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How can I obtain Panama citizenship as a Friendly Nation Visa holder?

I am from South Africa. If I open a bank account in Panama and obtain residency via the Friendly Nations Visa program, how long will it take for me to be qualified for citizenship? Will I need to live in Panama to obtain citizenship?

  • Panama Global Solutions
    February 06, 2020

    A citizenship request may be submitted five years after having obtained permanent residency in Panama. This five-year period may be reduced to three if you either get married to a Panamanian citizen or bear a Panamanian child. You won’t need to live permanently in Panama, however, you will require a physical address at the moment of submitting the citizenship application.

  • Mulford Abogados
    February 06, 2020

    In order to obtain Panamanian Citizenship, it is necessary beforehand to obtain permanent residency and immigration card. Please note that there are two ways to obtain Panamanian nationality. Foreigners with five consecutive years of residence in the territory of our country. Foreigners with three consecutive years of residence in the territory of Panama, who have children born in our country from a Panamanian mother, fathers or spouse. Naturalization is a process that needs to be approved by the President of the Republic of Panama; therefore it can take between nine months to three years. And the signature is up to the current President. An exam regarding Panamanian issues must be passed during the process.

  • Gomez Tomiczek
    February 06, 2020

    To obtain your residency in Panama, it take 4 months. The first step is to come to Panama to get your application prepared and submitted with you in person. After that, you can come back to South Africa. South Africa is on the list of friendly countries. Four months later, you need to come to Panama to get your permanent residency and get your documents. Of course, at this time you will have a bank account, a Panamanian corporation, and permanent residency. Please keep in mind that your business running in Panama is taxable, and overseas is not.

  • Kraemer & Kraemer
    February 05, 2020

    By the Constitution of Panama, the citizenship application is eligible after five years of permanent residency. As with the Friendly Nations Visa, permanent status is secured, then after 5 years, the applicant becomes eligible to apply for citizenship, which has its own requirements and timeframe.