Published On: November 25th, 2023Categories: Visas, Residency, & Citizenship, Central AmericaTags: ,

9 Best Panama Residency Visas for Expats, Including a Retiree Favorite

9 Best Panama Residency Visas for Expats, Including a Retiree Favorite

For those looking to make Panama their new permanent home, the government offers a huge variety of Panama residency visas. I would venture to say it’s almost TOO many, but I guess it’s always good to have options. Applying for residency in Panama isn’t a DIY process — you must use Panamanian immigration attorneys to apply. Because the process isn’t public, and because there are so many available options, staying up-to-date on the exact requirements of each visa is challenging.

Use the guide below as a starting point to see which Panama residency visas might appeal to you.

Note: for work visas and business visas, some professions and retail businesses are reserved for Panamanian citizens only.

1) Remote Work Visa

panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

The remote work/freelancer visa is for workers who work online for a non-Panamanian company or doing freelance work.

Remote Worker Visa Requirements

panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Earn at least $36,000/year ($48,000 for families)
  • Employment contract with foreign company or proof of your own company

Remote Worker Visa Benefits

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Lasts 9 months
  • Renew for up to 18 months
  • Transfer to another visa type after 18 months

2) Student Visa

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Student visas are for attending college/university in Panama and include the many outposts of Americans schools in the country. There is no age cap on student visas in Panama. Who wants to go back to school?

Student Visa Requirements

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Show acceptance and proof of tuition payment
  • Show ability to support yourself financially

Student Visa Benefits

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Lasts one year
  • Renew each year for up to 6 years

3) Pensionado Visa

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

The Pensionado Visa is designed for retirees or pensioners who receive a lifetime income from abroad, such as Social Security benefits or private pensions.

This visa offers the most comprehensive benefits, including discounts on medical services, transportation, hotels and entertainment. Unlike some countries, you only have to be 18 to qualify for this visa AND the discounts! If you don’t come in on this visa, you can still get the discounts once you reach retirement age, which is considered 55 for women and 60 for men. Sorry guys!

Pensionado Visa Requirements

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Proof of $1,000/month retirement income (pension, annuity, Social Security, etc.), or
  • $100,000 real estate investment plus proof of $750/month retirement income, or
  • $170,000 five-year deposit in a Panama bank (Rentista Retirado option, which essentially provides you monthly income in the necessary amount)
  • Additional amounts required for each dependent

Pensionado Visa Benefits

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • 50% off entertainment like movies, concerts, sports
  • 30% off bus, boat, and train fares, 25% off airfare
  • 50% off hotels M-Th, 30% off F-Su
  • 25% off at restaurants, 15% off at fast food restaurants
  • 15% off out-of-pocket hospital bills, 10% off prescriptions, 15% off dental & eye exams
  • 20% off professional and technical services
  • 50% off home closing costs
  • 25% off utilities
  • 15% off loans
  • Tax exemptions :
    • 1-time tax exemption on the importation of household goods up to a value of 10,000 USD
    • 100% tax exemption on the importation or purchase of a car every 2 years

4) Friendly Nations Visa

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

The Friendly Nations Visa is available to citizens of one of the 50+ countries with whom Panama has diplomatic ties. The tax benefits of this visa have changed in the past few years, so be sure to talk to your tax pro.

Friendly Nations Visa Requirements

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Buy property worth $200,000+, or
  • Invest $300,000+ in a Panama bank, or
  • Get a job with a Panama company

Friendly Nations Visa Benefits

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Temporary residency
  • Two-year path to permanent residency
  • Five-year path from permanent residency to citizenship

5) Professional Employment Visa

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

The Professional Employment Visa is available to people with a college degree who get local professional employment.

Professional Employment Visa Requirements

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Have a college degree and any necessary U.S. licenses
  • Get a job with a Panamanian company
  • Pay local social security taxes

Professional Employment Visa Benefits

Panama Residency Visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Temporary residency
  • Two-year path to permanent residency
  • Five-year path from permanent residency to citizenship

6) Business Investor Visa

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

The Business Investor Visa is designed for entrepreneurs who wish to start or expand their business operations in Panama.

Business Investor Visa Requirements

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

  • Invest $200,000 in a business venture
  • Create 5 new jobs for Panamanians
  • Investment and job requirements increase for each dependent you bring

Business Investor Visa Benefits

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Temporary residency
  • Two-year path to permanent residency
  • Five-year path from permanent residency to citizenship
  • Preferential treatment when applying for government contracts

7) Small Business Investor Visa

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

The Small Business Investor Visa is designed for entrepreneurs who wish to start or expand their business operations in Panama with smaller operations than the Business Investor.

