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Panama New Immigration Law

NOTE: New Panama Immigration Law (Feb 25 - 2008) take effect in 6 months.
Estimated start date of Sept 1, 2008. This means the old laws are still in place until then,
If you need more information about the new law,
please click here.

 

Differences between the old immigration law and the new law:

- Under the new law the immigration department is given 60 days to approve or deny any applications that have been accepted. If a determination has not been made by the 61st day then the application is automatically considered to be approved.

 

- The fees for applications will be increased from $100 to $250. In addition there will be an $800 refundable repatriation fee to guarantee that one can return home if the application is denied.

 

- Under the new law if one leaves Panama for more than two years they lose their visa unless they obtain prior approval from immigration before leaving the country.

 

- One must maintain the conditions required for the granting of the visa or residency. For instance if one was required to put $200,000 in the bank then this $200,000 will need to stay in the bank for as long as they have the visa which could be the rest of their life. The bank account is required to be in the person’s personal name. Same applies with getting a visa by putting $200,000 hard cash equity into a residential piece of real estate. They will need to keep the home and the title in their personal name for as long as they have the residency or visa. It was proposed that the $200,000 amounts for these two visas be raised to $350,000 and then was removed from the actual law.

 

- Visas and Residencies are still obtainable but the permanent nature of them has been removed. The citizenship from Panama don't exist. If one lives in Panama for 18 years under the new law and leaves the money in the bank to get the residency and then dies then the surviving spouse would need to file her own visa application with her own bank deposit or else would lose her status in the country. If you wish to live in Panama it is still not hard to get a residency just will not have any permanence to it.

 


 

This is a resume of the changes in the new Visas in Panama:

Tourist Visa

– It is 90 days with a possibility for a 90-day renewal for good cause, not an automatic renewal.

 

Permanent Visas

- for Investors are only possible after having completed three consecutive 2-year temporary visas.

 

Reforestation

– The temporary is now $60,000 minimum with a 10-hectare requirement. This is up from $40,000. The permanent reforestation visa is now $80,000 with a requirement of 20 hectares.

 

Small Business Investor Visa

– There is no longer a small business investor visa.

 

Investor Visa

- Now requires an investment of $160,000 up from $100,000 and requires 5 full time Panamanian workers at the minimum wage.

 

Self –Solvency Visa (Bank Account)

– is now up to $300,000 put in an approved Panama bank account for 3 years.

 

Self-Solvency Investor Visa (Real Estate)

– now requires $300,000 equity in form of cash down payment. You can mix mortgage and cash in bank for up to $30,000. Now possible to hold real estate under a Panama Foundation if primary applicant is the beneficiary of the foundation or if the founder.

 

Rentista Visa

– now requires a deposit in the national bank of Panama for five years that yields $2000 a month, up from $750. Figure today at least $600,000. NO PASSPORT is included any more.

 

Pensionado Visa

– is now raised to $1000 per month up from $500. There is a provision to mix property up to $100,000 in personally held Panama real estate. Equity only from cash placement. Not clear on ratios. Dependents are an extra $250 each, up from $100. People who are financially secure, independent or doing their own pension do not belong under this program. The programs involving investing $300,000 in the bank for 3 years or same amount in real estate are for you. The other one is the Rentista, which requires about $600,000 in bank generating $2000 a month for five years.

 

Multi entry Visas

– now issued for up to five years, previously two.



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For more information please contact us:
info@panamalegalconsultants.com
Tel: (507) 6714-9326