Panama investors citizenship and residency by investment

Panamanian Residency & Citizenship by investment

“Dedicated to providing bespoke local solutions”

Panama offers one of the easiest and cheapest places to secure permanent residency and a second passport. But don’t count on this continuing indefinitely as international pressure and politics will inevitably take their toll.

Our team of experts work with our private and corporate clients to secure offshore bank accounts, permanent residency and citizenships when required.

Panama offers a high standard of living and a local currency pegged to the US dollar. Medical facilities are world-class, and you’ll find a vibrant expat community that already enjoys what Panama has to offer.

Don’t let the ‘Panama Papers’ and negative press about offshore tax havens stop you: Panama remains a firm favourite for investors. And there are good reasons you might want to put it at the top of your priority list. 

Top Residency Visas for Panama

Here are the three leading options to secure residency in Panama leading to Citizenship:

Panama’s Friendly Nations Visa

The Friendly Nations Visa will work for those who want to immigrate to Panama, as well as for those who want to simply have a second residency option.

First check if you are a citizen of one of the fifty countries on Panama’s friendly nation list:

Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein,  Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Marino, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United States of America, Uruguay, United Kingdom (Great Britain & Northern Ireland).

If so, you will need to demonstrate economic ties to Panama. We satisfy this requirement by registering your Panamanian corporation and introducing you to our Panamanian banking partners where you can deposit $5,000 to $10,000 safely in exchange for your residency.

(Once you obtain a Panamanian residency, you can dissolve the corporation and withdraw the money, if you wish.)

These options include your children up to the age of 18, or up to 25 if they are full-time student.

And once we submit your Panamanian residency case, you’re free to leave the country and come back a few months later to collect your documents and ID card.

Panama’s immigration code only requires you to renew your visa after two years (which you will need to do in Panama). Aside from that, you don’t really need to spend any time in Panama.

And after five years, you become eligible to secure Panamanian Citizenship.

Panama’s Retirement (Pensionado) Visa

Retirees or people with lifetime annuities or pensions can qualify for the Panama Pensioner Visa, also known as the Panama retirement visa. 

This permanent residency visa is for anyone over 18 years of age who obtains monthly pensions or annuities of at least USD $1,000 for the rest of their lives. 

An additional $250 per month must be received for each dependent. Married couples can combine their annuities or pensions to meet the minimum requirement. 

An exception exists where the primary applicant purchases Panama real estate valued at least $100,000 lowering the monthly minimum to $750.  The annuity or pension can come from a government, its military, a corporation, a bank, an insurance company, a Trust, or a private company. 

There are many discounts available to card-carrying pensioners in Panama including pharmacies, restaurants, hotels, movie theatres, concerts, and domestic airfare.

Here are just a few examples:

  • 50% discount on cinemas, theatres, sports, and other public events.
  • Discounts on public transportation, including airfares
  • Discounts on hotels
  • 25% discount on eating out in the restaurants
  • 15% discount on eating in fast food outlets (national and international franchises)
  • 15% discount on certain services of hospitals and private clinics
  • 20% discount on medicines
  • 20% discount on the services of many professionals such as plumbers, electricians…
  • 50% discount on closing costs and loan commissions
  • 1% discount on the interest rate on mortgage home loans for your own use
  • Property tax freeze on your Panamanian real estate
  • 25% discount on electricity and water bills
  • Even a 20% discount on coffins and urns

Panama Reforestation Investor Visa

For those people who are not citizens of a friendly nation, or qualify for the Retiree visa option, the Panama Reforestation Investment Visa is an excellent third option.

The Panama Reforestation Visa offers Permanent Residency and eventual Panama Citizenship for the investor and his or her spouse and children.

This is a permanent Panama Resident Visa, which requires an investment of a minimum of USD $80,000 in a reforestation investment, which is used to purchase a minimum of five (5) hectares of titled land to become part of a Panamanian government certified reforestation project or forest plantation. 

The Panama Reforestation Investor Visa law states as follows: “Foreigners that invest in their personal names or through a legal entity in activities of reforestation or authorized forest plantation, or any other activity authorized by the National Environmental Authority (ANAM), of at least five (5) hectares and whose minimum investment be Eighty Thousand dollars ($80,000) will be able to request this visa.”

To include dependents (spouse or children) in the Panama Reforestation Visa, the investment need only be increased by USD $2,000 per dependent.

Not only is this a great way to secure residency, but also an attractive investment option in its own right, for those who are looking at expanding their current portfolio.

Panama’s Territorial Tax System

Panama does not tax the worldwide income of its tax residents. An attractive element of why record numbers of businesses are deciding to establish their headquarters in Panama.

To discover how Sterling Migration can assist you to become a resident of Panama, complete our online enquiry to receive further information and to discuss your options with our team of experts.