By: Carlos Neuman and Ricardo Faraudo, from the law firm Denfab.
Carlos lived in Casco until he got married. Even though he moved out, he has always remained a Casqueño. He has a boutique law firm, DENFAB and when asked about the three things you should know when applying for a visa in Panama, he wrote this piece along with his associate Ricardo Faraudo. We hope this information is useful if you or anyone you know is planning to come and become a Panama resident.
Applying for a Visa in Panama
- To apply for residency you need to get a Lawyer.
- Immigration is a very tailored made, your Lawyer needs to know your case thoroughly and then he can guide towards the best visa option that Panama has to offer. It is Key to choose a Lawyer that is specialized in Immigration.
- There are many visa programs available in Panama in order to obtain permanent residency and eventually citizenship. These are three that are very attractive:
A) The Tourist Pensioner Visa
Panama has a very flexible visa program that allows you to move to Panama if you receive a Public or Private pension of US$ 1,000.00 or more.
This Visa is so amazing that it grants, among others, the following benefits:
- A 50% discount in movie theaters, recreation, events, Cultural and sports.
- 30% discount on transport (buses, trains, boats)
- 25% discount on airline tickets, whether for national or international airlines
- 50% discount on hotels, motels, and pensions from Monday to Thursday and 30% from Friday to Sunday.
- 25% discount in restaurants.
This visa was approved in October 16th, 2020. It is a one-time application to obtain indefinite residency. The application process only takes 30 Working Days for the Residency to be issued and you can apply for the Residency without coming to Panama. Once Residency is issued you can coordinate a Trip to pick up the Indefinite Residency ID.
One of the following requirements have to be met:
B1. Real Estate Investment, for the amount of US$ 300,000.00.
Note. Staring October 2022, the investment will increase to US$ 500,000.00.
B2. Securities Investment on the Panama Stock Exchange for a minimum amount of US$ 500,000.00.
B3. A Time Deposit for minimum of five (5) years with a local bank for a minimum of US$ 750,000.00.
C) Friendly Countries to Panama Visa
Citizens from any of the 50 countries that considered “friendly” to Panama can become residents through a one-time application and obtain a work permit. In order to be eligible, the applicant can choose from one of the following options:
- Buy an existing Panama business.
- Create a new business in Panama.
- Obtain a Job in a Panama company.
Among the Countries that can apply are USA, Canada, Germany, South Africa, Costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, etc. If you decide to do your own business, (like most people choose), you will need to open a company and a have a bank account under your personal name with US$ 5,000.00. Hurry up if you wish to apply under this visa regime, because it is well known that the requirements for this visa will soon be changed.