Aug 8, 2019

You can legally immigrate to Panama when you purchase real estate in the country

In contrast to the majority of other countries, Panama real estate market did not crash after the 2008 financial crisis. A stable real property market is a sure sign of the strength of the country’s economy. If you want to immigrate to Panama, we will gladly assist you in finding the right piece of real estate to buy. We promise that you will be pleasantly surprised by the property prices in Panama that are much more affordable than in any other civilized country.

What is so attractive about Panama for foreigners?

Year after year, the number of foreign visitors to Panama is growing. People come from all over the world, and not only as tourists. Some come to the country to find their second home there, to buy a residential accommodation where their families can live.

Notwithstanding all the world financial cataclysms, Panama economy remains strong. Extension of the Panama Canal has greatly contributed to further improving the country’s economic position. A Free Trade Zone is located in Panama that is the second largest such zone in the world. Complex logistic and financial operations are performed there regularly.

The service industry in Panama brings three quarters of the GDP, which is uncommon for Latin American states. A country without an army, Panama is demonstrating rapid economic and social progress.

Both the tourist and the financial sectors are rapidly developing in Panama. Given the natural beauties of the country, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

The American dollar is used in Panama as the primary currency. A consistent economic policy promoting free trade and open markets provides for a 5-6% annual growth of Panama GDP.

Panama benefits for investors and businesses

Panama taxation policy makes the country especially inviting for foreign investors. The territorial taxation principle is applied in Panama, which means that only the incomes made within the country’s borders are taxed. All incomes made internationally are not taxable in Panama. This includes inherited property and foreign dividends and interest. This principle applies both to Panama citizens and to its legal foreign residents.

Many businesses are also attracted by the preferential taxation conditions that Panama Free Trade Zones can offer.

Apart from beneficial taxation regimes, Panama’s legislation also effectively protects foreign investments as well as foreigners’ rights and property. As of today, Panama has made bilateral treaties with twenty-one countries “On Protection of Foreign Investments”.

The favorable business environment in Panama together with its legislative system allows registering a business company or a private foundation in the country within a few days. This can even be done remotely, without paying a personal visit to Panama.

These factors make many foreign businesspersons wishing to change their tax residence open corporate structures in Panama. Registering a legal entity in this country automatically leads to acquiring Panama tax residence by the beneficiaries.

Business owners from many different countries of the world are looking to obtain Panamanian tax residency. They want to diversify their assets internationally or to escape draconian taxes that their home counties levy.

The judicial system in Panama allows the judges disregard all court decisions made in any foreign jurisdiction.

Besides, many foreigners are interested in investing into Panamanian real estate. Thus they acquire a secure tangible asset of high liquidity and simultaneously obtain an instrument that allows applying for permanent residence in Panama.

Real Estate in Panama

The choice of residential and commercial real property in Panama is wide indeed. A foreign investor will have a number of options to consider whether he or she wants to buy or rent a piece of real estate in the country.

This can be a place on the Pacific or the Caribbean coast, or on one of the islands with tropical flora, or something in the mountain province of Chiriquí where the air is cooler. But Panama City, of course, offers the widest choice of apartments and villas to buy or rent. 

The following Panama City districts are most popular with foreigners: Punta Pacifica with its magnificent Avenida Balboa (Balboa Avenue), Costa del Este, Bella Vista, Punta Paitilla and others. Mostly high-rise buildings are to be found in these districts with well-kept grounds and natural parks.

The scope and splendor of the Panama capital infrastructure are really astonishing. Many people will still think of Panama as a third-world country but they are mistaken. Comparing Panama City to European capitals, one will see that Panamanian capital outdoes its counterparts by many parameters including the safety of residing there.

Far from every capital city can boast such a large number of natural oases with palm trees and other tropical vegetation surrounded by restaurants, banks, and business centers typical of modern megalopolises. For example, Cinta Costera Boulevard is located in a unique recreational area with bicycle tracks and crowds of people walking there with their families while kids are enjoying themselves in the sports and playgrounds.

Latest news from Panama City

One of the pressing problems in the capital of Panama is the dirtiness of the city beaches. The residents have to drive outside the city in order to find a clean beach they can rest on.

However, the mayor of Panama City has recently announced a new national and municipal Government initiative to clean and develop the beaches and the coastline within the capital borders. US$ 123 million will be allocated for this development program.

The plan that the mayor has presented includes cleaning up the Caledonia and Bella Vista city beaches that were seriously littered due to the construction of Balboa Avenue that runs nearby.

The redevelopment of the beaches will include excavating sand from the ocean bottom and putting it on the beaches. The adjacent areas will also be modernized. New restaurants, car parks, shops and cinemas will be put there. The construction work will meet all the ecological standards, all the wastewater will be purified, and rainwater collection facilities erected.

Panama City administration is positive that this infrastructure development project will affect the attractiveness of the real estate that is located in the very center of the city and simultaneously close to the sandy beaches. The municipal authorities are beginning to reconsider the pricing policies for the property in these areas. It is expected that newly erected houses in these districts will sell at a higher price.

