A. Required documents: Follow the steps for the immigration process:
1. Photocopy of complete, valid passport including the page that shows the picture, name, date of birth, passport number, place of issue, etc. and all other pages dully authenticate by a Panamanian Notary. Note: Passport will be authenticated by Notary after Registration at the Immigration Office in Panama. Please note that the passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of the immigration application.
2. Apostille or an authenticated copy of your Current Valid Driver License made by the Panamanian Consulate in the country of its issuance.
3. Police record from the country where you had been living the last two (2) years. The police report must contain the following premises to have validity at the moment of application:
i. This police report cannot be older than three months since issuance.
ii. If the applicant leaves Panama before the petition is submitted, but after the police report has been issued, then the Police Report loses validity for immigration purposes.
iii. The Police Report must be authenticated by Panamanian Consulate in the country of its issuance or must be duly Apostille.
iv. For any application, 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. In the past, Panama immigration used to accept local police criminal history reports from county sheriffs, city police, and constables, however, they now require the criminal reports to be issued by the national investigative authority of the country of citizenship of the applicant, or the country where the applicant has been a resident of for the previous 5 years. Panama immigration office requires an applicant's criminal history covering the entire country, and the document must be authenticated by Apostille or by the Panamanian consulate in that country.
v. If not in Spanish, must translate it only by Panamanian legal translator accept by the immigration office Panama .
vi. If you submitted a police record from a country where you are a residence but not citizen, also an authenticated copy of the residence card must be provided.
STEPS HOW TO START WITH THE PANAMA IMMIGRATION PROCESS
vii. If you have been living in Panama for the last two years, you must submit a Panamanian Police Record issued by the Directorate of Investigations and Prosecutions (DIJ)
NOTE: Documents for a foreign country must be Apostille. Apostille is an internationally recognized government agency authentication of its issued documents by attaching a seal to the paper. Otherwise, you can authenticate the criminal history report through any Panamanian Consulate. The Criminal Record Certificate can be apostilled if requested when making the application.
IMMIGRATION WILL NOT APPROVE A VISA TO A PERSON WITH CRIMINAL HISTORY EVEN THAT THE OFFENSE IS DRIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL.
4. Six (6) passport-sized photographs of the applicant
5. Local Laboratory Results from Blood Type and Glucose Exam. Obtain in Panama.
6. Certificate of Good Health, issued by a licensed Panamanian hospital or clinic, signed by a registered, licensed physician, indicating that the applicant has no contagious diseases and is in good mental and physical condition. Only by Panamanian Medical center authorization by the immigration office Panama
7. Proof of Financial Solvency:
i. Bank Reference Letter and/or Bank Account Statement of the last month showing an amount of at least four mid digits (US$5,000.00 plus 2,000 for each dependent) in the bank account. The account must be established in Panama.
ii. Bank Reference Letter of the Corporation Account: showing an amount of at least four mid digits (US$5,000.00 plus 2,000 for each dependent) in the bank account. The account must be established in Panama.
8. Documentation showing the reason for requiring a permanent residency in Panama based on economic, investment, or professional activity:
a. Through a Panamanian Corporation:
i. Certification of Public Registry showing that the applicant is President and Legal Representative of a Panamanian Corporation.
ii. Authenticate copies of the Shares of the corporation showing that the applicant is a shareholder of the Corporation.
iii. Operation Permit of the Corporation (Commercial License) displaying the activity that the Corporation will carry on in Panama (optional).
b. Through an Operative Company Offering a Job:
i. A Promise of work Contract
ii. A Letter from Company Offering Work where they refer to the job title and brief job description.
iii. Immigration may require affiliation to the social security of Panama and other documents.
c. Through the purchase of a real estate in Panama:
i. Certification of the Public Registry showing ownership (in your name or the name of a private interest foundation where you are the founder) of a property with a minimum price of US$10,000.00
9. Proof of your address in Panamá
i. If the property is in your name, a utility bill with validity up to three months from its issuance at the moment of the application.
ii. If you are renting, rental agreement with the corresponding utility bill with validity up to three (3) months from its issuance at the moment of application
ii. A certification of address issued by a local authority.
