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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Reforestation visa requirements


After many expats were left in a Kafkian limbo with the abrogation of Reforestation visas, they made a comeback under a special version of the US$40K Micro-Business Investor visa and now somewhat - official rules are in force.

However, 3 renewals of the first 1-year visa are still necessary to apply for a permanent residence (or 4 renewals if you want to be straightforward). This is something the Immigration English site does not clarify, but is published in the Spanish version of the e-government site and in our blog comments. Only when the investment exceeds US$80K can permanent residency be applied for at the end of the 1st immigrant visa. The investment must be made directly, and not by buying stock in a reforestation company.

Immigrant visa and Residence permit granting a Forest Investor of a Micro Business. VIFOR. 1

Who may apply to this immigrant visa?

Foreigners may apply to this immigrant visa and the corresponding permission of residence, who invest in direct form in the activities of reforestation as natural persons or through a legal person when the investment is no less than 40.000.00 (Forty Thousand “Balboas”).

The foreign applicant must prove to the National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization the source of founds that he has effectively invested in the plantation of forest species for commercial, environmental, tourist aims or others. When the Immigrant visa has been approved, the foreigner receives a permission of residency for one year and when the same is expiring, the petitioner can request for a definitive permanency.

Only a single foreigner and its employees by company will be admitted and the attempt of violation or the violation of this requirement will bring as a consequence the refusal of the request and the obligation to leave the country.


Note:

  • All foreign citizens, that approaches the Directorate of Immigration to perform any procedure, must be previously registered in the Migratory Movement’s Section, whereto has to fulfil the following requirements:
    1. Present two (2) carnet size photos
    2. Present a copy of the page of the passport that containing the general information about him or (her) and copy of the page that shows the seal of the last entry to our country.
    3. Payment of the registration fee.
    4. Complete the register form of the Sworn Statement

  • In the case that the request includes dependents, the requirements for the Immigrant’s Visa as a Resident Dependent must be included.
  • All documents issued abroad, must be properly annotated or authenticated by the Republic of Panama Embassy or Consulate at the country that issued them, and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama.
  • All documents issued abroad that are not written in the Spanish Language, must be translated by an Official Public Translator certified by the Ministry of Government and Justice.
  • All foreign residents, temporary visitors or alien citizens present in the country with an application being processed that wishes to go abroad and re-enter the country, requires from the National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization a MULTIPLE INCOMING VISA BEFORE LEAVING THE COUNTRY. The omission of this procedure will incur a One Hundred Balboa fine (B/100.00).
  • One month before the termination of the one year Residence Permit that is granted with the Immigrant Visa, the petitioner may apply for the Permanent Residence, with the right to apply for a Panamanian Cedula (I.D. Card)
  • All those nationalities that require a Consulted Visa must present with any request, a VALID VISA CERTIFICATION TO PROCESS A RESIDENCE, issued by the Consulted Visa Department of the National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization.
  • The Sworn Declaration must be made in the form supplied by the Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization. This form must be signed by the interested party and be completed in full. To furnish false information carries penal and legal responsibilities and the refusal of the requested visa or its cancellation if already granted. Under age foreigners don’t have to complete this form, but parents or tutors must provide the requested information, although not under the gravity of oath.

The documentation must be COMPLETE at the time of presentation, and in the expressed following order. Small documents such as, birth certificates, health certificates, receipts, etc, must be added to a legal size paper and both faces of the abovementioned documents must be clearly seen, in order to be properly received.

REQUIREMENTS:

Foreigner

At the time of the document presentation, a temporary valid carnet for three months is issued and when the petition is approved a temporary resident carnet for one year is issued. At due time of the previous mentioned carnet, two successive extends can be requested, and if they are approved then a carnet for a validity of two years is issued. The costs of the carnets will be paid by the interested party as well as a B/10.00 fiscal stamp for those foreigners citizens that require visa.

