Panama Independent Means Visa: Set to Break Records with 30% Surge in Approvals for 2023
In the first half of the year, Panama's Migration Office has given the green light to 941 Independent Means Visas (for retirees or pensioners), marking a notable 30% surge compared to the same period last year.
This surge in approvals suggests that Panama's Independent Means Visa is poised to achieve a historic peak, a milestone not seen in over a decade. If the current monthly approval trend persists, Panama is projected to surpass 1,600 approved visas under this category by the end of 2023.
Conversely, approvals for investment-based visas, particularly those under the Friendly Nations Visa program, which constitutes approximately 90% of investment-based visas, seem to be stabilizing. The backlog of applications for this category accumulated throughout 2021 and 2022, coinciding with the adjustment of the program's price tag from $5,000 to $200,000.
In total, the first seven months of the year witnessed 1,611 approvals across various investor visas, hinting at an annual total likely to fall just short of the performance recorded last year.
Despite Panama having introduced more than a dozen different investor visas in the past decade, recent approvals have been predominantly concentrated in categories such as Qualified Investor, Self-Solvency Fixed Deposit, Self-Solvency Real Estate Investor, and Call Center Investor.
Remarkably, both investor and independent means visa categories boast impressively high approval rates, ranging from 95% to 97%.
Panama's inclination towards immigrants who make significant investments is evident in the substantial proportion these applicants hold in the overall landscape of immigration to the country. Over the last seven years, investor immigrants have consistently represented an average of 15% of all approved immigrants, equating to roughly one in seven immigrants.
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