Legal Options to immigrate temporarily to Panama

 Legal Options to immigrate temporarily to Panama

Panama is a very attractive destination. Many foreigners wish to immigrate both permanently and temporarily because it offers many favorable conditions from the economic and social point of view, which has made it a multicultural country.

In addition, according to the immigration policy of Panama, the entry and exit of citizens of all countries are feasible, provided that they meet the requirements established for nationality, residence, and occupation.

If you have not yet decided if Panama is the destination for you and want to explore it temporarily, we have good news for you. Panama has several options so you can stay in the country for a while before making up this big decision.

Temporary migrations, we must understand them as mobilities that do not imply a change of permanent residence; and presuppose the return of the migrant to the place of origin.

In this sense, in the case of Panama, foreigners can opt for two legal forms of temporary migration:

1. Visas for Non-Residents in Panama

This type of visa is granted to a foreigner who occasionally enters the country and does not wish to establish his residence or leave the residence of the place of origin while he is in Panama. At the same time, he must have sufficient resources, to support himself for the duration of their stay in Panama, and have to leave the country when the term of their visa expires.

This visa applies to tourists, passengers in transit, sailors, and people visiting Panama for a short time.

It is important to emphasize that foreigners who enter Panama under a tourist visa may request a change of immigration category, for which they must request an extension of up to sixty (60) additional days. For that, the person needs to complete the documentation to request an extension that complies with the requirements established by the regulations.

Within this category of the temporary permit, the following cases can be pointed out:

Tourist visa

In this type of visa, the National Immigration Service of Panama will issue tourist visas valid for a term not exceeding ninety (90) days. To apply for this type of visa, the interested party must present proof of economic solvency for their maintenance and support according to the term of stay in the country, which may not be less than five hundred dollars (US$500.00).

Temporary worker visa in Panama

Based on article 15 of the Decree-Law, the company that hires a foreigner to work only once and that temporarily enters the territory to carry out technical work, in the cultural, artistic, musical, sports, professional, educational, or scientific fields, in a specific company or work, for a maximum term of three (3) non-extendable months, as long as the company and the foreigner meet the requirements and responsibilities required by the National Immigration Service and the Ministry of Labor of Panama.

Short stay visa in Panama

The foreigner who enters the national territory, without intending to establish his residence there, may request a short-stay visa for business purposes, to visit relatives, for medical treatment, for humanitarian assistance, among others; for a period that may not exceed nine (9) months and it is non-renewable after the expiration of said term.

2. Temporary Permit

The Temporary Resident Visa applies to foreigners or their dependents who want to enter Panama for work reasons, special policies, education, culture, religious, humanitarian, and family reunification, among other subcategories, for a period of up to six (6) years, except in those cases in which special laws and international agreements establish other periods.

Within the temporary permit options, the following can be pointed out:

Temporary Permit as a Macro-Enterprise Investor

Foreigners can apply for this type of permit when they can invest a minimum share capital of US$160,000.00 in a large company, for which they must be a shareholder and officer of the company.

Temporary Permit for 2 years as Self Economic Solvency and subsequent application for permanent residence temporary permit, the foreigner must make a minimum investment of US$300,000.00, which, according to the National Immigration Service, can be used for investment in a fixed term in a personal capacity in a banking institution, for 5 years and renewable.

It can also be the object of the purchase, personally or by a corporation of which he is a shareholder, of real estate that is free of liens.

And you could opt for the option of a mixed investment which consists of the acquisition in a financial entity of a fixed term, for 5 years, extendable, and free of liens.

It is important to highlight in this type of temporary permit, that the foreign person can emigrate with their spouse, parents, and children, however, they must present solvency of US$2,000.00 for each one, through an account in a banking institution.

Special Temporary Visitor Visa

This type of visa can be requested by foreigners who wish to go to Panama to have a temporary stay, due to carrying out an activity of their interest such as studies, taking a course, among others.

Foreigners who are going to work in a parent company located in Panama, whose headquarters are in another country, can also apply for this visa.

Temporary permit for foreign personnel hired by way of the Marrakesh treaty for small companies

Adopted by the Republic of Panama through Law 23 of 1997, the Marrakesh Treaty is for temporary workers who intend to live in Panama for a maximum of 5 years.

The Marrakesh treaty, created by the World Trade Organization, allows the foreigner to be granted a temporary visitor visa that is only available to companies employing between 3 to 10 employees, earning at least the minimum wage. Only one foreigner is allowed, who must be paid a minimum of US$1,000 per month.

We hope you find this content useful. We recommend that you stay tuned to our blog so you can find more information about the step by step to emigrate to Panama.

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