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Panama Immigration programs

Panama Immigration Programs

Through special laws, foreigners are able to obtain permits for temporary or permanent residency in Panama, Panama work permits, and in some cases, Panama citizenship and/or Panama passports.

Most of these Panama immigration laws have been created to promote foreign investment in Panama which benefits the local environment and/or local economy.

Permanent residency programs

Panama Friendly Nations Visa 

Citizens from any of the 50 nations considered “friendly” to Panama can move here with their immediate family and acquire a faster permanent residency visa than any other Panama visa. 

Beginning on the 5th of August 2021, Panama’s Friendly Nations residency program will grant a 2-year temporary residency permit, and then the applicant may apply for permanent residency.

The economic activity requirement is now limited to three options:

  • Employment contract in Panama: requires an employment contract between the applicant and a Panamanian company.

  • Real Estate Ownership: Requires the applicant to own a Panamanian property with a registered value of at least USD $200,000, which can be financed with a local institution.

  • Certificate of Deposit: Deposit of at least USD $200,000 in a national bank in Panama. This must include title, value, term, and must be free of encumbrances with a minimum validity of 3 years.

Friendly Nations Visa Required Immigration Documents:

If documents are in a different language than Spanish, then the Client must pay the fees of the respective licensed official public translator in Panama to translate the documents from whatever language they are into Spanish.

1. Eight (8) passport size photos.

2. Criminal history background check, duly authenticated by the Embassy or Consulate of Panama, or Apostilled.

3. Copy of Applicant’s second I.D. (different than Passport) from applicant’s country of origin such as driver’s license or government-issued photo I.D., duly authenticated by the Embassy or Consulate of Panama, or Apostilled.

4. Birth certificate, if dependants are children, or if the dependant is a spouse, a Marriage certificate, duly authenticated by the Embassy or Consulate of Panama, or Apostilled.

5. Application for Permanent Residency with a Special Power of Attorney authorizing our Firm to act on behalf of the applicant, duly authenticated by a Panamanian Public Notary with the proper government stamps.

6. Copy of the entire passport notarized by a Panama Public Notary.

7. Original medical examination report from a certified Panama medical doctor. Our paralegal will personally accompany the Client to the clinic for the medical examination.

8. Two Certified Checks:

(a) $250 USD in favor of “Tesoro Nacional” (National Treasury) for immigration fees; and

(b) $800 USD in favor of “Servicio Nacional de Migracion” (National Immigration Service) for repatriation purposes (deportation fund).

IMPORTANT: Once immigration has issued a resolution of approval (or denial) of the application of residency, the above-mentioned checks are then non-refundable.

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Qualified Investor Visa 

Panama National Government, through Executive Decree No. 722, dated October 15, 2020, created within the category of Permanent Resident for Economic Reasons, a new visa known as Qualified Investor Visa, for those foreigners who can contribute to the development of investments in the Republic of Panama.

1. Real Estate Investment: Investment on real estate, which may be for a value of not less than US$ 300,000.00, during the first 24 months of effectiveness of Executive Decree No. 722 of October 15, 2020. After this time, that is, as of October 15, 2022, the value of the real estate must be for an amount not less than US$ 500,000.00. This amount must come from abroad and the property must be free of encumbrances. The investment will be proved with the title of the property issued by the Public Registry and with the certification of the National Land Authority (ANATI) that accredits the value of the property.

For reason of Real Estate Investment by means of a Contract of Promise of Purchase and Sale. For which the investor must present a) Authenticated copy of the contract of promise of purchase and sale of the property, for US$300,000.00. b). Authenticated copy of the Trust Contract detailing the disbursements to be made by the trust for the purchase-sale.

2. Investment in a Panama Brokerage House: To invest the sum of five hundred thousand dollars (US$500,000.00), through a Brokerage House with a license approved by the Superintendence of the Securities Market of Panama, and with the commitment of the investment for a period of five (5) years.
3. Bank Term Deposit: To invest in a Time Deposit in the amount of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars (US$750,000.00), for a period of five (5) years, in any Bank with a general license, authorized to operate in the national territory.

The investment can be made personally, (in your name, as a natural person), or through a corporation, where you are the holder of 100% of the shares of the Corporation, or through a Panama Private Interest Foundation if the investor is the ultimate beneficiary of such foundation. The invested funds must come from banks outside the Panamanian territory.

Spouses and minor children and dependents up to 25 years of age if they are in full-time education may be included in the application.

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Panama - Italy Treaty Visa 

Italian citizens, covered by the treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation between the Republic of Panama and Italy, and whose purpose is to exercise economic, professional or investment activities of any kind in Panama (except for the restrictions of the law) apply for this visa.


The applicant may apply for Panama permanent residence if he/she proves to have a professional, economic or investment relationship in the country. This professional, economic or investment link can be fulfilled by the incorporation of a company for any business of lawful commerce, or by investing in the country, in the purchase of real estate, or’ if hired to work in a company duly established in Panama. The applicant must also prove his economic solvency, by presenting a bank certification from a local Bank in Panama, confirming that he is a client of the Bank and that he has a deposit of not less than US$5,000.00 plus US$2,000.00 for each dependent, (if applicable)

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