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Panama’s Friendly Nations Visa

Panama’s Friendly Nations Visa

The most popular international visa is Panama’s Friendly Nations Visa. Whether you want to create an exit strategy, open an international business or foreign bank account, or actually move to Panama, take a look at Panama’s Friendly Nations Visa.

Panama created a Permanent Residency Program that applies citizens of top 50 countries, granting them permanent resident status, a Panamanian certificate and the right to request a work permit indefinitely, only with few requirements. The following are some countries that may apply:


Andorra Argentina Australia Austria Belgium
Brazil Canada Chile Costa Rica Croatia
Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland
France Germany Great Britain Greece Hong Kong
Hungary Ireland Israel Japan Latvia
Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Mexico
Monaco Montenegro Netherlands New Zealand Norway
Paraguay Poland Portugal Korea San Marino
Serbia Singapore Slovakia South Africa Spain
Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Uruguay USA


Requirements to Apply

To apply for Panama’s Friendly Nations Visa, you’re required to prepare certain legalized/apostilled documents before traveling. These include History or criminal background, marriage certificates, Birth, School Transcripts (if applicable with children) and ID Copy of your country.

You also need to open a bank account with at least $5,000 and bring reference letters and other supporting documents.


Benefits of the Friendly Nations Visa

Permanent Residence 

After 3 years of temporary visas, this permanent status can’t be taken away from you. If you want a permanent visa from day one, then consider Nicaragua.

Panamanian Certificate 

Once completed the process before the National Migration Service, you will receive a Panama certificate.

Work Permit 

Once approved, you can apply to the Ministry of Labor of Panama for a “Work Permit”, without restrictions of personnel and without requiring a Panamanian company.


Like most tax havens, Panama is closing its banks to foreigners. If you want a business account in Panama, you need residency.

Frequent Trips 

If you’re making multiple visits to Panama, you now need residency. The government is cracking down on residents without visas. See: Panama cracking down on residents without visas.


Applying With Children For Panama’s Friendly Nations Visa

The applicant of nationality in the list of friendly countries may include in the same application as its dependents: “spouses, children under 18 years, parents and children with disabilities.

Older children, from 18 years to 25 years may be requested as dependents provided they’re enrolled in a University in Panama and are under economic dependence of the principal applicant.



You can apply for citizenship in Panama after 5 years of residency. As of July 2019, a second passport from Panama gets you visa-free or visa on arrival access to 140 countries and territories, ranking the Panamanian passport 35th in terms of travel freedom (tied with Macao, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines passports).

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Thus, the Panama passport is on par with a second passport from St. Lucia. You can get a passport from Panama with an investment of $20,000 (see below) and a passport from St. Lucia with an investment of $550,000 plus $50,000 in fees.

With St. Lucia you get your passport immediately and with Panama, you need to wait 5 years. Panama allows you to earn your passport through residency.


How to apply?

There are three ways to apply for residency under the friendly nations visa.

  1. Buy residential real estate valued at $350,000 or more. Most spend $500,000+
  2. Start a business in Panama. This comes with tax filing and other obligations, but no fixed investment required.
  3. Invest $20,000 in Panama’s green initiative.

Of these visa options, most go with the green initiative – which is to invest $20,000 in Panama’s friendly nations reforestation program. For more information, see: Best Panama Residency by Investment Program.

Need help setting up your Panama Friendly Nation’s visa for you yourself and your family? Contact us here for assistance.

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