University of Birmingham Online MBA

Panama Expat Forum

Friendly nations Visa

Post New Topic
dirwood76
11/26/2017 15:05 EST

Hello all. I was wondering if anyone on here would like to share their stories on how they went about getting a friendly nations visa. Thank you

Post a Reply

0abuse

Panamaholmes
11/26/2017 20:59 EST

I just did it. It’s pretty easy with a lawyer. You basically just form a corporation, open a bank account with $5k and fill out a bunch of paperwork. In addition to the prep time, it takes about three days at the immigration office, two to get your temporary card and one for the permanent.

Post a Reply

0abuse

Panama Relocation Tours

Moving to Panama? If you're thinking about moving to Panama and haven't narrowed down where you would like to live, consider taking a tour with our partner, Panama Relocation Tours. The tour will take you from large metropolitan areas to resort beach areas that have every amenity and luxury you'd ever need, and funky beach areas with a laid back atmosphere. You'll also visit popular highland towns where thousands of expats live, and rural areas teeming with opportunity.

Learn More

dirwood76
11/26/2017 21:32 EST

That sounds pretty easy. But could you explain what you mean when you said form a corporation? Do you need to run a legit business?

Post a Reply

0abuse

panamajames
11/26/2017 23:05 EST

Here is the whole idea behind the Friendly Nations Visa. The Government will give you a Visa into Panama if you open a Corporation and operate a business. They would like you to hire Panamanians in your business to help the economy. You have $5000 of your own money in a bank account and your legal expenses are probably another $5000 by the time that you get done with all the fees, maybe more, maybe less. So you get a Visa into the country and can live here for an outlay of perhaps $10,000 or more. Compare that to purchasing a passport in a variety of countries that sometimes exceeds $250,000. I got a list awhile ago of countries who sell passports to get into their countries. It's not cheap. The Friendly Nations Visa in Panama is one of the best Visa deals in the world. Whether or not you run a legit business, is entirely up to you, but you will need that Corporation and you pay taxes on it every year. Best to talk with your lawyer about it. One of the payments that you make of $800 per person to the Goverment is called an expatriation fee. You might ask what that is? That is the money that Panama will pay airlines and Governments towards sending you back to your country of ori9in if they feel that you are not keeping up your end of the bargain here in Panama with your residency, or criminal activity or whatever they like, really. You are a guest in Panama and you are to abide by the laws of this country, the rules and regulations, and you can stay until further notice. There are those who follow the rules to a T and there are those who do their best to not follow the rules. You do have a choice, and you want to sleep well at night.

Post a Reply

1abuse

cinparadise
11/27/2017 08:23 EST

Dirwood76.

You wrote:

"That sounds pretty easy. But could you explain what you mean when you said form a corporation? Do you need to run a legit business?"

The answer is no. The minimum requirement is that you open a corporation but it doesn't have to be active. You must pay your annual corporation fee of $300 to maintain the corporation. You do not have to file US or Panamanian income taxes on this corporation ever if you do not associate this corporation with a business.

If you choose to engage in business with this corporation, then you need to make this corporation active by associating it with a business license. If there is any income whatsoever, you're required to file Panamanian income taxes until the corporation is dissolved even if the business is dissolved and there is no more income.

Post a Reply

0abuse

dirwood76
11/27/2017 08:46 EST

Ok so I open my own corporation, lets say I open an electrical business as I am an Industrial Electrician here in Canada. I pay my $300 annual corporation fee for however amount of years and never do any business? Is this right? And how long would I have to pay the $300 annual fee for?
Thank you

Post a Reply

0abuse

Panama Relocation Tours

Moving to Panama? If you're thinking about moving to Panama and haven't narrowed down where you would like to live, consider taking a tour with our partner, Panama Relocation Tours. The tour will take you from large metropolitan areas to resort beach areas that have every amenity and luxury you'd ever need, and funky beach areas with a laid back atmosphere. You'll also visit popular highland towns where thousands of expats live, and rural areas teeming with opportunity.

Learn More

cinparadise
11/27/2017 08:57 EST

Dirwood76,

Your attorney should advise you to pay the corporation fee for life or until you no longer need the Friendly Nations visa.

However, there are others that state that once you're issued your permanent visa, that you can let your corporation expire and close your bank account.

I haven't been able to confirm that the second option is legitimate.

Post a Reply

0abuse

dirwood76
11/27/2017 14:24 EST

Thanks everybody.
What about the option to buy a titled property instead of a corporation?

Post a Reply

0abuse

Odem
11/27/2017 15:19 EST

Dirwood76, I don't recall if you said what citizenship(s) you have.

If y0u are Canadian, if you maintain your Canadian residency, you must file that foreign corporation income, even if zero. If you are no longer Canadian residence, in general and there may be exceptions, but probably no Canadian reporting of the corp, with or without corp income.

US citizens are required to report world wide income, regardless of residence. Foreign corporation reporting is a mass of forms regardless of corp income.

Best wishes ! !

Post a Reply

0abuse

panamajames
11/27/2017 15:22 EST

That works for a Person of Means Visa if the property is $300,000 or more. You can also do that with a term deposit of $300,000 or a combination of property and a term deposit, as long as they both amount to $300,000 or more. That does not qualify for the Friendly Nations Visa. The last term deposit that I did for some folks who sold their property in the US amounting to $300,000, had them earning $2,125.00 on a monthly basis or $25,500 in interest for the year, which is enough for people in Panama to be able to live off of their interest and keep their principal intact.

Post a Reply

0abuse

Panamaholmes
11/27/2017 16:09 EST

8.5% interest on a CD?

Post a Reply

0abuse

laretiree
11/28/2017 06:13 EST

panamaholmes, there was a guy selling 8.5% CDs in boquete for years until the bank was shut down. the bank's name was coacecss. google it. over 100 people in boquete and david lost their life savings. i hear that the same guy is back in business with a different bank.

if it sound too good to be true.....

Post a Reply

0abuse

Panama2017
11/28/2017 10:01 EST

Yes, and "this guy" still posts quite frequently in this forum. So be careful.

Post a Reply

1abuse

jazzyo2k
11/28/2017 13:33 EST

So if you don't mind my asking.....whose 'the guy' still posting out on this forum, so the 'rest' of us know who to look out for. Please share if at all possible.

Thanks,

Post a Reply

0abuse

panamajames
11/28/2017 14:15 EST

It is always interesting for me to dispel rumors and get to the truth about false Urban Legends which Panama is famous for. This coacecss situation is one of those that falls under the category of FAKE NEWS. No one has lost a nickel of their principal deposit that they deposited there and I know, because I was a depositor. The people stopped receiving interest a few years back but are being paid back their principal in an amount of 10% approximately every 6 months. The story that a 100 people in Boquete and David lost their life savings is simply not true. No one screams like an expat who has lost money, so no screaming but they have been inconvenienced, and people love rumors and innuendo. As I have mentioned before, Government agencies in Panama take care of depositors. If you are shareholder in a banking situation you are not as well protected. If there is a banking problem, the depositors are taken care of first and then the shareholders. Depositors can trust the Panama banking system. Below a May 2017 conversation that was put in the Newspaper by the liquidation commission. I can send you the entire document that is in Spanish if anyone would like to see it. Below is a brief… in English.…So again, let me state that no one has lost any of their principal money deposits. …................................................................................................................................................................

"May 21st 2017. Roderick Rugiel Gutiérrez Pérez, President of the Liquidation Commission chaired meetings and proceedings in front of the Panamanian Autonomous Cooperative Institute (IPACOOP), who subsequently have presented and support a plan that has the main objective of: Ensuring full payment to depositors and the highest percentage of contributions returned to shareholders, involving the most successful financial settlement in the history of Panama."

Post a Reply

0abuse

Panama2017
11/28/2017 16:13 EST

Repay 10% every 6 months with 0 interest. And you are defending this situation. Not ok.

Post a Reply

0abuse

panamajames
11/28/2017 16:25 EST

I would rather have 100% and a one time payment with 8.5% interest but in Liquidations, you get what you are given. In North America and Europe, Liquidations could mean that you get nothing after all the bills are paid. In Panama, at least, you get 100% back but you have to wait your turn at the trough and 10% is not great, but it's better than nothing.

Post a Reply

0abuse

Panama2017
11/28/2017 16:33 EST

Agreed. 10% is better than nothing. What's even better is to choose wisely and go with a reputable bank.

Post a Reply

0abuse

panamajames
11/28/2017 17:07 EST

It is all about the rates of interest on your savings for some people. They want to live off of their interest and there are banks around here where you can do that. In the US you might be able to get a loan or mortgage at 2 or 3%. That means your interest rate for your savings is 1% or less, as banks operate using a "spread". They have to make money. Ask how much they charge for a loan or mortgage and that should tell you how much interest that you can get on your savings. If the mortgage rates are 15%, you can bet that the savings interest rates are also going to be high. Let your money work for you. The odds are greatly in your favor that you can do well. There are always some setbacks in life but banking doesn't have to be one of them. There are some folks who have more than one bank account and I highly recommend it. Keeping all your eggs in one basket is not recommended in Panama or anywhere in the world. Reputable banks have been liquidated in Panama. The Balboa Bank and Banco Universal both were hit and liquidated recently. Martinelli was responsible for one of those. The other one ended up on the Clinton List. Never think that one bank will fill all your needs. There are elements in play that you are not aware of.

