The National Immigration Service, through Executive Decree No. 343 from May 16th, 2012, and its modifications, created the possibility to grant Panama residence visa for South Africans citizens, with the purpose to exercise economic, professional or investment activities in our country.
How can South Africans citizens apply for Panamanian Residence Visa?
South African citizens may apply to Panamanian residence preferentially if they provide the documentation that demonstrates the purpose of requiring residence. These options are labor reasons and real state reasons.
- Labor Reasons: South African citizens must present a labor contract of a Panamanian company stating the position, salary, and duration of the contract.
- Real State Reasons:
- South African citizens will need to purchase a real estate property with a minimum value of US$200,000. The property needs to be free of any encumbrances.
- South African citizens can also make the investment through a fix term deposit at a local bank for a value not less than US 200,000, free of any encumbrances.
In addition, South African citizens will need to present the following documents:
- Original Passport with a minimum validity of three (3) months.
- Five (5) size carnet pictures.
- Certified check for US$ 250 in favor of the National Treasury.
- Certified check for US$ 800 in favor of the National Immigration Service, applicable to all candidates from 12 years old or older.
- Document that demonstrates the purpose of establishing your residence in the country. In this case, the documents will depend on the economic activity carried out by the applicant according to the following options:
- Labor Contract: Besides the specifications established before, the applicant will need to present certification of existing corporation and commercial license. The power of attorney must be signed by the legal representative of the corporation.
- Purchase a real estate property with a minimum value of US$200,000. The property needs to be free of any encumbrances.
- Fix term deposit at a local bank for a value not less than US 200,000, free of any encumbrances.
- Copy of the identity document or South African residence card, translated into Spanish, and duly authenticated.
- Present criminal record certificate from your home country, or the country where you have lived for the last two (2) years, duly authenticated,
- Certificate of good health, issued in Panama.
- Original birth or marriage certificates duly authenticated in case you are applying with any dependents.
- Responsible letter and proof of economic solvency towards your dependents, if applicable.
- Lease agreement or copy of a public service bill of your home address in Panamá.
Can South Africans apply for a work permit?
South Africans citizens may apply for a work permit, which is granted for a period of two (2) years, that can be extended for the same period.
The work permit is mandatory in case applicant request Panamanian residence through labor reasons.
Steps of the immigration process.
This Panamanian residence has 2 steps; in the first one, a temporary residence will be granted for a period two (2) years and as soon as this time is due, then applicant will need to fill again the application to request permanent residence.
How Long is the Panama Residence Visa for South Africans Citizens Processing Time?
The processing time for this permit is approximately 6 months once the application form has been submitted.
Can South Africans apply with family member?
Commonly known as Panama’s Friendly Nations Visa can be extended to family group members. The applicant will need to present marriage certificate, in the case of spouse, and / or birth certificate, in case of children under 25 years old.
- The husband or wife of the applicant does not need to be South African citizen to apply for the same process.
- Documents issued in place of birth such as criminal police record, marriage or birth certificate must be dully apostilled or legalized before the Panamanian Consulate to be verified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama.
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