Leaving the country where you live is never easy, no matter the circumstances. New customs, food, language, bureaucracy, even water! In short, there are many new things to deal with, but we were hoping you could consider our country, Panama.
If you intend to retire or start a business in Panama, our most important recommendation is that before making a decision, travel to Panama and experience it. Plan at least two weeks or several visits so you can get to know different parts of our country and experience it first hand.
Once you decide on Panama, you must make an appointment with us to talk about your case and resolve all your concerns and the meeting does not have to be in our offices, we can take advantage of the technology and carry out a video conference or a phone call.
The next step is to obtain the necessary documentation to apply to the Visa. If you are the only applicant, the most crucial document you should get is the no criminal record certification. If you are going to apply with your spouse, you must get a marriage certificate, and if you have children, you must get a birth certificate for each.
Several other details are vital to take into account. First, an important aspect is that all dependents of the main applicant who are over 18 years of age must obtain certificates of no criminal record. Second, all documents issued abroad must arrive in Panama apostilled or legalized through a Consulate of Panama and subsequently translated into Spanish.
Another important detail is that those documents that are issued in a language other than Spanish must be translated in Panama by an authorized public translator. If we do not have in our country a translator for the language in question, we take care of obtaining the certification issued by the Ministry of Education in this regard and this case, the translations can be done outside of Panama, but must be apostilled or legalized through a Consulate of Panama.
Having met all the requirements to apply for the Visa, you must send them to us by email to inspect them and inform you if they are correct. The next step is to travel to Panama, as it is necessary for you to be present to register your passport for the National Migration Service to open your file. Subsequently, you must appear at the National Migration Service for filing of the Visa application, collect your temporary resident card and request your multiple entries and exit permit.
As for the multiple entries and exit permits, it is mandatory to obtain it so that, while your Visa is being processed, you can freely leave and enter our country and avoid a fine of US$ 2,000.00.
While your Visa is being processed, our firm provides weekly monitoring of the process, to detect any observation made by the National Immigration Service to your file and, on the other hand, inform us when the administrative resolution that approves or disapproves your Visa is issued. As soon as we know the issue of the resolution, we immediately notify you to plan your trip to Panama (if you are out of the country) or if you are in the country, to get notified of the resolution and request your permanent residence card.
Something you should know is that if you want to drive a vehicle in Panama, you can do it with your foreign driver’s license up to 90 days after entering the country. After 90 days, you must process your Panamanian driver’s license.
On the other hand, for those foreigners with residence in our country and who have 55 (women) or 60 (men), they can request the discounts that by Law are entitled, such as:
- 50% discount in cinemas, recreation, events, Cultural and sports.
- 30% discount on transport (buses, trains, boats)
- 25% discount on airline tickets, whether for national or international airlines
- 50% discount on hotels, motels, and pensions from Monday to Thursday and 30% from Friday to Sunday.
- 25% discount in restaurants
- 15% discount in fast-food restaurants, whether national or international franchises
- 15% discount in private medical clinics and hospital services.
- 10% discount on prescription drugs
- Discounts on medical services, as follows: 20% discount on medical bills from general practitioners or specialists; 15% discount for dental services; 15% discount on optometry services
- Discounts on premiums payable to insurance companies for health insurance
- 20% discount on technical and professional services.
- 20% discount on prostheses and all assistive devices and accessories.
- 50% discount on expenses and closing bank fees for personal or commercial loans.
- Exemption from payment of the Special Interest Compensation Fund.
We hope that the steps we have indicated and other details will be useful; however, we remain at your disposal to address all your concerns, at CLD Legal we are here to serve you!