Visas and Residency in Panama
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Panama's Visas and Residency for Retirees, Expats and Digital Nomads

Table of Contents

“Pensionado” for Retirees

Retirees, rejoice! Panama’s Pensionado Program is one of the world’s most desirable visa and residency opportunities. With a guaranteed pension, you could be eligible for remarkable benefits such as 15% off hospital bills, 25% discount on energy bills, 50% discounted entertainment and much much more! There are no age limits either – so anyone can apply for this amazing opportunity to retire in the tropical paradise that is Panama. Don’t miss out; secure your retirement dream today with the Pensionado Program!

Panama City Ciudad de Panama at night, Panama

Friendly Nations Visa

Citizens from nations who are friendly to Panama may be eligible for the Friendly Nations Visa, including people from the US, Canada and Europe. To qualify for this exclusive visa opportunity, applicants should be prepared to invest $200,000 in real estate or a fixed term account held in Panama; those looking to work there long-term must meet permanent residency requirements.

Expats and Digital Nomads

For expats and digital nomads wishing to stay and work in Panama, they must first obtain a temporary residence visa. This type of visa is available for those who wish to move to the country permanently, as well as those who want to spend at least 6 months in Panama each year. A temporary residency is usually granted for two years, with the possibility of renewal if desired.

panama city panama canal Isthmus, Panama
When in Panama there is no escaping the Panama Canal

In order to qualify for a temporary residency, applicants must meet certain criteria such as having an income from abroad, owning property or running a company within the Republic of Panama. In addition, applicants should be able to demonstrate good health and character by providing references and/or background checks. Once all documents have been approved, it usually takes 3-4 weeks for your visa application to be processed.

For those who are looking to stay longer than two years, they can apply for permanent residency status. To qualify for this type of visa, applicants must have lived in Panama on a continuous basis for 5 years while maintaining their temporary residence permit. The process generally takes around 8-12 weeks and requires similar documentation such as proof of income or business ownership within the country.

Visas for Entrepreneurs

For entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business in Panama, they may be eligible for a self-employment visa which allows them to run their own venture within the Republic’s borders without needing any additional permits or licenses. This type of visa requires that applicants invest at least US$10k into their venture before obtaining approval from the authorities. Additionally, self-employed individuals will also need to provide evidence of sufficient funds (usually US$2k) that can cover living expenses during their time in the country.

Best places to Live in Panama: Sunset over the pacific Coco del Mar Panama City, Panama
Sunset over the Pacific Coco del Mar Panama City

Once you’ve obtained your residency status or employment permit, you will need to register with both Immigration services and Social Security office so that you can receive national health insurance coverage as well as access other public services in the country such as subsidized housing programs or education assistance schemes open exclusively for Panamanian citizens and long-term residents.