Power of attorney and petition by means of a lawyer [ ... The power of attorney must be presented personally before a Public Notary or at the Receipt of documents for immigrants Section at the Directorate of Migration. It must include the general information of the foreign petitioner (full name, nationality, passport exact address, telephone numbers) as well as the parents full name, nationality and exact address. Also, all the general information of the lawyer must be given (office’s address, fax number, telephone number, e mail address) Within the request, in addition to the complete general information of the principal and the empowered, the complete information of attached check must be stated (check number, drawing bank’s name, date and amount), all the attached supporting documents must be listed, and quote the legal bases that support the request and explain the type of commercial activity that the company will develop. The power of attorney, as well as the request must have a stamp or seal for B/. 4.00 per page. ]

Certified or cashier’s check in the amount of B/. 100.00 in favour of the “Tesoro Nacional” (National Treasury).

Certified or cashier’s check in the amount of B/. 500.00 in favour of the “Ministerio de Gobierno y Justicia” (Ministry of Government and Justice) as a repatriation’s deposit [applicable to persons older than 12 years]


Medical Certificate of Good Health [: issued within the three (3) months prior to the presentation date (it must have date, signature and seal with the doctor’s name, including the code and registration number of the physician. ]


Penal and police record issued by the previous country of residence of the petitioner within the last two years, ( if the interested party has been in Panama for the last two or more years on a consecutive time, this document will not be necessary).

Passport issued by country origin [ .. with a minimum of six months validity time]

Complete copy of passport.


Two (2) carnet size photos [..updated (no hats or veils and front face)

Public Registry Certification: [: in which the legal representation, authorized share capital and the way the shares are divided is shown (shares must be nominative), the physical address and dignitaries and directors names must appear, to which the petitioner must belong. At the same time, the legal representative name and empowered, if any, has to be included.

Certification of the Secretary or Treasurer of the company, whereby the title of the shares issued in favour of the foreign applicant are credited and stating that the shares are released and properly paid (the shares must be of a minimum value of B/.40,000.00). The certification must be signed before Public Notary and it does not have to be subscribed by the interested party.

Certification of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), where the total direct invested amount in the forestal activity by the petitioner is detailed, certifying that the investor owns the capital. The C.P.A. must attach copy of his or her identification card and the C.P.A.´s carnet.

Copy of the share certificate or certificates issued to the forestal investor.

Authenticated copy by the Ministry of Economy and Finance [.. of the Income tax form along with its payment receipts. If a yearly fiscal period has not concluded since the starting of operations of the company, instead of the income tax form, a copy of the Taxpayer Registry (Registro Unico) along with the original receipt must be supplied to be compared. ]

Authenticated photocopy [.. of the National Authority of Environment’s resolution where the legal entity or the foreigner was approved to be registered in the Forest Registry. ]

Proof of the investment made [... in a direct form in reforestation activities, by a minimum of B/. 40,000.00 (forty thousand B/ 80.000.00 “Balboas”) which can be demonstrated with documents such as: certificate of the Public Registry issued in the name of the interested party, in which the inscription of the property that will be destined to the reforestation is registered, authenticated photocopy of the checks that were made as investment in reforestation, with paid seal of the Bank and the corresponding invoice, customs liquidations of machinery to be used in the reforestation project or another document that certainly proves the investment made in reforestation ]

Complete the form of Sworn Declaration of Personal Background

Legal Basis:

Articles 23rd. and 26th of the Law-Decree 16 of June 30 of 1960.

National Directorate of Migration and Naturalization’s Resolution Nº 039 of April 27th. of 2006. Official Newspaper No. 2555. (Gaceta Oficial)

Comments:

If the petition includes dependants, the investment should be an additional B/4,000.00 per dependant and must comply with the conditions of Resident’s Dependent Visa.



Friday, October 19, 2007

Small Business Investor Visa: only for the "people person"

Wow! Open up a Panama corporation for the price of a car and get a resident visa! Sounds good? Too good... just read the fine print. This visa is for you only if you want to have labor headaches with local workers ...

Visa of Immigrant and Permission of Residence granting status as a micro business Investor. KEY: VIPEM.


Who may apply to this immigrant visa?


The foreigner who wishes to establish its residence in the Republic of Panama, immigrating with an investor’s status and whom by the amount of the investment qualifies as a micro enterprise investor. The investment to be made must be direct in the company that is constituted, and with a minimum share capital of Forty Thousand Balboas (B/. 40.000) and up to a maximum of One hundred Fifty Thousand Balboas (B/. 150,000). The foreigner must be the shareholder and dignitary of the company, which in addition, must have an initial list of three (3) Panamanian workers, working fulltime and earning a wage not inferior than the minimum established by Law for each region of the country, specifying the position or activity that each one performs.


