The Panama Immigration Laws were adjusted as a result new immigration laws were passed in August of 2008. Panama is one of the best countries in the world to retire to a claim stated by many international magazines. The country has a very stable economy furthermore Panama has a social and political environment. A popular tourist destination, the Republic of Panama offers the best of eco tourism. The cost of living in Panama is extremely low when compared to other countries and coupled with special incentives given to retirees this makes Panama a great place to retire to. The Visa de Pensionado or Panama Retirement Visa permits a foreigner to legally reside in the Republic of Panama.
The Panama Retirement Visa is granted to foreigners providing that they are retired from work in their country. There is no age limit (minimum or maximum) age. The person applying for this type of visa must be able to show that they are receiving a pensioner’s income. The document proving that the pension will be paid has to be notarized by a Panamanian Consulate. The income received must be for the least US$1000 or more. The applicant must present the necessary documents from an institution or company which states that the pensioner’s income is for life. The applicant has to get an additional US$250 for each dependent.
To apply for the Visa de Pensionado the applicant has to travel to the Republic of Panama for Passport Registration and to have pictures taken by the Immigration Department of the country. To register the passport two passport sized photos for the applicant and any dependent and an immigration form signed by the applicant along with a passport is needed. In order to apply for the Panama Retirement Visa the following documents has to be submitted for applicants and dependents:
- 6 passport sized photos for applicants and dependents
- Police record from the country of residence for the last five years
- Marriage certificate if married and Birth Certificates for children under the age of eighteen (18)
- Documents to show pensioned to be received government institution or private company
- Copies of pension checks to prove payments are being made
- If the pension is being paid out by a private institution a letter from the Government must be submitted showing that the company is registered and in good standing order.
- Medical certificates to show that the applicant and dependents are not infected with any contagious diseases and to certify that they are of good physical and mental health. The Medical certificate must be issued by a hospital or clinic in Panama
The retiree’s pension income can decrease from us$1000 to US$750 monthly if the applicant makes a real estate investment of US$100,000 or more.
The application for a Panama Retirement Visa is filed with the Immigration and Naturalization Directorate of the Republic of Panama. If the successful the applicant will be granted a temporary residential permit for a period of one year, at the end of which the applicant files for a permanent residence permit. It the Panamanian residence permit is granted the applicant is eligible for Panamanian citizenship after five years.
The Visa de Pensionado or Panama retirement visa is easy to obtain. A Law office or lawyer can be contacted by the applicant to ensure that process is made smoother. Once the applicant qualifies there are many benefits to be enjoyed in the Republic of Panama.