A Guide to Panama Residency

The Republic of Panama grants a passport after the Panama Residency process has been successfully completed. Individuals have the right to reside on a permanent basis, following the satisfaction of certain criteria. After the period of five years has elapsed, the resident and their family are able to apply for a Panama passport. The Panama residency process is one of the most cost-efficient and quickest available and provides the holder with the right to live and work in Panama indefinitely. 

A beautiful country with a wealth of business and lifestyle benefits, Panama residency is growing in popularity with middle and high net worth individuals looking for a better way of living.


About Panama

Panama City
Panama City

Panama is a republic that spans Central and South America. Bordered by Costa Rica, Colombia, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, its capital is Panama City which is home to some 2 million people. Spanish is the official language in Panama but English is widely spoken, particularly in business.

Panama is a high-income country and is one of the most competitive economies in Latin America as well as scoring well in the Human Development Index.

Its main industries are revenue from the Panama Canal tolls, commerce, banking, offshore services, and tourism. Panama is a founding member of the United Nations and other organisations such as LAIA, OAS, G77, WHO, and NAM.

Panama’s location, its thriving financial sector, and its high standard of living have made it a popular choice for those looking for residency, or eventual citizenship.


Benefits of a Panama Residency

The benefits of a Panama residency are:

  • Being able to apply for Panama citizenship after five years
  • The Panama passport entitles the holder to visa-free travel in 14 countries
  • Residency provides the right to live and work there for life
  • All income earned outside Panama is tax-free
  • Children born in Panama will receive Panama citizenship
  • A straightforward application process
  • Cost-efficient fees
  • No minimum income requirements
  • Only a small bank deposit to qualify
  • Minimal cost to open a business
  • No need to relocate to Panama to retain residency
  • A growing economy
  • Stable political, social, and economical environment

Requirements for Panama Residency

To apply for residency in Panama, the applicant must deposit $5,000 into a Panama bank account. This must remain there for a duration of five years. Once the five years have elapsed, the applicant and their family members can apply for citizenship. Panama doesn’t allow dual citizenship so the applicant must be prepared to lose their native citizenship.

The applicant must establish professional and economic ties with Panama. This is done by incorporating a company. Alternatively, if the applicant is employed by an existing Panama company, this can be considered.

Friendly Nations

Applicants must come from a list of “friendly nations”. Those applying from non-friendly nations may not be approved.

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • CzechRepublic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • HongKong
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • NewZealand
  • Norway

  • Paraguay
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • SanMarino
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • SouthAfrica
  • SouthKorea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • UK
  • Uruguay
  • USA

It’s required to visit Panama during the process. Some 2-3 trips may be needed ranging from between 2-14 days.

As with most residency and citizenship applications, it’s required that a full background check is completed. A certificate of police conduct must be presented and additional checks will be carried out by the government.


Contributions for Panama Residency

The applicant is required to show they have the economic means to support themselves in Panama. With the cost of living per month at around $1,500, only a deposit of $5000 is required. This should be kept in a local bank account for the duration of the residency or until citizenship is applied for.

The applicant must also show a contribution to the economy and professional ties. This can be in the form of incorporating a Panama company or being employed by a Panama company. Both of these are easily achieved and do not incur big costs.


How long it takes

If managed efficiently, the entire process from start to finish can take as little as 2-3 weeks.


Application Process

Acquiring Panama residency includes a number of steps that must be taken with due care and consideration. Within 2-3 weeks, you can have your residency approved.

  1.  Before you start your application for Panama residency, you need to engage a professional like Fast Offshore to help you.
  2. You then need to incorporate a Panama company, if this is the route you have decided to take. We recommend this option as it is quicker and more straightforward than looking for employment. Employees must register for Social Security and acquire a work permit.
  3. You must then open a personal bank account in Panama and make the deposit of $5,000.
  4. All documents must be collected and presented to Fast Offshore. They must be issued within 90 days and have all necessary stamps, legislations and translations if necessary. For most documents it is required they are Apostilled or authenticated in the Panamanian Consulate in the country they were issued in.
  5. Once all documents have been received, they will be reviewed and collated. The application will be prepared and a visit to the Panama immigration office will be scheduled. The applicant must appear at the appointment.
  6. At the meeting, you are also required to prepare eight passport photos and the criminal background check.
  7. You will also be expected to present a personal affidavit explaining why Panama residency is being sought.
  8. Fees are payable to the immigration department at this stage. They include a repatriation fee and an immigration fee.
  9. A temporary residence permit is then issued in the presence of the applicant. At this stage, a Multiple Entry-Exit Visa will be issued for the applicant.
  10. Once approval has been given, the applicant has three months to return to Panama to get the ID card. Once the card has been issued, you can request a permanent residence card. This is optional and takes an additional 2-3 months.

Get in Touch!

Contact us today to take the first step towards freedom and new opportunities with your Panama Residency. Enjoy fast, experienced, efficient and professional ongoing support with Fast Offshore. We can also assist with company incorporation, bank account opening, and other forms of corporate and financial advice, in each jurisdiction.

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