The company must register its employees in the Social Security System, thus complying with the legal obligations in respect to the social issues. It is important that the foreign investor considers that at the time of asking for the visa extension, after exceeding the provisional permission that is issued with Immigrant’s Visa, he/she will have to prove that it has fulfilled the commitment to contract Panamanian personnel and to be up-to-date in the payment of the obligations towards the Social Security.


The foreigner who applies to this visa must be the holder of the shares that show a minimum investment of Forty Thousand Balboas (B/. 40.000,00).

When the Immigrant’s visa is approved, the foreigner receives a residency permit for one year and when the same is coming to conclusion, the petitioner must ask an extension every year until three (3) consecutive years. At the due time of the third extension, the petitioner will be able to ask for the definitive permanence, with right to a Panamanian Cedula (I.D. Card). This adds up to five (5) requests.

Only a single foreigner and its dependents will be admitted by corporation, and the attempt of violation or the violation of this requirement will amount to the consequence of the refusal of the request, and the obligation to leave the country. The activities to which the company is dedicated must be expressed in the license or the commercial registry.


Processing time frame: 3 to 4 months to obtain Visa de Immigrant’s (document granted for a year).


Note:

  • All foreign citizens, that approaches the Directorate of Immigration to perform any procedure, must be previously registered in the Migratory Movement’s Section, whereto has to fulfil the following requirements:
    1. Present two (2) carnet size photos
    2. Present a copy of the page of the passport that containing the general information about him or (her) and copy of the page that shows the seal of the last entry to our country.
    3. Payment of the registration fee.
    4. Complete the register form of the Sworn Statement

  • All documents issued abroad, must be properly annotated or authenticated by the Republic of Panama Embassy or Consulate at the country that issued them, and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama.

  • All documents issued abroad that are not written in the Spanish Language, must be translated by an Official Public Translator certified by the Ministry of Government and Justice.

  • All foreign residents, temporary visitors or alien citizens present in the country with an application being processed that wishes to go abroad and re-enter the country, requires from the National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization a MULTIPLE INCOMING VISA BEFORE LEAVING THE COUNTRY. The omission of this procedure will incur a One Hundred Balboa fine (B/100.00).

  • All those nationalities that require a Consulted Visa must present with any request, a VALID VISA CERTIFICATION TO PROCESS A RESIDENCE, issued by the Consulted Visa Department of the National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization.

  • The Sworn Declaration must be made in the form supplied by the Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization. This form must be signed by the interested party and be completed in full. To furnish false information carries penal and legal responsibilities and the refusal of the requested visa or its cancellation if already granted. Under age foreigners don’t have to complete this form, but parents or tutors must provide the requested information, although not under the gravity of oath.

The documentation must be COMPLETE at the time of presentation, and in the expressed following order. Small documents such as, birth certificates, health certificates, receipts, etc, must be added to a legal size paper and both faces of the abovementioned documents must be clearly seen, in order to be properly received.


REQUIREMENTS:


Foreigner
At the presentation of the documents, a three month temporary carnet is issued and at the time of the approval of the request, a provisional one year permanent carnet is issued. The costs of the carnets will be paid by the interested party as well as the B/. 10.00 fiscal stamps for those nationalities that require a visa.

