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Panama Missionary Visa

Panama Missionary Visa Description

This visa allows foreigners fulfilling missionary activities to secure legal residency in Panama.

Panama Missionary Visa General Rules

  • All visa applications must be made via a lawyer in Panama
  • All documents from overseas must be fully authenticated (as described in the ‘Documents Required’ section below)

Panama Missionary Visa Documents

Documents Required from Home

Document Specifications

  • All documents must be authenticated by a Notary and by the nearest Panamanian Consulate, or by a Notary and the Apostille.
  • All documents must be sufficiently up to date within 2 months of the visa application being made.

Documents Required

  • Authenticated copies of valid passports (with at least 1 year to run) of the applicant and dependents 
  • 6 passport sized photos of the applicant and dependents 
  • A marriage certificate (if your spouse is to be listed as a dependent) or birth certificates of children that are dependents
  • Authenticated Original Police Record covering the applicant’s place of residence for the last 5 years (including all dependents) 
  • A financial reference letter from the applicant’s bank, investment firm or credit union

Documents to be Obtained in Panama

We will assist you with all documentation to be obtained in Panama.
The nature and type of missionary work undertaken by the applicant determines the specific permit they are eligible to apply for, as well as the documentation that they are required to provide.

For applicants involved in the religious services of the Orthodox and Catholic churches:

  • A letter is required from the maximum authority of the religious order that verifies the activities of the applicant (name of religious community or missionary group, place and duration of residency within Panama)

The length of visa stay for the term of the mission can be up to 6 years, with no opportunities to extend.

For applicants who are secular missionaries (at the service of the Orthodox and Catholic churches):

  • A letter is required from the maximum authority to which the applicant is assigned, verifying their activities (name of religious community or missionary group, place and duration of residency within Panama)

The length of visa stay for the term of the mission can be up to 6 years and it can be extended every two years (the applicant must re-submit the information stated in the letter with each request for extension).

For students of the Orthodox and Catholic churches:

Those pursuing religious studies in Panama must provide;

  • A letter from the maximum authority providing details of the religious education, place and length of stay of the applicant in Panama

The length of visa stay for the term of the mission can be up to 6 years and it can be extended every two years (the applicant must re-submit the information stated in the letter with each request for extension).

Religious leaders of denominations and associations other than the Orthodox and Catholic Church

The Department of Government and Justice in Panama officially recognizes a number of missions, churches and religious communities in Panama. Applicants are welcome to apply under this category if their particular denomination or association is officially registered with the Public Registry.

Documents required:
  • A letter from the applicant’s organization in their home country outlining specific information as requested by the Department of Immigration (specific mission details, the number of churches or missions throughout Panama and the organizational structure of the applicant’s religious denomination)
  • A letter from the mission’s official representative in Panama (must include where the applicant will carry out their duties, the length of stay, remuneration and how regularly they receive payment)
  • Certificate of mission’s legal status from the Panama Public Registry
  • Tax returns (if receiving finances from within Panama)
  • A copy of any identification provided by the missionary

If the applicant wishes to apply for an extension at any point, they must also provide an execution plan and a tax return (if applicable). This Missionary Visa has a maximum term of six years, extendable every two years. If the applicant has the jurisdiction to carry out marriages within Panama, or holds a title of religious studies, the length of the term is six years, until the mission comes to an end.

On arrival in Panama, all applicants and dependents must also undergo a medical in order to receive a Certificate of Good Health. These are signed by a licensed physician, indicating that all applicants are of sound physical and mental health, and carry no communicable disease threat. This medical must be completed on your initial visit.

Once visas have been approved, we recommend that all applicants remain in Panama for between 10-14 days. Immigration can hold passports for up to 5 days whilst all necessary paperwork is completed. Formal dress is required: applicants in shorts, t-shirts and sandals may be refused entry.

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.

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