the 50 friendly nation’s citizens.
Important Documents & Procedures: · Scheduling: Client / Applicant(s) must contact our law offices with at least 30 days prior notice to schedule appointments & coordinate documentation that is required for immigration processing. Please note that the immigration application process takes a total of approximately 7 to 9 business days, so plan on being in Panama City for at least that time frame. ·
Document Validity: All required documents must be recently issued within 90 days (3 months) prior to the presentation of the Panama immigration residency application. ·
Document Authentication: All required documents for immigration processing must be Apostilled or authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate in the country of issue. ·
Document Review: All required documents for immigration processing should be sent via scanned email or fax to our law offices for review and approval, at least 30 days prior to client / applicant(s) arrival in Panama.
Document Preparation: For highest level of efficiency and time savings during applicants’ trip to Panama, we recommend applicants to send to our law offices (by courier) all required and duly authenticated or Apostilled documents, at least 2 weeks prior to applicants’ arrival in Panama. This will allow our attorneys enough time to process the necessary authentications of the documents at the Ministry of Foreign Relations.
Clients With Dual Nationalities: If the Client / Applicant has two (2) different Nationalities (Passports), then at the moment of “entry” into the Country of Panama (at the airport or border), the client / applicant should enter Panama using the same Passport that will be used for the Panama Immigration residency application, and said passport should be stamped when entering Panama. The required documents for immigration processing that the applicant must provide (police/criminal history report, etc.) must be issued in the same country of the applicants’ passport, because if not then the applicant would need to provide proof that they are residents in the country where the documents are issued from. ·
Dress Code to visit Panama immigration office
Dress Code: For Men: Male Clients / Applicants must wear long pants, collared shirt, and shoes with socks. Do not wear shorts, cut-off shirts or t-shirts, or any footwear that shows toes.
For Women: Female Clients / Applicants must wear a dress or long pants, collared shirt or top that covers shoulders, and formal footwear (shoes). No mini-skirts, shorts, cut-off shirts or tops showing shoulders or t-shirts, and no sandals footwear that shows toes.
Friendly Nations Visa Required Immigration Documents: Law 3 of 2008 under Article 28 requires the following documents from an applicant:
1. Eight (8) Passport Size Photos Per Applicant;
2. Criminal history background check from the applicant’s country of origin or the country where he/she has lived for the two past years. The Panama immigration department requires the applicant to provide an authenticated criminal history report issued by a “federal”, “central”, or “national” police force or criminal investigation authority. This document must be authenticated by the Embassy or Consulate of Panama, or Apostilled. If the applicant provides a criminal background check from another country, they must also provide an identification from said country which can be a driver’s license or any other government issued ID.
(a) If the applicant is providing a criminal background report from a country where he/she is not a citizen, but a resident, the applicant must provide the legal residency identification, of said country, which must be authenticated by the Embassy or Consulate of Panama, or Apostilled.
(b) If the applicant has been residing in Panama for the past two consecutive years (without leaving the country) the criminal background check must be prepared by the national police (DIJ) in Panama. Panama immigration will require the national criminal history report to be authenticated by a Panamanian Embassy or Consulate, from the country that issued the document or by Apostille, which is an internationally recognized government agency authentication of its issued documents by attaching certain seals to the document.
Contact Us for a list of Panama Consulates Worldwide or learn more about an apostille.
The criminal history background check has a validity term of 3 to 6 months from its issuance date, depending on the specific nationality of the client / applicant, according to the Immigration Department of Panama.
Note 2: Between the issuance date of your criminal history background check, and your Provisional Residency application, there can be only “one (1) entry stamp” in your passport in the Republic of Panama. This means that after the date of your last trip to the Republic of Panama (Stage 1), and prior to your following trip for your provisional residency application (Stage 2), you must process your Criminal history background check (Police Report) as explained previously in the required documents.
3. A written Statement describing the economic or professional activities to be conducted by the applicant in Panama. These can be explained in the following manner:
Option (a) Economic Activity: Provide documentation that the applicant is a member of the Board of Directors or majority shareholder (50%) of a Panama Corporation or is the owner of a Panama company. If the Panama Corporation or Panama Company is new, provide proof of its franchise tax being paid. If the corporation or company is over one-year old, provide proof of its tax return, and good standing certificate. In other words, the applicant must set up a Panama Corporation and be appointed in the Board of Directors. This Corporation must be existent until the Residency process is approved. Under the current law, the corporation does not need to be active in business, it simply needs to be formed (inscribed in the Public Registry of Panama). Note: The economic activity of the company cannot be one reserved for Panamanian nationals such as a retail business.