  • Power of Attorney and request through a lawyer. (Certified or a Legal Firm. The Power of Attorney must be granted before a Public Notary or personal presented by the visa’s petitioners before the Directorate of Migration and Naturalization (head of family and dependants of legal age. The parent that requests the visa should grant the power of attorney in behalf of the legal under age children). This must include the complete general information of the interested parties, including the complete name and nationality of the parents. Also, the lawyer’s general information must be specified (office’s address, telephone number, e-mail address). Within the petition, as well as all the general information of the principal and the empowered, the complete information of the attached checks must be specified (check number, drawing bank’s name, date and amount). All the attached supporting documents must be identified and listed, and quote the facts and legal fundaments that sustain the request.
  • The power of attorney, as well as the request must be stamp or seal with B/4.00 per page. ]
  • Certified or cashiers check in the amount of B/ 100.00 in favour of the “Tesoro Nacional” (National Treasury).
  • Medical Certificate of Good Health [: issued within the three (3) months prior to the presentation date (it must have date, signature and seal with the doctor’s name, including the code and registration number of the physician. ]
  • Penal and police record issued by the previous country of residence of the petitioner within the last two years, ( if the interested party has been in Panama for the last two or more years on a consecutive time, this document will not be necessary).
  • Passport issued by the country of origin [ .. with a minimum of six months validity time]
    Complete copy of passport
  • Two (2) carnet size photos [..updated (no hats or veils and front face)
  • Certificate of Juridical Person issued by the Public Registry, that confirms the following: the corporate name of the company, the directors and dignitaries of the company, the name of the legal or empowered representative (if it has one), the issued capital stock of the company (that must be a minimum of B/. 40,000.01), type of shares and the distribution of the capital stock. The petitioner must be the director and dignitary of the company.
  • Certification of the Secretary or Treasurer of the company, where it states the title of the shares issued in favour of the foreign applicant and that the shares are properly released and paid (the shares must be of a minimum value of B/.40,000.01). The certification must be signed before a Public Notary and shouldn’t be subscribed by the interested party.

  • Certification of the corporation’s Certified Public Accountant (CPA), stating the titles of the shares credited to the foreigner petitioner and indicating that those shares are properly released and paid (the shares must be of a minimum value of B/40,000.01) (Attach document certifying the legal capability of the C.P.A.

  • Declaration rendered by the petitioner before a Public Notary, in which the amount of the invested capital is indicated, as well as the amount of the owned shares and that they are released and paid (with a minimum value of B/.40,000.01), it must also mention the detailed commercial activities performed by the company.

    Authenticated copy by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, of the sworn Income tax form along with its payment receipts (only in the case in which the company has been constituted and has operated several months before the date of presentation of the sworn income tax form for the present year). Within the Income tax form (in the equity section, where it mentions shares) the total payment of the shares owned by the foreign petitioner of the visa must be registered (that should be more than B/.40,000.01)

  • If the company is of recent incorporation, the application must include a copy of the paid “Tasa Unica” and the Taxpayer Personal Register (R.U.C.) duly collated by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

  • Copy authenticated by Caja de Seguro Social (Social Security) of the company’s payroll, which specifies a minimum of (3) three Panamanian employees, earning salaries no lower than the minimum wage established by law according to the region and position. (It must correspond to a payment made during the last months prior to the presentation of the application)
  • Social Security’s goodstanding [ in behalf of the company and with minimum of three (3) months validity.
  • Proof of investment [Can be demonstrated by presenting at least three of the following documents: Real State Buy/Sell Agreement of the place where the company operates or is located. Photocopy of bank’s deposit slip authenticated by the bank, showing the invested amount on behalf of the company, Document issued by a bank certifying that the amount invested by the foreign petitioner comes from abroad. Commercial invoices of the expenses incurred by the investor in favour of the company, along with a detailed inventory certified by a C.P.A; Customs forms that show the paid taxes for imported assets in the name of the company or the investor. Any other document that can prove the capital invested on the company]
  • Proof of location and existence of the company [ ( supply a minimum of three proofs). – Rental agreement of the commercial location, where the headquarter or office of the business operates, dully registered before the Ministry of Housing (in the case it is not an owned place). Electric Energy Sservice Agreement – Phone Sservice Agreement - Water supply agreement – Security services agreement – Garbage services agreement – ITBM tax payment (added value tax) to the Ministry of Economic and Finances – Internet services agreement.
  • Sworn declaration about personal background [ form supplied by the Directorate of Migration and Naturalization
  • Copy of the Commercial Licence [ ..or industrial licence of the business, (It must be type “A” that covers the wholesales commercial activities or industrial licence)
  • Photocopy of the Shares certificates.


Legal Base:
Law Decree No.16 of 30 of June of 1960, Law No.47 of 31 of August of 1999 and Resolution 10,386 of October of 2003, Law No. 8 of March 29 of 2000.

