Panama’s migration programs giving foreigners the right for residence in this country serve as healthy alternatives to European “Citizenship in Exchange for Investment” programs. One of the Panama visa programs allows acquiring residence there via investment into business.
Panamanian residency as a guarantee of economic and political security
A legal residency permit in one more country can both provide for new opportunities to travel around the world and open new perspectives in your life. Panama is one of those countries that try to attract a larger number of wealthy immigrants. In exchange for investments in its growing economy, this country will provide for the foreigners’ assets security and rights protection.
The Government of Panama is not only ready to grant residence permits to investors from abroad but also give them Panamanian citizenship after five years of permanent residence in this country.
The Panama of today is a country with burgeoning economy, and its capital – Panama City – is a top class city with a perfect infrastructure. Panama City is often likened to Miami Beach, and soon expected to reach the level of prosperity that Singapore enjoys these days.
If you are considering the possibility to obtain residency outside your home country because you want to protect your assets or possibly save on taxes, we invite you to make use of the Panama migration program that presumes business investments.
Business investor migration program
The Panamanian Business Investor Program allows a foreign citizen to invest into incorporating a company in the country. The minimum required investment amount is US$ 160,000 and the foreign applicant shall be the constitutor and/ or the principal shareholder of this company.
The foreign investor is entitled to establishing a new company in Panama or otherwise purchasing an existing company in this country.
In addition to the minimum investment amount, the two most important requirements are as follows: first, the investment money shall come from abroad; and second, each foreign applicant shall create minimum five jobs for Panamanian citizens. There will also be other requirements related so the workers’ social security and their minimum wages.
This visa program allows the applicant to acquire a two-year residence permit in Panama. After the permit expires, its holder can apply for permanent residence. The right for the full Panamanian citizenship can be granted to the person after five years of permanent residence in Panama.
The program also allows obtaining residence permits for the members of the applicant’s family. In this case, another US$ 2,000 has to be added to the minimum investment amount of US$ 160,000 for each dependent family member.
Documents that each program applicant has to submit
- A criminal record from the applicant’s home country criminal authorities. This record shall be issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs department, cover the last two years of the applicant’s life in the country of citizenship, and it has to be apostilled or authenticated by the clerk in the Panamanian embassy or consulate.
Special note: A criminal record will be deemed valid only for three months since the date of issuance. If the applicant has been residing outside the country of his or her citizenship, such record can be obtained from the authorities of the country of residence. It has to be apostilled or authenticated as well. In addition, the applicant shall submit a paper certifying his or her “permanent resident” status in this country.
- The foreign passport and a second identification document issued by the applicant’s home (or residence) country. A driver’s license or an ID card can serve as such second document. All these papers will have to be authenticated in Panama.
- Five passport size photographs.
Additional spouse and/ or children documents
- The applicant’s spouse acting as a ‘dependent’ shall submit the marriage license that has to be authenticated in the Panamanian embassy or consulate in the applicant’s country, or apostilled.
Special note: It is not required that adult applicants submit their birth certificates. Nevertheless, we recommend that you bring them along in case the migration agency finds similar names and surnames in their registers.
- Children’s birth certificates (apostilled or authenticated in the Panamanian embassy).
- In case the applicant has dependent children over 18 years of age, a certificate form a Civil Status Registration Office or other similar agency has to be submitted to the migration authorities confirming that the child is not married. This certificated also has to be apostilled or authenticated in the Panamanian embassy. If the child intends to enter Panamanian Universities, his or her secondary or higher education certificate needs to be authenticated as well. As far as authentication of Panamanian education documents is concerned, this shall be done in Panama.
- A power of attorney in the name of our lawyer in Panama granting him the right to act on behalf of the applicants when applying for the program (authenticated).
- Each applicant shall also fill out a declaration in accordance with the set form.
- Bank cheques issued by a Panama bank certifying payment of the immigration duty of US$ 1,050 for each applicant. The cheques have to be authenticated by a corresponding government agency. If children younger than twelve are among dependent applicants, their immigration duties will be different.
- An original medical examination certificate (protocol) for each applicant issued by a certified Panamanian medical doctor.
- Letters guaranteeing care on the part of the primary applicant for all dependent family members.
- An address confirmation in Panama.
- All documents shall be translated into Spanish. Translations shall be performed by a licensed Panamanian translator.
Special note: In accordance with the law, all documents have to be translated into Spanish, the official language of Panama. The cost of the translation services depends on the number of pages to be translated, and this cost shall be covered separately.
List of corporate documents to be submitted in Panama
- Certificate of Panamanian Company Incorporation with the company name, it owner’s (the principal applicant’s) details, and those of the authorized directors and other officers. This Certificate shall also indicate the amount of the company Charter capital, which should be not less than US$ 160,000. (All shares shall be registered in the name of the principal applicant.)
- Register of shares that certifies that the principal applicant for the “Business Investor” program is the owner and the director as well as the main stockholder of the company. This Register shall also certify that the shares have the common stock status and are fully paid (the minimum cost of the shares must be at least US$160,000). This Register shall also be notarized and carry no signatures of any third (interested) parties.
