PANAMA FRIENDLY NATIONS VISA
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About the Panama Friendly Nations Visa
**Please note the Panama Friendly Nations Visa program has changed as of August 7, 2021. This page has been updated to reflect the new program requirements and process.**
By Executive Decree 343 of May 16, 2012, the migratory subcategory of Permanent Residency for Friendly Nations was created, by virtue of which citizens of specific countries, with economic or professional ties with Panama, may apply for residency.
General Process and Timeframe
The process begins with filing the initial application with the immigration office for a temporary residency permit. It usually takes 6 months (sometimes less) to resolve the initial application and then issue a provisional residency permit.
Once the provisional residency permit is issued, it is valid for 2 years, during which the applicant must maintain the requirements mentioned below.
After two years, the holder may apply for permanent residency. This may also take 6 months (sometimes less). Once the application is approved, the provisional residency permit is replaced by a permanent residency permit.
This immigration program first grants a provisional residency permit, for 2 years, before applying for and obtaining a permanent residency permit. In general, it takes three years to obtain permanent residency.
Provisional Residency Requirements
The requirements to obtain Provisional Residency are as follow:
- Five passport size photos.
- Passport and second id, such as driver’s license or state ID.
- In terms of economic capacity, one of the following:
- Employment contract in Panama: requires an employment contract between the applicant and a Panamanian company.
- Real Estate Ownership: Requires the applicant to own a Panamanian property with a registered value of at least USD $200,000, which can be financed with a local institution.
- Certificate of Deposit: Deposit of at least USD $200,000 in a national bank in Panama. This must include title, value, term, and must be free of encumbrances with a minimum validity of 3 years.
- Clean criminal background check from the country of citizenship, or country of residence for the last two years (in this case proof of residence permit is required). The criminal check must be national, so for the U.S. for example, it must be from the FBI.
- USD $800.00 per certified check issued to the National Immigration Service for the repatriation fee.
- USD $250.00 per certified check issued to the National Treasury for the application fee.
- Health certificate issued by a local doctor within the last 90 days prior to submitting the application.
- Sworn declaration (available in our website’s Resources)
Main Applicant Included.
To obtain permanent residency, the applicant must have hold the provisional residency for at least 2 years. The application for permanent residency requires the same documents used to obtain provisional residency, which must be up to date. On top of that, the applicant must also submit his provisional residency.
Permanent Residency Requirements
The requirements to obtain Permanent Residency are as follow:
- Submission of your provisional residency.
- Applicant must have hold the provisional residency for at least 2 years.
Main Applicant Included.
If the applicant wants to include his/her spouse, a marriage certificate (valid for 6 months only) and all the requirements listed above must be presented.
Likewise, if the application includes dependent children, you must include the birth certificate for each of them.
All documents originating abroad must be apostilled (at the Secretary of State) or authenticated at the Panamanian Consulate in your country.
If you have further questions, please check our Frequently Asked Questions.
Contact us today if you intend to apply for permanent residency in Panama with the Friendly Nations Visa Program.