Aug 22, 2019

Invest into Panama real estate to secure a carefree future

Investment into real estate in Panama will let you kill two birds with one stone: solve the Panama residency issue and diversify your assets. If you want to secure a comfortable future for yourself and your family, this ambitious plan is easily implementable in Panama.

диверсифицируете свои активы

Panama is the best country for asset diversification and more

Investment in real estate abroad will serve more than only the purpose of asset diversification. You will be able to feel it if you put money into property in Panama. You can form an investment package in this country.

With proper planning, you can use your investment potential for the following purposes in Panama:

  • To organize a new business in the country or develop an existing one.
  • To obtain tax residency in Panama, which will significantly lessen your business tax burden.
  • To protect your assets from encroachments on the part of third parties including your home country’s tax authorities.
  • To obtain legal residence in Panama for the whole family.

Those who do not follow the world news and stick to old stereotypes may say that Panama is a third-world country. Others may claim that Panama is an unsafe country to invest in, which was presumably shown by the ‘Panama Papers’ scandal. In 2016, some international publications suggested that this country upholds tax evasion.

What can be said about these matters? Indeed, in 2016 a data leakage occurred from a well-known Panamanian legal firm called Mossack Fonseca. But if you look deeper into the issue, you will find that the actual state of things is different from what was asserted by the mass media.

Firstly, it was confidential corporate information that was stolen from the company server by ‘unidentified individuals’, as the media put it.

In accordance with the international laws, a hacker attack on the server is a crime. As strange as it may seem, the mass media ignored this fact justifying their publications by ‘good intentions’ and ‘moral considerations’.

Secondly, prolonged as this mud-slinging campaign against Panama was, the stolen documents that were published revealed no direct violations of any international financial regulations.

However, this evidence was suppressed by the authorities of the large economies that initiated the scandal and promoted its development. This is not surprising actually, as their primary goal was affecting the international money flows and directing them to their countries. The ‘Panama Papers’ gossip also gave a start to an aggressive campaign against tax evasion. This campaign was targeted not exclusively at Panama but at all offshore countries that offer beneficial conditions to businesses. As opposed to the so-called ‘First World’ countries. 

Thirdly, Panama is not a third-world country any longer, as ill-wishers will claim. Today Panama is a democratic country with a growing economy and advanced infrastructure. Its citizens and foreign residents fully enjoy all the human and civil rights.

The capital of the country Panama City is growing up and out rapidly and turning into a huge megalopolis where people of different nationalities and walks of life live in harmony. With the view of the fantastic rates of Panama economic growth over the last few decades, the country is often compared to Singapore of some thirty years ago. The same prosperous future is projected for Panama in some time.

All these insinuations against Panama only signal the irritation and envy on the part of ‘the good and the great’. Panama can offer to foreign investors and foreign businesses the conditions that the economically strong states cannot.

Main advantages of Panama for foreign investors

  • Panama has a stable democratic political system that has provided for the economic success of the country.
  • The crime rates in Panama are the lowest in the whole of Latin America. This makes it the safest country in the region. Foreigners in Panama enjoy the same level of investment and asset protection as native Panamanians. Special attention is paid in Panama to information confidentiality, private property protection, and the sanctity of private life.  
  • The US dollar is an official currency in circulation in Panama. The ‘free capital’ principle applied in the country guarantees absence of any barriers to capital investment and repatriation.
  • Under the territorial taxation system used in Panama, only the profits from internal financial and business operations are taxed. All incomes obtained from international transactions are tax-exempt in Panama. This applies both to Panama citizens and to its legal residents.
  • The Panamanian legislation provides for support of foreign investors and their companies. A business company can be registered in Panama within five to seven working days.

If you wish, you can have a company registered in Panama by submitting all the required documents via the Internet, without travelling to the country. Simply send us a request to [email protected] and we will promptly do everything on your behalf.

It has to be emphasized that business company maintenance costs are much lower in Panama than in other countries. Business structures such as the Panamanian Corporation and the Private Foundation are the most secure and accessible instruments serving the purpose of international asset protection.

  • The strong banking sector in Panama consisting of nearly a hundred international banks gives the account holder access to world finances.
  • Foreign nationals are entitled to purchase any real property in Panama including land.
  • The existing Panama immigration programs allow foreigners to acquire Panamanian permanent legal residence in exchange for investments. Some such programs will lead to Panamanian citizenship after five years of legal residence in the country.  

The most popular Panamanian visa programs granting residency in the country

The Panamanian Government offers several dozen immigration programs to potential immigrants from other countries. Here we would like to briefly describe those of them that enjoy the highest level of popularity with Western Europeans, North Americans, and people from other parts of the world. You can find more information about these immigration programs by following the corresponding links.

Economic Investor visa

The main requirement that this immigration program has is that the applicant shall bring to Panama an investment of at least US$ 300,000. Any person from any country is eligible to apply to this program. The Economic Investor visa provides for three different options that the program applicant can use in order to make this investment:

  1. Open an account with a State Bank of Panama (there are two such banks in the country) and put US$ 300,000 there. This has to be a three-year fixed-term account. A bank statement confirming the existence of such an account will serve as a legal foundation to apply for a permanent residence permit in Panama. In case you cancel the agreement with the bank and withdraw money prior to the contract expiry date, you will automatically lose the residence permit. However, after three years you are free to use the money at your discretion while still keeping the permit.
  2. Purchase real property in Panama the price of which shall be not less than US$ 300,000.
  3. Open a bank account together with purchasing a less expensive piece of real property in Panama. The total investment shall again constitute minimum US$ 300,000.

