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Panama – Residency

Types of Residency in Panama

Panama is a popular destination for expats, with its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and low cost of living. If you are considering moving to Panama, one of the first things you will need to think about is obtaining residency status. There are several different types of residency available, each with its own requirements and limitations.

Types of Residency

1. Pensionado Visa

If you are over the age of 18 and have a monthly pension income of at least $1,000, you may be eligible for a Pensionado visa. This is a permanent visa that allows you to live and work in Panama indefinitely. To be eligible for a Pensionado visa, you will need to provide proof of your monthly pension income and meet certain other criteria.

2. Friendly Nations Visa

If you are a citizen of one of the 50 countries on Panama’s “Friendly Nations” list, you may be eligible for a Friendly Nations visa. This is a permanent visa that allows you to live and work in Panama indefinitely. To be eligible for a Friendly Nations visa, you will need to provide proof of your citizenship and meet certain other criteria, such as a minimum investment in a Panamanian business or the purchase of a Panamanian property.

3. Reforestation Investor Visa


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If you wish to invest in a reforestation project in Panama, you may be eligible for a Reforestation Investor visa. This is a temporary visa that allows you to live and work in Panama for up to three years. To be eligible for a Reforestation Investor visa, you will need to make a minimum investment of $80,000 in a reforestation project in Panama.

4. Business Investor Visa

If you wish to start a business in Panama, you may be eligible for a Business Investor visa. This is a temporary visa that allows you to live and work in Panama for up to three years. To be eligible for a Business Investor visa, you will need to make a minimum investment of $160,000 in a Panamanian business.

5. Self-Employed Visa

If you wish to work as a freelancer or start your own business in Panama, you may be eligible for a Self-Employed visa. This is a temporary visa that allows you to live and work in Panama for up to two years. To be eligible for a Self-Employed visa, you will need to submit a detailed business plan and meet certain financial and business experience requirements.

Process for Applying for Residency

The process for applying for residency in Panama varies depending on the type of residency you are seeking. In general, the process involves the following steps:

  1. Determine which type of residency is right for you, and gather all necessary documents and information.
  2. Complete the application form, which can usually be found online.
  3. Submit the application, along with any required documents and fees.
  4. Wait for your application to be processed. This can take several weeks or even months, depending on the type of residency and the volume of applications being processed.
  5. If your application is approved, you will be issued with the appropriate visa or permit.

It is important to note that the process for obtaining residency in Panama can be quite complex, and it is often helpful to seek the advice of a professional immigration lawyer or consultant.

Documents Required for Residency Application

The specific documents required to support an application for residency in Panama will vary depending on the type of residency being sought. However, some common documents that may be required include:

  • Passport
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Proof of financial support, such as bank statements or a letter from an employer
  • Proof of employment or investment in real estate
  • Medical examination results
  • Proof of health insurance

Registration on Arrival in Panama

Foreign nationals moving to Panama will need to register with the immigration authorities upon arrival in the country. This will typically involve submitting the required documents and undergoing a medical examination.

Up-to-Date Information on Residence in Panama

For reliable, up-to-date information on residence in Panama, interested individuals may consult the following websites:


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