Panama offers great conditions for investment, as well as good general living conditions for those who are considering obtaining Panama permanent residence.
With a welcoming visa policy, allowing foreign nationals from many countries to enter the country without a visa for a limited time, as well as attractive business options, given the fact that there are no restrictions on nationality when one wishes to open a company in Panama, there are many reasons why individuals choose to relocate to this country.
Our specialists invite those interested to read this article in order to find out more about the Panama residency requirements. The individual’s particular situation is important when submitting this application and, with our help, you can make sure that you are able to submit all of the documents the government is asking for.
Temporary residence permit types
Time needed to obtain the temporary residence permit (approx.)
Starting at 2 months; 6 months in some cases
Temporary residence permit validity
1 or 2 years, in some cases
Documents for obtaining temporary residence
Application form and personal documents
Proof of investment (as applicable)
Proof of employment (as applicable)
Other personal documents attesting's one status
Mandatory registrations with state authorities (i.e. with the population/municipality register)
Dependents can join the temporary permit holder
Yes. Conditions for the type of investment apply
Minimum temporary residence before applying for permanent residence
2 years, in some cases for investors
Documents for obtaining permanent residence
Proof of lawfull temporary citizenship
Proof of making and maintaining the investment for the minimum time (if applicable)
Application for and applicant's documents
Proof of having lawfully lived in the country
Proof of adequate language, culture and history knowledge
Citizenship after permanent residence
Yes, under certain conditions
General entry conditions
Obtaining Panama permanent residence is possible after having lived in the country under a temporary residence permit. Investors who are interested in Panama company formation can be pleased to know that the country encourages foreign investments and, for this purpose, foreign nationals have access to a number of attractive options if they wish to start a business or make an investment in the country.
The first step, in order to meet the general Panama residency requirements, is to enter the country lawfully, with a visa, if this applies in your case. The general entry conditions are listed below by our experts:
- Valid passport: the travel document, the passport, needs to have a minimum validity of three months;
- Maximum stay: foreign nationals from countries that are subject to visa entry requirements are permitted to remain in Panama for 30 days under a simple visa;
- Exemption: the Migration Office can accept the situation in which the individual is exempt from the visa requirement, under Executive Decree no. 521, if the individual presented a valid US permanent residence card; our team can give you more details;
- Countries without a visa requirement: foreign nationals of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the EU Member States, Vietnam and other countries are allowed to enter Panama without a visa and remain for 6 months; an extension can be obtained from the Office of Immigration in some cases; please keep in mind that this is different from obtaining Panama permanent residence;
Given the fact that entering the country under a simple visa (or without one, as may be the case), allows the foreign national to remain in Panama for a limited period, those who wish to relocate will need assistance for obtaining residency in Panama.
You can read below more about the programs that are in place for those who are ready to make a minimum investment or, in general, to those who are able to show that they have the financial means to remain in the country for long-term purposes.
We invite you to watch a short video about obtaining residence in Panama:
Investment programs leading to Panama permanent residence
Relocating to Panama is attractive not only because investors can easily open a company in Panama, but also because they can enjoy a good qualify of life. The government encourages investments, and business formation, as well as moving to the country for retirement purposes.
If you are interested in acquiring residency in Panama, one of the routes presented below can be of interest:
The Panama reforestation visa – first option: for an investment of $40,000 the applicant is granted permanent residency and will also be able to obtain the Panama passport;
Panama reforestation visa – second option: when the investment amount is more substantial, at $80,000 the applicant will obtain permanent residency after one year, as opposed to five years for the smaller investment;
Investment visa: the conditions for this visa have changed recently and it no longer leads to immediate permanent residency, however, investors who have a minimum investment in real estate of $200,000 can first obtain temporary residence for two years, and then Panama permanent residence;
Fees: when you apply for one of these programs, you should also keep in mind that, in addition to the minimum investment, the applicant also needs to pay a fee; for the visa immigration processing, the fees are generally around $250, however, they can be subject to change.
Apart from the investment options presented above, foreign nationals also have the option to relocate to Panama under the person of means visa, or the private income retiree visa. Contact us if you wish to know more about how to obtain Panama permanent residence and the available options.
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.