Panama, Casco Viejo
In May 2012, Panama approved a regulation that will make it easier for people coming from a number of countries to get a resident visa.
Here is the list of countries:
Germany, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Spain, United States, Slovakia, France, Finland, Netherlands, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Singapore, Uruguay, Chile and Sweden.
According to the Executive Decree 343 paperwork will require:
1. Three photos, carnet size
2. Documents proving the reason for applying to the visa
3. Proof of income (a.i., bank statement that shows an amount no lower than 4 middle digits). Migration office might require other documents as well.
4. Copy of ID from country of origin
5. Letter of responsibility, if applies
6. In case of bringing dependents, certification that proves the relationship. (spouse, children up to 18 years, dependent parents or disabled relatives). Children from ages 18 to 25 can be included as long as they prove that they`ll be studying and are under economic dependency.
UPDATE: I just got this information from attorney Carlos Neuman, who kindly shared this analysis. If you wish to contact him, please do at:
PRA Abogados – Attorneys at Law
Tel. (507) 263-1896 Fax (507) 263-3380
Permanent Residency for Nationals of Countries Friendly to Panama
This permanent residency option allows foreigners from, one of the countries listed below, to obtain legal permanent residency in Panama, under the condition that they are going to undertake in economic or professional activities of any type in the Republic of Panama.
The nationals of the following countries will be allowed to apply for a permanent residency under the current residency option: Germany, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Spain, United States, Slovakia, France, Finland, The Kingdom of the Netherlands (The Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao & Saint Maarten), Ireland, Japan, Norway, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Singapore, Uruguay, Chile and Sweden.
Procedures for Applying for Residency:
a) A visit to Panama is required for your Passport Registration at the Immigration Office. You will also sign the Special Power of Attorney for our law firm to handle your immigration paperwork and to start the processing of the Permanent Visa. (For the visit to immigration you cannot wear shorts, sandals or sleeveless shirts).
b) Provide all required documents.
c) Our law firm submits your application for your Permanent Visa.
d) Next Day after Application, We will coordinate a second trip with the applicant to the immigration offices in order to obtain one (1) year temporary ID, so applicant has during the remainder of the residency process.
- i. Once you have obtained a one (1) year temporary ID you will no longer be able to drive in Panama with a foreign license. Thus you will need to obtain a Panamanian License at www.setracen.com.pa. For this process you will need to take the following documents:
- An authenticated Copy of your Current Valid License made by the Consulate of Issuance of your License in Panama. After obtaining said authentication you will need to obtain an authentication from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Local Laboratory Results from Blood Type and Glucose Exam.
- If you will not stay in Panama, you can leave after you have obtained the Multiple Entry and Exit Permit. Once the final resolution is issued we will inform you so you can plan your second trip in order to obtain the Permanent Residency ID.
e) Our law firm will process your multiple Entry and Exit Permit to come in and out of the country during the process. Failure to do so would incur you in a US$2,000.00 fine. This Multiple entry and Exit permit is included in our price.
Note: For the accomplishment of the previous steps, we require that applicant and any dependent, schedule to be in Panama city for at least ten work (10) days to accomplish the registration, application of residency and obtaining the multiple entry & exit permit, so you can leave the country under your new immigration status.
f) After the application is submitted, within approximately six (6) months, the Immigration Department will issue the final resolution approving your permanent residency.
g) After final resolution has been issued approving you residency, we will notify you so we can proceed and coordinate obtaining the permanent residency Id. For this you will need to bring or send to our office your current temporary ID´s so we can return to immigration. Two (2) days after your provide us with the temporary ID´s we will take you to immigration personally to obtain your permanent residency ID cards.
Required Documents (for Immigration processing):
a) Photocopy of complete valid passport of the applicant (and dependents – if applicable), including the picture page (that shows the picture, name, date of birth, passport number, place of issue, etc.), and all other pages, including the stamp on entry into the country. This should be provided after the Passport Registration is registered at the Immigration Office in Panama. Please note that the passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of the immigration application. These photocopies can be made in our office.
b) Six (6) passport sized photographs of the applicant (and dependents – if applicable).
c) Certificate of Good Health, issued by a licensed Panamanian hospital or clinic, signed by a registered, licensed physician, indicating that the applicant (and dependents – if applicable) has no contagious diseases and is in good mental and physical condition. We can assist you in obtaining this document during your stay in Panama.
d) Proof of Financial Solvency:
- Bank Reference Letter: showing an amount of at least four mid digits (US$5,000.00 plus) in the bank account. If the Bank reference letter is issued outside of Panama, then said letter must be authenticated by Panamanian Consulate in the country of its issuance or duly apostilled in the country of its issuance of said police report.
- Bank Account Statement: This bank statement cannot be more than one (1) month old at the moment of application and it must show at least an average monthly balance of US$5,000.00 or more in the bank account. If Bank Account Statement is issued outside of Panama, then said letter must be authenticated by Panamanian Consulate in the country of its issuance or duly apostilled in the country of its issuance of said police report.
e) Documentation showing the reason for requiring a permanent residency in Panama based on economic activity or profession.
- Through a Panamanian Corporation:
a) Copy of Public Registry Certificate showing that the applicant is President of a Panamanian Corporation
b) Copies of the Shares of Same Corporation showing that the applicant is a shareholder of Said Corporation
c) Operation Permit of Same Corporation displaying the activity that Said Corporation will undergo here in Panama.
- Through an Operative Company Offering a Job:
a) A Promise of Work Contract
b) A Letter from Company Offering Work where they make reference to the Job Title and brief job description.
f) Police record from the country of last two (2) years of residency, for main applicant and any dependent over 18 years old. The police report must contain the following premises in order to have validity at moment of application:
- This police report cannot be older than six (6) months.
- If the applicant leaves Panama before the application is submitted, but after the police report has been issued, then said Police Report loses validity for immigration purposes and a new one must be obtained.
- The Police Report must be authenticated by Panamanian Consulate in the country of its issuance or duly apostilled in the country of its issuance of said police report.
g) Documentation Needed for proof of Dependents:
- For Spouses: Marriage Certificate
- For Children: Birth Certificate. For Children between 18 – 25 years of will also need to proof that they are enrolled, full time, in a University in the Republic of Panama.
- For Parents: Applicants Birth Certificate (for children under 18 years of age – if applicable). These documents must be authenticated by Panamanian Consulate in the country of its issuance or duly apostilled in the country of its issuance of said police report.
Note: For these documents to have validity at moment of application they must be authenticated by Panamanian Consulate in the country of its issuance or duly apostilled in the country of its issuance of said police report.
h) Copy of Utility Bill showing address where you stay while in Panama. For the Utility Bill the validity can be up to three (3) months from its issuance at the moment of application.