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Panama Friendly Nations Visa

Due to the country’s determination to grow through a favorable investment scenario and the promotion of professional ties, the Panamanian state includes in its legislation a statute for inhabitants of its friendly nations to live and work in Panama.

The flexibilities to migrate to Panama are stated in the Law No. 3 of 2008 and are regulated by a Presidential Decree set forth in 2012, they contemplate granting foreigners the status of Permanent Residents, the possibility of getting a Panamanian ID as well as a Permanent Work Permit.

The provisions are stated in “Panama Friendly Nations Permanent Residence” decree, known as “Panama’s Friendly Nations Visa “.The requirements are minimal and the process is usually quick .The procedures take about six months.

This opening endeavor aimed at strengthening economic relations and professional ties with foreigners from friendly nations began with 22 countries and over the years it has extended to the following fifty:

1. Germany

2. Andorra

3. Argentina

4. Australia

5. Austria

6. Belgium

7. Brazil

8. Canada

9. Chile

10. Cyprus

11. Costa Rica

12. Croatia

13. Denmark

14. Slovakia

15. Spain

16. United States of America

17. Estonia

18. Finland

19. France

20. Greece

21. Hong Kong

22. Hungary

23. Ireland

24. Israel

25. Japan

26. Latvia

27. Liechtenstein

28. Lithuania

29. Luxembourg

30. Malta

31. Mexico

32. Monaco

33. Norway

34. New Zealand

35. Paraguay

36. Poland

37. Portugal

38. Kingdom of the Netherlands

39. United Kingdom

40. Czech Republic

41. Republic of Korea

42. Republic of Montenegro

43. Republic of Serbia

44. Republic of Marino

45. Singapore

46. South Africa

47. Sweden

48. Switzerland

49. Taiwan

50. Uruguay

To obtain the status, citizens of friendly nations need to make an application, through a lawyer. Panama’s Friendly Nations Visa can also be granted to the wife or husband of the main applicant as well as his/her sons under 18, sons with disabilities and sons between 18 and 25 years of age who are studying at university.

Economic solvency

The Friendly Nations Visa seeks to establish professional and economic relations between Panama and its friendly nations.Basically, it facilitates the opening of new businesses, the acquisition of existing businesses or getting a job in a Panamanian company.

It also admits employees (with work permits) of any Panamanian company or society registered in the Social Security system.

Only some professions such as Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Law, Architecture, Engineering and the opening retail businesses are exempt from the benefits granted by the state.

To receive the permanent resident status, the applicant must show that he/she has economic solvency. The aplicant must prove having at least $5,000 (five thousand US dollars) in a Panamanian bank account and additional $2,000 (two thousand dollars) for each dependant.

The requirements

  • As stated in the Law No. 3 of 2008, in its article Nº 28, in order to apply for the Panama Friendly Nation’s Visa, the applicant must submit the following documents to the immigration officers:
  • Application for Permanent Residence through a Panamanian lawyer.
  • Copy of the passport notarized by a Panamanian notary.
  • Judicial record proving the applicant has no criminal record in his country of origin or in the country where he has lived for the past two years.
  • Medical report issued by a Panamanian doctor.
  • Two certified checks: One for US $250 on behalf of the National Treasury (per immigration procedure) and one for US$800 on behalf of the National Migration Service to cover the costs of an eventual deportation.
  • Affidavit of the applicant’s purpose for applying for the Permanent Residence and provide the necessary evidence to prove his/her capacity to mantain his/her family and dependants.
    • If the applicant is an entrepreneur, he must provide three passport-size pictures, a written statement explaining -among other aspects- the economic activity he is devoted to and the documents that demonstrate he is either a member of the board of directors of the company, the principal shareholder of a corporation or the owner of a corporation established in Panama.
    • If the applicant is going to carry out a professional activity, he must provide evidence of his employment contract, evidence the company is registered in the Social Security system and evidence that the employee (the applicant) has a Social Security Card and a Work Permit.

The requirements for a Panama Friendly Nation citizen to acquire the Permanent Resident Visa are basic and the procedures are even more simple when having the the support of a trained, honest and responsible Panamanian lawyer.

Candanedo Correa has an experienced team of lawyers ready to help you. We offer advice and assistance in immigration related issues, visa processing, legalization of the immigration status of foreigners wanting to live in the Republic of Panama and obtain Panamanian nationality via naturalization.

We offer legal advice for the procedures and the submition of the documents to the Department of Migration and Naturalization, so you can enjoy this beautiful Central American country as a naturalized citizen.