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Your Alternative Route to Panama: Embrace the forestry visa instead of the Qualified Investor visa
Panama has different residency opportunities. Citizens from nations like France, the US, Poland, and Canada can access the visa of friendly countries. If you come from another nationality, you can choose a visa for professionals or an investment visa.
Since 2020, Mundo has been writing about the Qualified Investor Visa, but we haven’t forgotten about the benefits of the Forestry Visa. Like the former, the Panama Reforestation Visa grants you residency in exchange for an investment. So, what is the difference? What is the forestry visa? Under which circumstances should I choose the Panama Agricultural Visa over the Qualified Investor? Here's a piece about the key differences between these two.
What is the forestry visa?
The country of the canal offers a great investment through the Panama agricultural visa. We’re talking about an investment in teak land, where the owner must plant and harvest the said tree.
Thus, there are two options which entail different amounts of investment and bring benefits accordingly. If you put in $100,000, you can get temporary residency which lasts two years. Only after this period will you be able to get permanent residency.
Also, Panama agriculture investment allows you to obtain immediate permanent residency, but for this, you have to put in more money: $350,000. Thus, you’ll become a permanent resident only a few months after the investment.
Besides being involved in an environment-friendly project, you'll be contributing to the country's economy. In return, you can enjoy the benefits of a visa in Panama. You can access a great number of tax advantages specially geared for forestry projects. Ask your Mundo expert about personal and corporate tax advantages as well.
What is teak and why is it worth it
The scientific name of teak is “Tectona Grandis”, whose origins are in Southeast Asia. It reaches a height of 130 feet and a diameter of five feet.
We're talking about tropical wood that's highly popular for different purposes, especially outdoor furniture. It has a high resistance to water, rain, and adverse conditions when it comes to the climate. It boasts many qualities that make it popular in the wood market, and one of the main ones is that it has natural oils included. This prevents the wood from cracking and warping and acts as a natural protection against fungus, rot, moisture, and insects.
Thanks to these properties, teak is also a great investment. Now Panama is one of the main producers along with other countries in Africa and South America. Among other things, investing in teak is both profitable and environmentally friendly.
In Panama, teak is an active business. Three years ago the country had 80,000 hectares growing teak, of which 90% is exported to India for house construction. China and Vietnam are also great importers of Panama teak.
Through the forestry visa, the government of Panama intends to encourage the growth, harvesting, and exportation of teak wood. Thus, they provide foreigners with an opportunity to get residency while promoting the local economy and contributing to the reforestation process in the region.
Qualified investor vs Forestry visa: Panama
So, how do these two relate to each other? Are the benefits of the forestry visa better than the alternative? Let's see…
Amount of investment
The Panama teak investment visa gives you the opportunity to get residency for a much lower investment (100,000). This is a great opportunity for those who don't qualify for Friendly Nations and find it too expensive to buy property for 300,000 (the minimum required for the qualified investor). This is a good alternative if you're not in a hurry to become a citizen, or if you want to maintain residency while living elsewhere.
Time frame to citizenship and permanent residency
If you're looking to become a permanent resident or citizen as fast as possible, you can choose any of these two programs. What's the difference between the Panama reforestation visa and the qualified investor visa in this case? The answer is that it's a matter of taste. In both cases you'll get permanent residency for approximately $300,000, the difference is the type of investment that you make.
Naturally, purchasing and maintenance of houses and lands are quite different, and the decision is entirely up to you.
If you're interested in Panama as a place to live, then it’s easy: you will need an apartment or a house as a family residence. But if you're going after the investment per se, then there are some things to consider.
Type of investment
Teak is wood that's hard and heavy and it's recognized for its durability. Thanks to its advantages, teak is considered the king of timber and it's used in a variety of constructions. This includes furniture, boats, and other products. This wood has increased its popularity as the demand grows and the global supply decreases, which makes the Panama reforestation visa program an excellent opportunity for investors looking to get residency. However, keep in mind that the investment is in the long term as the final harvest is expected to be in 25 years after the trees have been planted.
On the other hand, the Qualified Investor Visa offers an investment in real estate for the same amount of money. If you choose this option, you'll be able to get income through rental activities much faster, and can sell in 10 years depending on the market value. So, if you want an investment that will bring you profit faster, this is it.
Keep in mind that you can access the qualified investor visa for $300,000 for a limited time because the actual minimum threshold is $500,000. So, within the next two years, you can access both the Panama Reforestation Visa and the real estate option for the same minimum investment.
Naturally, only you know what you need, hence, the right investment for you is to be decided together with your family. Each investment requires research, maintenance, and dedication but at different levels and with different demands.
Disclaimer: This article is merely informative, hence it doesn’t constitute or replace legal consultation and advice about investment and migration.
Conclusion about the forestry visa: Panama
To sum up, Panama agricultural investment is a great option if you can't afford a higher investment, or if you don't have a problem with waiting 25 years to see profits. If you do want an immediate permanent residency but don't have the need to live in the country and need an investment that’s easy to manage, then the Panama teak investment visa offers you a perfectly good alternative.
If you want to live in Panama or, for whatever reason, prefer a real estate investment, you have two years to access the qualified investor visa for $300,000. This is a great time to seize the opportunity because the benefits of a visa in Panama are many. Contact our team and submit your application!
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