Changes to the requirements to obtain the “residence permit as friendly nations”

The Ministry of Public Security modifies the requirements to request the residence permit for foreigners from specific countries who maintain friendly professional, economic and investment relationship with the Republic of Panama.

The Ministry of Public Security through Executive Decree No. 197 of May 7, 2021 (hereinafter the “Decree”), modifies the requirements to obtain the residence for foreigners from specific countries who maintain friendly professional, economic and investment relationship with the Republic of Panama, commonly known as “residence permit as friendly nations”, as follow:

  • Taiwan is eliminated from the list of countries whose citizens can apply for this residence permit.
  • This residence permit will be granted in 2 stages. A first stage that grants a provisional residence permit of 2 years and a second stage that grants a permanent residence permit.
  • The applicant cannot longer request this residence permit for investment reasons as owner of the shares of a Panamanian corporation.
  • This residence permit can be requested for (i) working reasons as employee of a Panamanian company, and (ii) for investment reasons as owner of a real state in Panama.
  • To request this residence permit for working reasons the applicant must provide:
    • A job letter from the employing company, which certify the job position, salary, and the commitment of the company to assume the repatriation expenses, depending on the case.
    • Public Registry Certification of the employing company.
    • Notice of Operations of the employing company.
    • To obtain the approval of the residence permit, the applicant must request a work permit through the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development.
  • To request this residence permit for investment reasons as owner of a real state the applicant must provide:
    • Public Registry Certification of the real state which prove (i) the ownership of the real state by the applicant, and (ii) the real state’s minimum value of B/. 200,000.00, which can be financed with a local bank.
  • In addition to the requirements mentions above, the applicant must provide:
    • The general requirements established by the Article 28 of the Decree Law No. 3 of February 22, 2008, which are (i) copy of the passport, (ii) non-criminal record from the country of origin or residence of applicant, (iii) good health certificate, (iv) payment of B/. 250.00 to the National Treasury, (v) payment of B/. 800.00 to the National Immigration Authority, and (vi) affidavit of personal background.
    • Three (3) passport size photo.
    • If the applicant will include dependents, he/she must provide (i) evidence of kinship through a marriage or birth certificate, depending on the case, and (i) a responsibility letter from the applicant towards their dependents.
  • To apply for the permanent residence permit, the applicant must provide the same requirements mentioned above, except the paymet of B/. 250.00 and B/.800.00
  • This Decree will take effect 90 days from its promulgation.

Comments.

  • This residence permit currently grants a permanent residence permit in a single stage, however, with the change introduced by this Decree, the permanent resident permit is granted in the second stage.
  • Currently, this the residence permit can be requested if the applicant is the owner of a real estate, with a value of more than B/. 100,000.00. With this new Decree the amount increase to B/. 200,000.00
  • With this Decree, it is eliminated the requirement of the bank certification or account statement of the applicant, with a balance of no less than 4 average figures.
  • The applicants will have until August 20, 2021 to apply for the resident permit as friendly nations with the current requirements that were stablished in the Executive Decree No. 416 of June 13, 2012.