The development of Panama City is often compared with the progress of Singapore 35 years ago. This is not a surprise as the whole world is amazed by its economic success, and growth within construction, real estate and financial sector. Panama is a true leader in Latin America. Many businessmen or just people looking for better life now have a chance to call this country a new home.
We have already explained why it is worth to consider living in Panama and types of visas you can apply for should you wish to reside in Panama permanently.
We will now take a look at the most popular, “friendly nations visa” more closely.
Panama Friendly Nation Visa
Who can benefit from this immigration program?
Friendly nations visa provides the right of permanent residence for private business and professionals who are citizens of economically strong countries with which Panama has professional contacts. In order to encourage immigration from countries considered most favourable, Panama has created an immigration incentive which allows citizens of 50 countries to obtain permanent resident status, Panama identity card, the right to apply for a permanent work permit and the right to apply for Panama citizenship (passport) within a period of 5 years.
Friendly nations are listed below:
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Denmark, Ireland, Israel, Spain, Canada, Cyprus, Costa Rica, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Marino, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Paraguay, Serbia, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, United States of America, Taiwan, Uruguay, Finland, France, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Chile, Sweden, Switzerland, Estonia, South Africa, South Korea, Japan, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom.
This immigration program is cheaper and less complicated than any similar program in EU.
How citizens of Friendly nations listed above can get there residence in Panama?
- Based on economic activity, one can select either to register a new business in Panama or buy an existing business
- Based on individual’s profession, he or she can be employed by a Panamanian company. They will be officially employed, receive a working permit and country’s social security service number.
Citizens of friendly nations who wish to work in Panama need to approve their state diplomas by the Technical University of Panama (Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá). However, there is a list of professions prohibited for foreigners: Engineers, doctors, veterinarians, lawyers, architects, real estate agents, economists, accountants and social workers will not be able to work professionally in Panama.
Conditions to get a Panama Friendly Nations Visa
Foreigner and a citizen of friendly nations who wants to move to Panama must fulfill the main requirement and that is to prove his economic stability. The amount of 5,000 USD in Panamanian bank will be enough.
The applicant must also register a company in Panama to his own name or purchase a real estate worth of at least 100,000 USD. If the applicant moves to Panama together with his family (wife and children), the applicant is obliged to pay 2,000 USD for each family member (dependent). Children under the age of 25 are also considered dependents if they are university, college, or disabled students. Regarding children who are over 18, additional documents should be submitted if there is no marriage contract.
Step by step procedure to apply for a Panama Friendly Nations Visa
To obtain the permanent residency, the presence in Panama is required. It is not required to stay in Panama all the time.
First visit: It will take 5 – 15 working days. The duration of stay depends on the specific situation, on what needs to be done, potential delay regarding bank account opening etc. As a result, the applicant can walk-away with the provisional permanent residence card (of course only if all requirements are duly met).
Second visit: It will take 2-3 days, after 2-3 months following the first visit to Panama. As a result, the applicant will this time get his or her permanent residence card.
Third visit is optional. 2-3 days, after less than a month later the applicant will get his or her the Panama identity card.
It is not necessary to reside in Panama permanently. As a matter of fact, there is no clear definition on how many days the permanent residency holder needs to spend in Panama.
However, in order to apply for the Panama citizenship (passport), frequent presence in Panama would be required to show ties with the country.
Documents for obtaining multiple entry visa – if you do not intend to wait for your residence card in Panama, but wish to be able to travel in and out of the country
Application for obtaining multiple entry visa:
- Original passport and a passport copy; All pages of the passport, including pages with a photo, name and signature.
- Proof of economic solvency (Bank letter confirming 5,000 USD in the bank account of Panama) per applicant.
- Certificate of Incorporation
- A letter of recommendation from the Panamanian bank
What are the main advantages of residency in Panama
- Economical stability and development of the country
- No age limit
- Costs of obtaining permanent residence, even with government fees – much lower than in other countries
- No requirements in terms of knowledge or level of the written or spoken Spanish language. Compared to other countries, this fact makes it easier to become a resident of Panama.
- After five years of residence, one has the right to apply for the passport
How much does it cost to get visa friendly nations and start own business?
The cost of providing services depends on the number of applicants for the visa friendly nations program:
- For one applicant (individually) – 18 000 USD
- For couples with children under 12 years – 24 000 USD
- Children and other dependents for each additional – 3 000 USD
- Note: the client must pay 50% of the cost of the service after entering into an agreement with our company and the beginning of the collection of documents. The remaining 50% of the amount must be paid upon arrival in Panama.
This service INCLUDES:
- The cost a registration of the company in Panama, which we will open remotely. The company will be ready before you arrive to the country (company maintenance costs for the first year included).
- VIP service in bank account opening (this service is always presented separately as in Panama it might be too complicated to open a bank account without local help)
- Legal help with filling out, filing and delivery of all your applications.
- Waiting in lines services for clients
- State taxes, duties and fees
If you wish to move to Panama or start your business there please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to provide you with the initial free consultation. The most straightforward way to get the initial free consultation is to fill out the easy form here.