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How to get Panama Citizenship 2021

How to get Panama Citizenship 2021 – that will be today’s question we try to answer. Is getting Panamanian citizenship in 2021 as easy as before?

Whilst some of the facts might change over time, the information here is correct, as far as we are aware, at the time of writing.

If you are looking to invest in expat-specialised solutions or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, email (advice@adamfayed.com) or use the WhatsApp function below.

Often the best time to set up, and review, portable and cross-border investment solutions for expats is when you change your residency or citizenship.


One of the most popular questions that interests people in different countries is obtaining a second passport and citizenship of another country. This is due to various reasons, which are expressed in the instability of the economy of the native state, corruption of law enforcement agencies and officials, difficulties in doing business and other reasons. 

Also, one of the reasons for moving to permanent residence and obtaining citizenship of another state may be simply due to the desire to change the climate. 

The main advantages of a second passport are in unhindered visits to many countries of the world, since there is no need to obtain visas. Among the proposals for granting citizenship to foreign citizens, the principle of so-called “economic citizenship” or residence by investment is used, which provides for a financial contribution of a foreigner in the form of investments in the economy of a particular country. 

Such programs are common in different countries, but today we will dwell directly on Panama. For more than one year in a row, this country has been showing the world its economic achievements and is carrying out transformations, thanks to which international interest is increasing. 

We would like to remind you that in Panama there are several programs of residence or permanent residence by investment, which are designed for different categories of society and with different incomes.

This article is intended to be a short but informative guide for you, on how to get citizenship of Panama. We will discuss all the programs available, all the details of Panama life, cost of living, visas and much more. 

All about Panama

The republic is located on the Isthmus of Panama between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. It was discovered during the voyages of Columbus to the New World. Among the Europeans, these territories were of the greatest interest to the Scots and Spaniards. 

In the 20th century, the United States actively influences the internal affairs of the islanders. In 1989, the local authorities even declared war on the Americans. The main controversial issue is the impact on the Panama Canal. 

Until now, hundreds of American servicemen live in special townships on this channel. They practically do not contact the locals. The entire necessary infrastructure has been created for them – schools, churches, bars, etc.

Today, the economy of the state is based on the operation of the Panama Canal. Tourism, registration of ships under the flag of the country, insurance and banking are also developed. Bananas, coffee, sugar and shrimps are exported.

The country is home to just over 3 million people. 65% of them are mestizo. The official language is Spanish. Also, many speak French and English.

The state considers the prevalence of HIV to be a real problem. According to this indicator, the country ranks 53rd in the world – 1% of the population is AIDS carrier. That is why all foreigners entering the country are checked for the absence of this disease.

What emigration to Panama will give you?

Actually Panama has a lot to offer its new habitants, such as:

  • Warm climate, excellent weather all year round. Even the rainy season is perceived positively by many.
  • Lots of inexpensive but excellent quality seafood, fruits and vegetables. Essential goods are also cheaper.
  • Politeness, loyal attitude towards migrants.
  • Leisurely, measured lifestyle, obligatory siesta. For people of a certain type, this may be negative rather than positive characteristic of local life.
  • Fairly developed medicine.
  • Acceptable conditions for doing business – a developed banking system and reduced tax rates.
  • The possibility of double citizenship. A citizen of any other country will not have to give up his native passport.
  • Visa-free access. This is not to say that the Panamanian passport opens the borders of the whole world. But that for Russian migrants he expands the borders – that’s for sure. Panamanians without registration of entry documents can cross the borders of 124 powers (Russians – only 100): Schengen countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Great Britain, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Bahamas, Kenya, El Salvador, South Korea, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Barbados, Dominica, etc.

Obtaining and registration of citizenship

Panama is able to offer foreigners and citizens of the republic not only decent wages, but also an excellent tax policy. Today a large number of people are obsessed with life in Panama. This state offers its residents not only a stable economic system, but also a fairly high standard of living.

Obtaining citizenship in Panama is not difficult for a law-abiding immigrant. This status is assigned to a person after five years of living in the country in the status of an immigrant. 

The only exception is the group of persons who emigrated to Panama under the program of marriage with a citizen of this republic. For spouses of Panamanian citizens to obtain citizenship, it is necessary to live in the state for at least three years. 

To obtain Panama citizenship, the immigration authorities must provide a package of documents, consisting of: 

  • A valid foreign passport. 
  • Photo in the amount of two copies. 
  • Renunciation of the citizenship of your home country. Panama does not recognize dual citizenship, so a person must first write a renunciation of citizenship of their home country. In some cases, deprivation of citizenship can occur automatically.

