World famous for its Panama Canal, which is considered a modern engineering miracle. But that’s definitely not the only great thing about this Central American country. Many tourists and immigrants have already made their way to Panama and feel home among the tropical rainforests, beaches, small villages and big metropolises.

Those living in Panama enjoy an environment that is rarely affected by tropical storms and hurricanes due to its location just outside the hurricane alley. Spanish is the official language, but many speak English especially in bigger cities. The country is also famous for its coffee. Some of the world’s best coffee comes from Panama and is sold around the world at discerning coffee shops. 

The Panama Canal is incredibly important for the country as it generates a third of the economic activity and offers many employment opportunities. The country’s economy as a whole is stable and fast growing and there is a good investment climate. Unemployment numbers are low and have been stable for years. 

Business in Panama begins with small talk and it’s important to be on time. Family, sports and culture are good topics to discuss; politics and religion are best to be avoided. Dress conservatively and formally and when a deal is closed, it is common for the host to take foreign guests out for dinner. 

GET YOUR PERSONALISED REPORT SHOWING WHERE YOU COULD LIVE AND WORK NOW!

Get started with our Smart Wizard

Here are some of the ways to live in Panama:

Friendly Nations Visa:

This visa was introduced to Panama in 2012.   Foreigners from 47 Nations (click here for the full list) can qualify for permanent residency along with a work permit.  It is quite easy to qualify. You need to deposit USD $5,000 into a local bank account plus USD$2,000 for each dependent.  You also need to have professional ties to the country which could be either starting a new business, purchasing an existing business, or being hired in a professional capacity by a Panama company.  In fact you could qualify by setting up an offshore company in Panama.  If you are self employed, having your company setup in Panama is not a bad option.  After 5 years you can apply for Panamanian citizenship and a passport.

Through investment:

  • If you invest more than USD$80,000 in an approved Panama reforestation program you may obtain permanent residency and citizenship after five years.
  • If you have more than USD$170,000 to deposit on a five-year certificate of deposit with the National Bank of Panama, you may obtain a retiree visa.  This will yield approximately $750 a month for living expenses.
  • If you have more than USD$200,000, you can deposit that amount in an account in any local bank in Panama and can apply for a permanent residency visa.  USD$80,000 of this can also be in the form of a home purchase.  You are eligible to apply for Panamanian nationality after 5 years.
  • If you invest between US$40,000 and USD$150,000 in a business in Panama, (depending on the size of the business), you may be granted an investor visa. There must be a minimum of three permanent Panamanian employees hired.

Through your Family:

  • If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident of Panama, you are eligible for temporary residency and after 1 year you can apply for permanent residency.  You can apply for citizenship after 3 years of residency in Panama.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.

Here are some of the ways to get citizenship in Panama:

Through your Family:

  • If you were born in Panama, you are most likely a citizen of Panama.
  • If one or both of your parents were citizens when you were born, you are probably also a citizen.
  • If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident of Panama, you are eligible for temporary residency and after 1 year you can apply for permanent residency.  You can apply for citizenship after 3 years of residency in Panama.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.

GET YOUR PERSONALISED REPORT SHOWING WHERE YOU COULD LIVE AND WORK NOW!

Get started with our Smart Wizard

The passport for Panama allows you to travel to 122 countries without a visa.

Its global rank is 71.

`
Start the Smart Wizard!