Modifications to the Friendly Nations Visa Program

Through Executive Decree 197 of May 7th, 2021, articles were modified and added to Executive Decree No. 416 of June 13, 2012, which created within the immigration category of Permanent Resident, the subcategory of Permanent Resident as national foreigners of specific countries that maintain friendly, professional, economic and investment relations with the Republic of Panama, commonly known as the “Friendly Nations Visa”.

The changes are summarized as follows:

1. Taiwan is excluded from the list of countries eligible for the program.

2. The program will first grant temporary residency for the first two years. Subsequently, those with temporary residence who maintain the requirements may apply for permanent residence.

3. The friendly nations visa may be requested in the following cases:

• For employment reasons, you must provide a letter of employment, Certificate of Public Registry and Notice of Operation of the company that will act as employer.

For the approval of the residence permit, the applicant and his/her employer will be obliged to apply for the Work Permit at the Ministry of Labor and Taskforce Development.

• By means of an investment in a real estate in the personal capacity of the applicant with a minimum value of US $ 200,000.00, an operation that may be financed through a local bank.

  • The incorporation of a Panamanian company is eliminated as an option.
  • The new rules will take effect ninety (90) days from the promulgation through Official Gazette No.29290-A of May 20th, 2021, that is, as of August 20th, 2021. 

To download Official Gazette No. 29290-A, please click here.