Comments:
The National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization has the power to inspect the company to verify its address, existence and function according to the established policies.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Saint Mamas: saint of the tax avoiders



Yes, for those interested in tax law, there is such a person as the saint of the tax avoiders.
Saint Mamas was a monk living in a cave near the town of Morphou. Once he was arrested by the Ottoman authorities because he was refusing to pay tax, refused to pay his taxes because he was a man who had zero income. The governor ordered his arrest but as he was being taken to prison, a lion leapt out from behind a tree onto a lamb that had been grazing in a field. Mamas commanded the lion to stop the attack; he then picked up the lamb and mounted the lion. The sight of the hermit riding into town astride a lion sufficiently impressed the authorities that he was then exempt from paying any taxes. St Mamas gave the sheep as a gift to the judge.
In Cyprus he is popularly known as the patron saint of tax avoiders and his day is celebrated the end of September. A town is also called Ayios Mamas in his honor.
So the next time you're at tax court....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pensionado / Rentista Visas #2

This is the official list of requirements, as posted in http://www.migracion.gob.pa/eng/service_popup.php?id=52 on October 15, 2007:


Indefinite Residence Permit in capacity as Pensioned Tourist










To grant an indefinite residence permit in capacity as Pensioned Tourist.

Who may request this Permanent Residence Permit?

A person retired from a foreign government or private company earning a permanent minimum income of Five Hundred American Dollars ($500.00) or its equivalent. If the person coming with dependents, an additional One Hundred (U$100.00) monthly is obligatory per each dependant. The law grants, in addition to the indefinite residence permit, tax franchises to import households or personal items once, up to the total amount of $10,000.00 (Ten Thousand Dollars), and an automobile for personal use every two years.

Note:

  • All foreign citizens, that approach the National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization to perform any procedure, must be previously registered in the Migratory Movement Section, presenting the following requirements:
    1. Two (2) carnet size photos
    2. Copy of the pages of the passport that contain the general information about the petitioner and the page that shows the stamp of the last entry to our country.
    3. Pay fee for registration.
    4. Complete the registration form of the Sworn Statement.

  • In the case that the request includes dependents, the requirements for the Immigrant Visa as a Resident’s Dependent must be included.
  • All documents issued abroad, must be properly annotated or authenticated by the Republic of Panama Embassy or Consulate at the country that issued them and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama.
  • All documents issued abroad that are not written in the Spanish Language, must be translated by an Official Public Translator recognized by the Ministry of Government and Justice or Ministry of Education.
  • All foreign residents, temporary visitors or with an application being processed, that wishes to go abroad and re-enter the country, requires from the National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization a MULTIPLE VISA BEFORE LEAVING THE COUNTRY. The omission of this procedure will incur a One Hundred Balboa fine (B/100.00).
  • Countries that require a Consulted Visa, have to present with the petition a Certification that authorizes them to apply for a temporary residence visa, issued by the Department of Consulted Visas of the National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization.
  • The Sworn Declaration is a form supplied by the National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization. This must be signed by the interested party and be completed in full. Providing false information may lead to penal and legal responsibilities and the negation of the requested visa or the annulment, if already granted. The foreigners who are under age don’t have to fill out the form, but their parents or tutor must give the requested information, although not under the gravity of oath.

The documentation must be presented COMPLETE and in the following order. Small documents such as, birth certificates, health certificates, receipts, etc., must be added to a legal size paper and both faces of the abovementioned documents must be clearly seen, in order to be properly received.

REQUIREMENTS:

Foreigners:

At the presentation of the documents, a three months temporary carnet is issued and at the time of the approval of the request an indefinite residence carnet is issued. The costs of the carnets will be paid by the interest party.

Power of attorney and request by means of a lawyer: The Power of Attorney must be presented before a Public Notary or personally before the Directorate of Migration and Naturalization by the visa applicant ( if it is only one person) or by all the over age components of the family group (head of family and dependents). This must show the complete general information of the interested parties, including full name and parent’s nationality. In addition, it must specify all the general information of the lawyer of the applicant and dependents, including office’s address, domicile at the Republic of Panama, telephone numbers and e mail. Also the complete information of attached checks must be given (check number, drawing bank’s name, date and amount). List and identify the attached documents, as well as expressing the legal grounds in which you base the petition

Health Medical Certificate […issued within the three (3) months prior to the presentation date (it must have the date, signature and seal with the doctor name, including the code and register number of the physician)].

Penal and police record issued by the previous country of residence of the petitioner within the last two years, (This document will not be necessary, if the interested party has resided in Panama for the last two or more years on a consecutive time.