Small Business Investor Visa Requirements

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Invest $40,000 in a business venture
  • Create 3 new jobs for Panamanians
  • Investment and job requirements increase for each dependent you bring

Small Business Investor Benefits

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Temporary residency
  • Four-year path to permanent residency
  • Five-year path from permanent residency to citizenship
  • Preferential treatment when applying for government contracts

8) Self-Solvency Visa

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

The Self-Solvency Visa is designed for persons of independent means.

Self-Solvency Visa Requirements

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Invest $300,000 in real estate
  • Invest $300,000 in a Panama bank
  • Invest in some combination of the two
  • The amount increases for each dependent you bring
  • Show the ability to support yourself and your dependents financially

Self-Solvency Visa Benefits

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Temporary residency
  • Four-year path to permanent residency
  • Five-year path from permanent residency to citizenship

9) Qualified Investor Visa

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

The Qualified Investor Visa offers immediate permanent residency for people investing larger sums in Panama.

Qualified Investor Visa Requirements

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Invest $500,000 in real estate (without a mortgage)
  • Invest $500,000 in the Panama stock market
  • Invest $750,000 in a Panama bank

Qualified Investor Visa Benefits

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Permanent residency
  • Five-year path from permanent residency to citizenship
  • 30-day delivery of visa
  • Includes dependents
  • Visiting Panama not necessary

Bonus: Reforestation Investor Visa

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

The Reforestation Investor Visa has three tiers of investment that provide varying speeds to permanent residency.

Reforestation Investor Visa Requirements

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Invest $80,000 in a government-certified reforestation project
  • Invest $100,000 in a government-certified reforestation project
  • Invest $350,000 in a government-certified reforestation project

Reforestation Visa Benefits

Panama investor visas

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

  • Option 1 grants temporary resident for five years and then permanent residency
  • Option 2 grants temporary resident for two years and then permanent residency
  • Option 3 grants permanent residency
  • Five-year path from permanent residency to citizenship

…and more!

Panama residency visas

Photo Credit:: Shutterstock.

Believe it or not, this isn’t even all of the options for Panama residency visas! There are visas for investing in agriculture, free trade zones, and call centers. There are employment visas unrelated to the Friendly Nations or or Professional Employment visas. And of course there are options for people who are born to or who marry Panamanian citizens. We recommend speaking to an immigration attorney for a affordable consultation. Have a wonderful life in Panama!

10 Countries Where You Can Retire With Just $150,000 in Savings

Shutterstock gen x jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

In these countries, you can fully retire with $150,000 in savings, or even less if you collect social security payments.

➤ 10 Countries Where You Can Retire With Just $150,000 in Savings

14 Countries with Better Healthcare Than the United States

american healthcare jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

In some cases, countries have much better outcomes than the United States, and in others, countries have marginally worse outcomes but much more affordable, accessible care. Learn about 14 countries with better healthcare than the US where you can immigrate.

➤ 14 Countries with Better Healthcare Than the United States

5 Easy Ways to Find the Best Country to Live In

best country to live in - banner

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

How do you find the best country to live in?

With nearly 200 countries to choose from, picking your top countries gets tough quickly. Here are a few ways to find the lifestyle that suits your needs:

5 Easy Ways to Find the Best Country to Live In

 

bed49dc5d4263d6d37b46cb09574d411?s=150&d=mp&r=g
Co-founder at Expatsi | + posts

Brett Andrews is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps expats discover how to leave the U.S. Brett and his partner Jen developed the Expatsi Test to recommend countries to move to, based on factors like budget, visa type, spoken languages, healthcare rankings, and more. In a former life, he worked as a software developer, IT support specialist, and college educator. When he's not working, Brett loves watching comic book movies and reading unusual books.

Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 2400x320 1 jpg
Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 1080x1080 1 jpg
Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 2400x320 1 jpg
Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 1080x1080 1 jpg
bed49dc5d4263d6d37b46cb09574d411?s=150&d=mp&r=g
Co-founder at Expatsi | + posts

Brett Andrews is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps expats discover how to leave the U.S. Brett and his partner Jen developed the Expatsi Test to recommend countries to move to, based on factors like budget, visa type, spoken languages, healthcare rankings, and more. In a former life, he worked as a software developer, IT support specialist, and college educator. When he's not working, Brett loves watching comic book movies and reading unusual books.