Panama residency $6,000
Getting a second residency in Panama is a smart decision. There are very few places around the world that offer this level of flexibility, straightforwardness, and benefits. At Mundo, we love Panama for many reasons and one of these is definitely its immigration programs.
Panama residency program: benefits
Wide scoop of options
Firstly, it’s worth noting the variety of programs available for business immigrants. This article features the best ones for investors and businesspeople.
Permanent residency simplified
When you establish a second residency in Panama or any other country, you want to get a permanent residency as fast as possible. Usually, an applicant is granted a temporary permit first which lasts between 6 months and 2 years, depending on the case. The next step is to renew this permit getting more extended ones every time until finally obtaining permanent residency (and citizenship after 5 years).
The problem with this approach is that it takes too long to access the benefits that permanent residency and citizenship bring. Luckily, our favorite country has an effective solution: Panama permanent residency can be obtained directly. This is why Mundo recommends the following three visas: Panama friendly nations, Pensionado visa, and qualified investor permit.
By reading the requirement section below, you’ll see that getting a permanent residency permit is rather simple. Moreover, not so long ago, Panama was the only country to grant status of permanent resident in only 6 months with practically no investment. We are talking about the famous visa for friendly countries. Now, this option is still available, but applicants have to wait two years before acquiring permanent residency, which is still not a bad deal.
Finally, the minimum stay requirements are some of the most flexible. The holders of a permanent residency can keep their status only by visiting the country’s territory for a few days a year.
Outstanding opportunities and territorial tax system
Applying for a second residency in Panama is not only a wise immigration decision: it’s a smart financial move. Residents and citizens can work, live, and do business more easily, having the same rights as Panamanians. For instance, you’ll be able to leave and enter the country as many times as you want to travel on business or for pleasure.
But one of the most coveted advantages of Panama is its tax system which is territorial. Permanent residency is step number one towards getting a tax resident certificate through which you won’t be liable for taxes derived outside of Panama. You can organize your affairs in such a way that your main capital is outside the country, thus, you can pay with a credit card or even receive a minimum income in Panama for your daily expenses. It’s important to remember that the income that you receive from abroad is taxable in Panama.
After 5 years of dwelling in the country with a permanent residency permit, you’ll be eligible for Panama citizenship. Some countries have agreements in place to make the waiting period even shorter. Colombian citizens, for example, can get citizenship after one year, while Argentinians and Uruguayans can get it after 2 and 3 years of permanent residency respectively. Applicants must take a test on Panamanian history and geography. Moreover, they must prove having knowledge in Panamanian civil rights and must be fluent in Spanish.
Panama friendly nations
The only individuals that can apply for this residency are those who come from the list of friendly nations. These are approximately 50 countries that are considered to have friendly relationships with the Republic of Panama. In other words, if you come from any of these nations you have the right to apply for residency and can get it in only 6 months, two years after which you can apply for Panama permanent residency. Some of the friendly nations are Argentina, Uruguay, Costa Rica, the US, Australia, Hong Kong, Germany, Hungary, France, Singapore, Switzerland, and South Africa.
The applicant must have economic ties with Panama and present proof by getting a labor contract with a Panamanian corporation or else invest in a property of at least 200,000USD. At the time of application, the following documents are required:
- Clean police record. It must be apostilled or else authenticated by a Panamanian consulate.
- Legalized copy of the passport and second ID which can be the national ID or a driver's license. The legalization must be carried out in Panama.
- Five passport-size pictures which must be taken in Panama.
- Two certified checks addressed to government institutions to pay for the government fees and repatriation funds. This is also done in Panama.
- Medical certificate for each applicant and dependent stating that they are in good health. The certificate must be issued by a Panamanian doctor. Mundo and its experts can help you get this.
- Fill out the required forms.
Note: If some of the provided documents are not in Spanish, they will have to be translated and this is not included in our standard fees.
Procedure and required visits
- First visit: 5 working days after which you will get a provisional residency card which serves as proof that your residency is being processed.
- Second visit: 2-3 days (2 or 3 months after the first visit) after which you get a residency card valid for 2 years.
- Two years after this point you can apply for permanent residency.
Minimum stay requirements:
- You can maintain your immigration status by visiting Panama once every two years.
Note: if you want to apply for Panama citizenship or tax residency you need to have a more significant presence (spend more time in the country).
- Applicants get Panama permanent residency after only 2 years.
- Applicants get a Panamanian ID after 2 years.
- Applicants have the right to apply for a work permit.
- Get Panama citizenship after 5 years of living in the county under a permanent resident status.
Pensionado Visa in Panama
The pensionado visa is an excellent option for those who are retired or enjoy some kind of fixed income like a pension. In order to apply, you need the following:
- Receive a lifetime pension of at least USD1,000 a month.
- Married couples must both have a pension and they must add up to 1,000 USD combined.
- If you have a pension of 750 USD, you can still apply by acquiring real estate for a 100,000-dollar price at least.
- Dependents (children) can be included until they are 25 years old if they are studying a career at the university. After that period, they cannot benefit from the pensionado visa but they can apply for any other program. 250USD has to be added for each dependent.