Passport issued by country of origin [...with a minimum of six months validity time and a complete photocopy of the passport, duly authenticated before a Public Notary].

Two (2) Carnet size photos [...up dated, of every interested party, (no hats or veils and facing front]

Document that certifies, by foreign government, international entities or private companies, the retired condition of the petitioner, and that the interested party earns a permanent income no less than Five Hundred American dollars or its equivalent ($500.00) per month. If there are dependents, the additional income has to be One Hundred Dollar ($100.00) monthly, per dependant. ( If the certification is in a foreign currency, a certification from the Panama National Bank stating the equivalent amount in dollars.)

If petitioner is retired from a private company, He (She) has to present the document that certifies by means of the authorized authority that the company is still operating (equivalent to the Panamanian Public Register Certificate) and attach the last five supporting documents of the pension receipt. If the money is received by bank’s transfer, copy of the bank statement from the bank, have to be presented.

Personal Background Sworn Declaration [… duly signed by the interested party and by an authorized official of the National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization or whoever receives the petition. (Form supplied by the National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization).]

An extra set of photocopies of all the documentation presented.

Legal Base:

Law No. 9 of June 24 of 1987 and the Executive Decree No. 62 of August 4 of 1987

Observations:

No observations registered

Opening hours to the public:

Monday through Friday: from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Address:

29th Street and Cuba Avenue

Phone Number: (507) 507-1800




Copyright © 2007. National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization. All rights reserved.


For rentistas wanting the 2nd passport, the requirements vary as follows:



Temporary Residence Visa as an Independent Retired









To grant a Temporary Residence Visa as an Independent Retired.

Who may request a Temporary Residence Visa with an Independent Retired Status?

All those foreigners that earn a minimum monthly income of Seven Hundred Fifty (US$750.00), that proceed exclusively from the interest of a five year period time deposit at “Banco Nacional de Panama” (National Bank of Panama). The petitioner can bring his (her) dependents into the country (Are considered as such, the parents, spouse or children under legal age or those who are of legal age but under 25 years, single and without children that are attending regular studies, on a Study Centre duly recognized by the Ministry of Education. The permit is granted for five extendable years and a special Panamanian passport is issued for the same length of time. The retired petitioner can invest money at the Panamanian Territory, previous to the compliance of the requirements, but will not be able to work within the territory.


Certification from “Banco Nacional de Panama” (National Bank of Panama) confirming that petitioner earns an income of Seven Hundred and Fifty dollars (B/.750.00) in monthly interest, that proceed exclusively from a five year period Time Deposit, mortgage free or that is not used as a collateral.

Photocopy of the Time Deposit certificate or contract duly authenticated by “Banco Nacional de Panamá” (National Bank of Panamá).




When filing along with a spouse or a child, more paperwork must be filed. A certificate of birth for the child, and/or certificate of marriage for the spouse, as required for the Immigrant Visa as a Resident’s Dependent.

.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Immigrant's Visa and Residence Permit as Resident's Relative Dependent Status

When filing along with a spouse or a child, more paperwork must be filed. After registering under the Filiación procedure, a certificate of birth for the child, and/or certificate of marriage for the spouse, must be submitted as required for the Immigrant Visa as a Resident’s Dependent http://www.migracion.gob.pa/eng/service_popup.php?id=4:

Immigrant's Visa and Residence Permit as Resident's Relative Dependent Status

To grant Immigrant’s Visa and Residence Permit as Resident’s Relative Dependent Status.

Who may apply to this visa and its correspondent residence permit?

The only persons that may apply to this visa are the ones that comply with the relationship degree established by Article 2 of Executive Decree 52 of February 19 of 2003 which are:

a. Parents of the principal petitioner.

b. Spouse

c. Single children under 18 years of age.

Only by exception, the National Director of Immigration and Naturalization may authorize the inclusion as a resident’s relative dependent, children under 25 years of age, single, without children, according to the established policies of the Family Code. Students must comply with the regulation of attending studies in a regular basis in an Educational Centre recognized at the Ministry of Education. Additionally, it must be taken in account that the resident’s dependent is not authorized to work in the country and the violation of this prohibition will cause the cancellation of the Resident permit.


