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April 1, 2024
3 min

Three Investment Routes to Obtain Panama Golden Visa

Brittany Collins

Panama grants foreigners Golden Visas if they invest in the country’s economy.

The main program is a Qualified Investor Program under which you must invest at least $300,000. There are two other routes: Friendly Nations and Forestry Investors programs. Foreigners obtain a temporary or permanent residence permit depending on the chosen option.

In the article, we will go through all the investment options, application process and benefits of having a Panama Golden Visa.

Three Investment Routes to Obtain Panama Golden Visa

Three Investment Routes to Obtain Panama Golden Visa

7 Benefits of Panama Golden Visa

Obtaining residency in Panama through investment can offer several potential benefits.

  1. Ease of business operations. Panama is known for its business-friendly environment. Its strategic location, use of the US dollar, and status as a major global trading and financial hub make it an attractive place to do business.

  2. Tax benefits. Panama doesn’t oblige you to pay taxes on global income.

  3. Path to citizenship. Permanent residence holders can eventually obtain citizenship. It can offer additional benefits, such as the ability to work in Panama and travel visa-free or visa-on-arrival to several countries worldwide.

  4. Strategic location. Panama’s strategic location provides easy access to North, Central, and South America. It can be especially advantageous for business people and frequent travelers.

  5. Potential for return on investment. Depending on the specific investment there may be potential for a good return on investment.

  6. Strong legal protection for investors. Panama has a strong legal framework that protects the rights of investors. Foreign investors receive the same rights and protections as local investors.

  7. Excellent infrastructure. Panama boasts world-class infrastructure, which includes the Panama Canal, modern airports, highways, and ports. Panama City’s capital city is a cosmopolitan city with high-end shopping, dining, and nightlife.

Panama Golden Visa

Panama offers a high quality of life, a warm climate, diverse natural beauty, and a vibrant culture. It also has a low cost of living compared to many other countries

Investment Options for the Panama Golden Visa

Panama offers three paths to obtaining residency by investment: residence permit for Qualified Investors, Friendly Nations and Forestry Investors.

Qualified Investor. The Qualified Investor Visa was introduced by Panama’s government in 2020. It aims to attract high-net-worth individuals who want to invest significantly in the country.

Applicants have three investment options:

  • real estate investment — $300,000+;

  • fixed-term deposit in a Panamanian bank — $500,000+;

  • stock exchange investment — $500,000+.

Friendly Nations. Although this is not strictly an investment visa, it is a popular choice for investors from one of the "friendly nations" recognized by Panama. This visa requires an economic or professional activity in Panama, including buying real estate.

There are two investment options:

  • real estate investment — $200,000;

  • fixed-term deposit — $200,000.

A person can also get a residence permit under this route if a company in Panama employs them.

Countries Considered Friendly Nations

Europe

Americas

Asia

Other regions

Andorra

Argentina

Hong Kong

Australia

Austria

Brazil

Japan

Israel

Belgium

Canada

Singapore

New Zealand

Croatia

Chile

South Korea

South Africa

Cyprus

Costa Rica

Czech Republic

Mexico

Denmark

Paraguay

Estonia

Peru

Finland

United States

France

Uruguay

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Irelands

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Monaco

Montenegro

Netherlands

Norway

Poland

Portugal

San Marino

Serbia

Slovakia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

United Kingdom

Forestry Investors. This program offers residency to individuals who invest a minimum amount in reforestation projects. It can involve purchasing a minimum of five hectares of designated reforestation land or investing in authorized reforestation projects or companies.

It is possible to choose one of the options:

  • real estate investment — $100,000;

  • investment in teak reforestation — $100,000. In this case, you get a two-year temporary residence permit, and then you can apply for permanent residence;

  • investment in teak reforestation — $350,000. This option gives permanent residence right away.

Requirements for Investors and Their Families under the Panama Golden Visa Program

To be eligible, the investor must:

  • be over 18;

  • have no criminal record;

  • have a legal source of funds and be able to prove it.

With Panama’s Gold Visa, your family can also benefit from permanent residency. That means your spouse and children under 18 or up to 25 if they’re full-time students can obtain residency without additional investments. Plus, the entire process requires just one trip to Panama for all family members included in the application.

Application Process for Panama Golden Visa

The process of obtaining a Panama Golden Visa depends on your chosen investment path. The processing time is 30 days for the Qualified Investors route and 4—6 months for Friendly Nations and Forestry Investors.

However, the application process is all the same.

1

Decide on the investment and make it

Depending on the chosen option, you must invest a required sum of money or more.

Then you must obtain proof of investment.

2

Collect documents

The required list typically includes:

  • proof of the investment;

  • a completed application form;

  • a copy of the applicant’s passport;

  • a birth certificate;

  • health certificate issued by a Panamanian doctor;

  • criminal background check from the applicant’s home country or the country where they have lived for the past five years;

  • marriage certificate if applicable;

  • birth certificates for dependent children, if applicable.

All documents from abroad must be properly notarized and apostilled (or authenticated by a Panamanian consulate).

3

Submit the application

Submit the application and supporting documents to the National Immigration Service. You can do it either with the help of an attorney or on your own.

4

Approval

If the application is approved, the applicant will receive a residency permit.

People applying under the Qualified Investors and Forestry Investors programs obtain permanent residence right after getting a temporary residence permit. Those undertaking the Friendly Nations route receive a temporary residence permit for two years and then can apply for permanent residence.

Pathway to Citizenship After 5 Years of Panama Residency

To become a citizen, you must hold permanent residence for five years.

The criteria for applying for citizenship are:

  • nationality — your original nationality determines how soon you can apply for citizenship;

  • fluency in Spanish you’ll need to pass a test to prove your Spanish language skills and knowledge of Panama’s history and culture;

  • economic solvency you must show that you’re financially stable.

Panama Golden Visa

Learning Spanish is essential as it proves a person’s successful integration into Panamanian society and the local culture

Key Takeaways

Panama grants foreigners Golden Visas if they invest in the country’s economy under one of the following programs: Qualified Investor, Friendly Nations and Forestry Investors.

The minimum investment depends on the chosen program. For qualified investors, it is $300,000.

The processing time for obtaining a Golden Visa is 30 days under the Qualified Investors route and 4—6 months for Friendly Nations and Forestry Investors.

Benefits of having a Panama Golden Visa include:

  • ease of business operations;

  • path to citizenship;

  • lifestyle benefits;

  • strategic location;

  • potential for return on investment;

  • strong legal protection for investors.

Permanent residency holders in Panama can obtain the country’s passport within 5 years.

Frequently Asked Questions

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