To those interested in acquiring legal and tax residence in Panama we offer a deluxe residential accommodation located in the prestigious Punta Pacifica district.

An apartment with the view of the ocean in JW Marriott hotel.

We invite you to consider purchasing a three-bedroom apartment in one of the best known and one of the highest skyscrapers in Panama City – JW Marriott. It used to be known as Trump Ocean Club but it acquired this new name late in 2018 when its proprietorship changed.

The total area of the apartments is 183 square meters (219 sq. yards), which includes:

  • Three bedrooms including two with queen size beds and a king size bed in the master bedroom.
  • 1.5 Bathrooms.
  • Kitchen dining room.
  • Long and comfortable balcony.

The apartment is in the top floor of the building close to the swimming pool on the roof of JW Marriott Hotel. It is fully furnished and equipped with various home appliances.

The apartment can be rented for US$ 3,300 per month on a long-term lease.

The apartment can be purchased for US$ 620,000.

We would like to draw the reader’s attention to the fact that new property taxation rules are in effect in Panama since January 2019. In accordance with the new law, the annual property tax on an apartment worth US$ 620,000 is US$ 2,500 USD, while with the old version of the law it would be US$ 5 900 per year.

When the new property tax regulations came into force, the popularity of Panamanian real estate with foreign investors grew notably.

When buying luxury residential accommodation in a popular tourist area at a comparatively moderate price, the foreign investor also obtains the right to apply for permanent residence in Panama.

Offshore Pro Group will happily assist you in finding, choosing, and purchasing a piece of real property in Panama. Our on-site real estate agents will check the property for conformity to its declared characteristics and for any encumbrances. Our experts speak English, Spanish, and Russian so there should not be any problems in communication.

Our licensed Panamanian lawyer will provide consultancy and legal support in acquiring residence permit in Panama. The lawyer will act as your official representative in different state agencies. In order to place a request for these services please write to us to [email protected] and we will promptly get back to you.

Panama immigration programs

The immigration policy that the Government of Panama implements is aimed at attracting foreign capital and foreign investors to the country. For immigrants to Panama there is no Spanish language requirement, no age limit, and no racial or national discrimination.

The Panamanian laws are written in a simple way and easy to abide by. On purchasing real property in the country, you can apply for a residence permit. The best way is to apply within the scope of one of the immigration programs described below. However, we suggest that you request a free consultation with us prior to making the final decision.

Economic Investor visa

You are entitled for this type of visa if you invest not less than US$ 300,000 into the Panamanian economy. You can do it by purchasing property in the country, by putting money into a fixed-term three-year deposit, or by a combination of these two methods of investment. The essential requirement is that your total investment has to be US$ 300,000 or more.

You can learn more about the Economic investor visa program if you follow this link.

Friendly Nations visa

This is a sort of a ‘special’ visa that is not accessible to everybody. However, citizens of fifty states that share Panama’s political, economic, social, and cultural values (the fifty friendly nations) can obtain Panamanian residence permit quickly and effortlessly. All well developed countries of the world are on the Friendly Nations list.

An applicant from a friendly nation can acquire a temporary residence permit within fourteen days since the date of the application. After three or four more months, he or she will be issued with a permanent residence permit and a Panamanian ID.

You can find out what countries are included in the list of Panama’s Friendly Nations and read more about this immigration program by following this link.

Pensionado visa

This immigration program requires that the applicant be able to conclusively prove that he or she has a guaranteed stable income of at least US$ 1,000 a month. Even though citizens of any country over the age 18 are entitled to apply for the Pensionado visa provided that they can prove the required steady monthly income, this program was designed for the US pensioners in the first place, as they have no problem at all submitting cast iron proof of income. Hence its name.

There is one option that you have when applying for a Pensionado visa, though. If you buy real property worth US$ 100,000 or more, you will have to show that your income is US$ 750 a month and this would be enough to obtain a permanent resident status.

You can learn more about the Pensionado visa program by following this link.

In accordance with the legislation, a foreign resident in Panama is eligible to apply for full citizenship after holding the permanent residence permit for five years.

Please bear in mind, however, that the Panamanian citizenship is neither granted routinely after five years of residence, nor are you required to apply for it. You are welcome to apply for the permanent residence prolongation instead if you want to continue living in Panama.

Moving to a different country is not an easy task at all. The major difficulties arise when you have to deal with state agencies and other legal institutions in a foreign country. But Panama offers so many enticing opportunities, a perfect climate, and an enjoyable lifestyle at a modest price that it would be a sin not to consider relocating to Panama.

We will gladly provide all the necessary consultations and legal services to you that will make you relocation and acquisition of a permanent residence permit in Panama as effortless as these can only be. Please write to us to [email protected] and we will answer all your queries related to obtaining residence and/ or buying property in Panama.