Panama is a marvelous country with rich scenery and exotic experiences just waiting to happen. Your currency can go a long way in Panama, and the Panamanians are welcoming towards expats and travelers alike to their wonderful country. With access to modern healthcare, Panama draws expats for permanent residency, as well as short-term travelers and medical tourists alike.
Panamanians do however have strict visa laws in order to maintain Panamanian-owned businesses as the hallmark of their economy. Therefore, WeExpats decided to compose an article on the visa restrictions in Panama to better prepare you on how to visit or live in this foreign paradise.
The “Pensionado Visa” or Retiree Visa:
Though this visa was designed for retirees, you don’t actually have to be retired to get it. You only have to be over the age of 18 years old, and that you have some form of monthly pension or income that will last for your entire life which amounts to at least $1,000 USD. Furthermore, if you purchase over $100,000 dollars worth of property, then this minimum pension drops to $750 USD per month.
If you do get this visa, you can expect to reap several benefits, including a 25% discount at several major locations such as hotels, theaters, and restaurants. You earn the right to receive this discount on flights—both domestic and international—and you can even get this discount on utility bills, prescription medication, and several medical services.
Tourist Visas into Panama:
The Panamanian tourist visa is valid for about 6 months (180 days) in Panama. This visa is free. This visa applies for Canadians, citizens of the European Union, and Americans—as well as other countries. Then you must leave the country and not return for at least 30 days. After a stay away, and considering the frequency of your arrivals to Panama, they will evaluate whether or not to grant you a second tourist visa. Panama has taken steps to reduce the number of expats that are arriving to their country to live on tourist visas, and entry into their country repeatedly is becoming more difficult.
Investor’s Visas in Panama:
To improve the Panamanian economy, Panama released a series of visa incentives to attract foreign investors and boost their economy. Below is a list of economic-based visa incentives that you can get in Panama.
*All figures are Panamanian Balboa which is equivalent to the US dollar.
- Agricultural Investor: All you have to do for this Panamanian visa is to invest $60,000 in agriculture (or aquaculture) and then you are granted with a 6-year visa
- Business Investor Visa: If you invest at least $160,000 into a business that is based in Panama, and it employs at least 5 citizens of Panama, then you get permanent residency.
- Panama Bank CD Pension Visa: If you create Certificate of Deposit in one of the national banks, and this CD needs to earn at least a monthly minimum income of $850.00, then in return you are awarded the economic equivalent of the retiree visa.
- Economic Solvency Visa: To get this permanent visa, all you must do is purchase real estate in Panama for $300,000. Or you can deposit the same amount in a bank account in a three year time deposit.
- Reforestation Visa I: All you need to do for this visa is invest $60,000 in a government-certified reforestation project. This is the least expensive of all visa opportunities.
- Reforestation Visa II: You invest $80,000 in a government-certified reforestation project. After a few years, you will not only have permanent residence, but you can also apply for Panamanian citizenship.
- Tax Free Processing Zone Visa: For this visa, you must rent an office, a building, or land in one of Panama’s Free Trade Zones.
Executive Order 343:
In 2012, the government of Panama signed an executive order creating a brand-new sub-category in their immigration bureau designed to streamline the process for foreign citizens of particular countries to get their Permanent Residency. The laws are complex, therefore you should consult with a Panamanian immigration lawyer if you are attempting to obtain this visa. Citizens of the following countries can apply:
- United States
- Czech Republic
*For more information, click here:
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