Understanding the Panama Friendly Nations Visa

Understanding the Panama Friendly Nations Visa

In 2012, the then president of Panama, Ricardo Martelli, gave an Executive Decree for foreign investors to obtain residency in the country. Panama Friendly Nations Visa is a special immigration program. Only citizens of selected “friendly” countries who own off-shore companies or have economic or professional ties with Panama are eligible to apply.

Application Requirements to Obtain Provisional Residency

For those who want to retire in Panama or are thinking of moving there to find a permanent residence, first confirm whether you are a citizen of one of the “friendly” countries. An applicant needs an approved notarized authorization for a Panama attorney to act on their behalf.

Documents by Main Applicant:

  • Original passport valid for at least six months
  • Five passport size photos
  • Certified check for $800 in favor of the National immigration Service for repatriation
  • Certified check of USD250 in favor of the National Treasury — immigration fee
  • An apostilled copy of a second ID document, such as a citizenship certificate or driving license
  • Medical certificate of good health issued by a qualified Panamanian doctor
  • Apostilled criminal record background check that’s less than six months old
  • Proof of professional or economic ties with Panama (employment contract registered by Panama Social Security Office or real estate ownership)
  • A Panamanian bank account deposit of USD 5,000 and USD 2,000 for each dependent
  • Proof of ownership, majority shareholding, or board of director of applicant’s company
  • Commercial license and proof that the applicant has been paying franchise taxes
  • Copy of ‘paz y salvo’ certificate, bank accounts, and all documents proving ownership

If the applicant owns a corporation, they should fix a deposit of at least USD200,000 in a national bank in Panama. The fixed-term deposit must include a title that is free of any encumbrances with a validity of three years. The corporation can be under the name of an entity in which the applicant is the beneficiary.

Documents by the Spouse

  • Original passport valid for six months
  • Five passport size photos
  • Certified check for USD 250 from a local bank in favor of the National Treasury
  • Certified check of USD 800 from a local bank in favor of the National Immigration Service
  • Marriage certificate (with the applicant) valid for one year authenticated or apostilled

If the bank reference letter comes from a joint account with the applicant, it should show a balance of USD 8,000 and not USD 5,000.

Documents by the Dependents

Children aged 25 years old or younger are eligible to apply and require:

  • Original passport valid for six months
  • Five passport size photos
  • Certified check for USD 250 in favor of the National Treasury
  • Certified check for USD 800 in favor of the National Immigration Service (if the dependent is twelve years or more)
  • Apostilled birth certificate demonstrating the child is related to the applicant
  • Children 18 years or older must demonstrate they are single or enrolled as full-time students in Panama

A child whose only parent is the applicant, a letter from the other parent authorizing their children’s application should be presented. All the required documents must be authenticated by a Notary and the nearest Panamanian Consulate.

Application Process to Obtain a Permanent Residency

As applicants and dependents hold a provisional residency successfully for two years, they are allowed to apply for permanent residency in Panama. The process is like the one for applying for a provisional residency with the exception of paying USD 250 to the National Treasury. The process is in three phases all totaling three years before obtaining the permanent residency.

Phase 1

Apply for a temporary residency ID after which the applicant gets a provisional residency permit in six months. Applicants and dependents have to take photos at the Panamanian Immigration Office and register their passports at USD 5 per person. Here the Immigration Office will hold the passports for two days.

Next is to submit the application to the Immigration Office and obtain the temporary residency ID. In the event the applicant plans to return to their home country, it is good to request for multiple entry visas.

On day six, you can pick up the passports and multiple visas from the Immigration Office. Temporary residency cards allow applicants to obtain a Panamanian driver’s license. After six months, the Immigration Office gives the applicant and dependents a provisional residency permit.

Phase 2

Once Immigration Office approves the provisional ID which is valid for two years, the applicant and dependents should uphold all the requirements of staying in Panama. After satisfying this requirement, they are allowed to apply for a permanent residency ID.

Phase 3

Once the application is approved, the applicant and dependents will obtain permanent residency IDs. In the event the applicant and dependents are abroad, their date of return depends on the approval of the application. Upon arrival, it takes two days to complete the Friendly Nations Visa process and obtain the permanent residency card.

Applicants are given six months in which to return to Panama and complete the process to obtain permanent residency. The application can be cancel if they do not complete the process on time.

Why Obtain a Panama Friendly Nations Visa

Panama is a country that has a territorial tax system — you only pay taxes for income generated inside the country, and taxes are relatively low. The tropical climate is conducive for tourists and is politically stable with affordable health care. Panama is a beautiful country and lets you apply for citizenship after being a permanent resident for five years.

Are you looking to relocate, create bank accounts, or register vessels in Panama? Do you desire to acquire a Panamanian Friendly Nations Visa? Contact top-rated legal services near you and they will help you obtain a Panama Friendly Nations Visa immediately.

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