Panama Qualified Investor Residency: A Look Towards Future Changes

The Panama Qualified Investor Visa has been a key attraction for foreign investors in recent years. However, this time, we will focus on the significant increase in the real estate investment requirement, which will go from USD 300,000 to USD 500,000 as of October 15, 2024.

The genesis of this change dates to October 15th, 2020, the date on which Executive Decree No. 772 was enacted. This decree established, within the category of Permanent Resident for Economic Reasons, the subcategory of Permanent Resident as a Qualified Investor, specifying in its article 10 that, during the first twenty-four months after its entry into effect, a real estate investment of USD 300,000 would be accepted to obtain the investment certification. This certification is essential, as it constitutes a key document required by the National Migration Service for the application for Permanent Residency as a Qualified Investor.

Person signing certifcate

However, the scenario underwent a significant modification on October 13, 2022, through Executive Decree 109. This new decree extended the above-mentioned period from twenty-four months to forty-eight months. Consequently, as of October 15, 2024, the requirement to obtain the investment certificate will undergo a substantial increase, rising from USD 300,000 to USD 500,000.

This update in the real estate investment requirements will directly impact investors interested in the Qualified Investor Visa, who will have to adjust their strategies and financial planning to meet the new threshold established by the Panamanian authorities. This change, while representing an additional challenge, can also be interpreted as an indicator of the importance the country places on foreign investment and the sustainability of real estate projects in Panama’s economic landscape.

Couple accepting keys their new house

In addition to the modification in the real estate investment requirement for the Qualified Investor Visa, it is relevant to note that the other two investment options, such as fixed-term deposits in a Licensed Panamanian bank and the purchase of shares in the Panama Stock Market will not undergo changes. Investors interested in diversifying their portfolios with these alternatives will still be able to take advantage of the opportunities that exist in these financial instruments. This aspect provides strategic flexibility to those looking to explore different investment vehicles.

Get the right legal advice

For those investors interested in taking advantage of the current conditions prior to the entry into force of the change in the Panama Qualified Investor Visa law, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible. By anticipating these changes, they will have the opportunity to start your procedures efficiently and take benefit of the current economic conditions, thus avoiding the increase in the real estate investment requirement. Our specialized team is ready to provide personalized advice and guide investors through every stage of the process, ensuring a smooth process to obtaining the Panama Qualified Investor Visa. Don’t miss the opportunity to maximize your investments and secure your immigration status under current conditions. Contact us today!

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Published January 30th, 2024, as Commentary on Immigration by Lorena Bristán