Citizenship by Investment in Panama: Procedure to obtain the Residency and Passport.
Why invest in Panama?
Panama has a stable government, a strong economy based on the US dollar, and has signed several free trade agreements. The country served as a commercial intersection for the Americas due to the Panama Canal, making it one of the most important commercial areas in the world. Also, Panama is a safe country and has a low cost of living.
The main sources of economic activity are logistics, financial services and tourism. Panama can offer tax incentives to companies, especially in the logistics, shared services, and research and development sectors. As of the enactment of new laws, two other sectors that are seeing growth in investment are call centers and reforestation.
How to obtain citizenship by investment?
To opt for the Permanent Residence Visa, you must have the Temporary Residence Visa for three (3) consecutive periods of two (2) years each. Foreigners who wish to invest in a business in Panama, with a minimum Share Capital of US $ 160,000 per applicant, may apply for the Residence Visa for Business Investor in Panama as a shareholder or manager of said company.
Foreigners who apply for the investor visa in Panama must prove that the minimum amount invested of US $ 160,000 is of their own money.
A foreigner may start any legal business, except businesses reserved for Panamanian nationals such as: lawyers, doctors or retail businesses.
If the Business Investor wishes to incorporate dependents under this program to opt for Residence in Panama, she must increase her investment by US $ 2000 for each dependent.
The business must employ at least 5 Panamanians full time (for each applicant), pay at least the minimum wage to each of them according to the provisions of the law for each region and detail the position or activity that each employee performs. Panamanian companies require that each employee be incorporated into Social Security.
Procedure to obtain the Panama Residence Permit (Visa)
1 Passport Registration in Immigration
2 Submit the application with all the required documents in the National Immigration Service of Panama, including the receipts of payment for the government fees for processing, as well as the Repatriation Deposit (if applicable).
3 The National Immigration Service of Panama will issue the applicant a provisional residence permit (Provisional Visa), as well as the Multiple Entry and Exit Visa.
4 The National Immigration Service of Panama will issue the Temporary Residence Visa for the applicant for a period of two years.
5 The National Immigration Service of Panama will grant the applicant a Permanent Residence Visa.
6 Five (5) years after having been granted Permanent Residence, the applicant may opt for Panamanian citizenship through the naturalization process, and once citizenship is obtained, they may request a Panama passport.