How to get a Panama Friendly Nations Visa?
This visa is designed for individuals who own offshore companies in Panama or have economic or professional ties to the country and desire to become permanent residents.
Presidential Decree 343, issued in 2012, initiated a fast-track process which allowed citizens of 22 friendly nations could take advantage of this process. As of 2014 the number of friendly nations has been expanded to 48.
See below for a complete List of Countries included in the Panama Friendly Nations Visa program.
In order to apply for a permanent residency visa:
- The applicant must have either economic or professional ties with the Republic of Panama.
- The applicant must show proof of financial solvency.
- The applicant must provide the required supporting documentation.
- The applicant's spouse and children under 25 can qualify as dependents is certain conditions are met.
Once an application along with all of the supporting documentation has been filed and has been accepted by the immigration authorities, a temporary residency card valid for up to one year will be issued.
This temporary residency card or carnet will be replaced with a permanent residency card once the application has been approved.
Panama Friendly Nations Visa General Rules
- The requirement for having established economic ties is generally satisfied if the applicant owns a company or corporation which is doing business in Panama and is either a member of the Board of Directors or a majority shareholder.
- The requirement for establishing professional ties is generally satisfied if the applicant can provide proof of employment by a Panamanian company or corporation and holds a work permit and a social security card.
- The requirement to prove financial solvency can normally be satisfied by depositing a minimum of $5,000 USD in a Panamanian bank account
- An additional $2,000 USD must be deposited for each dependent to be granted residency.
- If the applicant owns a company or corporation in Panama, the franchise tax must have been paid for a company or corporation, if it is new.
- If the company is over one year old, it will be necessary to show proof its taxes have been paid or produce a certificate of good standing (paz y salvo).
- For dependents to qualify for permanent residency, the applicant must present, in writing, a statement of responsibility of the dependents together with supporting documentation.
- Children over the age of 18 must show proof of being single, and children between the ages of 18 and 25 must show proof of being full-time university students or of being disabled.
Panama Friendly Nations Visa Documents
Documents Required from Home
All documents must be authenticated by a Notary and by the nearest Panamanian Consulate, or by a Notary and the Apostille. The Apostille (The Hague Convention of 1961) is a faster way of authenticating documents and is normally obtained through the Secretary of State Department in your home state (in the USA) or through the Foreign Office (in UK and Canada).
Birth and/or marriage certificates that prove the relationship between dependents and the applicant are required.
Copies of the passport(s) of the applicant and dependents that have been notarized by a Panamanian notary.
3 passport-size photos.
A copy of the applicant's driver's license or a government-issued photo-I. D. that has been authenticated by a Panamanian consulate or Apostilled.
A criminal history report that goes back at least two years and has been authenticated by the appropriate federal or governmental agencies in the country of which the applicant and by the Panamanian Consul in that country or by an Apostille.
Proof of legal residency if the applicant is not a citizen but is a resident of a friendly nation.
Documentation indicating the applicant is a member of the Board of Directors or is a majority shareholder in a Panama company or corporations (when the application is based upon economic ties).
Documents to be Obtained in Panama
We will assist you with documentation to be obtained in Panama, such as applications, Power of Attorney and health certificates.
A Special Power of Attorney authorizing a Panamanian attorney to act on behalf of the applicant. The attorney selected must be notarized as being duly authenticated to perform this duty.
Employer's proof of the applicant's earnings (when the application is based upon professional ties).
If the applicant has been residing in Panama for at least the past two years and has not left the country during that time, a criminal history report by the national police must accompany the application.
A Personal Sworn Affidavit explaining the purpose for seeking permanent residency and attesting to the applicant's ability to provide for family and dependents. The form for this affidavit is provided by an attorney representing the Panama Offshore Legal Service.
The original medical examination report as issued by a Panamanian doctor must accompany the application.
Two certified checks must accompany the application. One check, in the amount of $250 USD and made out to the National Treasury, covers the immigration fee. A second check, in the amount of $800 USD is made out to Immigration for repatriation purposes.
These checks are non-refundable once the determination as to whether the application for residence has been either approved or denied.
If you are interested in relocating to Panama, or obtaining legal residency in Panama, please click on the 'Let's Get Started' button below for a personal consultation.
List of Countries in the Panama Friendly Nations Visa Program
Citizens of these 48 countries can take advantage of this visa:
- Great Britain
- Republic of Korea
- Czech Republic
- South Africa
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
- San Marino
- Costa Rica
(Note that Italy is not on the list because since 1966 it has had a bilateral immigration treaty with Panama which allows citizens of both countries to become resident in each others’ countries with less requirements then even this visa).