10. Two Certified Checks:
i. USD 250 on behalf of the National Treasury (Tesoro Nacional) for immigration fee; and
ii. USD 800 on behalf of Immigration (Servicio Nacional de Migración) for repatriation purposes (deportation).
NOTE: YOU HAVE 70 CALENDAR DAYS TO DESIST OF THE PROCESS. IF YOU DO NOT, THEN IMMIGRATION WILL NOT RETURN THE CHECKS.
11. Criminal Affidavit
B. Requirements for dependent (Wife, Son/Daughter under 25 years who are still full-time students):
1. Photocopy of complete, valid passport of the applicant including the page that shows the picture, name, date of birth, passport number, place of issue, etc. and all other pages dully authenticate by a Panamanian Notary.
2. Marriage certificate dully Apostille or authenticated by Panamanian Consulate in the country of its issuance
3. Translation of the marriage certificate
4. Birth certificate duly Apostille or authenticated by Panamanian Consulate in the country of its issuance
5. Translation of the birth certificate
6. Police record from the country of last two (2) years of residency for any dependent over 18 years old dully apostilled or authenticated by Panamanian Consulate in the country of its issuance
7. Local Laboratory Results from Blood Type and Glucose Exam.
8. Certificate of Good Health, issued by a licensed Panamanian hospital or clinic, signed by a registered, licensed physician, indicating that the applicant has no contagious diseases and is in good mental and physical condition.
9. Six (6) passport-sized photographs of the applicant
10. Responsibility letter of the Principal of the application
11. Proof that the principal has enough economic solvency to be responsible for the dependents. The applicant can prove this with a bank reference letter of five digits plus USD 2000.00 for each dependent.
12. Those dependent over 18 must submit a single status certificate and educational certificate.
13. Two Certified Checks:
a. USD 250 on behalf of the National Treasury for immigration fee; and
b. USD 800 on behalf of Immigration for repatriation purposes (deportation).
NOTE: Are not obligated to pay for the repatriation deposit:
1. The religious (priests, ministers, nuns)
1. The students
2. The person that applies for the visa of married with Panamanian
3. The minors of 12 years
4. Another person establishes by special laws.
C. Stages of The Process:
1. First Visit
During this visit, you need to present to our office all the required documents for the visa application. If the revision of the documents turns in compliance with immigration law, we will process your passport registration at the Immigration Office.
a) Passport Registration and Visa Application Submission
a) Visit the Immigration Office.
Immigration visit is required to submit two passport pictures, copy of the passport, copy of the seal of entry to Panamá, copy of the exit ticket or the Power of Attorney granted to a Lawyer to submit your visa petition. If student, copy of the receipts of registration in an education center is required.
Usually the same day of passport registration, we submit your visa application. Once the application is submitted, immigration will grant you a process card valid for six months. This card allows you to live in Panama while your visa is processing.
If you are planning to leave Panama after obtaining the provisional card, you need to get a Multiple Entry and Exit Permit. This permit will allow you entry and exit Panama. The government will charge you with US$2,000.00 fine if you leave the country without a multiple entry and exit visa. The multiple entries and exit permit are billed separately.
If you do not stay in Panama, you can leave after you have obtained the Multiple Entry and Exit Permit. Once the resolution is issued, we will inform you so you can plan your second trip to get the Permanent Residency ID.
NOTE: Driver License
Once you have obtained a six (6) year temporary ID you will no longer be able to drive with your passport; therefore you will need to get a Panamanian License at http://www.sertracen.com.pa/ We can assist you with this. This is bill separately.
2. Second Visit
Approximately six (6) months after the application is submitted, if your visa had been approved, the Immigration Office will issue a Permanent Resident Resolution that will grant you a Permanent Resident Card. Also, Immigration will notify the Civil Registration (Tribunal Electoral) to issue a Panamanian ID, also known as "cédula." For obtaining your permanent resident card, you need to come to Panama within two (2) months since the moment the visa was approved. Please book at least five working days visit for this purpose.
