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Panama Residency by Investment: Finding Your Way into Tropical Paradise for Investors

With its tropical investment paradise status, Panama attracts HNWIs and investors by the dozen. Wishing to obtain permanent residency in Panama, they eagerly apply for Panama golden visa programs trying to meet Panama residency requirements, including, inter alia, via purchasing real estate in Panama.

At International Wealth, we suggest you consider investment opportunities in Panama with the goal of acquiring residency or second citizenship therein later on.

Panama Residency Programs
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To get a Panama residency visa, including the ones for Panama residency and/or Panama permanent residency, consider taking advice from the International Wealth relocation and immigration pros. They will give you a cue as to what to do to get a Panama golden visa or  Panama residency by investment and what the requirements are to move to Panama. Assisted by the immigration industry’s best, you’ll pick and purchase real estate of your choice in the country. To get the ball rolling, contact us via the email at the bottom and soon you’ll hear from the International Wealth team.

Boasting the largest retiree numbers globally, the jurisdiction comes with affordable living costs, super-low crime rates, and warm weather all year round. Local healthcare standards are high. Being affiliated with the acclaimed John Hopkins International, the Punta Pacifica Hospital in Panama City does its best to keep its patients both healthy and satisfied. The Panama City Tocumen International Airport accepts and services flights from all over the world. It will take you 2.5 hours to fly to Miami from there. With its delicious food, excellent roads, high-quality cellular communication services, CATV and high-speed Internet, it is hardly surprising investors and HNWIs flock to the country to purchase properties and obtain Panama residency by investment or Panama golden visas.

Business people, investors, skilled immigrants (e.g., digital nomads), retirees, and HNWIs enjoy a unique opportunity to acquire a Panama resident status in exchange for investments in the nation’s economy and complying with the requirements to move to Panama.

Documents and general requirements to move to Panama

  1. Applications for Panama residency visas shall be submitted via a Panama lawyer and the International Wealth team has established good cooperation with a number of them.
  2. Main applicants for Panama residency visas face no age limitations, except that the minimum legal age to apply for Panama residency currently is 18 years.
  3. Foreign documents to be submitted to Panama authorities shall be notarized and certified by a Panama consulate or be notarized and apostilled. 
  4. Such documents shall be recent (i.e., issued within 2 months before the date of the Panama residency visa application), and the applicant’s passport shall be valid for at least a year for them to meet the requirements to move to Panama.
  5. Main applicant’s dependants shall submit marriage certificates. If underage children under 18 are eligible to move to Panama on their parent’s visa, valid birth certificates shall be produced.
  6. Application for residency in Panama requires a good health certificate. All applicants shall get tested for HIV in the jurisdiction.
  7. Clean criminal record certificate shall be produced to local authorities to meet the requirements to move to Panama.
  8. Title documents to Panama real estate, bank deposits, or business investments are necessary for Panama golden visa applicants.
  9. Certificate issued by Panama Ministry of Commerce and Industry to prove the applicant’s Panama resident status.

Panama permanent residency for retirees

The Turista Pensionado Panama residency visa is designed for retirees with state or private monthly pensions above USD 1000. Producing a pension certificate issued by the corresponding state or private pension fund is generally enough to apply for the Turista Pensionado Panama residency visa but applicants are recommended to have bank deposit records with them just in case. 

Retirees get their Panama permanent residency visas for an indefinite period meaning they are authorized for permanent residency in Panama. There is a catch though.  Holders of Turista Pensionado Panama residency visas are obliged to annually confirm to the Panama Immigration Department their income comes from retirement benefits. Holders of Turista Pensionado Panama residency visas do not pay customs duties on imported household goods up to USD 10,000 as well as duties on cars imported once every 2 years. For more details about Panama residence under the Pensionado Panama Residency Program, please follow the above link.

Panama visa for FIPs

The above visa is suitable for persons with no monthly pension benefits who are no longer employed yet have sufficient personal funds. To substantiate they are eligible for the above visa and meet the requirements to move to Panama, applicants shall deposit sufficient funds with the Panama National Bank for 5 years, with the resulting monthly income upwards of USD 1000. With current rates in mind, the deposit amount shall be approximately USD 220,000. The visa in question is extended every 5 years, provided the corresponding deposit is renewed. 

A Panama visa for financially independent persons comes with apparent benefits. The latter include a Panama passport valid for traveling abroad (that does not grant Panama citizenship to holders thereof) and a one-time import duty exemption for household goods worth up to USD 10,000.

Residency in Panama for investors

As provided for under Executive Order No. 722 dated October 15, 2020, Panama authorities introduced a new Panama resident subcategory a.k.a. Panama permanent residency by investment.

