How to Obtain Residency in Panama

how to obtain residency in panama

There are many reasons to obtain residency in beautiful Panama:

  • A perfect paper residency option. Unlike in many countries, if you have residency through investment in Panama you do not need to actually spend much time in Panama. You just need to show up once every two years to keep your residency active, which makes Panama a great plan B / back-pocket residency.
  • A great territorial tax system. This is mostly valid for non-US people. Essentially, Panama only taxes income sourced in Panama. Income stemming from outside of the country’s borders is generally not taxable. If you structure your affairs correctly, then you can potentially get away with 0% taxes, entirely legally.
  • A great climate all year long.
  • Biodiversity. From living the city life in Panama city, to chilling in surf towns, to being a bum on a Caribbean beach, or living inland surrounded by lush, rolling hills, Panama has much to offer.
  • A dollarized economy. The local currency is pegged to the USD.
  • A well connected airport – Panama City is one of Latin America’s hubs.
  • Good healthcare due to an active healthcare tourism industry, as well as good international schools due to the amount of expats living in Panama.
  • Decent banking, though it’s not appropriate for everyone. I wrote an article on the matter (here).
  • Same timezone as the US, which makes remote work very convenient.

    How to obtain Permanent Residency through Investment in Panama

    1. If you are from a Friendly Nations country:
      • Invest $200,000 in local real estate
      • OR
      • Put $200,000 in a fixed deposit in a local bank for 3 years (details here on interest rates)
    2. If you are from any other country:
      • Invest $500,000 in local real estate
      • OR
      • Put $500,000 in a fixed deposit in a local bank for 3 years
      • OR
      • A combination of both real estate and a fixed deposit to the value of $300,000. For example $180,000 in local real estate and $120,000 in fixed deposits.

    You obtain temporary residency for 2 years, and thereafter you can apply for permanent residency which pretty much gets granted automatically IF you have kept the investment.

    After 5 years of permanent residency you are entitled to apply for Panamanian citizenship. Applying does not mean getting it. You are expected to live near full-time in Panama, to speak Spanish fluently, and to be an active member of society to have a chance at being granted citizenship. Even then, it can take years to process.

    Overall, obtaining citizenship in Panama is a bit of a pipe dream UNLESS you are willing to really dedicated yourself to the cause.

    Make sure to watch this Youtube video below in which I ask my lawyer Josue about the whole residency process.


    Easy residency in Panama can also be obtained for retired people. Contact Josue to find out more.

    Josue can also help you with the real estate transaction from A to Z from a legal point of view. Details here.

    Contact Josue to obtain the residency information package

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