Option (b) Professional Activity: A professional activity is a job or work contract with a Panamanian company. The applicant must provide proof of an employment contract, the company must be registered with Panama Social Security, and the applicant must get a social security card and work permit. There are several ways to obtain a Panama work permit including the allowable 10% foreign employees or the Marrakech Treaty (which allows Panamanian companies to hire a certain percentage of foreigners). The professional activity cannot be one reserved only for Panama nationals such as an attorney, architect, engineer, medical doctor or veterinarian doctor.
4. Copy of Applicant’s second I.D. (other than Passport): Issued from applicant’s country of origin, such as a driver’s license or government issued photo I.D. This requirement is in addition to the passport to prove residency and citizenship. This document must be Apostilled or authenticated by a Panamanian Consulate where the document is issued. If you do not possess a second ID from your country of origin you can provide a birth certificate that is Apostilled or authenticated by the Panamanian consulate in the country of issuance.
5. Proof of Solvency: In addition to the documents that demonstrate the applicant’s economic or professional activity the applicant must also provide the following: (a) Proof from a Panama bank that the applicant has at least $5,000 USD deposited, plus $2,000 USD for each dependent – this is done by requesting a bank letter of reference; or (b) Proof of income such as employment salary with a letter from the employer which includes applicant’s social security number and work permit. Note: Part (b) is vague which can be interpreted by Panama immigration at its discretion to verify the applicant’s solvency.
6. Dependents require a letter of responsibility from the primary applicant (we will draft this letter of responsibility).
(a) Client must provide proof that the dependents are related either with a “birth certificate”, if children, or if it’s a spouse, a “marriage certificate”. This document must be Apostilled or authenticated by a Panamanian Consulate where the document is issued. This document must be issued within six (6) months before the residency application date (this means that at the time of application, this document should not be over 6 months old).
(b) Dependents other than a spouse can apply up until the age of 25 if enrolled as full-time university students or are disabled, and must provide an authenticated certificate of single status (not married).
(c) Dependents over the age of 18 must submit an affidavit that they are single (not married) which must be Apostilled or authenticated by a Panamanian consulate.
7. Personal Affidavit explaining the purpose for seeking Panama Permanent Residency and ability to support family and dependents.
In “summary”, client must provide the following documents:
1. Eight (8) passport size photos.
2. Criminal history background check, duly authenticated by the Embassy or Consulate of Panama, or Apostilled.
3. Copy of Applicant’s second I.D. (different than Passport) from applicant’s country of origin such as driver’s license or government issued photo I.D., duly authenticated by the Embassy or Consulate of Panama, or Apostilled.
4. Birth certificate, if dependents are children, or if dependent is a spouse, a Marriage certificate, duly authenticated by the Embassy or Consulate of Panama, or Apostilled.
5. A bank reference letter, from a licensed bank in Panama, addressed to: “Servicio Nacional de Migracion”, that certifies that the applicant has at least US$5,000 USD deposited in a “personal bank account” (in client’s personal name) plus the amount of US$2,000 USD must be deposited for each dependent.
6. Certification from the Public Registry of Panama, certifying that the applicant appears on the board of directors of the Panama Corporation. Required Documents that our Law Firm will process:
1. Application for Permanent Residency with a Special Power of Attorney authorizing our Law Firm to act on behalf of the applicant, duly authenticated by a Panamanian Public Notary with the proper government stamps.
2. Copy of the entire passport notarized by a Panama Public Notary.
3. Original medical examination report from a certified Panama medical doctor. Our paralegal will personally accompany Client to the clinic for the medical examination.
4. Two Certified Checks: (include in our package)
(a) $250 USD in favor of “Tesoro Nacional” (National Treasury) for immigration fees; and
(b) $800 USD in favor of “Service Nacional de Migracion” (National Immigration Service) for repatriation purposes (deportation fund).
IMPORTANT: Once immigration has issued a resolution of an approval (or denial) of the application of residency, the above-mentioned checks are then non-refundable.
