Good news for freelancers, international business owners and people working in the transport sector: Panama has launched a new type of permanent residency visa which is probably one of the easiest obtainable residence permits in the world. Anyone who can prove to have some kind of economic relationship with Panama and can boost a five figure bank statement or other means of solvency can apply. Applications must be filed through a lawyer and the waiting time is currently nine months, but that is only a minor inconvenience.
The list of ‘friendly nations’ who are eligible for this type of visa includes: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, United States and Uruguay.
President Martinelli, who himself is a second generation Italian immigrant, has already approved a similar arrangement for Italian citizens.
Although Martinelli’s reign has been stained by corruption scandals and human rights violations against the indigenous population, his international orientated economic policies have increased the standards of living for the vast majority of Panamanians as well as the large expat community. Last years’ economic growth was the highest in the world at 10.6%.
The advantages of having residency in Panama are clear: Panama only taxes income made within the borders of Panama. Any foreign income is completely exempt. As the new decree (PDF) does not contain any requirement on how much time is spend in Panama, it is perfectly suited for 21st century international professionals.
Please contact us if you like to know more.