Monday, September 16, 2013

Real world list of Pensionado Visa requirements

Applying for a Pensionado Visa on behalf of a retiree receiving income above US$1000 monthly from Social Security involves filing the following:

1) Power of attorney and request by the attorney.  Power of attorney must include the information about the applicant (exact address, telephone number...) and full name of parents and nationality.  All the information about the attorney must be specified (Office address, telephone and fax number), complete information of cheques that are provided (number of checks, name of bank, date and amount) of all documents enclosed and the legal basis.  We cannot draft the Power of Attorney without the information requested in that form
2) Police record from the country of origin (only when the applicant has less than two years of continuous residence in Panama) of the applicant (for US citizens, only FBI Criminal History is admitted).
3) "Duly authenticated document, which certifies the following:
 -The applicant's condition as retired or pensioner from a foreign government, international organization or private entities.
 -That the applicant receives a monthly pension of no less than US$1000 or its equivalent in foreign currency, plus US$250 for each dependant
 -In the case of persons retired or receiving a pension from private entities, a document from the corresponding authority certifying the existence of said entity must be submitted" and a Panama bank statement showing the deposits made into the account.
4) Sworn statement about Personal Background signed by the applicant .
A) All documents issued abroad, should be submitted duly apostilled or authenticated by the Embassy or Consulate of Panama in the country that issued it and by the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Panama.
B) All documents issued abroad in language besides Spanish, must be translated by a certified interpreter recognized by the Minister of Government.

Once you arrive to Panama, you must provide :
a) Good Health Certificate from a Panama doctor, issued within the three months before the date of the application (must have date, signature and stamp with the name, signature and registered number of the physician)
b) Two (2) sets of photocopies of the entire passport, to authenticate before a Notary Public.
c) Five (5) recent passport-size pictures.
d) Two sets of copies of all documents submitted, except for the passport.

In addition, the following are required:
C) Every foreigner must be duly registered in Immigration Movement Section for which the following must be submitted:
* Two (2) passport-size pictures
* Copy of the page of general information in the passport and that which contains the last seal of entry into the country
* US$1 for registration
* Answer the registration questionnaire.

D) Once the application is filed and your picture has been taken at Immigration offices, your passport will be surrendered 2 business days for a Return Permit to be stamped.   This will allow you to travel outside of Panama and not have to wait in Panama for approval of your Pensionado visa.

When planning your trip, keep in mind it takes 2 weeks to prepare and translate all documents from the time they are received until you can go to Immigration to have your picture taken as part of the application process.

Upon filing of application, a 12-month application card is granted.   Delays of up to 12 months are taking place with the granting of all residence applications, depending on the nationality.

All applications are subject to the regulatory bodies' approval.  While serious law firms are diligent in following regulations in force, government officials may arbitrarily change rules and demand additional documents at any time during the application process.  Therefore, they cannot guarantee the outcome of each application.  Although Law 38 of 2000 forbids public officials from demanding documents outside those listed in a decree published in the Official Gazette, Immigration officials may demand the following items not listed in the Executive Decree related to Immigration:
a) Responsibility letter by applicant when a dependent is involved, authenticated by Notary,
b) Banking letter from a Panama bank where the pension installments are received.
c) Notarized letter by landlord - or notarized copy of public deed of property owned - showing domicile in Panama,
d) Copy of landlord identification, authenticated by Electoral Tribunal,
e) Notarized copy of utility bill showing domicile in Panama.

Based on applications filed as of June, 2013, and subject to changes

No comments: