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Country Details

Panama, officially known as the Republic of Panama, is a country located in Central America. Here are five important facts about Panama:

1. Panama Canal: One of the most significant features of Panama is the Panama Canal. It is an engineering marvel that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, allowing for the passage of ships and facilitating global maritime trade. The Panama Canal is a vital international trade route and a symbol of Panama's strategic importance in the region.

2. Biodiversity: Despite its small size, Panama is incredibly biodiverse. It serves as a bridge connecting North and South America, resulting in a rich variety of flora and fauna. The country is home to dense rainforests, stunning beaches, and diverse ecosystems, including national parks and reserves. The biodiversity of Panama offers opportunities for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, and eco-tourism.

3. Economy and Financial Services: Panama has a strong and stable economy, largely driven by its services sector, including finance, banking, and tourism. The country is known for its robust offshore banking sector and is considered an important international financial hub. The US dollar is the official currency of Panama, contributing to its economic stability.

4. Cultural Fusion: Panama has a unique cultural identity influenced by a blend of indigenous, European, African, and Caribbean traditions. The indigenous populations, such as the Emberá, Kuna, and Ngäbe-Buglé, maintain their distinct cultures and practices. The Afro-Panamanian community contributes to the vibrant music, dance, and cuisine, particularly through genres like salsa, reggae, and calypso.

5. Tourism and Retirement Destination: Panama attracts tourists and retirees from around the world due to its natural beauty, affordable living costs, and retirement incentives. The country offers a wide range of attractions, including pristine beaches, tropical islands, historical sites like Casco Viejo (Panama City's old quarter), and outdoor activities such as hiking, snorkeling, and bird watching. The Pensionado Program provides benefits to retirees, including discounts on various services and products.


Immigration Details

To immigrate to Panama, there are various visa types and pathways available. Let's explore each option and the requirements associated with them:

1. Friendly Nations Visa:
- Purpose: The Friendly Nations Visa is suitable for individuals from specific countries with friendly relations with Panama.
- Requirements: The main requirement is to be a citizen of one of the friendly nations and establish economic or professional ties in Panama. This can be achieved through starting a business, obtaining employment, or making an investment in Panama.
- Duration: The initial Friendly Nations Visa is granted for one year, with the possibility of renewal and eventual eligibility for permanent residency.

2. Pensionado Visa:
- Purpose: This visa is for individuals who have a pension or retirement income and wish to reside in Panama.
- Requirements: The primary requirement is to have a lifetime pension or annuity that meets a minimum threshold set by the Panamanian government. The minimum amount required may vary, so it's essential to check the latest requirements. Other requirements include a clean criminal record, valid passport, health certificate, and proof of financial stability.
- Duration: The Pensionado Visa is granted for an initial period of five years, with the possibility of renewal.

3. Investor Visa:
- Purpose: The Investor Visa is suitable for individuals who wish to make a significant investment in Panama.
- Requirements: The specific capital requirements vary depending on the investment type, such as real estate, business, or government bonds. The minimum investment amounts and requirements are subject to change, so it's crucial to consult with Panamanian immigration authorities or seek professional advice.
- Duration: The initial Investor Visa is typically granted for one year, with the possibility of renewal and eventual eligibility for permanent residency.

4. Work Permit:
- Purpose: This permit allows individuals to work for a specific employer in Panama.
- Requirements: The employer in Panama must sponsor the work permit application. The specific requirements include a valid employment contract, proof of qualifications, valid passport, application forms, and supporting documents.
- Duration: The work permit is typically granted for the duration of the employment contract and can be renewed if the employment continues.

5. Student Visa:
- Purpose: This visa is for individuals who wish to study at a recognized educational institution in Panama.
- Requirements: The requirements for a student visa include admission to a Panamanian educational institution, a valid passport, proof of financial means, health insurance, and supporting documents related to the academic program.
- Duration: The student visa is usually granted for the duration of the academic program.

6. Citizenship:
- Naturalization: Panama offers a path to citizenship through naturalization, requiring a minimum of five years of legal residence in the country. Additional requirements include knowledge of the Spanish language, renunciation of previous citizenship (in some cases), and a clean criminal record.


  • Time To Citizenship
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Panama's tax system is based on the principle of territoriality. Residents and non-residents are subject to personal income tax on their income derived from Panama. Income derived from a foreign-source may not be subject to taxation, whether it is remitted or not. Usually, an individual is tax resident in Panama if he or she spends more than 183 days in a year within the territory.

Panama taxes its residents’ income earned within the territory at a 15% on annual income between US$11,000 and US$50,000 and 25% on the excess. Interest on Panamanian government securities, interest on savings accounts and time deposits maintained with Panamanian banks are tax-exempt. Non-residents are subject to a withholding tax on the source of 12.5% on their Panamanian income.

Capital Gains are taxed separately. Gains derived from the transfer of immovable properties and the sale of securities and negotiable instruments are subject to a 10% tax. If the transfer of immovable properties constitutes the main economic activity of the taxpayer, capital gains may be subject to corporate income tax.

