In Panama, for a foreign in order to obtain Panamanian Citizenship, it is necessary beforehand to obtain the 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 Panamanians mother, father or spouse. Naturalization is a process that needs to be approved by the President of the Republic of Panama; therefore it can take between 9 months to 3 years. And the signature it’s up to the current President. An exam regarding Panamanian issues must be approved during the process.
When will I be eligible to apply for Panama citizenship?
How quickly can we convert residency to citizenship? I am from South Africa. If I open a bank account and obtain residency via the friendly nations visa, how long will it take for me to apply for citizenship?
Eligibility to apply for citizenship is after 5 years of securing permanent residency, as per the Constitution of Panama. Permanent Residency under the friendly nations visa can be secured within 6 months. The citizenship process, once started, can take from 1 to 5 years, depending on the processing timeframe of the ruling government.
Five years after having obtained the permanent residency permit you’ll be eligible for citizenship. This term may be shortened to three years if you bear a child born from a Panamanian parent.