RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS IN PANAMA
Permanent Residency ("I-" visas) is granted to foreigners:
1) Investing US$40,000 in a Panama non-retail business and effectively employing 3 Panamanians,
2) Holding a US$200,000 CD time deposit (plazo fijo) account in a Panama bank for at least 2 years,
3) Owning a fully-paid house for US$80,000, a timed deposit for at least 2 years, for at least US$120,000 and "provide evidence of the source and amount of income used to cover his/her general expenses",
4) Married to a Panamanian spouse, subject to an interview to verify if it is a bona fide marriage.
Residents earning income from Panama sources (except bank accounts in Panama or securities from Panama public companies) must pay Panama income taxes on said income.
"I-" visa holders can apply also for a permanent residence "cedula" card.
Pensioner Visas are granted to foreigners:
1) Holding a US$125,000 CD in the Panama National Bank yielding US$750.00 monthly for 5 years as Retiree ("Rentista"),
2) Earning a pension from a social security or any foreign government pension authority above US$500.00 monthly as Pensioner ("Pensionado").
Other residence categories exist that are applicable to foreigners sponsored by local employers or educational institutions as part of a foreign worker quota of no more than 10% per company.
In addition to specific documents depending on the type of visa requested, all applicants (except for Married to a Panamanian spouse Visa and Pensioners) must provide, at least:
1) Police Record or Certificate of Disposition from the Town Court of the applicant, authenticated by Panama Consul or with Apostille from the Department of State of origin (except for Pensioners),
2) Medical exam by a Panamanian doctor
Information is valid as to 2/6/2005 and is subject to changes at the discretion of the Directorate of Immigration in Panama City.