Real Estate Investments

Invest in an apartment with lower minimum thresholds: Real estate through the Friendly Nations in Panama

4/16/2024 8:00:00 AM
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One of the reasons why we love Panama is its wide variety of residency options available. They are all quite advanced in their field catering to different needs and possibilities. Work visas, visa investment, retiree programs, and special agreements constitute the basis for a variety of residency schemes. Furthermore, Panama even has its own version of a golden visa program which offers permanent residency if you invest in an apartment.

But are there any other real estate pathways to Panama residency?

Friendly Nations real estate option 

This opportunity has often been left aside as publications focus on other aspects of the Friendly Nations program. Since work visas are usually less expensive, applicants tend to look for a legal working contract to cover their residency needs. 

At this point, it’s probably convenient to revise the three ways in which a person can access the Friendly Nations:

a) Get a legal work contract from a Panamanian company. This works similarly to typical work visas, except that you can access it only by being a citizen of a friendly country. 

b) Own your company and hire yourself. Mundo considers this to be one of the cheapest ways to obtain residency in Panama (aside from the previous option) as it can be accessed for a sum of 23,000 in a two-year period. When compared to a golden visa investment, which doesn’t get lower than a couple of thousand dollars, this is an approach worth considering. That is of course if you are willing to face a few more legal processes. Mundo has explained this alternative in detail in our article Get residency plus company for only 23,000 USD: the best path to becoming a Panama resident.

c) Friendly Nations real estate. Not many people know that this program also allows you to get residency if you invest in an apartment. In this case, the minimum is 200,000.

Analyzing golden visa investment vs Friendly Nations real estate 

Now that we’ve revised this visa’s conditions, it’s possible to move forward with the essence of this article. What the writer intends to show is the spectrum of possibilities and what the real estate option means in such a context. 

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Undoubtedly, with the friendly nations, you can get an apartment cheaper (200,000 for the friendly nations, and 300,000 for the qualified investor visa*). One may say that everything is clear: the best way to invest in an apartment and get residency is through the cheapest option. Let us analyze the situation and confirm this hypothesis. 

*Note: The minimum threshold will be increased in October

While the Friendly Nations visa allows you to get an apartment cheaper, it has two important downsides. Firstly, it’s only available for citizens of the friendly countries, and secondly, it grants a two-year permit (not immediate permanent residency). 

Moreover, if you happen to be among the lucky citizens, why not go for a more accessible alternative, like option b? After all, 200,000 paid altogether is way more than 23,000 in two years. One may argue that the work visas are even friendlier as they don’t require any investment at all, nonetheless, getting a job contract is a matter of luck. It largely depends on whether you have contacts who can offer you a position in a Panama company. But if you don’t, it’s very hard to get one as a foreigner. 

As we mentioned above, the programs have many edges that may fit into one case but be completely useless in another one. 

When is the Friendly Nations real estate a good option for me?

This section is completely hypothetical as it considers a range of possibilities by analyzing possible scenarios. It can serve as a guide for those who are still not sure what path to take in their golden visa program and migration journey. 

Here are a couple of hypothetical cases in which Friendly Nations real estate is convenient:

  • You qualify for the friendly nations and have already decided that you’ll settle down in Panama. In this case, you can get an apartment cheaper and a place to live.
  • You want to invest in an apartment and you don’t mind waiting two years to get permanent residency. Thus, the minimum of 200,000 is worth the wait. 
  • You don’t know anyone in Panama, hence, obtaining working visas through a Panamanian job contract is currently impossible. Moreover, you don’t want to deal with the maintenance and management of a company for two years. In this case, the friendly nations real estate may be the right fit for you. 

When is the golden visa investment (Qualified Investor Visa) a good option for me?

  • You are not from one of the 50 countries on the list. In this case, there is no other option than considering any of the remaining Panama residency programs. Obtaining an apartment cheaper (for a minimum of 200,000) is not an option for you. 
  • You want permanent residency immediately. In this case, the golden visa program is better than the Friendly Nations real estate, especially if you can afford to invest in an apartment for a higher minimum. 
  • You want to invest in Panama. In this case, it’s worth noting that the qualified investor visa has other investment options besides real estate (bank deposits and local stock market).

Disclaimer: this article is merely informative and intends to provide a general view of the golden visa investment or Panama’s version, the qualified investor, and the real estate option through the friendly nations program. Also, this article reflects the editorial team’s opinion rather than an accurate description of the program’s requirements and conditions. Hence, this article should not be taken as a professional consultation or expert advice. 

Invest in an apartment and embrace Panama with Mundo

Whatever option you choose, Mundo can help you find the property of your dreams. We cover all the fronts since we provide an ample specter of services in the country of the canal. With our experts, you can invest in real estate, obtain residency, create a company, establish a foundation, or open a bank account. 

Our team is closely connected to Panama as our CEO and many of our senior experts live here. This is why we know what we talk about when we recommend Panama. As this place has given us all a second home, we want to open the doors for other foreigners to find unique opportunities here too. If you’re interested in Panama or in nomad capitalist services in general, you are welcome to join our family. 

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