- Police record from the country where the applicant has lived for the past 5 years. The document must be authenticated, original, and official.
- Certification letter stating that the person is entitled to a lifetime pension of 1,000 USD a month or an equivalent amount in a foreign currency. This may be either from a private or a government institution. If the document doesn’t specifically say that the pension is for life, the applicant must sign an affidavit authenticated in the country where the funds come from.
- Certificate of Panama real estate where the applicant is the owner (if applies).
- If the retirement funds come from a private entity, the applicant must comply with the following:
a) Letter from a foreign administration of trusts or pensions stating that the retirement funds exist and are available.
b) Certificate stating that the entity exists and describing its activities.
c) Proof of payments which can be a bank statement.
d) Certificate from the government where the entity is registered, stating that the company is duly registered and in good standing.
e) Letter from the company that administers the retirement funds. It must be signed by a representative of this entity and include contact details for verification.
- Copies of receipts or transfers that prove the payments from the entity to the applicant. These can be cheques, bank statements, etc.
- Marriage certificate or birth certificate for spouse and children (if applicable).
- 6 passport-sized photographs for each applying person.
- Copy of a passport (all pages) for every applicant and dependent.
- Second ID which can be a driver's license or a national ID document.
- Certificate indicating that the applicant and dependents are in good health and don’t have any contagious diseases. The certificate must be issued by a local physician and done during the first visit to the country.
- The clients should have all the documents ready at the time of their first visit. They can bring them or send them by courier previously.
- All documents in a language other than Spanish must be translated. Such a translation must be carried out by a certified translator who must be Panamanian.
- The passport validity should not be less than 6 months at the time of application.
- When submitting the documents and forms, applicants must be present at the Immigration Office in Panama.
One applicant: 6,000USD
Two applicants (married couple): 9,500USD
*They include the legal and government fees
Panama qualified investor visa
Two options will make you eligible for the Panama qualified Investor visa:
1. Invest in real estate
2. Invest in a real estate project through a sales contract
Option 1 – Investment in real estate
- The minimum investment is $500,000 (for the first two years, it’s possible to apply with a 200,000USD investment).
- The investment funds must come from foreign sources.
- The investment amount must be fully paid. If the property’s value is higher than the minimum requested amount, it’s possible to ask for a loan (in a local bank) for the remaining sum.
- The property title must be under the applicant’s name or a company. In this case, the applicant must be the company’s UBO.
Option 2 – Investment in real estate projects through a sales contract
- The minimum investment is $500,000 but can be only $300,000 during the first 2 years of the program. In this case, the money must be put into a trust fund managed by a local trustee duly licensed in Panama.
- The investment funds must come from foreign sources.
- The investment amount must be fully paid but there’s an option to get a loan for any remaining amount (if the project’s value is higher than the minimum required investment).
- The property can be either under the applicant's name or a company, in which case the applicant must be the UBO.
- Certified copy of the passport (all pages) for each applicant and dependent.
- Authenticated police record for the applicant and every dependent over 18.
- Notarized married certificate if applicable.
- Birth certificate for every child if applicable.
- Three passport-sized pictures for every applicant.
- Reference letters from a financial institution like a bank, brokerage house, credit union, or firm. It must include contact details. This requirement is stipulated so that the authorities can verify the information.
Requirements for option 1:
- Certificate issued by the Panama registry stating that the applicant owns a property of the required value. It must be free from debt or liens.
- If the property is owned by a company, the applicant must be the owner of 100% of the shares and be registered as the main beneficiary.
Requirements for option 2:
- Authenticated copy of the sales contract. This must be registered at the Panama Registry.
- Authenticated copy of the trust deed stating that all the required amount has been deposited. It must also state the installments that must be paid to fulfill the obligations stipulated in the sales contract.
- The residency will not be granted if the sales contract can’t be registered in the Public Registry.
- Main applicant USD 10.000
- Additional Dependents: USD 2.000
- Main applicant: USD 5.000
- Additional Dependents: USD 2.000
*Mundo’s legal fees include everything, even the assistance in finding the right property for you.
The approval takes usually 30 days after all the documents have been submitted. To earn time, you can sign a POA so we can start the process before you arrive in Panama.
Friendly nations: USD 7,500
Qualified investor: USD 15,000
Pensionado Visa: USD 6,000
Get a second residency in Panama with Mundo
If you are a businessperson and want to obtain residency in Panama, we recommend any of these three options. The Panama friendly nations program is the most accessible one but you have to be a citizen from one of the countries on the list.
On the other hand, the Panama qualified investor visa is the ideal option for investors that want to receive ROI. Finally, the Pensionado visa in Panama is the cheapest option if you meet the requirements, however, keep in mind that this visa doesn’t allow for a work permit.
Luckily, Mundo and NTL have an office in Panama which means that our experts are fully aware of the process, its advantages, and complications. Thus, we can offer top-class immigration services for those who want to apply for a second residency in Panama. Contact us now and start your journey!
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