The Panama, Friendly Nations Visa was launched in 2012 to attract immigration and foreign capital to Panama. It grants individuals with strong ties to the country five years of residency, leading to full citizenship.  

The Presidential Decree 343 of May 2012 titled that citizens from 22 friendly nations may be eligible for fast-tracking their permanent residency. However, since then, it has increased to 50 friendly nations.

Provisional Residency

The immigration program would first grant a provisional residency permit for two years before you can apply for and obtain a permanent residency. Then, generally, it takes about three more years to obtain permanent residency, making it five years.

Incorporation Residency

Apart from being granted a provisional residency, you can also qualify for a residency in Panama if you show evidence of being employed professionally or have been involved economically with the country. This is done by either owning incorporation in Panama or being a Panamanian company staff member.

However, you don't necessarily need to have employees when you incorporate a company in Panama, but the company must be functioning and show relevant functioning status through its activities. Now the government of Panama, through its enforcers, usually assesses the functionality of your company, but presumably, they tend to be pretty lenient in handling such issues.  After qualifying for any of the two above, you have to be economically solvent to the Panamanian government through a deposit of $5,000 to a bank account in the country. While applying, every dependent you have incurs an extra $2,000 into the Panamanian account. Dependent includes children, university students, or spouses.

The Panama Friendly Nations Visa application process can be hassle-free and smooth if you make the proper preparation beforehand and if you are in good hands.


To gain citizenship in Panama, you have to apply. But you can only qualify for application if you have stayed (immigrant) or have a permanent residence in Panama. In addition to the above, the government requires those seeking citizenship to

  • Attend an interview.
  • Have proficiency in the Spanish language.
  • Be able to understand Panamanian culture, values, and history
  • Must have spent some time in Panama with a residency visa.
  • Must have economic connections to Panama.
  • And must also have a home.

Performing these steps could take about three years.

Requirements for Friendly Nations Visa (Permanent Residency)

You will need the following to qualify:

  • A letter of your economic or professional activity in Panama.
  • Proof of Economic Solvency.
  • Documents showing that you are either a major shareholder or member of the board of directors in a Panamanian company (if applicable).

That's A Wrap

Deciding to move to Panama sounds kike a good idea. You just need to book a consultation with an excellent consultation lawyer. In your first consultation, you will be shown what documentation you will need and the next steps to take.

If you like the consultation process, you can go ahead and go through with the entire process. Panama is a beautiful country with varied and unique cultures and people. This visa gives it access to millions of people around the globe. Good luck with your adventures.