How to Get a Residence Permit in Panama

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A tiny country in Central America has a relatively stable economy, a comfortable climate, and a high level of security. And now this land of paradise also gives a residence permit to investors.

Why Panama?

Panama rarely gets into the news feed, but it's not bad at all in the current situation. Life here is calm, and its quality is at the usual, one might say, European level.

The basis of the economy of Panama is the operation of the canal of the same name, the banking and insurance sectors, as well as tourism. The country has close economic and cultural ties with the United States – for those who plan to move further or do business with the States, this is a good option.

Panama is also one of the oldest tax havens in the Caribbean. There is no tax on income received outside the country. For residents of Panama, when paying taxes in the United States, the tax base is reduced by $160,000 per year.

Also read: The Best Countries to Retire in 2022

Conditions of the Investment Program

Panama's investment program has three main options:

  • Property purchasing (from $300,000);
  • Securities of Panama or the Rainforest Fund (from $500,000);
  • Bank deposits  (from $750,000).

Please note!

All assets are refundable, the minimum period of ownership is five years. Together with the applicant, his spouse and children also receive the right to a residence permit.

When making a refundable deposit of $370,000, the applicant receives the right to a Panamanian travel passport that allows them to visit more than 140 countries without a visa. Please note: this document can be obtained without reference to a residence permit, permanent residence, or citizenship.

The passport is valid for five years, all this time the applicant's money must be in the bank. After that, the applicant receives the right to Panamanian citizenship and can issue a regular passport to the country.

The program is popular: in 2021, more than 4.6 thousand investor visas were issued under it, and the same figure is expected in 2022. But as interest in Panama grows, the conditions for obtaining residency become more complicated. So, the minimum amount for real estate investments will be increased next fall.

Properties for sale in Panama:
Villa for 728 857 euro in Panama
728 857 €
Villa in Panama
292 sq.m 3 4
There is still time to select your dream finishes in this new construction beach home ideally situated on Playa La Garita in a private cul-de-sac lot of Costa Pedasi. Quality finishes and professional interior design will make the home a comfortable place, while the pool and terrace will provide great outdoor entertainment space all year. We...
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Villa for 785 207 euro in Panama
785 207 €
Villa in Panama
504 sq.m 4 6
Elegant and ultra-private, this beachfront estate gleams with clean, bright, high-end finishes. Concealed at the very end of a quiet subdivision in Panama’s darling town of Pedasi, your beachfront paradise is about as private as it gets without being isolated. Step out from the pool right onto the sandy shores of the gorgeous beach that...
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House for 1 350 000 euro in Panama
1 350 000 €
House in Panama
400 sq.m 6 7
This unique 6 bedroom villa is one of only three beachfront homes to ever be offered for sale in Playa Venao outside of a larger home project. And with the pace of development in this beautiful surfing bay it may very well be the last! This beautiful property was finished in 2009 and it enjoys pride of place on a low hill in the middle of the...
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Villa for 508 075 euro in Panama
508 075 €
Villa in Panama
343 sq.m 5 6
Elegant. Simple. This immaculate 5-bedroom tropical retreat is located in the upscale community of Los Destiladeros in Pedasi. The estate features beautifully crafted finishes accented by rich earth tones and distinctive shapes. Sunlit spaces allow the senses to unfold. Large doors open onto an exquisite patio laid with imported terracotta...
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House for 1 247 093 euro in Panama
1 247 093 €
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420 sq.m 4 5
Gorgeous 4 Bedroom Luxury Golf Club Residence for Sale in Cocoli, Panama City This gorgeous 4 bedroom luxury golf residence is very spacious and comfortable. The kitchen has been completely remodeled in 2018. One of the rooms is currently used as an office looking out to the yard and swimming pool with direct access to both. Large covered...
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House for 1 016 150 euro in Panama
1 016 150 €
House in Panama
672 sq.m 4 8
Outstanding 4 Bedroom Luxury Golf Club Residence for Sale in Cocoli, Panama City This outstanding 4 bedroom luxury golf & country club residence is one of the largest and most well-equipped in all of this country club. From the moment you enter this property, the high ceilings and large windows fill the home with the warmth of natural light....
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House for 1 708 980 euro in Panama
1 708 980 €
House in Panama
988 sq.m 7 8
Traditional 7 Bedroom Hacienda Style Villa for Sale in Costa del Este, Panama City Seven bedroom traditional hacienda-style Villa for sale in Costa del Este. one of the nicest suburbs of Panama City, Panama. Plenty of space for the growing family, including a den, library, and completely separate guest wing. Formal living room and dining room...
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Apartment for 812 920 euro in Panama
812 920 €
Apartment in Panama
320 sq.m 3 4
Spectacular 3 Bedroom Luxury Designer Apartment with Incredible Ocean Views for Sale in Panama City, Panama This spectacular 3 bedroom luxury designer apartment is located on one of the most exclusive streets in all of Panama. This brand-new luxury building provides its residents with some of the best amenities in the area along with...
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Penthouse for 1 662 791 euro in Panama
1 662 791 €
Penthouse in Panama
540 sq.m 4 4
Exceptional 4 Bedroom Two-Storey Luxury Penthouse with Impressive Ocean Views for Sale in Coco del Mar, Panama This 4 bedroom luxury penthouse in Coco del Mar boasts impeccable finish quality, impressive views, and a spacious two-floor layout. This makes this Panama penthouse for sale one of the nicest properties on the market. It has marble...
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Penthouse for 1 062 339 euro in Panama
1 062 339 €
Penthouse in Panama
662 sq.m 4 4
Impressive 4 Bedroom Three-Storey Oceanview Penthouse with Rooftop Pool & Terrace for Sale in Panama City, Panama An exquisite 4 bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom, three-story penthouse with more than 662 m² (7,000 square feet) of unobstructed views over the mountains, the city, and Pacific Ocean of Panama. This exquisite property is...
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Villa for 1 247 093 euro in Panama
1 247 093 €
Villa in Panama
955 sq.m 4 5
Residence Online Viewing Remote Transaction Cryptocurrency payment
Stunning 4 Bedroom Luxury Spanish Colonial Revival Home for Sale in Pedasí, Panama This luxury spanish colonial revival home in Pedasi is simply stunning. The property sits on a half-acre bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The home is located within the gated beachfront community of Costa Pedasí, just a short drive from...
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Villa for 739 018 euro in Panama
739 018 €
Villa in Panama
266 sq.m 3 4
Newly Completed 3 Bedroom Luxury Oceanfront Villa for Sale in Pedasi, Panama Brand new just completed beachfront home located in the Premier and sought-after Community of Costa Pedasi. Wake up to the sound of birds and the whisper of waves. This 3 bedroom 3.5 bathroom home features open kitchen layout with extra large island and floor to...
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Villa for 1 755 168 euro in Panama
1 755 168 €
Villa in Panama
250 sq.m 4 4
Residence Online Viewing Remote Transaction Cryptocurrency payment
Breathtaking 4 Bedroom Ultra-Modern Luxury Villa with Panoramic Ocean Views for Sale in Playa Venao, Panama Perched above the bay of Playa Venao, this breathtaking 4 bedroom ultra-modern luxury villa offers some of the most breathtaking panoramic ocean views of one of the hottest real estate markets in all of Latin America. When has it ever...
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Villa for 1 385 659 euro in Panama
1 385 659 €
Villa in Panama
659 sq.m 3 5
Residence Online Viewing Remote Transaction Cryptocurrency payment
Brand New 3 Bedroom Luxury Oceanfront Villa for Sale in Pedasi, Panama Experience the epitome of tropical coastal luxury with this stunning, brand-new beachfront villa located inside Pedasi’s premier gated community - Costa Pedasi. The home boasts high-end appliances, exquisite furniture imported from Thailand, a large, sparkling...
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Villa for 1 154 716 euro in Panama
1 154 716 €
Villa in Panama
380 sq.m 4 4
Residence Online Viewing Remote Transaction Cryptocurrency payment
This luxurious 4 bedroom home in Playa Venao is in a prime location at the top of the gated community Lomas de Playa Venao. The covered hardwood deck and infinity pool are simply stunning. The views from the home are among the best in the entire area. You have a commanding view of the whole bay of Playa Venao and also the hills around the bay....
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Investors' Prospects