Out of 500 possible choices about 6 years ago, only one was chosen by President Martinelli to steal money from and then liquidate it to cover his tracks. Unfortunately for him, his party did not win the election and when found out, he had to leave the country in a hurry. He is now waiting in Miami for extradition regarding all of the money he and his family has stolen. They say that Ali Baba had 40 thieves. Martinelli had 62.

Post a Reply

0abuse

costasco
12/13/2017 03:27 EST

My attorney's advice is that you can shut down the Corp once the FN Visa is issued.

Post a Reply

0abuse

JB37
12/23/2017 15:49 EST

Has anyone applied for citizenship yet through the Friendly Nations Visa?

Anyone who signed up for the program when Pres. Martinelli first announced it (May 2012), ought to be due to apply.

So far, I'm not aware of anyone completing the Friendly Nations pathway.

Experiences appreciated.

Thanks!

Post a Reply

0abuse

JB37
12/23/2017 22:11 EST

The general outline goes something like this:

[1]
Retain an attorney in Panama.

This can be done before your visit, or while visiting for the first time, like I did. Prices vary...expect $7,500 and up for a package deal with the more expensive attorneys.


[2]
Form a corporation.

Your attorney in Panama prepares this, and you sign the papers.

In my experience, this was not an immediate process. The papers need to be notarized (and this step alone takes awhile). Total setup time took a few weeks in my situation for the corp. to be formed.

My corp is the S.A. variety. Hanging around the attorney's office early in the process, I overheard one expat bragging to another...I'm doing such-and-such with my S.A.

This was met with: Oh really, I'm doing this-and-that with my S.A.

In reality, you can do anything legal with 'your S.A.' but in reality, all you need to do (according to my attorney) is hold a bank account with it.


[3]
Establish a local Bank account.

You need a bank account in Panama with a certain minimum amount ($5,000 + $2,000 per dependent if applicable).

My attorney advised me to deposit more than the minimum amount, because the immigration officer who approves your application exercises a certain amount of judgment about your solvency.

The 'standard' amount for opening a Panamanian corp. (per my attorney) is $10,000.

This is double the required minimum and leaves no question as far as your finances are concerned. (Also...welcome to the FBAR).

I used the bank recommended by my attorney and I was assisted by the firm's banking liason officer...

Opening an account involved being interviewed by the bank officer. They ask a number of questions: why do you want to immigrate to Panama, where do your funds come from?, et c. My banker spoke fluent English.

The bank office made copies of my US tax returns, and he asked for a reference letter from my employer and my U.S. bank.

The Panamanian bank officer called both people who wrote the letters for me and confirmed my identity with them over the phone, so I made sure my references were mentally prepared for this ahead of time.

Oh, by the way, the Panama bank also had U.S. IRS forms for me to sign (!)

The bank account is not formed right away. It took a few weeks to open mine.

The bank account opening was done while my S.A. corp was being formed, so steps #2 & 3 were lumped together in my case.

I spent about 1 week setting all this up and then went home and the attorney took care of the rest.

After your bank account is formed, you receive an email from your banker with the account number and wire transfer instructions from the bank.

Next I wired the required amount to my new bank account in order to fund the corp.

The money went by wire through an "intermediate bank" in Puerto Rico, which involved extra fees, so be sure to wire $10,000 plus extra to cover the fees (I think I wired $10,100 if I remember correctly).

Regarding ongoing annual maintenance fees:

The bank will probably charge an annual fee, and your attorney's office will charge annual fees for maintaining the board of directors for you and they will also charge you for the $300 corporation tax that is paid to the Panamanian govt.

My attorney prepared papers indicating that I personally owned 100% of the shares of the company. There is also a treasurer and a secretary on the board of directors of the S.A., but they have no control over the S.A.'s assets

In my case, I'm paying around $900/year in maintenance fees.


[4] Temporary Residency appointment at the Immigration Bureau...
(Actually, "Servicio Nacional de Migracion")

I flew back to Panama.
My passport was sent to the Immigration authorities to be "registered." This took 1-2 days. I laid low because I had no passport at this point.

They stamped a 2" rectangle with a serial number and the word REGISTRADO inside of it a (you do not need to be present in the Immigration office for this).

Next, the Panama bank issues a letter about you and gives it to your attorney. Also, you need a simple physical exam from a Panama doctor.

All of this gets presented to the Immigration authorities who meet with you (after waiting in line all day at the immigration office).

In my case, I remember getting assigned a number: "F-73" or something like that. You stare at the overhead flat screen monitors for hours... A 1-10, gets called first, then B 1-10, then C 1-10, then D 1-10, then E 1-10, et c, et c

Then A 20-30, B 20-30, C 20-30...

This took all day and the Immigration bureau was not that comfortable. I remember it as very overcrowded, with hard plastic seats (when you could even get a seat).

There are people there of every description, some appeared to be very upscale with expensive jewelry and held passports from places like Spain, Portugal, Argentina.

After waiting for hours, my number came up and I went to the window with my paralegal (who represented a number of applicants of which I was one).

We spent a few minutes at the window, I signed a few forms, and the lady at the window 'flirted' with the paralegal the whole time (in Spanish).

The officer asked me only one question (the paralegal told me to respond 'Yes")...I'm not even sure what the question was.

At that point, they took my photo and printed off my Temporary Residency Immigration ID Card (called a "Carnet").

The Carnet is probably equivalent to a U.S. "Green Card" however, the Panama Carnet is mostly yellow and blue and has a gold seal in one of the corners.

My head looks like it was squashed from the sides in the photo on the card (happens to everyone).

The temporary carnet has an expiration date, listed on it and this card serves as your national ID in Panama until you can get more important credentials.

I flew back to the US after this step.


[5] Permanent Residency

In a few months, your Permanent Residency application is approved.

***This is the benefit of the Friendly Nations Visa. Other people wait for years as a Temporary Resident. Under the Friendly Nations program, it only took about 5-6 months.***

After my Permanent Residency was approved, I received an email from my attorney telling me to come back to Panama.

I flew back in order to receive my Permanent Carnet card and repeated the waiting process at the Immigration Bureau, however this time it was much shorter, only about 2 hours.

They printed another Carnet for me. This one indicated that I was a permanent resident instead of a temporary resident. Also, the new carnet did not have an expiration date on it. Otherwise, it looks identical to the temporary carnet.

I flew back to the US.

The next step is to obtain the Cedula card (Panamanian National ID card and Tax ID number).
For some reason, the Cedula card can not be issued immediately after the Permanent Carnet is issued.

My attorney told me to come back in about 3 weeks for the Cedula appointment.


[6] Cedula Issued

I flew back to Panama, met with the attorney, and then proceeded to another agency called the Tribunal Electoral.

The Tribunal issues national ID cards and this is where you get your Cedula. It involves another brief meeting with govt. workers and they take another photo of you.

The Cedula card was not ready right away, it takes about 1 week for it to be printed. I did not have time to wait for it during this visit. So I flew back to the US.

Later, I returned to Panama and picked up my Cedula at the attorney's office.

The Cedula is a white card with a big blue "E" on it, indicating you are a foreigner (extranjero). There is a faint blue background with the stylized letters "TE" and world globe printed on it. Your photo is in the upper right hand corner of the card.

The Cedula has your ID number printed under your photo (this number is roughly equivalent to a US SSN) and it is unique to you.

The number starts with "E," then there is a dash, followed by another number, which indicates the location of issuance (8 for Panama City), then a dash, and a longer sequence of numbers.

So for anyone who applied in the city, the cedula ID number looks like: E-8-XXXXXX.

The card lists your nationality as "Estadounidense"... i.e., 'American.'

The Cedula has an expiration date 10 years after issuance, and I've heard other expats refer to this as their "E-Cedula."

Your residency status does not expire when the card expires (assuming you continue to meet the residency criteria--see below).

You simply need to be issued a new Cedula card, like you would for a drivers' license.

After 5 years of Permanent Residency status, you may apply for full citizenship at the Tribunal Electoral.

I have heard this takes awhile also, because the President of Panama signs off on your citizenship application (involves an interview in Spanish, and written exam based on the study book they give you).

If you successfully naturlize, your white background "E-Cedula" will be surrendered, and your "N-Cedula" will be issued. N indicates that you are a naturalized citizen and the card has the flag of Panama printed on the background. The Cedula ID number remains the same, except that the letter 'N' replaces the letter 'E.'
You are also eligible for a Panamanian passport at this point.

This is the cherry on the top as far as your time and monetary investments are concerned.

Permanent Residents are perpetual guests, but citizens are not going to be deported, and can stay in the country forever (generally, with super rare exceptions)...

Also, this is a general outline of the process. If you live in the country full time, you may be able to complete the various steps faster.

*** Another bonus for the Friendly Nations Visa...In order to maintain Permanent Residency status, you must spend 1 day in Panama every year, you don't actually need to be living there.***

If you maintain the corporation and minimum bank account in good standing, and spend at least 1 day in Panama every year, then you maintain your Permanent Resident status. You do not need to take any other steps to renew it...it just stays active.

Also, your corporation doesn't have to be Walmart...in fact, you are prohibited from operating retail establishments as a non-citizen.

You can simply own a corporation which owns a bank account and this seems to be good enough as far as "doing business in Panama" is concerned.

After you receive your E-Cedula, it is highly advisable to spend the extra time to obtain your Panama Drivers' License (it makes life a whole lot easier if you decide to rent a car)...

There are random police checkpoints on the highways every so often (even inside the city, especially at night). If you only have a passport, you can sometimes be hassled with questions: Where is your hotel? Why are you in Panama? and so on.
If you have an E-Cedula, and a Panama D.L., they simply look at your cards and hand them back to you with an uninterested manner...no questions because you're supposed to be there...

I hope this helps.

Post a Reply

4abuse

mghinton
12/24/2017 10:33 EST

my pensianado cost 650 bucks ,, now about 1500 . i now have a cedula cost me about 150 married to a panamanian did not use a lawyer .. buying property all you need is finca number a title search can be done online get help about 50 bucks .. a survey done by an ex employee of the govermnent about 250 bucks .. about 1500 to form a corporation but expwect about 500 a year to maintain it ,, i been here 16 years , have bought and sold 3 or 4 properties still own 4 in my wifes name ..

Post a Reply

0abuse

dirwood76
12/24/2017 10:35 EST

Thank you JB37,
Love the detailed information. Thank you very much.

Post a Reply

0abuse

volcan357
12/24/2017 12:33 EST

Great post showing all the details dealing with the Panamanian government. It just reminds me of what a pain it is when you have to deal with the government and of how much trouble it was to become a Panamanian citizen. Now Panama doesn't even want to give my Dominican wife a tourist visa to enter the country. I am seriously considering selling everything I have in Panama and moving to Colombia. Right now I am in Medellin with my Dominican wife. I entered Colombia using my Panamanian passport. When I buy something in a store here in Colombia using my MasterCard they even accept my Panamanian cedula as an ID. The main thing though is that Colombia doesn't require citizens of the Dominican Republic to have a visa.

Post a Reply

0abuse

longreach
12/25/2017 14:25 EST

Great information. Many thanks for the time you put into this great post.
Feliz Navidad.

Post a Reply

0abuse

sweethomepanama
12/26/2017 15:19 EST

once again, I thought this was a panamanian forum not a Colombia one....

Post a Reply

0abuse

volcan357
12/26/2017 20:29 EST

If you are considering Panama as a place to retire it might be wise to compare it with the competition.

Post a Reply

1abuse

SAY
12/28/2017 18:54 EST

Volcano 357

You have been agonizing over this for months. Since you find Columbia so attractive and welcoming to your wife, you should go there. That's what marriage is. Then you can jump on the Columbian forum and tell everyone about it wonders and joys

Post a Reply

1abuse

volcan357
12/28/2017 20:52 EST

I am in Colombia. We are both in Colombia.

Post a Reply

0abuse

panamajames
12/29/2017 11:08 EST

Medellin is a big city and very high air pollution there, perhaps 10,000 homeless and some lying in the streets. Hard to breathe the air in the downtown core as it's in a valley and the smog gets stuck down in the city. It's not clean air until you get into higher altitudes like Parque Arvi up in the mountains, but I don't believe that expats would like it that high as it can get quite cold. The small towns in Colombia are nicer for clean air but then they don't have all of the amenities of the big city. I still like Panama the best but Colombia, being close by, is my most favorite travel to spot. Argentina is great too. I could live in Mendoza too. I don't head north any more, it is all about going south for the holidays..........The Colombian Government is more liberal, so I understand what Volcan357 is speaking of. Panama, Colombia, Argentina and Cuenca in Ecuador are my current top 4 places to visit. When you have lived in Panama for as long as I have, it is nice to holiday in other nearby countries.

Post a Reply

0abuse

sweethomepanama
12/29/2017 17:41 EST

If I wanted info on Colombia I would go to a columbia forum page. Why do people keep posting things about colombia in this Panama Forum !!!!!
I know I dont have to read all of the things posted. But when I do I would appreciate that they are about Panama not some other country.

Post a Reply

0abuse

Normando
12/29/2017 20:08 EST

COLUMBIA...GOOD TO HEAR ABOUT THE COUNTRY THAT WAS PART OF PANAMA AND STILL CONNECTED BY THE GAP! NO PROBLEM DO NOT WORRY ABOUT MORE INFORMATION.....

Post a Reply

0abuse

Normando
12/29/2017 20:08 EST

COLUMBIA...GOOD TO HEAR ABOUT THE COUNTRY THAT WAS PART OF PANAMA AND STILL CONNECTED BY THE GAP! NO PROBLEM DO NOT WORRY ABOUT MORE INFORMATION.....

Post a Reply

0abuse

Normando
12/29/2017 20:08 EST

COLUMBIA...GOOD TO HEAR ABOUT THE COUNTRY THAT WAS PART OF PANAMA AND STILL CONNECTED BY THE GAP! NO PROBLEM DO NOT WORRY ABOUT MORE INFORMATION.....

Post a Reply

0abuse

Normando
12/29/2017 20:09 EST

COLUMBIA...GOOD TO HEAR ABOUT THE COUNTRY THAT WAS PART OF PANAMA AND STILL CONNECTED BY THE GAP! NO PROBLEM DO NOT WORRY ABOUT MORE INFORMATION.....

Post a Reply

0abuse

Normando
12/29/2017 20:09 EST

COLUMBIA...GOOD TO HEAR ABOUT THE COUNTRY THAT WAS PART OF PANAMA AND STILL CONNECTED BY THE GAP! NO PROBLEM DO NOT WORRY ABOUT MORE INFORMATION.....

Post a Reply

0abuse

Normando
12/29/2017 20:09 EST

COLUMBIA...GOOD TO HEAR ABOUT THE COUNTRY THAT WAS PART OF PANAMA AND STILL CONNECTED BY THE GAP! NO PROBLEM DO NOT WORRY ABOUT MORE INFORMATION.....

Post a Reply

0abuse

panamajames
12/29/2017 20:22 EST

Panama was part of Colombia, not the other way around. The separation of Panama from Colombia was formalized on the 3rd of November 1903, with the establishment of the Republic of Panama. The popular misspelling of Colombia is Columbia, with a U, as in British Columbia.

Post a Reply

0abuse

volcan357
12/29/2017 21:06 EST

Okay sweethomepanama. Part of getting the Friendly nations visa is forming an SA. Be careful of a Panamanian SA. Once you have it you may find that it is hard to get rid of it. If it accumulates back taxes they can freeze your bank account. And once you file a declaracion de renta you always have to do it. Also the president is the most liable person in connection to a SA. Therefore you might protect yourself by having an nominee for president. My advice is not to have a SA. Just buy a property directly in your name and if you have a bank account keep at least half your money in the USA. For a person living in Latin American it is an advantage to deal with Charles Swab. You can get a brokerage account with them and a debit card. They have an office in Miami. They have lots of clients in Latin America. If you have a Panamanian passport like me you can use it to open a US dollar account in Scotia Bank on the Costa Rican side of the border. That way your assets are protected against any situation in Panama. One thing in common with different Latin American countries is the headache with red tape. Also their computer systems are always crashing. Half the time you go to a government office to do something no hay systema. I was trying to do something in the Dominican Republic one day in a government office and I thought I was back in Panama. Porque el system no esbaba trabajando. Igualito de Panama. In Colombia so far I haven't had that experience but then again I have never stayed longer than 6 months. I still say it is good to compare different Latin American countries as places to retire. The Friendly Nations Visa is a way to acquire residency in Panama. It is somewhat complicated so wouldn't you want to know what kind of residency programs are available in other Latin American countries? When I got residency in Panama in the year 2000 it was very easy. I put 100,000 in Banco Nacional for one year. They paid me 8% interest on a monthly basis. I had to renew it for the second year and they gave me my E-cedula. After that I could do anything I wished with the money. In 2013 I got my N-cedula and a passport. Getting nationality was a lot more complicated but as I said the residency was very easy back then. I think it gradually has been getting more difficult. My other advice is to never get involved paying Panamanian social security to an employee. My experience with that is a long story but believe me you don't want to do it. So in connection with your friendly nations visa if you are thinking of having employees be very cautious. And if you SA has employees and pays social security I think it would even be worst When you retire it is better to make your life more simple and not more complicated. Unless of course you enjoy punishing yourself.

Post a Reply

0abuse

volcan357
12/30/2017 14:47 EST

I came across the following information on www.numbeo.com. Rent prices in Panama are 178% higher than Colombia. Restaurant prices are 74% higher in Panama vs Colombia and Grocery prices are 90% higher vs Colombia.

Post a Reply

0abuse

NickyP
1/4/2018 06:12 EST

Hi James, we are considering moving to Panama. We were determined to move to Costa Rica, where we are very familiar but related to the residence and business, Panama seems a better option.

So, as I understood that I can apply for residence with an investment of $ 300,000 or a combination of property and a term deposit. It sounds interesting 50/50, so I can get interest from the bank deposit.
How long is the deposit term?
What is the interest rate?

Secondly, residence in Panama is applied under friendly nations and seems a better option for me (I am from Belgium, however I have lived most of my life in Spain). What is your personal opinion about this?

And if you compare Panama with Costa Rica, what other advantages does Panama offer me?

Post a Reply

0abuse

panamajames
1/4/2018 14:57 EST

Panama is a better option for so many reasons. Email me and we can discuss your personal situation and we can post some general information up here on the public forum for others interested in similar information.

