Panama’s Permanent Residency Visas

Panama’s Permanent Residency Visas

by Staff of Panama Offshore Legal Services

Panama has created two new permanent residency visas this year to go along with several long standing visas. This article will summarize all of the permanent residency visas available in Panama.

1. Friendly Nations Visa: Citizens from any of the 24 countries considered “friendly” with Panama can relocate here and obtain a quicker permanent residency visa than any other offered. To qualify, the friendly foreigner must either purchase an existing Panama business or start a new business here or be hired to work as a professional for a Panama professional services company. The 24 friendly countries are: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, United States of America, Uruguay, United Kingdom (Great Britain & Northern Ireland)

2. Parents of Child Born in Panama: Both parents of a child born in Panama within the last five years can apply for this new visa. The parents of future children born in Panama can apply for permanent residency before the child’s fifth birthday.

3. Panama Self Economic Solvency Visa: Three options exist to qualify for this visa created to attract wealthy foreigners:

a) Deposit at least $300,000 USD in a three year Panama bank CD. An additional $2,000 deposit is required for each dependent.

b) Invest at least $300,000 USD equity in any Panama real estate with an additional $2,000 USD for each dependent.

c) Combine the first two options by making an investment in both Panama real estate and a Panama bank CD where the equity and cash total at least $300,000 USD (or foreign currency equivalent). An additional $2,000 USD must be invested for each dependent.

4. Panama’s Agricultural Investor Visa: Invest at least $60,000 USD in Panama agribusiness or aquaculture business with an additional $500 for each dependent.

5. Panama’s Business Investor Visa: Invest at least $160,000 USD in capital stock of a Panama corporation. The foreigner can either be an officer or shareholder. An additional $2,000 must be invested or each dependent.

6. Panama Reforestation Investor Visa: Invest a minimum of $80,000 USD in a government certified reforestation project by buying at least five hectares of titled land with an additional investment of $2,000 for each dependent.

7. Panama Retired or Pensioned Program: Retired people and those over 18 years old with lifetime pensions or annuities of at least $1,000 USD per month qualify. An additional $250 must be received for each dependent. The pension or annuity can come from government agencies, military, a bank, corporations, an insurance company, private company, or a Trust. This visa offers many discounts from restaurants, pharmacies, movie theaters, hotels, concerts, and domestic airlines amongst others.

8. Marry a Panama Citizen: A valid marriage (not a sham) to a Panama citizen can lead to permanent residency.
Since this is only a summary, consult with a competent Panama immigration law firm to learn more details regarding any of these eight permanent residency visas.

Editors Note: For additional information on this and similar topics, please see


  1. I am retired and thinking about the Panama Retired or Pensioned Program and wondering how does one go about looking into that type of program.

    I do qualify for the monthly $1000 retirement benefits on my social security alone……

    Where do you go once in Panama to check into the details of this program.

    Thank you in advance and look forward to your reply.

  2. hello,

    I would like to know the conditions that would allow me to panama obtain a second passport (Panamanian course)
    thank you for providing me with information


  3. Obtaining Panamanian citizenship is not as easy as it sounds. I obtained residency in Panama in the year 2000 by buying a CD in a Panamanian bank. One year later they gave me permanent residency. About 7 years ago I applied for Panamanian citizenship. I completed all the requirements and my application was waiting for the president to sign it. Every once in a while my lawyer would call me and say that the president was signing people’s applications but years went by so I figured they would never give it to me. The last president left office without signing it. I had basically forgotten about it but several months ago the lawyer called me and said that Martinelli (the president) had signed it. So on October 31st 2013 I attended a ceremony in Panama City and received Panamanian citizenship. I think it was 42 people who received citizenship that day. There were various government fees to pay plus the lawyer so I think it cost about a thousand in total. Besides myself there were two other Americans who received citizenship at the ceremony. The rest were from various countries including China, Cuba, Columbia, etc. I was talking to the American consul here in Panama who says that the US allows you to have as many citizenships as you please. He even congratulated me on my new citizenship in Panama. I suppose some people might choose to renounce their American citizenship but for me I don’t think it would be a good idea. Panama is a nice country for a retiree if you want to live in the tropics. They use the US dollar for their currency and it is only a three hour flight to Miami. Apparently because of the former canal zone there are a lot of people who are dual nationals here in Panama (American-Panamanian).

    • I agree that Panama Citizenship is difficult and a risk. These applications are approved by the President, who has been replaced by the time you are ready to apply. Unless you make a hefty contribution to his party, you are not going to get your citizenship. This is why I only recommend purchasing your passport from St. Kitts, Dominica or elsewhere.

      Please see the following links:


      and let me know if you have any questions.

      Best Regards,

      Christian Reeves

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