Moving to Panama, the legal part

   Moving to Panama, the legal part

According to Forbes, Panama is one of the world’s safest, most affordable and most welcoming countries. Panama is in the top spot of the Annual Global Retirement Index for 2022, for the 11th time. Some of the best advantages to move to Panama are:

  • The currency is the U.S. dollar

  • The medical care and infrastructure is first-class

  • The internet access is suitable

  • Close and accessible to the USA 


When it comes to the legal part of moving to Panama, there are many options you can take advantage of. 


If you are an American citizen, you do not need a visa to enter Panama. However, you will need a valid passport if you plan to stay in the country for at least three months. Upon entry you can get a tourist card, which lasts for 30 days and can be extended for an additional 60 days.


If you are planning to move for a long term or permanently to Panama, these are the most common migratory options you can opt in.


Macro-Enterprise Investor.


A foreigner who wishes to invest in a macro company with a minimum share capital of US$160,000.00 for each permit applicant may apply for this permit. They must be shareholders and officers of this company.


Economic Solvency by opening a fixed term deposit, investment in Real Estate or by Mixed Investment (Fixed Term Deposit and Real Estate).


A foreigner making a minimum investment of US$300,000.00 can apply. It could be through the acquisition of a fixed term in a personal capacity in a local bank free of liens and for a minimum period of 5 years, extendable. Or the acquisition of real estate free of liens up to the sum of US$300,000.00 in a personal capacity or in the name of a corporation, demonstrating that the foreigner is the shareholder. Or it could be through a mixed investment in the acquisition of a fixed term in a local bank and for a minimum period of 5 years, extendable plus a real estate where the sum of both is US$300,0000.00 free of liens.


Retired rentier.


A foreigner who proves earning a monthly income of US$850.00, which comes exclusively from interest product of fixed-term deposit in a local bank free of liens. 


Retired pensioner.

A foreigner who receives retirement or pension from a foreign government, international organization or private company, has sufficient financial means to defray all his expenses and those of the dependents of him in the country. Minimum monthly rent or pension US$1,000.00  and must be granted for life.


Investor Forestry


A foreigner who invests, personally or through a legal person, a minimum amount of US$100,000.00 in reforestation activities or forest plantation or others authorized by the Ministry of the Environment. In the event that the foreigner, personally or through a legal person, invests a minimum US$350,000.00 in activities of reforestation or forest plantation or others authorized by the Ministry of Environment, he will be able to opt for permanent residence automatically.


Processing Zone for Export Investor

A foreigner who proves having invested the minimum of US$250,000.00 and show that the funds come from abroad, in a duly authorized company, as promoter and operator of a Processing Zone for Export or in companies established within these areas.


Investor on Call Centers for Commercial Export


A foreigner who invests in a company whose activity is to provide service center calls for commercial use (Call Center) for Export.


Family Reunion


A foreigner who has married a Panamanian national and who lives with it in conditions of singularity, stability and continuity. After two years of the provisional permit, the foreigner may apply for permanent residence.


Italian special law


A foreigner of Italian nationality who wishes to establish their residence indefinitely in Panama.


Residence permit for citizens of countries with professional and economic ties to Panama.


Foreigners from a list of approximately 50 countries can apply for a provisional residence for 2 years and later you can request a permanent residence permit in Panama if they prove they have a professional, economic or investment relationship in the country. Foreigners under the nationality of certain countries can apply for this permit as long as they work in Panama or express their willingness to invest in Panama and maintain good economic solvency demonstrated by a bank reference letter with an amount that exceeds four (4) figures and a half or more (US$5,000.00). They require that the investment be through work reasons and/or the purchase of real estate for the sum of US$200,000.00 and/or a fixed term in a bank in Panama, with a general license, for a minimum of three (3) years, for the sum of US$200,000.00.

The list of countries that can apply for this immigration permit: United Kingdom of Great Britain, North Ireland, Federal Rep. of Germany, Rep. of Argentina, Australian Confederation, South Korea, Rep. of Austria, Federative Rep. of Brazil, Kingdom of Belgium, Canada, Kingdom of Spain, United States of America, Slovak Rep., French Rep., Rep. of Finland, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Republic of Ireland, State of Japan, Kingdom of norway, Czech Rep., Swiss Confederation, Rep. of Singapore, Eastern Rep. of Uruguay, Rep. of Chile, Kingdom of Sweden, Rep. of Poland, Hungary, Hellenic Rep. (Greece), Portuguese Rep., Rep. of Croatia, Rep. of Estonia, Rep. of Lithuania, Latvian, Rep. of Cyprus, Republic of Malta, Rep. of Serbia, Rep. of Montenegro, State of Israel, Kingdom of Denmark, Republic of South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Principality of Liechtenstein, Principality of Monaco, Principality of Andorra, Most Serene Rep. of Marino, Mexico, Paraguay, Costa Rica and Peru.


Panama can be a good place to move or retire, if you plan for it. The cost of living is less than in America, and the quality of life is good. If you are considering relocating to Panama you should consider working with a legal advisor to prepare. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your dream to move to Panama, get started now.


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