Are you thinking of changing your domicile? Panama is the choice you will love making!
If you are seriously thinking of changing the country of your residence and you have not decided yet where to move to, look no further and opt for Panama! This nation has created clear and simple rules of obtaining residency by foreign citizens and made moving there possible for many people.
What are the benefits of Panama?
Back in the 1980s, Panama was a dangerous country to live in indeed. Narcocartels and civil unrests blatantly repelled visitors. But today it is a totally different country with a liberal democracy, rule of law, social security, and abundance of food and housing for everyone.
Pickpocketing, minor thefts, and separate instances of corruption still exit but there is no serious criminal activity in the country anymore.
When US residents of Panama were asked if they felt safe living there, they replied: “Oh, well! Safer than at home anyway!” Panama is referred to as the safest country in Latin America these days.
Over the last fifteen years, Panama has achieved tremendous success in developing its economy by attracting foreign investments. The annual Panamanian GDP growth has been around 6% throughout these years. Very few countries on the planet can claim that their prosperity has been steadily growing at such an impressive rate.
The Government invests heavily in infrastructure, construction, mining, tourism sector development, and so on. The number of foreign visitors to Panama has exceeded that to Costa Rica that used to be the most popular tourist destination in the region.
Effective migration policy has turned Panama into a well-developed state providing living comfort not only to the local people but also to foreigners. Some European countries as well as some Caribbean states offer their own residence and citizenship programs to foreign nationals and even pretend that theirs are “the easiest” of such programs. At the same time, most of these countries require having some “roots” there of those who want to come and stay, or they want the foreigner to permanently live in the country for an extended period of time before he or she can obtain citizenship…
The wealthy person looking to diversify their assets and find a new niche for capital investment will find unique possibilities in Panama. Arguably, no other country in the whole world can compare to Panama on this scale.
The advantages of Panama migration policy
The Panamanian Government once decided that a well-thought-out migration policy could genuinely contribute to the economic growth ultimately leading to the country’s prosperity. Thus, over twenty different visa programs have been introduced that allow foreign investors to live permanently in Panama and acquire its citizenship without too much trouble.
We will not describe all of these programs here but focus on the most popular ones instead. All of them open the door to the foreigner who wants to make Panama the country of his/ her permanent residence and become its citizen one day.
Panama is different from the competitors by the fact that it does not require permanent residence in the country of those who want to obtain residence permit. The legislation actually does not specify the time of personal presence in Panama that the foreigner must “serve” in order to receive a residence permit.
After you have received the residence permit (or residence card), you can leave the country whenever you want and return at your convenience.
According to Panamanian lawyers, in order to retain the Panama resident status the permit holder has to visit the country once every two years and stay for a week or two. However, according to the same lawyers, if the foreign resident counts on obtaining Panamanian citizenship and a second passport, he or she has to spend much lengthier time in the country.
It must be specially noted that the aforementioned visa programs give the foreigner the right, that is, a possibility to apply for citizenship. They do not provide for an automatic acquisition of Panamanian citizenship. Thus, there is no guarantee that every program participant will receive citizenship: there is only a possibility for that.
In accordance with the legislation, a foreign investor can become a citizen of Panama via naturalization. The decision to grant the citizenship or not will depend on how successful the applicant is in proving to the authorities that he or she is fully integrated with the Panamanian economy and society.
A business ownership in the country, some real estate there, an account in a Panama bank, or some other tangible assets located on the Panamanian soil will serve as proofs of economic integration. The more evidence of the ‘ties’ with Panama the applicant can provide, the more chances he or she has to be granted citizenship of this country.
Panamanian Economic Investor visa
A foreigner can acquire a residence permit in Panama on an Economic Investor visa by investing into the country not less than US$ 300,000. The investment can be made in the following forms:
- Real estate purchase in Panama.
- A bank deposit to a Panamanian bank – irrevocable, fixed-term deposit for three years.
- Combination of real property purchase and a bank deposit. The total investment must amount to minimum US$ 300,000.
The property shall be purchased, and the deposit shall be made, in the name of the primary visa program applicant. If the applicant has dependent family members, extra US$ 2,000 shall be added for each dependent.
After the document processing and registration procedure is over, the applicant receives a two-year temporary residence permit. When this time expires, a permanent residence permit can be applied for.
In order to have the legal grounds to apply for citizenship the foreign national has to have permanently resided in Panama for five years. Thus, the total time required for becoming a Panamanian citizen is seven years of living in (or rather, regularly visiting) the country.
“Friendly Nations” visa
The Friendly Nations visa is issued to the citizens of fifty countries that have especially close economic and cultural ties with Panama. Holders of this visa are entitled to using a fast-track mechanism of acquiring permanent residence permit.
If the applicant uses the Friendly Nations visa for economic purposes, he or she has to invest US$ 100,000 into real estate in Panama, incorporate a company there and open a bank account with a US$ 5,000 deposit. Please follow this link to learn more about the advantages of the Friendly Nations visa.