- Copies of the company shares and the list of its founding members obtained from the State Registry and certifying the fact that the principal applicant is the rightful owner of the shares.
- A certificate that confirms employment by the company of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Panama and provides details pertaining to the company business activities.
- A declaration signed by the principal applicant in the presence of a Panamanian State Notary Public indicating the total amount of the company Charter capital and its share belonging to the applicant.
- In case the corporation is not a newly established one but was purchased by the applicant from third parties in Panama via purchase of shares, a copy of the purchase agreement shall be submitted as well as the document confirming payment of the capital gains tax.
- If the company has been in operation for more than one year, a Certificate of Good Standing and a yearly tax return shall also be submitted.
- If the company has been recently established, documents certifying payment of taxes shall be submitted as well as the Panama individual tax ID.
- A certificate from the Social Security Department confirming the employment of at least five Panamanian citizens (per each applicant).
- A certificate confirming compliance with the social security regulations.
- Company office rent agreement including a confirmation of the company legal address and paid utility bills less than three months old.
- A document confirming payment of the VAT in case investments have been made into stock.
- Confirmation of the payment of the municipal taxes.
- At least three documents must be submitted as proofs of investment capital payment:
- Bank statement confirming the money transfer (absolutely required).
- If the company was in operation at the time it was bought by the investor from a third party, then article 6 of this list applies.
- An authenticated letter from the bank confirming the investment of at least US$ 160,000 made by the applicant into the company fund.
- Audited financial reports.
- Bank confirmation of the source of foreign investment to the company funds (from the bank that holds the company corporate account).
- Bill of parcels for the current investor’s expenditures. This document shall be compiled by the corporation accountant, and the full list of goods and services consumed shall be provided.
- An alternative document confirming the investment into the company.
- A Copy of company operations license.
Special note: Offshore Pro Group can provide bank account opening services. The cost of these services will depend on the requirements that the bank will make to the international clients.
List of documents required for obtaining a “Permanent Resident of Panama” status after the first two years of living in the country
After the foreign citizen has lived in Panama for two years as a temporary resident, he or she may apply for permanent residence in the country.
The list of documents necessary for this application includes all the documents specified above except for the cheques certifying payment of immigration duties and the criminal record.
There are two additional documents, however, that need to be submitted:
- A new Certificate of Good Standing and a copy of the annual tax return.
- A copy of Form №3 that shows the number of the local personnel in the company and the amounts of their salaries (this form has to be submitted to the Panama Economy and Finance Department).
Visits to Panama
To obtain a permanent residence permit you have to pay several visits to Panama:
- Your personal visit to Panama to buy or rent office space for your company is unnecessary. This can be done remotely with our help. The process will take two weeks or a bit more.
- Your first visit to Panama can be made in 30 days after acquiring the corporate office and having the company registered with Panama authorities. The registration procedure usually takes from five to ten business days. The duration of your stay in Panama will depend on your needs and desires as well as concrete characteristics of your new company.
- This first visit is required in order to obtain a temporary residence permit in Panama that is valid for six months. A multi-entry visa accompanies this permit. (This holds only if all the official requirements are fulfilled.)
- The second visit to Panama has to last for two or three days on the condition that the absence period does not exceed three months. After this visit, you are entitled to obtaining a two-year residence permit.
- The third visit has to be paid after 23 months. You will have to stay in Panama during five to eight business days. This visit is required to renew your residence permit and multi-entry visa.
- The fourth visit will have to last for two to three days and it has to be made after 27 months of absence in Panama. Now you can obtain a permanent residence permit in Panama and leave the country if you wish.
Special note: As far as the duration of regular visits to Panama is concerned, the country’s legislation does not specify any concrete terms that the foreigner with a residence permit has to ‘serve’. Nonetheless, if you are planning to apply for Panamanian citizenship in the future, it is recommended that you visit the country as often as possible and stay there as long as you can. Thus you will be able to prove your ‘ties’ with Panama and lessen the chances of your application for citizenship being rejected.
The procedure of acquiring residence permit via the “Business Investor” visa program
If you would like to obtain legal residence permit in Panama by use of the “Business Investor” migration program, the first thing to do is apply for our services by contacting us via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
After we come to an understanding of what services are required in your personal case, we can bill you for those. You can pay by a traditional method such as a credit card or a bank transfer, or you can use the payment system you prefer such as Bitcoin, PayPal, Western Union, WebMoney, or something else.
The cost of our services depends on the number of applicants for the “Business Investor” program:
- For an individual applicant – US$ 18,000 USD
- For a married couple – US$ 24,000 USD
- For applicants with children and other dependents – additional US$ 3,000 for each dependent.
Special note: 50% of the cost of the services is payable after signing the contract with our company. The other 50% is payable on your arrival to Panama.
The list of documents that we undertake to provide you with:
- Immigration card valid for three to six months and accompanied with a multi-entry visa for the same period of time.
- Temporary residence permit (valid for two years).
- Permanent residence permit.
We can also assist you in acquiring an official certificate of Panamanian tax residency if you wish. This service will have to be covered separately and it costs US$ 9,000.
Please do not hesitate to write to us to email@example.com. We will be happy to help you make your life more comfortable.