Residency Visa Overview
Panama has made it fairly easy for foreigners to obtain a residency visa to live here.
Although you will need to hire an attorney to get a Visa, the process is really not that difficult if you follow the step-by-step requirements. Each of the Visa Programs has its own set of requirements, so you should make sure you understand them thoroughly or have a Panamanian attorney advise you on the best option for you.
The most popular residency visa is the:
Pensionado – Retirement Visa
You must be over the age of 18 and able to show a pension or lifetime income of at least $1000 per month, and an additional $250 for your spouse. The source of income can be from a government, military, or a corporation and is usually a pension or Social Security. One stipulation with the Pensionado Visa is that you cannot work in Panama with this visa.
It's a fairly quick and easy process for getting a Pensionado Visa. First, you'll need to be in Panama for about 7 days to apply for the visa. You'll be issued a temporary visa which is good for six months. Then about 3-4 months later, your attorney will notify you that your permanent visa is ready. You'll need to go to Panama City for 1 day to get your permanent visa. You may want to all also get a Cedula, which is a national ID card.
Once you have your permanent visa, you qualify for the famous Pensionado discounts you've heard about.
If you don't qualify for the Pensionado Visa, there are other visas available. See information about them here
For more information read these posts from our blog: