A look at Panama’s residency options in 2023 (and its Retirement Visa, in particular).

As far as Plan B residencies were concerned, nothing we’ve seen has ever come close to Panama’s former Friendly Nations Visa. (Which became distinctly less “friendly” in 2021.) Fortunately, however, the country is still home to several attractive residency options in 2023.

Let’s get into the details below…

Panama’s acclaimed Friendly Nations Visa became a LOT less appealing in 2021…

At Sovereign Man, we don’t like dwelling on the past. (Although we’re massive believers in learning from it.)

For those of you not familiar with the former Panamanian Friendly Nations Visa program, it was arguably THE best pure Plan B / back-pocket residency option in the world.

Up until 2021, the main criteria for getting it was that you should have:

  • Hailed from a country with which Panama shared cordial relations (of which there are 50 including the US, UK, EU, Canada and Australia), AND;
  • Created a Panamanian company (even if dormant), AND;
  • Made a local bank deposit of less than $10,000…

And that would have earned you a PERMANENT residency …

(Another super easy country in which to obtain residency is the UAE. But there you just get renewable temporary residency that will never lead to PR.)

So getting a Friendly Nations residency was a complete no-brainer for any sovereign minded individual seeking to maximize their options.

But sadly, those days are now long gone… Unless you’re Italian, in which case you can still apply under the old Friendly Nations rules, based on Italy and Panama’s standalone Friendship and Navigation Treaty of 1966.

Today, while the Friendly Nations Visa still exists, it’s become a lot more expensive and restrictive. (More on the revamped program below…)

Nonetheless, Panama is still a very interesting, dynamic, and strategically situated country; we even hosted an exclusive event for our Total Access members there just recently.

And happily, it is still home to a range of alternative residency options, many of which compare favorably with what’s available on the market elsewhere.

Let’s take a look at your Panamanian residency options as they stand in 2023 (listed in the order of most to least “attractive” in our opinion)…

A look at Panama’s latest residency options in 2023…

  Residency Type Financial Requirement Eligibility
Retirement Visa (Pensionado) Permanent Residency Monthly pension of at least $1,000 from a private or public entity, plus $250 per dependent. You can include single, studying children up to the age of 25 years. Everyone, regardless of age, as long as they receive a pension.
(Revamped) Friendly Nations Visa Provisionary residency leading to Permanent Residency 2 years later. Invest $200,000 in Panamanian real estate*, OR deposit the same amount in a local bank’s Certificate of Deposit (CD).

*The property can be residential or commercial, can be rented out, AND you can use a mortgage to pay for it.
Citizens of “Friendly Nations” only – including the US, UK, Canada, EU, Mexico, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc.
Investor Residency Program Provisionary residency leading to Permanent Residency 2 years later. Several options, including a $300,000 investment in real estate or in a CD. Everyone
Residency for Qualified Investors (Golden Visa) Permanent Residency Several options, including a $300,000 investment in real estate or in a local CD.

(This minimum is set to increase to $500,000 in October of 2024.)
Reforestation Visa Depends on the investment amount. Invest between $80,000 and $350,000 in a reforestation project in Panama. Everyone
Private Income Retiree Visa 5-year temporary residency accompanied by a passport (travel document, not citizenship). Deposit enough money in a local bank to generate $850 in monthly interest income. (In early 2023, ~$250,000 is enough.) Everyone

So as you can see, the Retirement Visa (Pensionado) is a really attractive residency option – and the clear winner out of the six options listed above, provided that you’re earning more than $1,000 per month in pension payments.

Plus, as with the old Friendly Nations, you can still get a PERMANENT residency permit under the retiree program. And all you have to do to keep it renewable is to visit the country once every two years – even if it’s just for one day.

Moreover, if you’re willing to buy a home worth just $100,000, your minimum monthly income requirement as the primary applicant drops to just $750.

In addition, to sweeten the deal further, resident retirees are entitled to:

  • 50% off entertainment (movies, theatrs, concerts and sporting events countrywide)
  • 30% off bus, boat, and train fares
  • 25% off airline tickets
  • 25% off monthly energy bills
  • 30% to 50% off hotel stays
  • 20% off prescription medication
  • 15% off hospital bills, etc.

When you’re trying to make your retirement savings stretch further, the above savings can add up fast. And as a retired resident, you can also import up to $10,000 of already-owned household goods – and one car every two years – tax-free…

What about Panama’s investor visa programs?

With the exception of the Reforestation Visa track — which is among our least favorite Panamanian visa options, and which starts from $80,000+ — all of the other investment oriented visas for Panama have capital requirements of $200,000 to $350,000 or more. (And up to $500,000+, starting from October 2024.)

And while these programs’ investment requirements aren’t outrageous, at this price level you can also start looking at European Golden Visas or Caribbean Citizenship By Investment options, depending on your objectives.

We may nonetheless look into these investor visa options in future, should sufficient readers express interest in learning more about them.

Contemplating a longer-term stint overseas?

If you’d like to gain access to a comprehensive deep-dive report on ALL of Panama’s 2023 residency options today, be sure to join Sovereign Confidential.

Sovereign Confidential is the most comprehensive international diversification service on the planet, with our global, in-depth catalog spanning over 12 years. Members also benefit from our Monthly Letters series, covering a range of mission-critical topics, including:

1. The best options for second residency and citizenship — plus ALL of Panama’s options for 2023…

2. In-depth case studies of sovereign-minded individuals in our network who have built out awe-inspiring Plan B options for themselves (including in Panama).

3. How to legally and significantly reduce your taxes…

4. How to create a firewall around your assets — and especially your home…

5. And much, much more!

Discover all your best residency and citizenship options, along with step-by-step guidance on how to apply, by joining Sovereign Confidential today.

The bottomline…

While alternative citizenship and residency programs worldwide tend to get more expensive and restrictive with every passing year, there are still a number of very compelling options available today – and especially if you hail from the US, the UK or Canada.

The trick is to take action before more of these disappear – and certainly before their minimum investment requirements increase again.

Yours in freedom,

Team Sovereign Man

PS: Sovereign Man is back in full force on YouTube, delivering exclusive insights from our leadership right to your screen. Bigger, bolder and more incisive than ever, they bring you the insights to live free and prosper in an increasingly uncertain world. To catch Viktorija and James in action, follow our channel now!

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