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
Differences between the old immigration law and the
- 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
- 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
– It is 90 days with a possibility for
a 90-day renewal for good cause, not an automatic renewal.
- for Investors are only possible after having completed
three consecutive 2-year temporary visas.
– 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.
- Now requires an investment of $160,000 up from $100,000
and requires 5 full time Panamanian workers at the minimum
– is now up to $300,000 put in an
approved Panama bank account for 3 years.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
Panama Legal Consultants
- Panama Law Firm -
For more information please contact us:
Tel: (507) 6714-9326