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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).