What Are the Steps to Retire in Panama?

Panama is one of the best places to relocate to for your retirement. With its modern infrastructure, relaxed lifestyle, vibrant culture, favorable residency programs, and welcoming atmosphere, Panama is among the top places worth exploring. There are several steps for relocating and retiring in Panama.

Why Retiring in Panama Is Worth It

The main advantages of retiring in Panama include:

  • Affordable or lower cost of living
  • Economic stability
  • Retirement discounts
  • Tax advantages
  • Efficient healthcare services
  • Amazing real estate and infrastructure opportunities
  • Favorable residency programs
  • Safer from many natural disasters

Understanding the Qualified Investor Visa Program

You can obtain permanent residence as a Qualified Investor in Panama. In 2020, the executive decree no. 722 established a migratory category known as Permanent Residence as a Qualified Investor to promote foreign investment.  It allows you to obtain permanent residence within 30 days if you qualify as an investor. Under the same program, you can start the process of application before entering the country.

There are three qualifying options for investment, and all of them have a five-year mandatory holding period. The first option is a $300,000 investment in real estate in Panama. It should be free of any liens. The second option is a $500,000 investment in securities on the stock market of Panama. You can invest through any licensed and qualified Panamanian securities brokerage firm. The third option is a $750,000 deposit with any licensed bank in the country. The advantage is that the interest income is not taxed. With the assistance of legal professionals, you can experience a smooth transition when seeking to retire in Panama.

The Process Requirements

Retirees hoping to move to Panama must fill out paperwork, submit financial records, and make payments to complete the process. Some of the things you need to have or submit include:

  • Authenticated passport copy
  • Five passport-size photos
  • Valid national criminal background check
  • $5,000 payment to the National Treasury
  • $5,000 payment to the Immigration Department
  • Good health certificate
  • Personal background declaration
  • Legalized bank statements

An additional $1,000 payment to the national treasury and $1,000 to the immigration department for every dependent is also required. If you qualify as an investor and meet all the process requirements, you will be able to obtain permanent residence within 30 days.

Qualifying for Citizenship

The Qualified Investor Visa Program allows the applicants to obtain a permit for permanent residency that is valid for five years. As an applicant, you must maintain your connection and presence in the country by at least returning once within every two years. You can return as often as you find convenient. If you have a continued legal residence for five years, you will qualify for a citizenship application.

The process to gain citizenship will require the involvement of the Ministry of Public Services, the Ministry of Government and Justice, the Electoral Tribunal, as well as the Presidency. During the process, the Electoral Tribunal of Panama will interview you to determine your knowledge of Panama’s civil rights, geography, and history. They will also test your understanding of Spanish.

Retire in Panama

By understanding the Qualified Investor Visa Program, you can start working toward retiring in Panama. This will enable you to enjoy the benefits such as lower taxes, a warm climate, lower cost of living, as well as safety and security. Work with a legal team with a knowledge of Panamanian law to get started.

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