The Panamanian government has created several laws that enable foreigners to obtain legal Panamanian passports and residency. These laws have been created to promote foreign investment in the country which benefits the local environment or local economy of the Republic of Panama.
Below we have listed several immigration programs that offer permanent residency leading to passports, as well as several visa programs that are designed as work visas only.
There are currently two different opportunities to get a Panamanian an immediate passport:
Panama has made it a straightforward process to get a resident and citizenship which can be obtained after 5 years. It is currently one of the easiest places in the world in order to get permanent residency.
The benefits of the residency programs is that it can be used to gain full citizenship with minimal investment in time and money.
The retirement visa is a great option to consider if you are already retired and receive benefits of more than 1000 USD a month. In order to make sure that you have enough cash flow every month to cover living expenses the government makes you prove your pension that gas to be for life and from the government a private company.
In order to start the permanent residency program, it is required to form a Panamanian company and open a bank account and deposit USD 5000.
Panama's immigration law does not require you to live in Panama full time in order to have residency. It only requires you to live and visit Panama once every two years in order to renew your residency status.
Obtaining a second passport in Panama is useful for those who wish to:
For more in depth detail, click on each of the visa categories:
Yes, you will need to travel to Panama to obtain your visa or passport. For the visa you will need to be present for the filing of the application, then you receive an interim card lasting 3 months and within that time the visa will be issued.
You need to be in Panama when the visa is issued and you should preferably be in Panama from the filing of the application to the issuance of the visa.
If you decide to travel outside Panama before your visa is granted, you will want to obtain a multiple entry permit. For either passport or visa issuance you will need to appear in person again for photos immediately prior to the passport or visa issuance.
We recommend that if you obtain a visa to reside in Panama, and you wish to live overseas, that you make plans to visit Panama at least once a year (legally you may be away up to two years). In any case, you must obtain a multiple entry permit valid for up to two years before leaving.
We may assist you on obtaining this permit. Of course once you have a Panama passport you can choose to live anywhere and do not have to return to Panama if you don’t wish to except when the passport needs to be renewed. Passports are valid for 10 years and can be renewed at any Panama consulate, although for faster processing most prefer to come to Panama to renew passports.
Once you obtain a visa in Panama, even if you decide to live here permanently, but you wish to travel often, we recommend obtaining a Multiple Entry Permit. This will not be necessary once you have been issued with a Panama passport.
Panama is becoming increasingly popular as a 'Plan B' option for those alarmed at the current global economic unrest or alarmed at the increasing authoritarian tendencies in their own countries (i.e. Venezuela, Russia, U.S.A. etc.).
Many international investors and companies find Panama to be an excellent location for investing in reforestation, manufacturing plants, assembly plants, and distribution facilities for import/export, e-commerce, call centers, and a variety of other business activities. Many times, investors find that legal residency qualification is just an 'extra benefit' to the investments that they are making in Panama.
While Panama officially does not recognize dual nationality, they do not enforce you to give up your previous nationality. It is more of a symbolic act and we have not yet had anyone who has had to renounce their previous citizenship.
If you are looking for other citizenship options then see:
For more information on Panama as an offshore destination
Or for more information on our different economic citizenship programmes
If you are interested in relocating to Panama, or obtaining a Panama passport, please contact us for a personal consultation.
For more information about Panama and our services:
Why You Need A Plan B
Threats to Your Assets
Global Diversification Planning