Panama’s Qualified Investor Permanent Residency program, often referred to as the ‘Golden Visa,’ offers investors an instant route to permanent residency upon successful application, with no obligation for continual in-country presence. To uphold this status, though, investors are expected to travel to Panama at a minimum of once per two years.
This Golden Visa program opens doors for a variety of qualifying investments, such as real estate purchases, banking deposits, or participation in investment funds.
Spanish-proficient investors have the advantage of an available pathway to citizenship under the Golden Visa. The duration towards naturalization can be anywhere from one to five years, depending on the person’s initial nationality.
Tabla de contenidos
|Program Type||Qualified Investor Program|
|Time for citizenship||Up to 5 Years|
|Time Required for Citizenship||Instant upon Approval|
|Requirement for Physical Presence||One visit every two years to maintain status|
|Timeframe for Application Processing||1-2 Months|
|Visa-free Travel with Granted Citizenship||141 destinations, including Schengen Area|
|Investment Options||Real Estate, Bank Deposit, Investment in Funds|
How Long you can stay
Under the Panama Qualified Investor Permanent Residency program, also known as the Golden Visa, participants are issued a permit for permanent residency that lasts for a period of 5 years. To sustain this status, the participant must visit Panama at least once every two years, thereby demonstrating a connection to the nation. The invested assets under the Golden Visa can be sold after these 5 years.
After maintaining legal residence in Panama for a period of five years through the Golden Visa, investors then become eligible to apply for Panamanian citizenship.
When to Apply and how long it takes
You may initiate your application process for the Golden Visa as early as 60 days before meeting the required residency duration in Panama. Typically, these proceedings are likely to span around 1-2 months. Applications can be submitted regardless of your current location, either inside or outside of Panama, provided that a legal proxy is engaged to interact with the Ministry of Immigration Services of Panama.
For the Panama Qualified Investor Permanent Residency Program, there are certain fees payable to the government. This includes a certified check for B/.250.00, which is directed towards the National Treasury, and another certified check for B/.800.00, which goes to the National Migration Service.
The Panama Qualified Investor Permanent Residency scheme provides three different channels for investment, each with a five-year lock-in period:
- Property Investment: A sum of $800,000 invested in real estate within Panama, devoid of any liens.
- Stock Market Investment: An investment of $500,000 in securities traded on the Panama Stock Exchange, facilitated through a certified Panamanian brokerage firm.
- Bank Deposit: A placement of $750,000 in a licensed bank in Panama. Please note that interest accrued from this deposit is exempt from taxes in Panama.
- For every dependent, an added investment of $2,000 is mandatory.
- The National Migration Service requires a fee of $5,000 from the primary applicant and $1,000 for each dependent.
- A payment of $5,000 is to be deposited in the National Treasury by the main applicant and an additional $1,000 for each dependent.
Documents you will need
This permit, as part of the Golden Visa program, is granted for two (2) years, after which you can seek permanent residency. If you have dependents under the Golden Visa, the investment needs to be increased by two thousand balboas (B/. 2,000.00) per dependent, which can be substantiated by a local bank reference.
- Notarized Power of Attorney and application. The Power of Attorney should specify the names and nationalities of the applicant’s parents.
- Three (3) photos.
- Certified copy of your passport.
- Certificate of Criminal Records.
- Health Certificate.
- A certified check of B/250.00 made out to the National Treasury.
- A certified check of B/800.00 made out to the National Immigration Service.
- Sworn Declaration of Personal History.
- A banking certificate verifying the creation of a fixed-term deposit account under the applicant’s name, with a minimum amount of three hundred thousand balboas (B/.300,000.00) or the equivalent in foreign currency, with a minimum duration of three (3) years at any licensed bank within the country. This fixed deposit should be lien-free.
- An authenticated copy of the fixed-term deposit certificate from the bank.
- Responsibility Letter.
- Proof of relationship.
- Proof of residence.
- If the dependent is above 18, a certificate of being unmarried and certified educational records are required.
FIXED-TERM DEPOSIT SELF-SOLVENCY PERMANENT RESIDENCY PERMIT (PRP-SEP-DPF)
For an application of Permanent Residency, the previously mentioned requirements need to be provided, excluding the Criminal Background Certificate and the checks.
The journey towards naturalization through the Golden Visa involves the participation of various public bodies such as the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Justice, the Ministry of Public Services, the Electoral Tribunal, the Government Office, and the Presidency of Panama. All naturalization applications under the Golden Visa are ultimately approved and signed by the President of Panama. Prospective citizens are advised to seek the assistance of legal experts to ensure all necessary procedures are duly followed.
An interview is conducted by the Panama Electoral Tribunal to evaluate the applicant’s proficiency in Spanish and understanding of Panama’s history, geography, and civil rights as part of the Golden Visa process. The final application is then submitted to the Presidency at this stage.
Although Panama does not officially acknowledge dual citizenship, it doesn’t actively check if its new citizens under the Golden Visa program renounce other nationalities.
Citizens from a number of Latin American nations can expedite their citizenship application through a reciprocal arrangement under the Golden Visa. The timeline for this accelerated procedure is as follows:
- 1 year: Colombia, El Salvador
- 2 years: Argentina, Ecuador, Spain, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru
- 3 years: Uruguay
In conclusion, the Panama Qualified Investor Permanent Residency Program offers a practical and efficient pathway to permanent residency, and potentially citizenship, for foreign investors. With its flexible investment options, minimal physical presence requirement, and immediate permanent residency upon approval, the program provides an attractive opportunity for individuals looking to diversify their investments and secure a reliable plan for residency.
It’s important to note, however, that every individual’s circumstances are different, and the suitability of the program may depend on various factors including personal, financial, and immigration goals. Therefore, it’s always recommended to seek legal advice when considering such programs.
Moreover, the landscape of Golden Visa programs is dynamic, with many countries worldwide offering their own versions of investment-based immigration programs. It’s crucial for prospective applicants to stay informed about global trends and changes in these programs, as the «best» or «cheapest» program can vary depending on an individual’s specific needs and circumstances.
Executive Order No. 722 of October 15, 2020
The Constitution of the Republic of Panama
Decree Law 3 of February 22, 2008
Executive Decree No. 320 of August 8, 2008, Articles 191 and 192, as amended
by Executive Decree No. 26 of March 2, 2009
Law 38 of 2000.
These sources provide the legal basis for the Panama Qualified Investor Permanent Residency Program. They detail the requirements, processes, and other pertinent information regarding this specific immigration program. It’s important to consult these documents or seek professional advice for comprehensive and up-to-date information.
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