There is a property tax between 0% and 2.10%, depending on the value of the property. The ITBMS is the Panamanian Value-added tax, and it currently stands at 7%.

There are no transfer, net wealth and inheritance taxes in Panama.

Regarding corporate taxation, companies in Panama are also taxed on a territorial basis. This means that income earned outside the country, remitted or not, may not be subject to taxation.

Income earned within Panama is subject to a flat tax rate of 25% on the net profits or 1.75% on gross taxable amount. Dividends are not subject to taxation. Capital Gains are taxed at 10%. Payments to non-residents on dividends, interests and royalties are subject to a withholding tax of 10%,12.5% and 12.5% respectively. Companies whose business activities are exclusively outside Panama may be exempted from withholding taxes.

This should not be construed as tax advice. We have access to a global network of qualified attorneys and accountants who can give you the proper advice for your particular circumstances. Contact us for further information.

  • Property Tax Yes
  • Transfer Tax No
  • Inheritance Tax No
  • Net Worth Tax No
  • CFC Law No
  • Tax Residency Days 183
  • Personal Income Tax Rate 25%
  • Capital Gains Tax Rate 10%
  • Investment Income Tax Rate 25%
  • Territorial Taxation Yes
Visa-Free Explain

Where Can Panamanian Passport Holders Travel Without a Visa?

As of June 2023, Panamanian passport holders can travel visa free to 110 countries and territories:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Aruba
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Caribbean Netherlands
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French West Indies
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Türkiye
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vatican City

For visa-free travels, you still must have a valid passport — usually six months after your departure date— and you must purchase travel health insurance as required by your destination country.

What Countries Issue eVisa to Panamanian Citizens?

The following 19 countries issue eVisas for Panamanian passport holders:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Benin
  • Djibouti
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Guinea
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lesotho
  • Myanmar
  • Pakistan
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Vietnam

The process of getting an eVisa is more or less the same as applying for a traditional visa. However, in this case, you don’t have to visit a visa application center— you can submit your application online, including the visa payment.

After your application is approved, you will receive an email confirming your visa status along with a document you must print out and bring with you when crossing the border. Your visa will be registered online, but some officers may ask you for a physical copy of the permit; that is why it’s important to keep the copy on your person while traveling.

What Countries Issue Visa on Arrival to Panamanian Passport Holders?

If you are a Panamanian citizen, you can get a visa on arrival for the 34 countries listed below:

  • Armenia
  • Bangladesh
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cabo Verde
  • Comoros
  • Egypt
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Iran
  • Jordan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Macau
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Nepal
  • Palau
  • Rwanda
  • Samoa
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • Saint Helena
  • Tanzania
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tuvalu
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

You receive a visa on arrival (VOA) after entering the country that issues such a visa. Usually, there is a separate section at the airport where you can submit your application for your visa on arrival.

Countries With Visa Requirements for Panamanian Citizens

You need a valid visa to enter the following 63 countries with a Panamanian passport:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • American Samoa
  • Angola
  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Botswana
  • Brunei
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Ivory Coast
  • Cuba
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guam
  • Haiti
  • Iraq
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kiribati
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Thailand
  • Gambia
  • Tonga
  • Tunisia
  • Turkmenistan
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • United States
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen
  • Eswatini

The application for a visa goes as follows:

  1. Make an appointment at the visa center in Panama. You must contact a local visa application center in your home country and make an appointment to submit your application. It may take several months to schedule a meeting with the embassy or consulate.
  2. Get your documents ready. To submit a successful application, you have to prepare the required documents for your visa, i.e., passport, application form, health insurance, etc. Some of your documents must be verified with an apostille stamp or certified by a foreign office.
  3. Submit your application. Finally, you can submit your application and attend the visa interview—you may also be required to submit your biometrics. Once you translate your documents as required by the embassy or consulate and verify them with an apostille stamp— if possible, then you can submit your application. From then it will take several weeks until a decision is made regarding your visa application.

Please note that if you have a valid visa that allows you to enter more than one country, you don’t have to apply for a new visa.

What Documents Do Panamanian Citizens Need to Apply for a Visa?

Panamanian citizens that want to visit countries that require them to apply for a visa beforehand need to submit a few documents. Depending on the country you want to visit, document requirements may vary. However, most countries will certainly require the following:

  • Your valid Panamanian passport (plus a photocopy). Some countries require the passport to be valid for more than six months after the day you plan on departing their country.
  • A filled visa application form.
  • Passport pictures that are not older than six months.
  • Travel health insurance that covers your entire period of stay.
  • Proof of paid visa fee.
  • Detailed travel itinerary that shows all the places you want to visit.
  • Letter of invitation (if applicable)
  • Proof of booked return ticket for the flight home.
  • Proof of booked accommodation.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your visit
  • Civil status documents (marriage papers, certificates of birth, etc.)
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