Permanent residency in Panama is a permit that authorizes foreigners to live in Panama on a permanent basis. All foreigners interested in living in Panama must carry out this process at the National Immigration Service if they wish to stay in the country beyond their tourist permit.
Kraemer & Kraemer offers support in different Immigration Processes, including the Panama Friendly Nations Visa, Panama Retirees and Pensioner Visa, Panama Qualified Investor Visa and more.
Panama has no physical residency requirement. This means, a foreigner can have Panamanian permanent residency and physically live in another country. However, there are conditions that all permanent residents must meet in order to maintain the validity of their permit.
Visit Panama once every two years
Those with Panamanian permanent residency must visit the country at least every 2 years, and should stay in the country for more than 24 hours (connecting flights are not considered a visit). Otherwise, their permanent residency may be suspended. However, this suspension is not automatic. When the foreigner enters Panama, the immigration officer has the authority to suspend a permanent residency at his discretion.
When the permanent residency permit is suspended, the foreigner has 30 working days – from his entry date to Panama – to file a petition and re-establish the permit. This is a legal process requiring an attorney’s assistance.
If a foreigner does not visit Panama for 6 years or more, the permanent residency permit is canceled and the foreigner must initiate a new immigration process.
In other words, a foreigner with Panamanian permanent residency may stay out of Panama up to 6 years. However, he runs the risk of having the permanent residency permit suspended. After 6 years, the permanent residency permit is canceled.
Maintaining good ties in Panama
It is important to respect the institutions and the local government wherever you live. Participating in a conflict breaching the rules of national security, or in protests against the government, or in actions threatening the sovereignty of the country, are reasons that can cause a foreigner to lose his permanent residency permit in Panama.
Having Panamanian permanent residency certainly grants you the same rights as a citizen born in the country. But, you need to be aware of the limits to express your disagreement or dissatisfaction. In the end, all Panamanian immigration programs seek to bring in people who care for the country’s well being.