Friendly Nations Visa Changes – Executive Decree 197 of May 7 2021

The government published executive decree #197 from May 7, 2021, which modifies the requirements to obtain permanent residency in Panama with the popular Friendly Nations Program.

To summarize the changes:

  1. The program will first grant temporary residency for the first 2 years. Afterwards, holders of the temporary residency who uphold the requirements will be able to request permanent residency.
  2. The economic solvency requirement is now restricted to only two options: employment in a Panamanian company or real estate investment of at least USD$200,000.
  3. Ownership of a business (via IBC or LLC) in Panama, as proof of economic solvency, is eliminated as an option.
  4. Taiwan was removed from the list of nations eligible to apply in the program.

The changes tightens the requirements for those who want to obtain permanent residency in Panama.

The changes will be enforced to any applications presented at the Panama Immigration Office as of August 18th 2021. However, it is not clear whether the government will receive applications with the old requirements until that date.

For that reason, we encourage those who would like to obtain permanent residency in Panama with the Friendly Nations Visa program to contact us as soon as possible to clarify your circumstances and discuss a path forward.

Executive Decree 197 of May 7, 2021

Related pages:

Published May 21st, 2021, as Laws on Immigration by Johana Sum