To obtain the status of a citizen of Panama, it is mandatory to undergo a medical examination. This state cares enough about the health of its population, so the services will need to provide evidence that a person is not dangerous to society. The medical examination should contain information such as: 

  • Test for HIV infection. The analysis must be negative, otherwise citizenship will be refused. 
  • Fluorography confirming the absence of lung cancer and tuberculosis. 
  • Medical examination by all standard doctors. Their conclusions regarding the satisfactory state of human health must also be present. 

Citizenship cannot be obtained for any form of physical or mental retardation. With the main package of documents, certificates are also submitted confirming the payment of various fees to the state budget. 

On average, the total is $ 900. Also, one of the main documents is a certificate of income, which confirms a person’s ability to provide himself with everything he needs in the country. For this purpose, you can submit a certificate of the actual place of employment or a bank statement.

After submitting all the necessary documentation, the person must write an application for citizenship. After making a decision, a person is issued a document called a ‘sedula’. This document is an identity card that contains all the passport details of the applicant. 

A prerequisite for obtaining citizenship is a person passing a test of knowledge of such aspects as: 

  • Geography of Panama. 
  • Spanish language. 
  • State history. 
  • Human civil rights and obligations. 

After passing this test, the person is presented with a Panamanian passport, which grants the right to vote in popular elections. The person will need to pay thirty US dollars for this document.


Immigration to Panama is one of the most popular. But despite the fact that obtaining citizenship does not require much effort, it is quite difficult to immigrate to Panama.

The government of this republic has provided for various immigration programs for foreigners. The most popular of them are such as: 

  • Immigration by rentier visa. 
  • Immigration for work and business. 
  • Conclusion of marriage with a citizen of the Republic of Panama. 

The most likely to be implemented is the business organization, which provides not only employment in the country, but also investment in its development.

You can quickly get a residence permit by investing money in a Panamanian bank for a deposit. It is important to remember that the term of the deposit cannot be less than five years. The monthly interest on this deposit must be at least $ 850. 

After the investment, the foreigner is issued a temporary passport and a permanent residence permit. A special feature of the Panamanian passport is the ability to cross the borders of the EU countries without prior registration of visa documents.

The business investment program involves the investment of funds to open or develop your own business. Moreover, the amount should not be less than 160 thousand dollars. 

The process of emigration itself begins directly with the application of a visa to Panama in the department of migration policy. The main package of documents must be accompanied by a certificate certifying that the person has no criminal record and documents on the financial situation. It is also necessary to pass a medical examination beforehand. A residence permit in this country is issued for a period of two years.

More about the business investment program

As already mentioned, Panama offers more loyal conditions for obtaining a residence permit to foreigners who are ready to invest a certain amount of money in one of the following four directions.

Rentier visa

By status, this type of visa is a passport. However, the rentier does not give the rights and duties of a Panamanian citizen. Basically, this is a residence permit for Panama. That is, it will not be possible to travel in the Schengen area on a rentier visa. 

The main condition for obtaining it is an investment in a Panamanian bank of a deposit in the amount of about 400 thousand dollars for a period of 5 years. The depositor can receive interest on the deposit every month.

After this period, the depositor can act in one of two ways: take the money and cancel the transaction, or extend the deposit for the same period. During the validity period of a rentier visa, its holder can freely enter and leave the Republic.

Donation to the Rainforest Conservation Program

A Panama residence permit under simplified conditions can also be obtained when purchasing land in the amount of 125 thousand dollars. The thing is that the authorities have developed a program for the urbanization of the state. There is a massive felling of tropical trees. To minimize losses, the government attracts private capital. An interested investor is allocated a plot of land that is sown with new tree crops.

An investor who has contributed 125 thousand dollars receives a certificate of land ownership and the right to obtain a residence permit for 2 years. After this period, you can apply for citizenship.

Business immigration

Like most developing countries, the Panamanian government is creating the conditions for attracting foreign investment to develop businesses and create jobs. The minimum required is 160 thousand dollars. The conditions for participation are as follows:

  • organization of a new or purchase of an existing business;
  • creating at least three jobs for Panamanians;
  • providing evidence of financial solvency (the bank must contain at least 5 thousand dollars for the maintenance of the main applicant, for each dependent – at least 2 thousand dollars);
  • investment in the economy of 160 thousand dollars.

It will not be possible to avoid additional costs. For example, for opening a company – 1,400 dollars, legal services (about 2 thousand for the main applicant and 1 thousand for a dependent), taxes, issuing temporary visas, passing a medical examination, translation of documents, etc. – about 3 thousand dollars.

Remote registration is not possible. And in order to obtain permits for residence, the whole family will have to visit the country, possibly twice.

Initially, a permit document (residence permit) is issued for a period of one year. Then, within 3-4 months, a decision is made to grant permanent residence for 5 years. 