Let us compare the amount of investments into real property required for residency acquisition in Panama and in some other countries. To obtain a residence permit in Portugal, for example, you have to buy a US$ 500,000 worth of property and fulfill a number of additional requirements as well.
If you want to move to Malta and ultimately acquire citizenship there, you have to invest minimum US$ 900,000 into real estate. If you want to make Cyprus the country of your residence, you will have to spend as much as 2 000 000 EUR.
We invite you to apply for a free consultation with us on the matters related to obtaining residence permit and citizenship in Panama. Please contact us via e-mail: [email protected], and we will gladly answer all your questions.
Benefits that entrepreneurs can make use of in Panama
The Panamanian legislation does not only protect foreign investment but also creates comfortable business environment and keeps the state authorities from too much interference with the entrepreneurial activities. Here are some particular advantages of doing business in Panama:
- Unlike some other countries, Panama does not tax its citizens and residents’ revenues obtained from abroad. Territorial taxation system is practiced here, which means that only profits derived from business transactions performed within the Panamanian borders are taxed.
- The main currency in circulation in Panama is the US dollar.
- Establishing a company in Panama is fast and simple, and it does not even require the owner’s personal presence in the country.
- There is a very strong banking sector there. Over eighty international banks have offices in Panama, and both their reliability and capitalization are higher than those of some European and North American banks.
- There are no restrictions for the use of foreign currencies: Panama practices the free capital principle.
- There are Free Trade Zones in the county that provide for preferential taxation of businesses operating there.
- Unlike many other countries in the world, Panama has no CFC (Controlled Foreign Corporation) legislation.
- Judges in Panama do not follow the decisions of foreign courts of law taken against its citizens and residents.
Purchase of real estate in Panama: a starting point in residence acquisition
The Panamanian real estate sector offers a wide choice of investment opportunities to foreign nationals both in the capital city and in the provinces. It does not matter where you want to buy a house or an apartment: you will be surrounded by exotic tropical flora everywhere.
Panama is a tropical climate country and you can enjoy nice weather 365 days a year. The nature has been extremely kind to Panama protecting it from severe cataclysms that sometimes fall on other tropical countries. The chance of tornado, tsunami, or hurricane occurrence is negligible. To be more precise, these hardly ever happen there at all.
The gorgeous primeval nature, the exotic islands and national parks, the beaches on two coasts with white and grey sand, and the magnificent mountain areas make Panama a tourist Mecca for people from all around the world. It would not be surprising if you felt you want to stay in Panama for the rest of your life when you come and see the country. Because many people do.
The modern infrastructure, the comfortable living conditions that come at a minimal price, and the laissez-faire attitude towards foreign residents make Panama a number one choice for those who look for a safe home for themselves and their families.
«BRISTOL» villa on the Pacific coastline
We invite you to consider purchasing the «BRISTOL» villa located 120 kilometers (about 75 miles) from Panama City, in one of the most famous resorts in the country – Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort. It will take you eighty to ninety minutes to drive there from the capital city. You can also use an airplane that will land in Rio Hato airport 10 kilometers (a bit more than 6 miles) away from the Resort.
Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort is a special kind of a closed community with round o’clock security. The area is wonderfully designed, all the necessary infrastructure is there including world-class entertainment facilities. What especially attracts wealthy tourists to this Resort is an 18-hole golf course. World Champion matches are often played on this course.
Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort derives its name from the bay in the Pacific Ocean where it is located – Buenaventura. The «Ocean Las Mareas» supermarket and trade center is only 8 kilometers (less then 5 miles) away from this place.
Two kilometers (1.2 miles) of a white sand beach, a chapel, a zoo, a horse stable, lawn tennis courts, land and water rides can be found on the territory of the Resort.
Apart from that, there is a business center there, multiple restaurants with different national cuisines, Spa salons, and fitness centers. Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort is composed of eight mini-districts each of which represents a separate architectural style.
Currently, the resort administration has put on sale several pieces of real estate including two golf villas located in «Oceanlake» district. The villas are built not far from the fifth hole of the golf course. All the thirty six villas of the Oceanlake district are built on the lakeshore. These are duplex or duplex and penthouse villas of two or three stories.
The «BRISTOL» villa’s total area is 296.35 square meters (around 355 sq. yards). It has two floors with two bedrooms on each of them. Every bedroom has a separate bathroom. There is direct access to the swimming pool form the first floor bedrooms. In addition to that, the villa has a kitchen, a dining room, a laundry room, a storage area, and a guest bathroom with a bathtub.
All the rooms have luxurious interior decorations, large windows, spacious balconies and air conditioning. There is also a terrace on the second floor.
We hope that the villa accommodation that we describe here will appeal to your good taste.
If you have any additional questions about this villa, or about real estate in Panama in general, or any other questions related to doing business and/ or acquiring residence in this beautiful country, please contact us without hesitation at [email protected]. We will be happy to be of assistance to you.