Visa for friendly countries Panama

Everything you need to know about the Visa for Friendly Countries in Panama

As a Panamanian immigration law firm, we can provide legal solutions for all residency and visa programs available in Panama. The fact that there are different types of visas for Panama and multiple residency programs suitable for investors is an incentive to move to Panama and obtain Panamanian citizenship and passport.


Among the visas granted by the Government of Panama, we have the Visa for Friendly Countries Panama. This visa is aimed at foreigners who are nationals of countries that maintain friendly, professional, economic or investment relations with our country.

What is the Visa for Friendly Countries? 

The visa for Friendly Countries Panama was created under Executive Decree No. 343 of May 16, 2012. This Decree was amended by Executive Decree No. 197 of May 7, 2021, and by Executive Decree No. 226 of July 20, 2021.  

As of August 5, 2021, the Panama Friendly Countries residency program will grant a temporary residency permit for 2 years, and then the applicant will be able to apply for permanent residency.

Which countries apply?

This visa applies to citizens of fifty countries that maintain friendly, professional, economic and investment relations with Panama. The countries qualified for this visa are: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States of America, Uruguay, Peru, Mexico, Paraguay. 

What is the process to apply for the Visa for Friendly Countries?

To apply for this visa, an application for a temporary residence permit must be submitted to the immigration office, which is valid for two years. After this time, you can apply for permanent residency, which can take about six months to process. Once the application is approved, the temporary permit is replaced by the permanent residence permit. 

Requirements for the Visa for Friendly Countries

There are two steps in the application process for this visa. First you must apply for provisional residency and then apply for permanent residency. Below, we detail the process for each stage and the requirements:

A. Provisional Residency

The requirements to apply for provisional residency are as follows:

  1. Five passport size photos.

  2. Passport and second identification such as driver's license.

  3. Demonstrate economic capacity under any of these three alternatives:

    1. Labor reasons: if hired to work in a company in Panama, for this purpose, a employment letter on company letterhead and signed by the legal representative of the employer, certificate of public registry of the employing company and notice of operation must be provided.

    2. Investment in the purchase of real estate: The value of the property may not be less than two hundred thousand dollars (US$200,000) and must present a certificate from the Public Registry of Panama proving the ownership of the real estate in a personal capacity or under a corporation in which the applicant is the beneficial owner.

    3. Fixed-term deposit: Fixed-term deposit certificate for two hundred thousand dollars (US$200,000), this must be made in a general license bank operating in the national territory and for a term of three years. This request may be made in a personal capacity or under a legal entity in which the applicant is the shareholder or final beneficiary. This amount must be free of liens.

  4. Criminal background check of the applicant's country of citizenship.

  5. Certified check for eight hundred dollars (US$800) issued in favor of the National Immigration Service for the repatriation fee.

  6. Certified check for two hundred and fifty dollars (US$250) issued in favor of the National Treasury for the application fee.

  7. Affidavit explaining the purpose for which you are applying for permanent residence and evidence of your ability to financially support your family and dependents. This form is provided to you by the attorney who will oversee the process.

B. Permanent Residence

As indicated above, to obtain permanent residency, the applicant must have maintained his/her provisional residency for a period of 2 years. This application requires the same documents requested for temporary residency, but they must be updated. In addition, you must present your provisional residency.

What is the procedure to benefit dependents with the Visa for Friendly Countries?

Whoever applies for this visa can include dependents, such as wife/husband and children. For this purpose, an updated marriage certificate and birth certificate must be presented. In addition to the documents indicated above. It should be noted that dependent children up to 25 years of age may apply if they are in full-time education.

Which are the benefits of the Visa for Friendly Countries?

The main benefits offered by this visa is the right to a Panamanian personal identity card if the applicant wishes to apply for Panamanian citizenship through naturalization can also apply for it under certain parameters.

In Panama Legal Business we have a team of lawyers specialized in Immigration Law, with extensive experience advising clients of various nationalities seeking advice to process their Visa for Friendly Countries Panama. We take care of all the procedures with detail and agility, with the purpose of making our clients feel satisfied.

Whether you are interested in residing temporarily or permanently in Panama, our team can guide you through the different programs and alternatives that Panama offers to obtain residency such as business, investments, retirees, pensioned or having the nationality of a country friendly to Panama. Contact us to know your case and advise you which is the best way to obtain your residency in Panama.

We invite you to learn more about our services, visit us on our website or contact us at +507 835 5810 in Panama City and +507 774 0125 in David City, email, WhatsApp +507 6430 7051 or visit us in Marbella, Torre Banistmo, Office 1021, Panama City, Panama and Interprovincial Building, Office 8, David City, Chiriqui.