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The NEW Friendly Nations Visa as of August 2021
The goal of the residency visas is to make it easier for foreigners to work and live in Panama. After you have filed your application, the immigration office will issue a 2 year temporary residency card (carnet). This temporary card will be replaced by a permanent residency card after 2 years.
The visa covers your dependents, children under 18, relatives with disability and parents who depend on them. Dependents can include your spouse and children up to the age of 25 if they are full time university students.
Friendly Nations Visa is granted to those who can provide professional or economic ties with the Republic of Panama. Which means that citizens of these 50 countries must establish a Professional or Economic relationship in Panama. This can be accomplished by: Purchasing Land for a minimum value of $200,000 USD or have a Certificate of Deposit in Panama for a minimum value of $200,000 USD or have a Work Contract with a Panama company.
Full List of Friendly Nations Visa Requirements
Be a citizen of one of the “friendly” countries
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States of America, Uruguay, United Kingdom (Great Britain & Northern Ireland).
Three Options to Prove Economic/Professional Ties:
Panama Work Contract:
Main applicant has a work contract with a Panamanian company.
Own Real Estate in Panama:
Main applicant must own Panamanian property with a registered value of at least $200,000.00 USD which can be financed with a local bank in Panama.
Certificate of Deposit in a Panama bank:
Main applicant must deposit at least $200,000.00 USD in a national bank in Panama. The certificate of deposit has to include title, value, term, and must be free of encumbrances with a minimum validity of 3 years.
Documents Required for Immigration:
- Second form of government issued identification like a drivers license or state ID
- Criminal Background Check issued in the last 6 months and Apostilled
- Certified check for $800 USD payable to the National Immigration Service for the repatriation fee
- Certified check of $250 USD payable to National Treasury for the application fee
- Health certificate provided by a local doctor. Issued within 30 days of applying.
- 5 passport sized photos
TEMPORARY RESIDENCE VISA FOR 2 YEARS
Once the application is filed it could take up to 6 months to get approved.
Once approved a 2 year Residence Visa is issued.
PERMANENT RESIDENCE VISA
A permanent residency visa is granted by filing a second application 30 calendar days or less, prior to the expiration of the initial 2 year temporary residency. Once the application is filed it could take up to 6 months to get approved.
Once approved a Permanent Residence Visa is issued.
Living in Panama offers all these Benefits
1. Low Tax Status at Home
Foreign residents with a Friendly Nations Visa pay no taxes and enjoy a low tax status in their country of citizenship.
4. High Local Income with Low Taxes
Individuals with a Panama Visa have many opportunities to generate high local income. The best part is that they pay low taxes and don’t need much capital because they qualify for local financing.
Major Banking Center with Strong Bank Secrecy Laws
5. International Banking Center
Panama is the International Banking Center of Latin America. There are more than 2,000 financial institutions with easy credit and favorable rates on deposits and loans. Such economic environment helps residents with a Panama Visa feel safe and prosperous.
6. Bank Secrecy
Bank Secrecy and Asset Protection doesn’t only apply to individuals with a Panama Visa. Account holders from high tax jurisdictions bring their assets to Panama for security and asset protection. Foreigners moving to Panama are the wise ones who realize that their governments are ruining their economies with excessive surveillance, controls and taxation.
Travel & Transportation
8. Direct Air Flight Connections
Having direct Air flight connections with most major countries, individuals can live in Panama and continue travelling for business or pleasure. Holders of the Friendly Nations Visa that are over 65 years old get a 25% discount on all airline tickets.
10. Extensive Highway Network
Panama residents travel in an extensive highway network that provides easy access within the capital and fast access to any city.
Business and Economy
11. Millions of Business People Visit and Make Deals
Business opportunities are continually generated around the Panama Canal, the Free Zone and the second busiest port in the world. Foreigners living in Panama keep on making international deals because millions of business people are always visiting Panama for many different reasons.
12. Do Business in Panama and Enjoy a 12% Economic Growth
The Panamanian economy has been growing at the rate of 6% to 12% a year while most other countries are suffering from widespread economic stagnation. This spectacular economic growth has become a magnet that attracts people to get a Panama Visa and grow successful international businesses. The rest of the world is beginning to recognize that Peace, Low Taxes and Economic Freedom Create Prosperity.
14. Panama Pacifico
There is a Tax-free region hosting the head offices of several multinational corporations, schools, a gold storage facility, retail stores and a variety of other services. Panama Pacifico is located on an oceanfront area next to the Pan American Bridge of the Canal and includes a residential community.
Study and Science
15. Public and Private Schools
There is a large network of free public schools. Starting for around 300 USD per month, there are also many affordable private schools that are offering primary and secondary education in Spanish, English, German, French, Japanese, Mandarin, Arabic and Greek. Foreigners who are living in Panama with their children, find this to be a very important factor for the well-being of the whole family unit. No other country offers such a huge variety of educational options.
