Panama Passport and Residency

Panama Passport and Residency

The Panamanian government has created several laws which enable foreigners to obtain legal Panama passports and residency. Most of 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 which offer permanent residency leading to passports, as well as several that are designed as work visas only.  Also there are two different opportunities for an immediate passport.

Our law firm provides the most rapid and efficient processing possible of all visa and immigration procedures, because of the firm’s immigration experts.

Immediate Panamanian Passport Program

There are two different opportunities for an immediate Panama passport. One of them  allows foreigners to obtain an immediate Panamanian Passport under the condition that they make a 5 year time deposit (certificate of deposit – “CD”), at the Banco Nacional de Panama, which earns a minimum of US$1,000 per month in interest income. 

Panama Self Economic Solvency Visa

Law N° 16, of June 30,1960 created this program to offer international investors the opportunity to obtain Panama legal residency, Panama citizenship (and a Panama passport) by making certain Panama investments.

Currently, the Panama Self Economic Solvency Visa offers three (3) different Panama investment options to qualify for Panama residency:

Panama Investment Option #1:

Panama Investment: Invest a minimum of US$300,000 (Three Hundred Thousand US Dollars) in a three (3) year time deposit (or “certificate of deposit” or “CD”) at any Panama bank.

Stipulations: (1) The Panama bank time deposit (CD) account must be in the personal name of the primary applicant (it may not be in the name of a Panama corporation, Panama foundation, or trust). The interest earned from the Panama bank time deposit (CD), will be deposited monthly into any savings account at the Panama bank that you designate (the Panama savings account may be a personal account, or a corporate account). The interest income is NOT taxed by the Panamanian government, nor is it subject to any tax reporting requirements.

Dependents: For each additional dependent that applies for residency under the primary applicant, the primary applicant must prove that he or she has sufficient income to support the general costs of living of each dependent.

Panama Investment Option # 2:

Panama Investment: Invest a minimum of US$300,000 (Three Hundred Thousand US Dollars) in titled Panama real property.  This must be equity, as mortgages do not count.

Stipulations: (1) The titled Panama real property can either be in the personal name of the primary applicant or in the name of a Panama Private Interest Foundation; as long as the primary applicant is either the Founder or a Beneficiary (it may not be in the name of a Panama corporation or trust). (2) The primary applicant must also prove that he or she has sufficient income to support him or herself.

Dependents: For each additional dependent that applies for residency under this Panama immigration program, the primary applicant must prove that he or she has enough income to support the living costs of each dependent.

Panama Investment Option # 3:

The third option is a mixture of a 3-year Panama bank CD with Panama real estate purchases equity (excluding mortgages) with both totaling a minimum of $300,000.

Requirements to Qualify for a Self Economic Solvency Visa

Foreigners that invest the minimum sum of Three Hundred Thousand dollars ($300,000) in Panama real estate or a Panama bank time deposit or a combination of both will be able to qualify for this visa. If the foreigner has dependents, the applicant needs to invest an additional Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000) for each dependant.

Qualifying for a Panama Self Economic Solvency Visa with a Fixed Panama Bank Time Deposit

In addition to the basic requirements established in Article 28 of the Decree Law, the applicant must submit the following documents:

1. Panama bank certification that the foreigner opened a Panama bank time deposit account in the applicant’s name for a minimum of three (3) years in any Panama bank for a minimum value of Three Hundred Thousand dollars ($300,000), or its equivalent in foreign currency;

2. Copies of the Panama bank time deposit certificate authenticated by the bank.
Panama Self Economic Solvency Visa by Investing in Panama Real Estate

3. Certificate from Panama’s Public Registry verifying personal title of the applicant with a minimum value of Three Hundred Thousand dollars ($300,000), free of debt.

Note I: In the case that the title of the Panama real estate is under the name of a Panama Private Interest Foundation, the applicant will qualify if he or she is the Founder and/or one of the beneficiaries. The certificate of the Public Registry must designate the applicant as either the Founder or Beneficiary.

