Friendly countries

Changes to Friendly Country Visa

For those of you familiar with the Friendly Country Visa, some changes will be in effect on August 20th 2021.

A new Decree has been issued by the Panamanian Government changing the requirements of the Friendly Country Visa.

New Changed requirements

From August 20th, the new reasons to apply for the Friendly Country Visa are the following:

  1. Labor / Work / Job:
    1. Responsibility letter from the company hiring the applicant, with information about the salary and position. The company must be responsible for the repatriation expenses.
    2. Public Registry Certificate of the company
    3. Operation License.
  2. Property Investment: the applicant must purchase, in his/her own name, a property worth a minimum of US$200,000.00 (two hundred thousand dollars). The purchase can be with the funds of the applicant or through a credit facility.

For the Immigration Service, a public registry certificate of the property must be submitted.

When applying for a Job in Panama, the working permit must be approved in order to get the approval from immigration.  Therefore, the working permit application must be submitted at the same time with the visa application.

We believe that the Investment in Property should be allowed to be done through the purchase of shares, being the shareholder of a newly incorporated company or the incorporation of a Private Interest Foundation.  Hopefully, the Immigration Service will consider our opinion and expand this possibility.

A Two-Step Process

Another important change is that the Permanent Residency through the friendly country visa is now a two-step process:  In the first step, the applicant will be granted a temporary residency for two years, and, in the second step after two years, the applicant will be granted a permanent residency.

The rest of the requirements remain the same, namely:

  1. Five passport size photos
  2. Police Record from your country of origin
  3. Second ID
  4. Marriage and Birth Certificate if you apply with your spouse and/or children

The current list of Countries that can apply to this visa are the following:

Germany Finland Holland
Andorra France Paraguay
Argentina Greeece Poland
Australia Hong Kong Portugal
Austria Hungary U.K.
Belgium Israel Czech Republicx
Brazil Japan Ireland
Canadá Latvia Repúblic of Slovakia
Chile Liechtenstein San Marino
Cyprus Lithuania Serbia
South Korea Luxembourg Singapur
Costa Rica Malta South Africa
Croatia México Sweeden
Denmark Mónaco Switzerland
Spain Montenegro Uruguay
United States Norway
Estonia New Zealand

In Aleman, Caballero & Candanedo we will assist you if you’re interested in this type of Visa. Contact us!