Post a Reply

0abuse

JB37
6/18/2018 20:43 EST

FYI -- for anyone in the FNV process who obtains a new passport from their home country:

Your updated passport must be registered with the immigration bureau like your old one was.

If you remember, your old passport has a REGISTRADO stamp on one of the pages, and a number written within the boundaries of the stamp.

Make sure you take your new passport to your attorney's office so it can be registered also. You will receive a similar REGISTRADO stamp with the same hand-written number as was in the old stamp.

They may also write "Traspaso" above the stamp which means "transfer."

What the attorney may forget to tell you is that you also need to provide your *old* cancelled passport, as well as your original cedula for inspection by the immigration authorities.

Good luck to all.

Post a Reply

0abuse

bgodiver
12/14/2018 16:47 EST

Thanks for the advice. I don't live in Panama but travel there frequently (I work for Simply Natural Farms in PC).

I love being able to flash my residence card and go through the Immigration short line!

Post a Reply

0abuse

australiakansas
11/11/2020 08:04 EST

Hi,

Has anyone worked with our used
POS PANAMA OFFSHORE LEGAL SERVICE and would they use them again?

Thank you,

David

Post a Reply

0abuse

bgodiver
11/11/2020 10:35 EST

David... I did not use Panama Offshore Legal Service, so I don't have any info good or bad about them. However, I can make a recommendation.

I used Rainelda Mata-Kelly in Panama City to handle my visa and she and her team were amazing. They personally took me to get my visa processed, handled all the paperwork and generally made sure it all went smoothly.

Here is here contact info:
507.216.9299
Website: www.mata-kelly.com

Good luck!

Post a Reply

0abuse

stgibson
11/11/2020 11:04 EST

@austrailiakansas
Where are you planning to relocate in Panama. If you are planning to come to western Panama, David/Boquete/Santiago you are better off applying in David. Not nearly as congested at Migracion here as in PC. There are several good lawyers in the area that can handle this. One being Miranda & Contreras in Boquete. Highly recommended and very professional.

Post a Reply

0abuse

gSky
11/12/2020 10:55 EST

@stgibson
@austrailiakansas

I second that:

Miranda & Contreras did not always give me the answer I wanted, but the answer I needed and I appreciate that. (They convinced me in my situation with valid and good arguments to rather go the 'pensionado' instead of 'friendly' route. But had I insisted they would have helped me to work on the 'friendly' also) I am working with them on my pensionado visa as we speak. So I cannot conclude about the outcome of the visa process yet, but they appear very competent and on the side of their client.

Post a Reply

0abuse

HarleyRider
11/17/2020 15:05 EST

Can it be done in one visit? I would like to have it before I move if possible.

Post a Reply

0abuse

stgibson
11/17/2020 15:21 EST

@harleyrider
No. It will take 2 or 3 visits, however you can apply in 1 visit and receive a temp residency card and then when you move 6 or 8 months later your permanent should be ready. You need to contact a lawyer and get everything together before you come including a bank account. Find a good reputable lawyer. If you are planning to move to Chiriqui or Bocas I can reccomend one if you PM me.

Post a Reply

0abuse

HarleyRider
11/17/2020 15:41 EST

@stgibson

Thank you...sent you a message.

Post a Reply

0abuse

HarleyRider
11/17/2020 15:41 EST

@stgibson

Thank you...sent you a message.

Post a Reply

0abuse

HarleyRider
11/17/2020 15:45 EST

Do banks in Panama have anything like the FDIC to protect you?

I don't want to leave my money in the US as not sure of the political future there.

If not anyone know of offshore banks with protection?

Open to any ideas...thanks.

Post a Reply

0abuse

bgodiver
11/17/2020 15:54 EST

To the best of my knowledge, Panama does not have an FDIC-like program.

However, Panama, like Belize and other jurisdictions, does have larger liquidity and asset ratios. In other words, they have to have much larger assets on hand than is required in the U.S.

If you're looking to open an account for the purpose of the Friendly Nations Visa, I would get the advice of your attorney since you need reference letters and, oftentimes, a business or legal reference to open an account.

Post a Reply

0abuse

stgibson
11/17/2020 16:02 EST

There is no FDIC here. Banks are rated as to their stability so do your due diligence first. If a bank fails the government siezes their assets and redistributes them to depositers. Thus can take awhile. I personally keep funds in a couple fo A+ banks and maintain accounts in the US also.

Post a Reply

1abuse

Davethecarpenter
11/17/2020 18:19 EST

Panamajames ...You are a wealth of knowledge....You should be elected
King of Panama....Or at least Pope of Panama...That's the way I see it.

Post a Reply

1abuse

Malaberian
11/17/2020 19:27 EST

Remember to check the box on your tax return that tou have an off shore account.