The said Panama residency program comes with 4 Panama resident categories:

  1. Permanent residency in Panama by investment via a Panama brokerage (with stock exchange investment upwards of USD 500,000).
  2. Panama permanent residency due to a fixed term banking sector deposit upwards of USD 750,000.
  3. Residency by real estate investment in Panama upwards of USD 300,000 till October 22, 2022, and upwards of USD 500,000 afterwards.
  4. Panama permanent residency by real estate investment resulting from a Promise to Purchase Agreement in Panama, with the investment amount upwards of USD 300,000 till October 22, 2022, and USD 500,000 afterwards.

With several other visa categories available, the new Panama residency by investment program remains the fastest and the most efficient way to acquire a permanent Panama resident status and its requirements to move to Panama are easy to fulfill. After the applicant has all necessary documents to apply for Panama residency by investment and has met all Panama residency requirements, they may go to the jurisdiction for a week and apply for Panama permanent residency as a qualified investor.

Starting from the day you submit your application for Panama permanent residency by investment to the National Migration Service (abbreviated as SNM in Spanish), it takes approximately 30 days to obtain permanent residency in Panama. NB: all procedures shall be conducted via a lawyer in the jurisdiction, this is one of the standard Panama residency requirements. The applicant is deemed a permanent Panama resident after their application has been accepted, processed, and approved.

After a Panama residence permit has been granted to the applicant for Panama residency by investment, the latter does not need to extend it. The Panama residence acquired shall be maintained, and for that purpose the investment made shall be held within 5 or more years. Plus, a newly-hatched Panama resident shall visit the jurisdiction at least once every 24 months as provided for under the legislation currently in force.

Oftentimes asked about Panama residency requirements and tax residency, the International Wealth immigration experts answer that the corresponding rules and regulations are currently changing in the jurisdiction. As of now, you may become a tax resident in the country if you spend at least 183 days per year therein and prove you have ongoing connections and contacts in Panama.

Please, follow the link below to learn more about residency in Panama for business investors.

Panama golden visa for real estate investors

Real estate investors are eligible for permanent residency in Panama if they purchase properties upwards of USD 300,000 (till October 22, 2022) therein. Thereafter, the minimum investment amount for Panama real estate investors wishing to a Panama golden visa will make up USD 500,000. Say, if you buy Casa Bonita or Arcadia del Este residences or alternatively 2 apartments in the Royal Palm residential estate, you will meet Panama residency requirements and be authorized to apply for permanent residency in Panama. For more information, please, visit Royal Palm and Arcadia del Este pages.

Feel free to invest in real estate to qualify for Panama residency by investment and at the same time make a deposit with a local bank to finance your participation in the Panama residency program and meet the corresponding Panama residency requirements. 

Forestry Investor visa to Panama

The unique Panama residency program (a.k.a. Panama Green Investment Visa Program or Panama Reforestation Visa Program) provides for an opportunity to invest upwards of USD 100,000 in a government-approved reforestation project to restore teak forests in Panama. In exchange, Panama green investors obtain either temporary or permanent residency in Panama, depending on the amount invested. To be granted Panama permanent residency on the spot, the invested amount shall be upwards of USD 350,000. Investors meeting the above Panama residency requirements have the right to apply for Panama investor visas for both themselves, their spouses, and dependent children without additional expenses or contributions. 

The Panama Reforestation Visa Scheme is the cheapest legal Panama residency program. Thereunder, visas are issued either for 2 or for 5 years and the minimum investment amount makes USD 80,000. If you invest upwards of USD 350,000 in Panama reforestation, both you and your dependants will become permanent Panama residents with the right to work in the jurisdiction. 

After 5 years, your permanent Panama resident status will allow you to apply for Panama citizenship. The Panama reforestation visa program is an affordable way to obtain Panama residence, permanent residency in Panama, and eventually citizenship by investment in the country. The Panama passport you obtain thereunder is good to travel most Western countries as well as Latin-American and South American jurisdictions without a visa.

Friendly nations route to become a Panama resident

With a Friendly Nation Visa, Panama permanent residency is obtainable for less. To apply for a Friendly Nation Visa, you shall be a national of the state listed among 50 Panama friendly nations. The latter include Cyprus, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Montenegro, and Israel, to name a few.

To be eligible for a Friendly Nation Visa, an investor shall purchase Panama real estate upwards of USD 200,000 or set up a company in Panama and appoint themselves a director thereof. In 5 years, Panama permanent residency will be exchanged for Panama citizenship.

For more information about the Panama Friendly Nations residency program please follow the link below.

To select the Panama residency program that would work best for you, please contact the International Wealth immigration experts. Our team is here to resolve any residency or immigration-related issues you may encounter along the way.

To book a free initial consultation with the International Wealth industry pros, you are welcome to email us at [email protected].

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