Pensionado visa

This immigration program is also available to citizens of any country of the world who are older than eighteen years of age. This program does not necessarily involve any initial investment. The principle requirement that the Pensionado visa program has is the ability of the applicant to demonstrate that he or she has a guaranteed lifetime annuity of at least US$ 1,000 per month. A pensioner from Western Europe or North America will have no trouble at all proving to the Panamanian immigration authorities that he or she does have this kind of annuity. However, not only state pensions will be accepted as sources of a guaranteed monthly income. There are other possibilities as well.

If the applicant to the Pendionado immigration program does make an initial investment into real property and buys a residential accommodation at the price of US$ 100,000 or more, his or her monthly annuity has to be at least US$ 750. This reduced requirement should not be surprising. If you have a place to stay in Panama, it is possible to live on US$ 750 per month there even though not quite in luxury.

Friendly Nations visa

This immigration program provides for a fast-tracked and simple procedure of acquiring Panama permanent residence permit. The investment requirements are also very modest with this visa program. The program applicant has to have US$ 5,000 in his or her banks account and do one of the following two things:

  • Engage in an economic activity in Panama. Obtaining an employment of establishing a business company will count as such engagement. Or alternatively
  • Purchase real estate in Panama that costs US$ 100,000 or more.

However, the Friendly Nations visa program is accessible only to the citizens of fifty national states that Panama deems to be its friendly nations. In case it is a family applying for this type of visa to Panama, only the primary applicant has to be a citizen of a friendly nation. He or she can list other family members as dependents and that will make friendly nation citizenship unnecessary for them.  

All the three immigration programs described above share two characteristics. First, they all offer permanent residence in exchange for investment into Panamanian real estate. (It is not the only option, thought, which makes these visa programs especially inviting.) Second, all these visas will entitle you for full citizenship after five years of permanent residency in Panama.

It has to be noted in this connection that you do not have to physically reside in Panama all the time in order to retain you permanent residence permit. It will suffice to pay a seven to fourteen-day visit to the country once in every two years and you will be safe, which, again, sets Panama apart from most other countries. 

At the same time, you have to realize that in case you are planning to apply for Panamanian citizenship in the future, such short random visits are not going to impress the immigration authorities. You have the right to apply for citizenship after five years of residence but there is no guarantee that you will obtain it. You will have to convince the Panamanian authorities that you have serious economic, social, and personal interests in the country. If you can, you will be granted full citizenship of Panama.

Panama real estate as an investment instrument

Foreign investors can find a wide spectrum of real estate for sale in Panama. Apartments in new high-rise buildings located in central districts of Panama City enjoy the topmost demand with foreigners.

There is a good reason for that. These buildings are strategically located from the viewpoint of letting apartments on a lease to tourists and newcomers to Panama. International corporations stationed in Panama are also interested is renting comfortable apartments for their employees or for putting their branch offices there.

The new property tax law passed last year has increased the worth of untaxable real property from US$ 30,000 to US$ 120,000. This fact has caused the recent increase of demand for Panama real estate especially with foreign investors.

This simple investment mechanism does not only open new perspectives in Panama for you. A piece of real estate in this country will be your ‘cushion’ in case some political or economic instability occurs in your home country.  

Trump Ocean Club: a hotel-condominium

The residential estate in Panama City previously known as Trump Ocean Club was renamed in 2018 to JW Marriot. The building was erected in 2011 and it is located in the new modern district of the city called Punta Pacifica.

JW Marriot skyscraper sits on the Pacific Ocean coast and has the form of a marine sale. It is a 71-story building with large and small suites and apartments occupying 65 of the stories. This is the highest building not only in Panama but also in the whole of Latin America.

Apart from the high quality of the apartments’ interiors, the estate offers the highest levels of comfort and services to its residents. There you will find two swimming pools and a large terrace that gives fantastic views of the ocean and the city. Besides, you can use the gym, go shopping in different stores, boutiques, and outlets, do some barhopping without leaving the building, and even lose some money in the casino that is also there.

JW Marriot is under security surveillance round-the-clock. There you will also find a yacht club and a wharf available for use 24/7, concierge service, medical assistance, driver and valet services and so on.

The apartment on offer in JW Marriot skyscraper is on the 49th floor and it is fully furnished.

  • The total area of the apartment is 98 square meters (117 sq. yards). It has
  • One bedroom.
  • A living room with a broad balcony.
  • A kitchen dining room.
  • A parking lot for one car in the underground carpark.  

The selling price of the apartment in US$ 370,000.

Buying this apartment you will acquire not only a comfortable place to legally live or stay in Panama but also the possibility to use all the conveniences that the hotel-condominium has to offer.

You will buy the opportunity to lie on the best beaches along the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts of Panama that will astonish you by their fascinating exotic beauty.

In Panama, you will find the same high quality and the same living standards that you find in Europe or North America but at significantly lower prices. Why pay more when you can pay less?

If you are interested in obtaining a legal residence permit in Panama, we will be happy to provide administrative support to you. You can apply for a free consultation with us on acquiring Panamanian residency where we will answer your questions and suggest the best ways to proceed.

We have managers residing in Panama and we cooperate with Panamanian lawyers fluent in English. Our real estate agents have an up-to-date database of real property for sale in Panama and we will help you make the best choice. Please send your queries to [email protected] and we will get back to you in a heartbeat.