Letter in which the Resident accepts responsibility for the relative claimed as dependent, and assume all the obligations of providing the petitioner with food, house, health, education (if this is the case) and other general expenses, including the commitment of assuming the repatriation expenses, if it is necessary. This letter must include the telephone numbers, home address and place of work where the responsible resident can be located.

Relationship’s evidence [.Marriage certificate or Birth Certificate, according to the case]

Resident’s economic evidence of solvency: [.The resident can prove the mentioned solvency in the following manners: a) An updated and authenticated Tax Income Form issued by the Internal Revenue Service including the payment receipt. The Resident must have a minimum monthly gross income of Five Hundred “Balboas” plus an additional Seventy Five “Balboas” (B/. 75.00) per each dependent. b) Updated work certification letter and the Social Security payment stubs, showing the minimum monthly gross income of Five Hundred “Balboas” plus the additional Seventy Five “Balboas” per each dependent c) Updated Bank reference letter, only if a less than one year time deposit is presented, and the interest earned on such time deposit is for a minimum monthly income of Five Hundred “Balboas” (B/. 500.00) plus the additional Seventy Five “Balboas” (B/. 75.00) per each dependent.

Photocopy of the one year carnet or photocopy of the personal identity card of the responsible resident authenticated by the Civil Registry.

A Petitioner of legal age and under twenty five (25) years old [. . . must provide: a. Study certifications of approved institutions by the Ministry of Education that confirm the regular university student’s condition. The certification must supply the Ministry of Education resolution that approved the above mentioned educational centre (except if there is the University of Panama or the Technological University of Panama. b) Provide proof of the civil status (Single’s certificate). C) Penal and Police record for the last two years, from the country of origin.

Legal Base:

Law-Decree 16 of 1960 and its amendments. Executive Decree 52 of February 19 of 2003.

Registration of Foreign Residents before a Visa Application

Whenever a foreigner applies for an extension of his tourist visa, or changes his tourist visa to an immigrant or another resident status, he must appear before the "Movimiento Migratorio" Section of the Immigration office in order to have a print of his/her thumb registered and provide personal information - a process called in Spanish "Filiación".
In addition, all foreign documents provided must comply with these requirements.

  • All foreign citizens, that approach the Directorate of Immigration to perform any procedure, must be previously registered in the Migratory Movement’s Section, whereto has to fulfil the following requirements:
  1. Present two (2) carnet size photos
  2. Present a copy of the page of the passport that containing the general information about him or (her) and copy of the page that shows the seal of the last entry to our country.
  3. Payment of the $1.00 registration fee.
  4. Complete the register form of the Sworn Statement
  • In the case that the request includes dependents, the requirements for the Immigrant’s Visa as a Resident Dependent must be included.
  • All documents issued abroad, must be properly annotated or authenticated by the Republic of Panama Embassy or Consulate at the country that issued them, and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama.
  • All documents issued abroad that are not written in the Spanish Language, must be translated by an Official Public Translator certified by the Ministry of Government and Justice.
  • All foreign residents, temporary visitors or alien citizens present in the country with an application being processed that wishes to go abroad and re-enter the country, requires from the National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization a MULTIPLE INCOMING VISA BEFORE LEAVING THE COUNTRY. The omission of this procedure will incur a One Hundred Balboa fine (B/100.00).
  • One month before the termination of the one year Residence Permit that is granted with the Immigrant Visa, the petitioner may apply for the Permanent Residence, with the right to apply for a Panamanian Cedula (I.D. Card)
  • All those nationalities that require a Consulted Visa must present with any request, a VALID VISA CERTIFICATION TO PROCESS A RESIDENCE, issued by the Consulted Visa Department of the National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization.
  • The Sworn Declaration must be made in the form supplied by the Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization. This form must be signed by the interested party and be completed in full. To furnish false information carries penal and legal responsibilities and the refusal of the requested visa or its cancellation if already granted. Under age foreigners don’t have to complete this form, but parents or tutors must provide the requested information, although not under the gravity of oath.
The documentation must be COMPLETE at the time of presentation, and in the expressed following order. Small documents such as, birth certificates, health certificates, receipts, etc, must be added to a legal size paper and both faces of the abovementioned documents must be clearly seen, in order to be properly received.