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Company Formation Panama



Panama Citizenship by Investment

Updated on Tuesday 07th March 2023

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The Friendly Nations Visa is part of a special immigration to Panama program for those interested in acquiring Panama citizenship by investment. Although significant changes have been brought to this process in 2021, it is possible for foreign nationals who are able to make a significant investment to gain the right to remain in the country for long-term purposes and, ultimately, to apply for citizenship.
Citizens of more than 50 nations are able to apply for this type of visa. Read below to find out more about how you can open a company in Panama and benefit and what are the steps you need to follow.
In addition to this option, foreign nationals can also make an investment through the Reforestation Visa Program, which will also allow them to remain in the country permanently and ultimately apply for citizenship.
Our immigration lawyers in Panama will answer any questions concerning these programs.
 Quick Facts  
  Nationalities accepted (EU/Non-EU)

EU and non-EU 

Business investment option (YES/NO)

Yes. Fixed-term deposit investment

Real estate investment option (YES/NO)

Other investment options
(if available) 
Forest investor/reforestation program
Living requirement in Panama Minimum visiting periods can apply
Residence or direct citizenship option

Direct permanent residence

Direct immigration with family members (YES/NO)

Yes, in some cases

Family members allowed to join the program Yes, under certain conditions
Residence visa/citizenship processing time (approx.)   1 month
Additional financial requirements for family members (YES/NO)  No
Timeframe for obtaining citizenship/residency by investment  Immediate permanent residence
Citizenship by naturalization after
3 to 5 years
Dual citizenship permitted (YES/NO) No
Reasons to choose Panama Low living costs
Growing economy and business opportunities
Affordable healthcare
Personal income tax rate Progressive rates of 0%, 15%, 25% depending on the taxable income value
Visa free travel to other countries (approx. number of countries)  > 80

Can you get citizenship through investment in Panama?

If you are looking to relocate to Panama, applying for the Panamanian Friendly Nations Visa is an option that can be suitable, particularly if you were considering doing do by opening an offshore business or an onshore company.
The Government has recently changed the conditions to the visa that allows foreign nationals from selected country the option to apply for a visa that will grant them temporary and then permanent residency. In time, the holder of this type of visa can apply for Panama citizenship by investment, having had effectively opened a company or invested in real estate in the first place.
Some of the main conditions of the Friendly Nations Visa are outlined below:
  1. Temporary residence initially, the investor is awarded temporary residence for 2 years and then permanent residency;
  2. Investment purpose: the application purpose can be for work reasons or for investment in real estate of at least US$200,000;
  3. Eligible foreign nationals: the list of eligible countries includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, European and Asian countries except Taiwan; our team can give you the complete list of countries, with more than 53 jurisdictions, if you are interested in acquiring Panama citizenship by investment;
  4. Others: the applicant will need a Panama bank account and will need to provide proper proof of his economic ties in Panama.
Another option for becoming a citizen is through the Panama Reforestation Visa Program:
  • - a special investment program where the minimum investment value is $40,000 or $80,000;
  • - the investment is made in forestry projects generally focusing on teak wood;
  • - in some cases, the applicant can also receive the tile to the land for approximately 2 hectares;
  • - the holder obtains a visa foe himself as well as for the spouse and dependent children;
  • - the visa is valid for 1 year and it can be renewed annually up until the 5 year period when the holder can apply for citizenship; in case of the $80,000 investment, the holder of the visa is granted permanent residency after 1 year;
  • - an important advantage is that the Reforestation Visa Program is more affordable compared to other options;
  • - in addition to the minimum investment amount, the applicant will also pay a professing fee of $1,250 for the holder and $250 for each dependent, if applicable.
The processing time for the reforestation visa is approximately 30 to 45 days after all the documents have been submitted.
You can reach out to our team if you are interested in immigration to Panama in this manner.

How do I become a citizen of Panama?

You can obtain Panama citizenship by investment if you have been living in the country initially on a temporary basis and then on a permanent basis as per the visa for investment conditions outline above.
Panamanian citizenship is effectively granted after five years of having lawfully lived in the country. Applicants should know that several condonations apply that also take other factors into account, other than the minimum time spent in the country. Those who, during their stay, are married to a Panamanian national can shorten this minimum time in the country. Our team can give you more information about the process and the requirements. 

How can you help me apply for Panama citizenship by investment?

Our team can help you apply either for the Friendly Nations Visa (if you are a citizen of the target countries) or for the Panama Reforestation Visa Program. Each of these two investment routes will allow you to remain in the country for a period that will suffice (when your permit is properly renewed) to grant you citizenship after five years in the country.
Working with one of our agents before and after making the submission can help streamline the process. The agent assigned to your case will help you prepare the documents, submit the files to the authorities and communicate with the Panamanian authorities in your name when you are unable to be in the country, as applicable.
Are you interested in offshore company formation in Panama, in buying real estate or accessing the reforestation visa program?
Contact us for more information about acquiring Panama citizenship by investment.

If you wish to know more about immigration to Panama, or if you have questions about other types of temporary residence permits, our team can help answer your questions. We can guide you through the application process if you are interested in retiring to Panama, as opposed to making a substantial investment. We also answer questions about permits issues for family reunification. 

If residency, followed by citizenship by investment is not available to you, our team will give you more details about the other available residence permits for Panama, depending on your particular case. The country encourages foreign investments and thus offers the aforementioned investment programmes, however, retired foreign nationals or foreign employees can also apply for residency.


Meet us in Panama

Call us now at  +230 5252 6703  to set up an appointment with our business consultants in Panama City, Panama. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to Panama.

As a our client, you will benefit from the joint expertise of local lawyers and international consultants. Together we will be able to offer you the specialized help you require for your business start-up in Panama.

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Fast and personalized company formation services in Panama. The team will help investors incorporate a business vehicle that is 100% suited to their investment or asset protection needs.

Francesco Dagnino, Lawyer and Founding Partner of LEXIA Avvocati

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