If you’re a permanent resident and have been for at least five years, you’re already eligible for citizenship, regardless of the program through which you achieve permanent residency, based on article 126 of Decree-Law 8 of 2008. You don’t need to start a new or different program. Having already five years as a permanent resident qualifies you to start your citizenship process.
How can I become a citizen in Panama as a turista pensionado visa holder?
I’m retired and am holding a turista pensionado visa in Panama, which states visa holders don’t qualify for Panamanian nationality or a passport. The visa worked for me five years ago when I moved here, but now I want a second passport. What do I need to do to be eligible for a passport in Panama? Do I need to apply for a different visa program even though I am already a permanent resident here?
Please note that nowadays, you can apply for Panamanian citizenship as the holder of a tourist visa. Once it is granted, you'll obtain a Panamanian passport. The citizenship or naturalization process takes between nine months to four years, as it's granted by the president of the republic of Panama. You need to take a test of Spanish knowledge and political and Panamanian history.
Under Law Decree 320 of 2008, the turista pensionado visa was classified under the permanent residency category, under which any resident is eligible to apply for citizenship after holding such residency for at least five years, as determined in the National Constitution of Panama.