3. Third Visit STEPS HOW TO START WITH THE PANAMA IMMIGRATION PROCESS
Two-three months after you obtain your Permanent Card issued by Immigration Office, you must plan a third trip with the purpose to get your Panamanian ID.
NOTE: Once you become a permanent resident, you cannot stay continuously outside the country for two years or more at a time. Otherwise, your residence will be canceled.
If you stay outside of Panama for more than two years but less than two years and a half, then you may apply for residence rehabilitation. The residence rehabilitation is another process, that involved paperwork, expenses, legal fee, and time in Panama and as each process at immigration, approval it is up to immigration. Moreover, apply for residence rehabilitation, means the applicant was outside of Panama for two years and a half, and to apply for naturalization requires five years of consecutive residence. Meaning, that perhaps for immigration, the time to start counting to apply for citizenship will be since the rehabilitation takes place. So, the naturalization process may be pushed further into the future. That is why it is advisable to visit Panama at least once every two years or less to avoid having to go through the processes of trying to regain residency after losing it.
Panamanian Citizenship and Passport
Five years after obtaining Permanent Residency, counting since the date of the Permanent Resident Resolution, you can apply for Panamanian citizenship.
However, if you are national of Spain or a Latin American State, and if Panama has a bilateral treaty with those countries, the five years period could be less.
STEPS HOW TO START WITH THE PANAMA IMMIGRATION PROCESS
Commercial Activities exempt from this visa
According to the Constitution and Laws of the Republic of Panama, the retail trade and the professions listed below may be exercised solely by Panamanians:
|Agricultural Sciences||Pharmacy||Dental assistant|
|Economy||Public Relations||Social Work|
|Engineering||Architecture||Speech Therapy, therapists and similar|
|Journalism||Chemical Laboratory Technicians||Chemistry|
Steps to start the immigration process
PERMANENT RESIDENCY FOR NATIONALS OF COUNTRIES FRIENDLY TO PANAMA
This permanent residence option allows foreigners from, one of the countries listed below, to obtain legal permanent residence in Panama, under the condition that they are going to practice economic or professional activities of any type in the Republic of Panama.
Work Permission for foreigners that obtain permanent residence through the friendly country visa
Legal Base: Executive Decree 140 of August 2, 2012 regulates the issuance of work permits
Entity: Ministry of Labor and Workforce Development
1.Application filed by a lawyer,
2.Authenticated copy of the Resolution issued by the National Immigration Service granted the permanent residence Friendly Nations Panama ,
3.Certificate of the immigration status issued by Immigration Office
4.Copy of the permanent residence card issued by Immigration duly authenticated by a Public Notary
5.Four (4) passport photographs,
6.Check payable to the National Treasury (Tesoro Nacional) for $500.00.
TO BEAR IN MIND:
Periodical visits to Panama are required to keep their residence. We recommend our client to visit every one year and 11 months).
Immigration can waive the restriction if the foreigner's absence for more than two years is justified and authorized by Immigration.
In case the foreigner stays outside Panama for more than two years and six months is possible to rehabilitate their residence. Rehabilitation will require to submit a petition with Immigration and present certain documents, plus additional immigration fees, legal fees, and other costs. You can check the decree about this in the following link:
Please note that the decree mentioned two years and six months. Thus, if they stay outside for more than two years and six months, then the foreigner cannot apply for the rehabilitation of residence. Instead, the foreigner may have to start a new residency process.
Meaning of terms:
Original: Original issued documents, not copies.
Official: Issued directly by the respective Institution/Company, not internet printing nor other external sources.
Updated: With a recent date, not more than three (3) months, since the document was issued. For the passport, six (6) months.
