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, whereby the immigration category of Permanent Resident, the subcategory of Permanent Resident were created for nationals of specific foreign 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, the foreign national must provide a letter of employment, a Certificate of the Public Registry and the 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 have to apply for the Work Permit at the Ministry of Labor and Taskforce Development.

• By means of an investment in 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 be in force and effect ninety (90) days after the promulgation of the Executive Decree in the Official Gazette No.29290-A on the 20th of May, 2021, that is, as of the 20th of August, 2021.

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