5. Official translations, signed by a licensed official public translator from the Republic of Panama, of all documents from the English to the Spanish language. If documents are in a different language than English and Spanish, then the Client must pay the fees of the respective licensed official public translator in Panama to translate the documents from whatever language they are in to Spanish.
Visa Application Procedure & Stages:
The following are the steps involved in applying for the residency program:
Stage 1 (Trip No.1 to Panama): Open a Personal Bank Account in Panama:
The first step is to open a personal bank account in a licensed Bank in Panama. To begin the account opening process, you only need to be in Panama for 1 business day, to interview with the banker, sign the bank forms, and submit the required documentation to the bank. The time frame for opening a personal bank account in Panama varies depending on what bank you open the account with.
The bank account opening process can take 1 day or it could take as much as 1 month, depending on the bank you choose to open the account with, and depending on the supporting documents you provide to the bank, since all banks require doing a due diligence investigation on the client prior to the account approval. If you open the account through the banks that we recommend, and you provide all the required documentation, the account can be opened very quickly, in as little as 1 day in most cases. Once your personal bank account is approved by the bank, you need to fund it and make a minimum deposit of US$5,000.00 for qualifying for the residency process, plus you need to add US$2,000.00 per dependent you want to include.
Please contact us prior to your visit, if you want us to help you with setting up an interview with a bank officer to attend you.
We will assist you through the account opening process and help you to come prepared, so you don’t waste time.
The basic requirements by the bank for your personal bank account are:
2.Second I.D. copy (for example: driver’s license, state or country I.D.).
3.Original bank reference letter, addressed to the bank in Panama where you are applying to open the account. This letter should be issued within 3 months from the account application date and must contain an email or phone number from the issuing bank so that the bank in Panama can confirm the letter.
4.Annual tax declaration, employment letter, or retirement income document (document that proves your source of income). This requirement is very important since the bank needs to know how you make money or the source of your funds to be deposited to the account.
5.Personal resume / curriculum vitae, describing your education and work history.
6.Letter addressed to the bank, explaining the purpose of establishing the bank account, what banking services will be required such as checking/savings account, debit card, credit card, online banking, etc., the estimated monthly deposits / withdrawals, and estimated average balance of the account.
7.Any other documentation that the bank may require from the client / applicant.
8.Personal interview required at the bank. We recommend that when you come to Panama, be prepared to interview with 2 different banks just in case, to assure that you will get an account opened, because some banks may deny the account, depending on the due diligence documentation provided.
Stage 2 (Trip No.2 to Panama): Passport Registration and Provisional Residency Application:
In this Stage, we would require your stay for minimum of 7 to 9 business days as follows:
BUSINESS DAY 1 (PASSPORT REGISTRATION): ·
Client / Applicant(s) presence IS required.
NOTE: No shorts, t-shirts or sandals are permitted in government offices. ·
At 8:00 a.m. Client / Applicant(s) should meet at our law office with two (2) Passport size photographs, US$5.00 in cash, and the actual original physical passport in hand. ·
At around 8:30 a.m., our Immigration Attorney and/or Paralegal will guide the Client(s) to the government Immigration office of Panama City.
The passport registration process is generally done in the same day, however, the time it takes will depend on the volume of applicants ahead of you in line, so the earlier you get there the better. ·
The Panama immigration office will place a “stamp” in the applicants Passport that will show a Registration number, which is used throughout the immigration process, which is why it is also advisable that the passport used should have at least 1 to 2 years’ time remaining before the passport expiration date.
Once the passport is registered at the Panama Immigration office, the applicant will receive their passport back. Client should keep a photocopy of their passport and entry stamp page with them at all times in Panama.
BUSINESS DAY 2 & 3 (DOCUMENT PREPARATION): ·
Client / Applicant(s) presence is NOT required. ·
A complete photocopy of the applicants’ passport (including a copy of the Panama Immigration Registration stamp page) must be made and it must be authenticated by a Public Notary in Panama, which requires that we have the passport accessible.
If time permits, this step could be completed on
Day 1. ·
Other documents such as the Health Certificate (this can only be done in Panama, through a Licensed Medical Doctor in Panama), authentication of all documents, and translation to the Spanish language of all documents that are issued outside of Panama, etc.
There is a possibility that we could expedite the authentications and translations of documents, if the client / applicant(s) delivers all documents to our law office by courier prior to their arrival in Panama.