If. You exceed $10000 you will need to file additional filing up the Department of Treasury - FBAR

Post a Reply

0abuse

panamajames
11/18/2020 00:27 EST

That is very kind Davethecarpenter. Most of us here on this board that have been in Panama for a long time, I first came to look for my retirement area in 2004, know all of this stuff but many don't have the free time to write about it or look into things that might be of interest. We all love Panama and whether we have a passport or not, after awhile, you feel Panamanian. I know personally many of the folks on this board as a few of us get together now and again and take trips and go on adventures and sometimes just downtown for a coffee or cerveza. I have met a lot of folks here on the Expat Exchange who have become friends and we WhatsApp and e-mail each other on a regular basis when we find things of mutual interest. I loved my carpentry shop back home, and would buy fixer uppers and remodel them as a hobby. I have met some interesting folks along the way and I am sure that I will meet a lot more. I consider folks like yourself, friends that I just haven't met yet. Cheers......Viva Panama.......all the best.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=figo5jUXPaE

Post a Reply

1abuse

dirwood76
11/24/2020 12:13 EST

How does someone from Canada get their documents Apostilled?

Post a Reply

0abuse

ranadelnorte
11/24/2020 12:38 EST

You get your documents apostilled in Ottawa, either in person, or through a document service. Just ask Mr. Google for details.
Good luck!

Post a Reply

0abuse

dirwood76
11/24/2020 12:56 EST

The Canadian Federal Government Authority – Department of Foreign Affairs time to authenticate documents is 20 business days plus 5 business days for shipping. Bringing pets the documents need to be within 10 days. What are the other document services that you mentioned?

Post a Reply

0abuse

ranadelnorte
11/24/2020 15:58 EST

There are a number of services, e.g.:
Legalizationdocument.ca
Alscanada.ca

And maybe others. Just ask Mr. Google.

Don’t know about pets, sorry.

Post a Reply

0abuse

dirwood76
11/24/2020 17:41 EST

Thank you ranadelnorte I will look these up.

Post a Reply

0abuse

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Panama.

International Moving Quotes

Moving to Panama? Get a moving quote.


Mail Forwarding to Panama

Mail Forwarding to Panama.


Expat Tax

Expat Tax Preparation, Expat Tax Professionals

Join Today (free)

Join Expat Exchange to meet expats in your area or get advice before your move. It's FREE and takes 1 minute!

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Panama from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

16-Expats-Talk-About-Moving-to-Panama16 Expats Talk About Moving to Panama

Expats living in Panama talk about making the big move to Panama, what they wish they had brought (and left behind), visas, culture shock, cost of living and more. It's a must read for anyone thinking about moving to Panama.
Expats living in Panama talk about making the big move to Panama, what they wish they had brought (and left behind), visas, culture shock, cost of living and more. It's a must read for anyone thinking...

Expat-Panama10 Tips for Living in Panama

Did you know it's hot in Panama City all year round? Did you know that it's hard to get a work visa in Panama? Did you know that Panama has great incentives for foreign retirees?

Did you know it's hot in Panama City all year round? Did you know that it's hard to get a work visa in Panama? Did you know that Panama has great incentives for foreign retirees? ...

Retiring-Abroad5 Great Places to Retire in Central America

Central America is an increasingly popular retirement destination. Retirees love it's proximity to the United States, lower cost of living, beautiful cities, amazing beaches, healthy lifestyle and friendly people.

Central America is an increasingly popular retirement destination. Retirees love it's proximity to the United States, lower cost of living, beautiful cities, amazing beaches, healthy lifestyle and fr...

Expat-Panama7 Best Places to Live in Panama

Panama is a great place to live or retire with easy residency laws, warm people and lots of expats. Whether you want to live by the beach in Bocas del Toro or need to live in Panama City for work and schools, there are many places to explore. We highlight 5 great places to live in Panama.

Panama is a great place to live or retire with easy residency laws, warm people and lots of expats. Whether you want to live by the beach in Bocas del Toro or need to live in Panama City for work and...

Retirement-In-BoqueteAn Expat Shares What it's Like Retiring in Boquete, Panama

An expat retiree in Boquete, Panama offers some insight into the best way to retire abroad there. Includes information about cost of living, health care, finance, and more.

An expat retiree in Boquete, Panama offers some insight into the best way to retire abroad there. Includes information about cost of living, health care, finance, and more....

Moving-To-Alto-BoqueteAn Expat Talks about Moving to Alto Boquete, Panama

An expat in Alta Boquete, Panama talks about choosing Alta Boquete and making the move there. She talks about what to bring and what to leave behind, one moving company to avoid and other recommendations.

An expat in Alta Boquete, Panama talks about choosing Alta Boquete and making the move there. She talks about what to bring and what to leave behind, one moving company to avoid and other recommendat...

Copyright 1997-2020 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal