How To Get Panama Residency And Other Visas

Our team can help you with your Panama Visa requirements. Contact us and we will help you with the process.

Types of Visas: Pensionado Program, Friendly Nations Visa, Panama Reforestation Visa, Professional Residence Permit, Tourist Visa

Panama City, Panama
How do I get a Residency Visa to move to Panama? If you are planning on going to Panama in order to work, vacation, set up a business or you plan to retire there, below are the different types of visas you will need and what's required to get them.

Pensionado Program

If you are thinking of spending your retirement years abroad, Panama is probably one of the countries on your mind.

There are many things that make this country the perfect retirement destination, but perhaps the most outstanding of all is its Pensionado program.

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What is the Pensionado Program?
Pensionado roughly translates to 'one with a pension.' The Pensionado program is a scheme that was introduced in 1987 by the Panamanian government to enable foreign retirees to acquire legal residency in Panama provided that they have a lifetime pension income of not less than $1,000 per month.

Benefits of Pensionado Program:

  • You will be exempted from paying tax once for household goods worth up to $10,000

  • You will get 25% off on all airline tickets and 30% off bus, boat, and train fares

  • You pay 50% less for all entertainment services across the country

  • If you are a sole resident, you will have 100% exemption on property tax

  • 25% off at restaurants

  • 15% off loans made in your name as the retiree

  • You can enjoy the services of a full-time maid for less than $200 per month

  • 25% discounts on utility bills

  • 20% off all kinds of medical consultations

  • 50% reduction in closing costs for home loans

  • 15% off dental procedures and eye exams

  • Duty exemption for importing a new car every two years

  • 50% off hotel stays from Monday through Thursday and 30% discounts during weekends

  • You are granted a residency visa if you buy a home worth more than $200,000

  • The right to a residency visa for all foreigners who buy a house of above $200,000

    What is required to get a Pensionado Visa?
    You must have a lifetime pension/retirement income of not less than $1,000 per month.

    However, if your total pension income for life is equal to or more than $750 per month, but still less than $1,000 per month, you will be required to purchase a real estate property in Panama worth at least $100,000.

    You must prove your pension income by providing certain documents, including a letter from your ex-employer or company that will be paying your pension income.

    The documents must be authenticated by a Panamanian Consulate within your vicinity. This is done to ensure that the purported company actually exists and is legit.

    You will also need to provide proof of payment of the pension from a valid bank.

    Friendly Nations Visa
    If you would like to start a business in Panama or move to Panama, one of the best options is a Panama Friendly Nations Visa.

    The countries include:

    Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel.

    Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Uruguay, USA

    If you are a citizen of any of the friendly nations you can:

  • Buy a Panama business that is already in operation

  • Create a new business with its main operations in Panama

  • Be an employee of a recognized company providing professional services in Panama

    Benefits of Friendly Nations Visa:

  • If you have been using a temporary visa for at least 3 years, you may be eligible for permanent residency

  • You will be rewarded with a permanent Panamanian certificate from the National Migration Service

  • After acquiring a Friendly Nations Visa, you can visit the Ministry of Labor and apply for a work permit even if you don’t have or are not affiliated with any Panamanian company

  • You can make as many trips to and out of Panama as you wish, provided you have the Friendly Nations Visa

    What is required to get a Friendly Nations Visa?
  • Your passport copies and those of your dependents. The copies must be validated by a Panamanian notary.

  • Three passport-size photos

  • A copy of your driver's license or a photo ID issued by your government. Either of the documents should be
    validated by a Panamanian consulate

  • A fully authenticated two-year criminal record

  • If you are not a citizen of any of the friendly nations, but still enjoyed a residency in any of them, you must provide documents proving that you were a legal resident

  • If the application is inspired by economic ties, you will be required to provide documentation to prove that you are a majority shareholder or member of the Board of Directors of Panama based company

    Please contact us for more information and for assistance with application for the service.

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    Panama Reforestation Visa

    If you are not planning on a post-retirement vacation or looking to start a business, do not worry, there are other ways to obtain temporary or permanent residency in Panama.

    Investing in Panama's hardwood forest, for instance, will grant you a permanent second residency that could lead to full citizenship. This is made possible by the Panama Reforestation Visa.

    What is the Panama Reforestation Visa?
    The Panama Reforestation Visa, also known as the Panama Reforestation Investment Visa or the Reforestation Residency Visa, is a type of Visa that will give you permanent second residency that may culminate to full Panamanian citizenship by simply investing in hardwood forests.

    This Visa is, therefore, explicitly tailored for people who are willing to obtain residency by investing in reforestation. To qualify for the visas, you must provide concrete proof that you own at least five hectares of forested land or that you are a majority shareholder in a Panamanian corporation that owns such property.

    Benefits of Reforestation Visa:

  • You will have the opportunity to satisfy the ever-in-demand timber market

  • As long as your land is in the reforestation project, it will be exempted from property taxes

  • No taxes will be levied against any capital proceeds from the project

  • Guaranteed long-term investment and high returns

  • You will not only be creating a profitable business, but also helping curb the rainforest depletion and subsequently ensure a safe environment by investing in reforestation

  • Hardwood value is ever appreciating. This presents you with the perfect opportunity to create a lucrative and environmentally friendly business

    What is required to get a Reforestation Visa?
    To qualify for a second permanent residency in Panama through the reforestation visa, you must invest not less than $60,000 for the slow track residency or alternatively $80,000 investment for the fast-track permanent residency program.

    Other requirements are as follows:
  • A Panamanian lawyer must be in charge of processing your visa application

  • Your overseas documents should be validated by a Panamanian Consulate closest to you

  • You must present a police clearance form. If you are a US citizen, you will be required to produce an FBI clearance report detailing your criminal record

  • At the time of the application, none of your required documents should have been issued more than four months ago

  • If you have people who depend on you, for example, a wife and children, they will be eligible for the residency, but then you will have to raise your investment by $2000 per dependent

  • When first making the application and during subsequent renewals, you, together with all your dependents, should physically appear at the immigration office

    Documents required include:
  • A valid passport

  • Six passport-size photos

  • Police record

  • If you have a spouse who you mentioned as a dependent, you must provide a marriage certificate

  • If you also have children as your dependents, you will have to present a birth certificate for each child

  • Other pertinent documents such as healthcare certificates and HIV test reports will be issued upon arrival in Panama

    View of Panama City, Panama

    Panama Tourist Visa
    Panama has beautiful and breathtaking scenery that attract tourists from all walks of life. Sites like the Panama Canal makes it an ideal and favorable destination for many foreign adventure enthusiasts.

    However, to travel to Panama, you must have a tourist visa along with other legal documents.

    What is a Panama tourist Visa?
    This refers to a non-immigrant visa that is applied by an individual who is interested in visiting Panama as a tourist.

    Benefits of a Panama tourist visa:

  • You get an unlimited opportunity to enjoy a variety of exciting scenery

  • You get to experience the Panama culture firsthand and socialize with the locals

  • You meet and interact with tourists from other nations. This might lead to meaningful work or personal relationships

  • You can be part of important tourism programs intended to boost tourism and preserve the environment

    What is required to get a Tourist Visa?
    To qualify for a Panama tourist visa, you must meet the following criteria:
  • You must be in possession of a valid passport with two or more unused pages

  • The validity of your passport should stretch out the time span of your tourist visa by at least 3 months

  • You must provide a fully filled application form

  • You must provide a copy of your residence card or a national ID from your home country

  • Your criminal record should be clean

  • You must purpose to return to your home country when your visit is over

  • To prove the above, you will have to present a copy of your return ticket either to another destination or your home country

  • You must show that you are financially stable and able to fend for yourself during your stay. Additionally, you will have to convince the authorities that you are in a position to cater for your return transportation. In this case, you must have at least $500 in your bank account

  • To further clarify your financial solvency, you will have to produce your bank statements for the last six months, a traveler’s check or a letter of employment. If you are found to be financially unstable, you may have to prove that someone else in Panama will be responsible for your needs and accommodation

  • If for any reason you decide to extend your stay in Panama, you will need to acquire an extensive permit at an immigration office. This extension is referred to as a prórroga de turista and usually costs around $15. You must submit an extension request at least seven days to the expiry of your visa

    Documents required include:
  • A valid passport

  • Six passport-size photos

  • Police record

  • If you have a spouse who you mentioned as a dependent, you must provide a marriage certificate

  • If you also have children as your dependents, you will have to present a birth certificate for each child

  • Other pertinent documents such as healthcare certificates and HIV test reports will be issued upon arrival in Panama

    Panama Professional Residence Permit
    Panama provides a ton of job opportunities for competent foreigners seeking to work in the country.

    However, if you would like to acquire residency while working in Panama, you will need a Professional residence permit.

    What is a Panama Professional Residence Permit?
    This is a legal document that can be obtained by foreigners who want to work professionally for a company in Panama and wish to be given residency.

    As a foreigner, you cannot get a job in Panama without a proper work permit.

    To qualify as a permanent resident, you must have been a temporary resident for two years and have a valid professional license and a college degree.

    Benefits of a Professional Residence Permit :

  • You will be able to work and live in Panama as a legal resident

  • Unless you have dependents, you will not need a bank account during the application for the visa

    What is required to get a Professional Residence Permit?

  • A registered attorney must file your Professional Residence Permit application

  • The company you intend to work for must provide a letter of responsibility

  • You must submit an original employment contract accompanied by two copies of the contract

  • You must have a professional work license and other necessary academic certificates

  • You must provide eight passport-sized photos

    Our team can help you with your Panama Visa requirements. Contact us and we will help you with the process.

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    How To Get Panama Residency And Other Visas