16. University and Post Graduate Education
Panama has over 100 Universities that welcome foreigners with a special Panama Visa for Students. Many of these Institutions have international affiliations leading to post-graduate programs in Europe and North America. After living in Panama for some time, some foreign students decide to marry their sweetheart, get a job and start living in Panama permanently.
17. Panama Visas
Flexible Panama Visas – like the Student Panama Visa or various working permits – provide foreign entrepreneurs easy access to an inexpensive, skilled work force. Such a multicultural, talented work force is very valuable to employers who operate in this booming, tax free international business hub. Employers have easy access to highly specialized Europeans, entrepreneurial North Americans, Mexican movers & shakers, Venezuelan Businesspeople, Asian work wizards, hard-working Nicaraguans, adventurous Brazilians, esoteric Peruvians, elegant Argentinians, feisty Chileans and charming Colombians.
18. International Scientific & Political Centers
– The only Smithsonian Institute outside of the USA.
– The Regional Hub of the United Nations.
– A City of Knowledge.
– The Liquid Jungle Laboratories, located in Coiba Island, are a major center of scientific research for wildlife and ocean ecosystems. Coiba is the largest island in Central America that, thanks to Liquid Jungle, has remained virginal to offer us truly magical scuba diving sites.
Living and Moving to Panama
Benefits of Moving to Panama
19. The Army has been Replaced by a Police Force
The army has been replaced by a police force that keeps crime to a minimum in most areas. Living in Panama is safe and secure.
20. World class Medical and Alternative Health Care Facilities
Foreign Residents Living in Panama don’t worry much about health care because Panama has world class Medical and Alternative Health Care Facilities.
21. Many Multicultural Communities
People of all races and nationalities are living in Panama without having any cultural friction. All the multicultural communities are functioning harmoniously with peace and respect.
22. Diverse Climate
Moving to Panama offers a variety of city, beach, rural and mountain climates within a radius of 100 kilometers.
23. Population that is Friendly to Foreigners
Moving to Panama is suitable for individuals who want to meet fun loving, good looking, easy-going locals. People living in Panama are always ready for action regardless of age, gender, religion, culture, race, language, sensuous preferences or sexual orientation.
24. Libertarian Society
One of the many benefits of moving to Panama is feeling the freedom of a libertarian society where everything goes as long as it does not infringe upon the rights of others.
25. Opportunities with the Indigenous Tribes
Many foreigners living in Panama are intrigued by the exotic habits of the friendly indigenous tribes who live in reservations that are open to tourists. Panama‘s indigenous population consists of more than 250,000 people who have ownership of the best beach-front and mountain Real Estate in the country. Fair collaboration with the indigenous population has a huge and still unexploited tourism potential.
26. Pure Nature
Panama has hundreds of thousands of acres of protected forests, national parks, sanctuaries and jungles. Living in Panama enriches life with aesthetically and spiritually uplifting experiences.
27. Exotic Islands
Hundreds of islands are waiting to be discovered. One of these islands is reserved for the exclusive use of celebrities and the super-rich. It’s not uncommon for those retiring in Panama to rub shoulders with entertainers and movie stars.
Entertainment & Accommodation
28. Vibrant Night Life
The city never sleeps with a vibrant night life for all budgets and a variety of nocturnal escapades that makes living in Panama full of pleasant experiences.
29. Residential Options for all Price Points
Those moving to Panama find many choices of residential accommodations that fit every budget.
30. Over 100 Malls and Shopping Centers
There are over 100 malls and shopping centers ranging from the world’s most expensive designer boutiques to the lowest price bargain superstores. Panama is the shopping destination of the Americas. That’s another big plus for people who retire in Panama.
31. Wide Selection of Restaurants
Gourmands, who decide to retire in Panama have a wide selection of restaurants. They will find exclusive establishments that are managed by renowned International Chefs but they will also discover intermediate price level restaurants that go right down to the small food stands offering homemade chicken & rice dinners from around 2.50 USD.
32. Tourist Accommodations for all Budgets
It’s easy to find a temporary residence and stay in Panama while waiting for a Friendly Nations Permanent Residence Visa. There is a huge selection of World class Hotels from those hosting Royalty and Tycoons down to prices of 15 USD/ day hostels with a myriad of in-between choices.
33. Many Golf Courses
Those who like golf will certainly chose to retire in Panama because it has more golf courses per capita than any other country in the Americas.
34. International Events
Art lovers and those interested in personal development will discover that living in Panama gives them access to many Latin American and International Expos, Exhibitions, Conventions, Fairs, Summits and Seminars.
35. Beaches & Water Sports
People who can’t imagine a good life without water sports and entertainment, can live in Panama and discover resort hotels, hidden beaches, remote snorkeling locations, exotic scuba diving and several exciting sports fishing expeditions.
Endless array of cultural events, theaters, concerts, festivals, beach parties and even hillbilly fiestas featuring cock fights. Those who live in Panama enjoy a life full of new experiences.