Authenticated: Notarized and Authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate nearest you (or Authenticate by Apostille)
STEPS HOW TO START WITH THE PANAMA IMMIGRATION PROCESS
AN ADVICE: Immigration Visa 247 is recommended if you wish to conduct business during your stay (open bank accounts, visit government institutions, etc.). For immigration appointments, you should wear conservative clothing. Shorts, sandals, sleeveless clothes are frowned upon. Moreover, Government offices will bar entrance to anyone in such attire.such are frowned upon. Moreover, Government offices will bar entrance to anyone in such attire. STEPS HOW TO START WITH THE PANAMA IMMIGRATION PROCESS
Criminal Records for Visa Applicants
CRIMINAL RECORDS STEPS HOW TO START WITH THE PANAMA IMMIGRATION PROCESS
To apply for a Panamanian Residence, you must submit a police record from the country you had been living in the last two (2) years. This record has to cover the entire country of your residence. Thus, a police record from a local authority covering just a region will not be acceptable.
The police report must contain the following premises to have validity at the moment of application:
- This police report cannot be older than three (3) months since issuance.
- If the applicant leaves Panama before the application is submitted, but after the police report has been issued, then the Police Report loses validity for immigration purposes.
- The police record must be authenticated via Apostille or through the Panamanian Consulate n the country of its issuance.
- For any application, 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. Panama Immigration Office used to accept local police criminal history reports from county sheriffs and city police.
- Translation of the police record by a certified public translator.
- If you submitted a Police Record from a country where you are resident, but not citizen, an authenticated copy of the residence card must be submitted.
- If you had been living in Panama for the last two years, you must submit a Panamanian Police Record issued by the Directorate of Investigations and Prosecutions (DIJ)
If you are a US Citizens
FBI publishes an online Checklist for requesting a criminal background check at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/background-checks/fbi-identification-record-request-checklist
Complete an application form, attach prints to their fingerprint card, send a cashier's check, money order, or make a credit card payment.
The application can be downloaded and printed from this web page after answering a question regarding the purpose of the form: "To live, work, or travel in a foreign country.": https://forms.fbi.gov/departmental-order-website-questionnaire
An FBI standard fingerprints card can be downloaded and printed from this FBI web page: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/background-checks/standard-fingerprint-form-fd-258
The FBI does not require a specifically authorized fingerprint applier and suggests local police and even printing companies do this.
A request to have the report Apostilled must be made when applying for the FBI report. The alternative to an Apostille is to have the document authenticated by any Panamanian Consulate in the USA.
If you are Canadian
Visit the RCMP website providing all of the information on obtaining a full criminal history report at http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cr-cj/fing-empr2-eng.htm
Their website states that they accept fingerprint forms from foreign countries that contain the following: ◦ Flat and rolled impressions of all ten fingers taken with black ink
- 1.Full name, sex, and date of birth of the applicant
- 2.The name and address of the police organization taking the fingerprints
- 3.The signature of the police officer who took the fingerprints
Thus, they may accept the FBI fingerprint form, which can be downloaded and printed from the FBI's website at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/background-checks/standard-fingerprint-form-fd-258
The RCMP processing time could take up to 4 weeks, and the fee payment must be made by certified cheque or money order to the Receiver General for Canada.
Canada does not offer the Apostille, but authentication can be made through any Panamanian Consulate in Canada.
If you are from England
The Association of Chief Police Officers in the United Kingdom can prepare a criminal history report covering the entire UK. You can visit their website for more information at http://www.acro.police.uk/police_certificates.aspx
The processing time is ten working days. However, you can check their Premium Servies for a faster process.
The applications can be processed with the following documents:
- Completed application form.
- Two proofs of current address dated within the last 6 months showing your name and address.
- Copy of passport including photo and personal information pages.
- One-color passport photo; and
You can authenticate the Police Records by Apostille or by any Panamanian Consulate in England.
If you are Spaniard
Register with the Ministry of Justice electronically on their website:
Download the application form and take it to:
- 1.The Regional Offices of the Ministry of Justice.
- 2.Civil Registers throughout Spain. •
- 3.The Central Office of Citizen Services if you are in Madrid
A proof of your identity will be required (DNI, driver's license, residency card, passport, or EU identity document).