Panama does not require a visa for US and Canadian citizens but they do need a tourist card --available from embassies and airlines. Immigration laws allow tourists to stay up to three months with their tourist card. This stay can be extended an additional three months by applying to the Immigration office.
A Certificate of Vaccination against smallpox is required if you come from an infected country
Residency Visa Options
The government of Panama offers you several different options for residency--some of which give you a Panamanian passport. If you choose one of the passport programs, you may automatically solicit citizenship and a Panamanian passport five years after obtaining your permanent resident status.
All visas applications must be made through a Panamanian lawyer.
All visa applications require that applicants and their dependents obtain a health certificate and HIV test in Panama.
Retired Tourist Visa (Turista pensionado). This visa is designed for persons with a minimum $500 government or private pension ( plus $100 for each additional dependent). It is granted indefinitely and includes the benefits listed below.
The visa process for this program is a one-time application. There are no renewals and no additional fees. The process takes only a couple of weeks .
This visa does not allow you to qualify for Panamanian citizenship.
Retired tourists wishing to work in the Republic of Panama may do so only in limited circumstances
Self Economic Solvency Visa (Solvencia economica propia) This is a two year program designed for those who wish to live in Panama and are not employed nor starting a business, but living from their own income. It involves a $200,000 investment in the country. You can (1)open a one-year certificate of deposit in any local bank with a minimum of $200,000.00 (2) purchase a property valued at $200,000 or (3) purchase a $80,000 property and open a $120,000 certificate of deposit. At the end of the second year the visa is granted permanently with the right to national identity card (Cedula) issuance. Five years after obtaining the permanent visa the holder will be eligible to apply for Panamanian citizenship.
Private Income Retiree Visa (Rentista Retirado): This visa is designed for those who are not employed and do not have a monthly pension but have a lump sum which will yield at least $750.00 per month when deposited in a 5 year Certificate of Deposit in a Panamanian bank. Depending on the interest rates are when you apply, you’ll need about $200,000. This plan gives you a passport, renewable every 5 years, for travel purposes only.
Investors Visa: (Inversionista) This visa is designed for those who wish to establish a business in Panama. There must be a minimum investment of $100,000 and a minimum of three (3) permanent Panamanian employees hired. The visa is granted provisionally for one year. After renewal it is granted permanently. Five years after obtaining the permanent visa, the holder will be eligible to apply for Panamanian citizenship.
Small Business Investor: (Inversionista de pequena empresa) This visa is designed for those who wish to establish a small business in Panama .There must be a minimum investment of $40,000 and minimum of three (3) permanent Panamanian employees hired. Five years after obtaining the permanent visa the holder will be eligible to obtain Panamanian citizenship
Benefits of the Retired Tourist Visa
The Retired Tourist Visa, in addition to permanent residency, offers significant benefits, such as:
Total exemption of import duties of personal or domestic articles,one time only, for the amount of ten thousand dollars (US$ 10,000.00)
Total exemption of import duties of one car every two years, if destined for personal or family use.
Total exemption of any tax or immigration duties in connection with obtaining the visa.
Discounts on medical, transportation, air line tickets, hotels, restaurants and even fast food.
After this visa is granted the applicant should obtain a multiple exit and entry permit that will allow travel in and out of the country freely. This permit is granted for a period of two years renewable for equal periods of time.
Click here to contact Us if you want additional information regarding these visas. We can provide names of qualified attorneys who can help you with the immigration procedure.
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