How can I obtain Panamanian Citizenship?

Given Panama’s popularity for permanent residency, one of the most frequently asked questions is how to obtain Panamanian citizenship. Although Panama doesn’t have a citizenship by investment program, it is possible to apply for Panamanian citizenship after 5 years of permanent residency. In this article, we will share more information related to the process of obtaining Panamanian citizenship.

How to become a permanent resident?

The Panamanian Government has different immigration programs to grant permanent residency, a prerequisite before applying for citizenship. Some of the options include:

Each of the visa programs has different requirements that must be met in order to obtain permanent residency.

Other options to apply for Panamanian Citizenship

Panama also recognizes three additional paths to grant citizenship:

Citizenship by Birth: Panamanian citizenship is a right for anyone born in Panama, regardless of the nationality or legal status of their parents. The only exception applies to children of foreign diplomats.

Citizenship by Descent: This option applies if the applicant’s parents were born in Panama or became naturalized citizens. In the case of naturalized parents, the child must request Citizenship before he turns 19 years of age.

Citizenship by Adoption: People born in the Panama Canal Zone between 1904 and 1979.

Citizenship by Adoption: This option is applicable to children of 6 years old or younger, adopted by a Panamanian. If the child is older, he or she will need a naturalization certificate done through the Electoral Tribunal.

Application process and requirements to obtain Panamanian Citizenship

The process and timeframe to obtain Panamanian citizenship vary depending on the chosen path. Generally, the process starts at the immigration offices and finalizes with the government offices involved.

When applying, it is also important to demonstrate the following:

  • Good character: through police reports, from Panama and/or home country.
  • Good health: through a health certificate issued by a Panamanian doctor.
  • Legal permanent residency: for the required period of time.

Other requirements include an authenticated copy of permanent resident ID card, authenticated copy of the permanent resident resolution, authenticated copy of the e-cedula, among others.

Receive the proper assistance

The legal team of Kraemer & Kraemer can assist you with the process of applying for and obtaining Panamanian Citizenship. Contact us at to have one of our attorneys guide you.

Published January 31st, 2022, as Commentary on Immigration by Johana Sum