Investment Visa: Options for residency in Panama

One of the ways to get residency in Panama is through an investment visa. The friendly nations visa has resulted in less people being interested in investment visas. Nonetheless, these continue to be options for citizens of countries that do not qualify under Friendly nations.

Investment Visa Options

Among the options that you have:

  • Personal Income / Economic Solvency – CD/time deposit or real estate investment
  • Multinational Companies
  • Reforestation
  • Investor – $160,000 invested in your own business, operating locally
  • Processing Zone & Free Zones – $250,000 (includes Call Centers, Panama Pacífico and other free trade zones)
  • Film Industry company – $150,000
  • Friendly Nations company – $5,000 (subject to being a citizen of a friendly nation)
  • 2nd Passport “rentista” – requires a time deposit that generates no less than US$2,000/month income
  • Agriculture

Special laws create industry specific opportunities for immigration and investment. They reflect the desire of the administration to influence the direction investment takes in the country.

Most of these options provide permanent residency options for the investor. Additionally, some offer the options of work permits for specialized employees or executives.  Among these are reforestation, manufacturing and assembly plants in processing zones or the Panama Pacific zone, software creation facilities in the Ciudad del Saber, call centers, or distribution facilities in the Free Trade or Processing zones.

Road to citizenship

Are you looking for a second passport? Investment in Panama can provide a pathway to getting citizenship.  But, like many countries, this is not “immediate”. First you become a permanent resident: after a certain period you apply for citizenship.  In the case of the investment visas, 5 years (married to a Panamanian is only 3 years). An exception to this is the 2nd passport “rentista”. But it does not offer citizenship. It only offers a passport.

Doing business

Panama is known as the “Bridge of the Americas” and “Crossroads of the World” and has become the prime location for financial migration between the two continents and the two oceans.  Situated on the isthmus between North and South America, the Republic of Panama covers 29,761 square miles and is flanked by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The official language of the country is Spanish but because of the many years of international influence in the cities of Panama and Colon a high percentage of the population also speak English fluently.  This makes employment of a trained workforce much easier.

Panama offers numerous benefits and advantages as a business center. The economy is based primarily on private enterprise and depends heavily on the services sector.  It is strategically located and geared to international trade and external factors.

There are few requirements regarding the nationality of investors and no restrictions on converting currencies or transferring funds. Consequently, there are very few limitations or restrictive practices on foreign investment, especially for international business operations based in Panama.

Please contact Joan Villanueva for more information regarding each investment option.