Not sure what visa type you need to enter Panama? Whether you’re looking to retire, work remotely, or get married, there is a visa option for you. Here is a quick overview of the visa types in Panama so you can start planning your move!
- General Requirements and Documents
- Types of Visa in Panama and more!
General Requirements and Documents
- All visa applications must be made through a Panamanian lawyer.
- There is no age limit required for applying for any of these visas, save for the minimum legal age of 18 years. The ones under 18 will qualify for a visa as dependents of their parents.
- All overseas documents to be presented to the authorities in Panama must be authenticated by a Notary and by a Panamanian consulate nearest you or by the Apostille. The Apostille is a faster way to authenticate documents and is normally obtained through the Secretary of State in your home state.
- All documents must be fresh and updated (within (2) months of visa application) and passports must have at least one year to run.
- Dependents – do not forget your Marriage certificate. If your children are under 18, do not forget their birth certificates as they can be covered by your visa.
- All visa applications require that you obtain a health certificate and HIV test in Panama.
Note: No tourist visa is necessary to visit Panama for most tourists*. To enter Panama, you only need:
- Your passport must have 6 months or more until its expiration date
- Proof of your return ticket. You will not be allowed on the flight or over the border (if arriving by land) unless you have proof of a ticket (by land, sea, or air) showing you intend to leave Panama no later than 180 days from your date of entry.
Wherever you enter Panama, the immigration official will put a stamp on your passport stating you can be in the country for 180 days.
- The following countries do not need to make a formal tourist visa application prior to flying to Panama: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States.
- If you plan on driving a car in Panama, you can only do it for the first 90 days. If you need to drive after 90 days, you will need to exit the country into Costa Rica. Spend a few hours or days there, then re-enter. Upon reentry, you will get a new stamp, good for 180 days.
Types of Residence Permit for Panama
1. Retirement Visa
You qualify for this type of visa if you receive at least $1,000 per month from a pension, retirement fund, or other types of reliable income source. Don’t receive that much? If you buy a property for at least $100,000, then you only need a monthly retirement or pension income of $750.
2. Friendly Nations Visa
Since August 2021, this friendly and easy-to-get visa is not nearly as friendly or easy to obtain. To qualify, you must be a citizen from one of the 50 friendly nations* and must either buy a property in Panama for at least $200,000 or be employed by a Panama company professionally.
*Citizens from any of the 50 nations considered “friendly” to Panama can move here with their immediate family and acquire a permanent residency visa. Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Marino, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United States of America, Uruguay, United Kingdom (Great Britain & Northern Ireland).
3. Digital Nomad Visa
A fast and affordable visa to obtain, but only good for 18 months. However, if you are a remote worker, who earns at least $36,000 a year from that work, you should consider applying for a Panama Digital Nomad Visa.
4. Panama’s Reforestation Investor Visa
All of the reforestation investments must be held for a period of 5 years, and they can be made in your personal name or in the name of a Panama entity, corporation, or foundation.
5. Panama’s Self-Economic Solvency Visa
This has three options to qualify for this visa created to attract wealthy foreigners
6. Panama’s Qualified Investor Program
If you’re an Investor, you have 3 options to obtain expedited (30 days) permanent residency in Panama (leading to citizenship and a Panama passport after 5 years) with this program
7. Professional Employment Visa
If you have been offered a job in Panama, you will need to apply for a work visa that allows you to reside and work professionally within the country. It is important to check with your employer or a professional lawyer as to what other documents and information may be needed for the work visa application process.
Whether you want to stay in Panama for a short vacation or move here permanently, there is a visa that is right for you. If you have any questions about which type of visa you need, I would be more than happy to provide guidance.
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