By all means (as mentioned above), client should always scan and email or fax these documents to our law offices prior to their arrival in Panama, for verification purposes to ensure that the documents are prepared correctly.
BUSINESS DAY 4 (RESIDENCY APPLICATION PRESENTATION):
Client / Applicant(s) presence is NOT required, however, we will need to keep applicant(s) original passport for the immigration application presentation. The passport will be returned the same day or the following business day.
If all documents are ready, authenticated, translated to Spanish, and the completed package with a full set of copies for the Immigration office is ready, then our Attorney/Paralegal will file the application by going to the Immigration office early in the morning.
BUSINESS DAY 5 (TEMPORARY RESIDENT CARD ISSUANCE):
Client / Applicant(s) presence IS required.
At 8:00 a.m., the client / applicant(s) should meet at our law office.
At around 8:30 a.m. our Immigration Attorney / Paralegal will guide the Client / Applicant(s) to the government Immigration office for the Temporary Residency Card issuance.
A photograph of the client / applicant(s) will be taken at the Immigration office, and the Client / Applicant will receive a “Temporary Resident Card” (I.D. Card). This card will have a validity of one (1) year, which means that within that one (1) year the Immigration office should approve the client / applicants’ residency resolution.
From our experience, the Immigration office generally approves this residency program in 3 to 6 months’ time frame.
Our attorney / paralegal will need to keep applicant(s) original Passport for the Multiple Entry-Exit Visa application & processing.
Applicant(s) will keep their Temporary Residency Card and a photocopy of their Passport with a photocopy of the most recent entry to Panama stamped page.
BUSINESS DAY 6, 7 & 8 (MULTIPLE ENTRY-EXIT VISA APPLICATION AND PROCESSING):
Once the “Temporary Residency Card” is obtained, Client(s) / Applicant(s) require a Multiple Exit and Entry Visa, in order to exit and enter the country.
Client / Applicant(s) presence is NOT required, however, our attorney / paralegal will need to have applicant(s) original passport for the presentation of the Multiple Entry-Exit Visa, which approval will take approximately 3 business days.
Applicant(s) will receive their original passport back once the Multiple Entry-Exit Visa is completed (3 business days).
Our Attorney will file the application for the applicant(s) Multiple Entry-Exit Visa, which is required for applicant(s) to travel out of and into the Republic of Panama.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you leave Panama without the Multiple Entry-Exit Visa, a fine of US$2,000.00 will be applied by the Immigration officials.
BUSINESS DAY 9 (RETURN OF PASSPORT & MULTIPLE ENTRY-EXIT VISA):
Client / Applicant(s) presence is NOT required.
Our Attorney will go to the Immigration office to collect applicant(s) original Passport with the stamp of the Multiple Entry-Exit Visa, and applicant(s) may pick up their passport(s) at our law office that afternoon.
NEXT STEPS: Once the residency application has been submitted, the Immigration office will take several months to process the resolution of approval.
Our immigration attorney will perform a weekly follow-up at the Immigration office and all the different departments where the paperwork is processed, and will inform you by email or phone, once the resolution of approval is issued, at which point you will need to return to Panama to continue the immigration process.
Generally, you will have a term of 3 months to come to Panama, once the resolution of approval is issued, so you will be informed in advance.
Stage 3 (Trip No.3 to Panama): Permanent Residency Approval (at the Immigration):
Once the permanent residency resolution is issued with the approval, you will have a term of 3 months to come to Panama to get your picture I.D. card at the Immigration office.
One (1) business day is required for this process.
Stage 4 (Trip No.4 to Panama): Permanent Residency Card (at the Civil Registry):
Once your permanent residency card is issued by the National Immigration Service, you could request the permanent residency card issued by the Civil Registry (“Cedulla”), which is optional. This process, from Stage 3 till Stage 4, could take around 2 to 3 months, for the Immigration File to reach the Civil Registry.
Then, the Client will be required to just come to Panama and stay 2 or 3 business days for this 4th stage. Once our Immigration Attorney informs you that the permanent residency card is ready at the Civil Registry of Panama, you would need to make a trip for one (1) business day to sign the card and to take your picture at the Civil Registry.
Panama’s immigration and naturalization office
Temporary Permit (Visa) and a Multiple Entry-Exit Visa.
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 can 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
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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