VISAS & RETIREMENT


Panama Retirement Visa & Incentive Benefits

Pensionado Visa

 This visa is designed for persons whose pension from a government entity or private corporation is $1,000 or more ($250 per month for each additional dependant). You will have to prove this under scrutiny. Usually a pension statement from the government or private pension will suffice but backup bank deposit records could not hurt. The Pensionado Visa is granted indefinitely but it is necessary to prove to the Immigration Department on an annual basis that the income is still flowing from your pension. The benefits include one-time exemption of duties for the importation of household goods (up to $10,000) and an exemption every two years of duties for the importation of a car. There is also a basket of other benefits and discounts available to those holding this Visa. However, please note that under this visa you cannot qualify to acquire Panamanian nationality or a Panama Passport. It is an instant permanent residency program.

As a qualified pensionado/retiree in Panama, you will be entitled to:

  • 50% off entertainment anywhere in the country (movies, theatres, concerts, sporting events)
  • 30% off bus, boat, and train fares
  • 25% off airline tickets
  • 50% off hotel stays from Monday through Thursday
  • 30% off hotels stays from Friday through Sunday
  • 25% off at restaurants
  • 15% off at fast-food restaurants
  • 15% off hospital bills (if no insurance applies)
  • 10% off prescription medicines
  • 20% off medical consultations
  • 15% off dental and eye exams
  • 20% off professional and technical services

50% closing costs for home loans and more...

Panama Reforestation Visa Program

Summary – This is a unique program where one invests $80,000 in an approved Panama reforestation program. This allows the investor to obtain a Visa for themselves and their spouse as well as dependent children; no additional investment is required for dependents. This is the least expensive legitimate residency program we are aware of. The Visas are renewable annually and after either one or five years they become permanent residency Visas allowing the investor and their dependents to reside in Panama permanently and also to work in Panama. After five years one can apply for citizenship. This is an extremely inexpensive way to obtain a Panama residency and eventually a citizenship with Panama passport which is good for visa free travel in most of the western EU and throughout most of Latin and South America. The reforestation program is a statutory program written down as law. All of the programs are statutory and written in the public laws. If you actually make the investment of $80,000 in the reforestation visa program it is a documented lawful program written in the law books and will be honoured by the government, subsequent elected officials of Panama etc. What I am saying is if you make the investment, you will have your permanent residency which after five years makes you eligible to apply to be a citizen of Panama with a Panamanian Passport.

The Investment – You are investing in forestry projects generally dealing with teak wood but other types of trees are available. Some projects give you title to the actual land, usually about 20 hectares. The reforestation project must be an approved one. These projects are supposed to generate a fantastic return after 25 years, many times your investment. If you were to liquidate the land say after 10 years your return would generate substantial losses. This is because it takes years for the trees to grow. If you wait 15 years the loss would be less or perhaps you’d reach break even. Now if the value of land in Panama keeps appreciating like it has been doing recently this may prove to be untrue and the investment may be worth more in a few short years? We do think it is a tremendous way to obtain residency and eventually citizenship for a small investment. If the investment is held long enough it is possible to realize a high return on the investment as well. Any gain made on this investment is not taxable in Panama. We are not investment advisors and you need to evaluate the investment potential yourself. The land can be held in the name of a corporation.

Residency – Reforestation Visa $80,000 (20 hectare minimum). Has residency and will lead to the ability to apply for citizenship after five years. It leads to a permanent residency after one year.

Documents Required – Passports valid for at least 6 months, police clearance report from last place of residence, marriage certificate, birth certificate for children dependents, medical clearance from Panama (we can refer), application forms, pictures, proof of investment contract etc. You have to come to Panama to apply in person but you do not need to live here for this visa.

 Private Income Retiree Visa (Rentista Retirado)

This visa is for persons who don’t have a monthly pension, are no longer working, and have received a retirement lump sum.  As a visa requirement, that money is to be deposited on a five-year certificate of deposit with the National Bank of Panama, to yield at least $2000 a month (at current rates the face value of the CD would need to be approximately $500,000). The visa is renewable every five years, as long as the CD is renewed.  The Private Income Retiree Visa includes such benefits as a traveling Panamanian passport (that however does NOT grant citizenship), a one-time exemption of duties for the importation of household goods (up to $10,000), and an exemption every two years of duties for the importation of a car.

Person of Means Visa (Solvencia Económica Propia)

Designed for those who wish to live in Panama off their own means, without the need or desire to work or start a business.  The person must have a three-year certificate of deposit in any local bank of at least $300,000. After renewal, the visa is granted permanently with the right to a cedula (local identity card). Five years after obtaining the permanent visa, holders will be eligible to apply for Panamanian nationality and Passport.

Option 1: Open a CD deposit of $300,000.00 for 3 years.

Option 2: Real estate investment of $300,000.00 or more (excess may be mortgaged)

Option 3: Mixed investment CD & property as long as they total $300,000.00

 Investor Visa (Inversionista)

Designed for those who wish to establish a business in Panama (note, though, that some retail businesses and some professions are reserved to Panamanians).  There must be a minimum investment of $160,000 and minimum of five, permanent Panamanian employees hired. It is granted provisionally for one year and after renewal is granted permanently with the right to be issued a cedula. Five years after obtaining the permanent visa, holders will be eligible to apply for Panamanian nationality and passport.

Tax Free Processing Zone Investor Program

This program allows foreign investors to obtain legal residency in Panama under the condition that they must rent a plot of land or an office or building (rented through a 10 to 20 year concession) within one of the new tax free processing zones in Panama, for the purpose of operating a business from Panama that exports its products or services.

Second Passport Program

By means of Executive Decree No. 26 of March 2, 2009, the Government of Panama significantly reduced from US$615,000 to US$260,000 the bank time deposit at the National Bank of Panama required to qualify for a Second Passport. 

 The new rule only requires that this deposit produces a minimum of only US$850.00 per month in interest which at current interest rates for a 5-year time deposit amounts to US$260,000.

About the Panama Second Passport, if you are looking to obtaining a second passport quickly, the only immigration program that provides that is the Panama Second Passport Program. This passport is excellent because is granted almost immediately and it lasts for 5 years, renewable.

We have found that the Panama Second Passport has been useful for Russian, Middle East and other nationalities with restricted entry into EU.

With the Panama Second Passport, they can enter most EU countries without Visa and without any invitation letters.

One important advantage when they travel with this Passport is that Panama has Visa-Free agreements with 40 countries.