At the end of this period, you can apply for citizenship. But before you can obtain Panama citizenship, you will have to prove your connection with the country – to pass a special exam. Plus, it is necessary to provide reports on the activities of the corporation. The most promising areas of Panamanian business: e-commerce, consulting, real estate, tourism.

Buying a property

There is another option to move to Panama for permanent residence – to acquire ownership of local property. There are few restrictions for foreign individuals and legal entities: you cannot buy objects closer than 16 km from the state border, located on islands that are not included in the tourist zone. Water bodies and coastline are also public property and cannot be sold.

To obtain a residence permit in Panama through the purchase of real estate, it is necessary that the cost of housing is not less than 300 thousand dollars. For each dependent, this amount increases by $ 200,000. A residence permit is issued for 5 years. 

Subject to the general conditions, that is, residence in the country for a specified period, you can apply for a Panamanian passport. And in general, personal property in possession greatly simplifies the move to Panama. As rental housing is quite expensive. And the process of issuing a residence permit does not take much time.

Wealthy pensioners can also leave for permanent residence in the Republic of Panama in an accelerated procedure for obtaining a visa. The Panama Pensionado Program has been developed especially for foreign retirees. Foreign nationals whose monthly income is at least $ 1,000 can participate in it.

So, the fastest way to gain Panamanian citizenship is to invest in a rainforest conservation program (2 years). Acquisition of real estate gives such an opportunity after the generally established 5 years, business investments – in 6-7 years. Obtaining a rentier visa does not provide an opportunity for subsequent acquisition of citizenship.

Work in Panama 

Work in Panama is provided only for people with the necessary professions for the country. For employment, a person must have a work permit.

The standard of living in this country is relatively high, therefore, wages in this country are correspondingly. It is important to remember that it is not so easy to get a job in this country. The government strictly regulates labor policies. All major legislation is aimed primarily at preserving jobs for Panamanians. Therefore, most employers prefer to hire their own citizens, rather than foreign ones.

It is impossible to find a job in this state without knowing the language. You must have at least a minimum level of English and Spanish. Permits for carrying out work activities on the territory of the republic are divided into two groups: 

  • Conditional type
  • Special type

Conditional type permits are governed by the Law of Marrakech. It means allowing the employer to employ only ten percent of foreign representatives of the total number of employees. Such a legislative project aims to preserve places for the citizens of Panama. 

Permits of a special type are designed for the category of the population of foreigners who have a very narrow specialization. Typically, these people include highly qualified employees. In this case, the employer has every right to employ the number of foreign citizens that he sees fit. In order to go to work in Panama, you need to find a job in the country of actual residence. The employer must send the person a job offer. Thus, he guarantees the provision of a workplace and an accompanying employee.

Cost of living 

Panama is one of the countries with a fairly high standard of living. But prices in Panama are quite high compared to other Central American states. The minimum amount for daily living is twenty dollars. However, with this money you cannot afford to buy very much. 

The standard of living in this country is quite high, so for a normal life in Panama you need at least fifty dollars a day. Food prices in this republic compared to Russia can be considered average. The table shows data on prices in comparison with the national currency of Russia – rubles.

The cost of services in this country is more expensive than food. On average, each person spends about $ 160 – $ 200 a month on utility bills.

The cost of tobacco products in the republic is the same as in European countries. For three dollars you can get one pack of cigarettes. Despite the fact that the standard of living in the republic is considered high, the cost of real estate is extremely low. Small cozy houses are in great demand here. Their cost can start from fifty thousand dollars.


Panama attracts immigrants not only with high earnings, but also with a sparing tax system. The government, out of concern for the financial situation of its citizens, canceled the payment of taxes to individuals whose monthly income is less than $ 700. 

Taxes in Panama are mostly paid by entrepreneurs. There is an income tax in the country. Its amount is calculated from the annual income of the enterprise. The lower the profit, the lower the amount of tax deductions. The minimum amount of deduction is four percent of the total annual profit, and the maximum is thirty percent.

Also in Panama there is a tax that must be paid after the purchase of real estate. The minimum tax rate is 1.7 percent of the total property value. This percentage is paid to the state if the value of the property does not exceed fifty thousand dollars. If the cost is higher, then the person is required to pay two percent to the state budget.

Panama is one of the most suitable countries for the emigration of foreigners. She is able to offer not only decent wages, but also excellent tax policy.

Summing up

As you can see, obtaining Panamanian citizenship can open new doors for you but at the same time is tied to the fulfillment of conditions such as knowledge of the Spanish language and a five-year period of actual residence in the country. Given the above material, as well as the most possible ways of obtaining foreign citizenship, we hope that it would lead you to new ideas and would help you to orientate in the future decisions.



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