Friendly nations, or specific nations visa, is a permanent residence program created by Executive Decree 343 of May 16, 2012, which grants permanent residency to applicants in approximately six months after the application is filed. Nations within the program are 50 different ones, including the USA, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Taiwan, Australia, Singapur, New Zeland, South Korea, South Africa, Hong Kong, Japan, Israel and most of European countries. Benefits are to obtain permanent residency to live and reside in the country. Panama has territorial taxation, so income sourced outside of Panama does not pay income taxes in the country. Eligibility for a work permit is also available, but it is another process to be incurred. Citizenship can be requested after five years of permanent residency.
Panama’s “friendly nations” immigration program is a system of permanent immigrant visas, established by the Panamanian government, for citizens or nationals of specific countries. The applicant must establish professional or economic relationship with Panama; it is not an investment visa. This visa category is more flexible than other immigration categories. For your reference, in addition to the passport, each applicant must present the following documents: 1: Criminal history background check from the applicant’s country of origin. The Panama immigration department requires the applicant to provide an authenticated criminal history report issued by a federal, central or national police force or criminal investigation authority. This document must be authenticated by the embassy or consulate of Panama, or apostilled. The criminal history background check has a validity term of six months from its issuance date. 2: Copy of applicant’s second I.D. (other than passport): Issued from applicant’s country of origin, such as a driver’s license or government-issued photo I.D. This requirement is in addition to the passport to prove residency and citizenship. This document must be apostilled or authenticated by a Panamanian consulate where the document is issued. If you do not possess a second I.D. from your country of origin, you can provide a birth certificate that is apostilled or authenticated by the Panamanian consulate or apostilled in the country of issuance. 3: Proof of solvency: Proof from a Panama bank that the applicant has at least $5,000 USD deposited, plus $2,000 USD for each dependent. This is done by requesting a bank letter of reference. 4: Documents showing the economic or professional activities to be conducted by the applicant in Panama. This can be proved by one of the following options: 5: Economic activity: Provide documentation that the applicant is a member of the board of directors or shareholder of a Panama corporation. This corporation need to be active in business. 6: Labor contract: Provide documentation that the applicant will be hired by a Panamanian corporation. The process would take approximately five months and starts at the time that the documentation is completed. The applicant must be in Panama when filing the visa application. The nationals of the following countries can apply to this visa: United Kingdom, Germany, Argentina, Australia, South Korea, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Spain, United States of America, Slovak Republic, France, Finland, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Singapore , Uruguay, Chile, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Greece, Portugal, Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Cyprus, Malta, Serbia, Montenegro, Israel, Denmark, South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Mónaco, Andorra, San Marino, Taiwan.
The Friendly Nations immigration program is an indefinite (lifetime) permanent residency permit granted to applicants from 50 different countries with business intentions in Panama. As for benefits, the applicant may include his/her close family as dependents (spouse, children and applicant’s parents). With the initial submission of documents (no need to renew or file a new application afterwards), he/she will obtain a permanent residency permit, a Panamanian ID (which will become a tax number) and the chance to apply for a lifetime work permit, as well. Among the main requirements are the applicant must file a recent criminal records certificate, set up a bank account in Panama with at least $5,000 USD and incorporate a Panamanian company to prove his/her business intentions (no need for the company to have an ongoing commercial activity, minimum capital or employees, incorporation paperwork will suffice). This is the list of countries acknowledge as Friendly Nations: 1. Great Britain 2. Germany 3. Argentina 4. Australia 5. Republic of Korea 6. Austria 7. Brazil 8. Belgium 9. Canada 10. Spain 11. USA 12. Slovakia 13. France 14. Finland 15. Netherlands 16. Ireland 17. Japan 18. Norway 19. Czech Republic 20. Switzerland 21. Singapore 22. Uruguay 23. Chile 24. Sweden 25. Poland 26. Hungary 27. Greece 28. Portugal 29. Croatia 30. Estonia 31. Lithuania 32. Latvia 33. Cyprus 34. Malta 35. Serbia 36. Montenegro 37. Israel 38. Denmark 39. South Africa 40. New Zealand 41. Hong Kong 42. Luxembourg 43. Liechtenstein 44. Monaco 45. Andorra 46. San Marino 47. Taiwan 48. Costa Rica 49. Mexico 50. Paraguay