There are many housing options in Panama. A modest apartment will cost $80,000, a villa can be around $300,000-500,000. High-quality properties, for example, two-bedroom apartments in a good location with service, cost $350,000-500,000. Luxury apartments in Panama City, are on sale for $3 million, and a luxury villa in the suburbs with access to the sea is for $10 million.

Also read: The Five Best Real Estate Investment Destinations

The Process

The applicant collects the necessary documents, selects real estate, or invests.

You can transfer money directly from your country to Panama. You don't have to open an account in a local bank, but you will need it later anyway to receive rental income. Usually, it takes up to 3 days in person or a week remotely.

If you only want to buy an investment object without getting a permit, you can do it remotely. But you need to visit the country to obtain a residence permit.

The transaction is divided into several steps:

  1. Booking an object. If it is popular, the seller may require a deposit of $10,000-15,000. If the transaction fails, the deposit will be fully refunded.
  2. Passing a bank check (KYC). A standard package of documents will be required from the client: passport, certificates of origin of funds, and registration address.
  3. The contract of sale and the first part of the payment of real estate (usually, in the amount of 30%).
  4. Registration of the contract and payment of the remaining 70% of the cost.
  5. Obtaining ownership rights and starting the operation of the facility.

To obtain a residence permit, you will also need to submit certificates of non-conviction and a medical report on the state of health of all those included in the application.

Over the past five years, the period for considering an application for a residence permit has been reduced, and many processes have begun to take place completely remotely in electronic format. Now the process of collecting, filing, and reviewing documents take two to three months.

If family members are included in the application, the minimum investment threshold will be increased by $2,000 for each relative. In addition, the applicant needs to leave a deposit in the National Treasury of $5,000 for the main applicant and $1,000 for each dependent. Finally, it is necessary to pay a fee to the migration service – $5,000 for the applicant and $1,000 for each dependent.

You can invest and purchase real estate remotely, but to obtain a residence permit card, you will need to visit the country and pass biometrics. As a rule, it takes three to four days. For residents of Eurasia, this means a long flight, so it is better to combine the trip with a vacation. The time of year does not matter, because Panama is always warm and comfortable.

After a year, you can apply for permanent residence, and after five years – get citizenship, but for this, you will need to permanently reside in Panama and move to the center of vital interests there. You will need to document that you live in the country: submit utility bills, certificates that children study at a local school, etc.

In Conclusion

A Panamanian residence permit helps to:

  • open foreign accounts, capital protection, high level of banking secrecy;
  • obtain tax residency and zero tax on global income;
  • move and do business in Latin America (MERCOSUR).
  • teach children at foreign universities, including the USA. Panama's school certificates are accepted in the USA on a par with local ones, in addition, the education system of Panama has historical ties with US universities.
  • entry 140+ countries visa-free, including the Schengen Area and the UK, and also gives simplified access to the US E-2 visa.

Sources: Investment Migration InsiderQuihano and Associates 
Photo:  Luis Aleman

Quoting conditions of Prian.info materials

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Tags: Panama, Residence permit and citizenship, Investment, Immigration programs

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