Note II: In the case when the applicant has paid the minimum required cash sum of Three Hundred Thousand dollars ($300,000) towards the total price of the Panama real estate, he or she will be able to finance the remainder through mortgage loans.

Note III: The General Director of the National Service of Immigration will be able to consider the Panama permanent residency application as a Panama self economic solvency visa of those foreigners who invested a minimum of Two Hundred Thousand ($200,000) in Panama real estate but less than Three Hundred Thousand dollars ($300,000) if they entered into a sales contract before this rule went in to effect [August 26, 2008]. This exception should be verified by the bank transfer to the Panama real estate agency as a guarantee of the Panama real estate purchase with an authenticated copy of the promise to buy and/or pre-construction contract.

Panama Self Economic Solvency by Mixed Panama Investments (Fixed Panama Bank Time Deposit and Panama Real Estate Purchase)

Stipulations: (1) The Panama bank time deposit (CD) account must be in the personal name of the primary applicant (it may not be in the name of a Panama corporation, Panama foundation, or trust). The interest earned from the Panama bank time deposit (CD), will be deposited monthly into any Panama bank savings account that you designate (the savings account may be a personal account, or a corporate account). The interest income is NOT taxed by the Panamanian government, nor is it subject to any tax reporting requirements. (2) The titled property must be in the personal name of the primary applicant or in the name of a Panama Private Interest Foundation where the applicant is the Founder and/or beneficiary. (3) The primary applicant must also prove that he or she has sufficient income to support his or her general costs of living.

Dependents: For each additional dependent that applies for Panama residency under this Panama immigration program, the primary applicant must prove that he or she has enough income to support the general costs of living of each dependent.

Panama Retired or Pensioned Program (Visa Pensionado)

Our law firm provides retirees and persons with pensions with a Panama Pensioned Visa, also called the Panama Pensionado Visa.The Panama Retired or Pensioned Program allows foreigners to obtain legal residency in Panama under the condition that they are retired or pensioned. According to the Panama Immigration Department, there is no minimum or maximum age required to qualify (you only need to provide the requirements / documents below).

The applicants’ retirement income (or pension income) must be at least a LIFE TIME US$1,000 per month.   Another option is to purchase at least $100,000 in Panama real estate, which reduces the lifetime monthly income to $750.The applicants’ income must be proven by providing documentation such as a letter from the institution or company that pays the retirement or pension income. This certification must be notarized and authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate nearest you (or by apostile).

Passport Registration

A short visit to Panama is required to register and stamp your Passport at the Panama immigration Office. NOTE: No shorts, t-shirts or sandals are permitted in government offices.

The requirements are:

  1. Two (2) passport sized photographs of the applicant (and dependents – if applicable).
  2. Complete Panama immigration registration Form (POLS will provide this to Client, who only needs to complete and sign).
  3. Original passport, and one (1) photocopy of passport (the original passport will be returned to the Client immediately after the registration of it).

Discounts – As a qualified Panama “pensionado” (retiree), you will be entitled to:

  • 50% off entertainment anywhere in the country (movies, theatres, concerts, sporting events, etc.)
  • 30% off bus, boat & train fares
  • 25% off airline tickets
  • 50% off hotel stays from Monday through Thursday
  • 30% off hotel stays from Friday through Sunday
  • 25% off at restaurants
  • 15% off at fast food restaurants
  • 15% off hospital bills (if no insurance applies)
  • 10% off prescription medicines
  • 20% off medical consultations
  • 15% off dental & eye exams
  • 20% off professional & technical services
  • 50% off closing costs for home loans
  • 25% off residential power up to 600 kw
  • 25% off residential phone service charges
  • 25% off residential water bills of up to US$30

Tax Exemptions – As a qualified Panama “pensionado” (retiree), you will be entitled to:

– A one-time exemption of duties on the importation of household goods up to US$10,000 in total value

– 100% duty exemption on the importation or purchase of an automobile.