Panama is a friendly country that got even friendlier after it rolled out its best residency program yet, the Panama Friendly Nations Visa. In May 2012, President Ricardo Martinelli signed a Presidential Decree 343 that allows citizens of 22 friendly nations to benefit from a fast-track permanent resident application process. Over the years, the number of friendly nations have increased to 50 through other decrees.
The goal of the Panama Friendly Nations Visa is to make it easier for foreigners to live and work in Panama. Panama already has so much to offer, from its stable economy, tax breaks, lush tropical escapes and untouched white sand beaches. The Panama Friendly Nations Visa is the country’s best gift to the citizens of these 50 ‘friendly’ nations.
The official words in Panamanian law describing this permanent residency visa are “citizens of friendly nations with professional and economic ties with the Republic of Panama.” This wording explains the very foundation of the Panama Friendly Nations Visa and why it was established. In this article you will learn everything you need to know about the Panama Friendly Nations Visa.
List of Friendly Nations
As explained earlier, citizens of all countries do not qualify for the Panama Friendly Nations Visa. Before considering the Panama Friendly Nations Visa, applicants must ensure they qualify for this type of visa. For citizens of countries that do not qualify for the Panama Friendly Nations Visa, no need to worry, Panama has several residency options that you might find interesting. The following is a list of countries the Panama Friendly Nations Visa apply to, take a look to see if your country is among the chosen few.
Italy does not appear on this list for a very special reason. Italian citizens benefit from a bilateral immigration treaty that has existed since 1966. In this treaty, both countries allow citizens of the other country to become permanent residents with even fewer requirements than the Panama Friendly Nations Visa.
Panama Friendly Nations Visa Requirements
If your country happens to be one of the lucky 50 then you qualify for the Panama Friendly Nations Visa through your citizenship. Congratulations! However, there are three more requirements that must be fulfilled in order to apply for the Panama Friendly Nations Visa.
Basic Panama Friendly Nations Visa Requirements
- Establish and prove economic or professional ties with the Republic of Panama.
- Establish and prove economic (financial) solvency
- Provide required supporting documents
Establishing Economic and Professional Ties
According to Panamanian immigration law, the words “professional and economic ties with the Republic of Panama” mean that citizens of the 50 ‘friendly’ countries must establish a professional or economic relationship with Panama. This can be accomplished by either of two options.
Option 1 – Set up a new Panama corporation (or purchase an existing Panama corporation)
One of the most popular ways to display economic or professional ties with Panama is by incorporating a local company. this is necessary in order to apply for a Panama Friendly Nations Visa. It is also possible to purchase an existing company. Ownership of a 50% share of the company is sufficient to prove economic ties. Your company does not need to be actively involved in business, the company must simply exist in the Panama Public Registry.
When you receive your Permanent Residency Card, you can close, sell/resell, or keep the company active or dormant. This option qualifies as an “Economic Activity” through the applicant’s ownership of a Panama corporation (either through the setting up of a new corporation, or purchasing an existing corporation). It is important to note that Foreigners (non-Panamanian citizens) are restricted from owning a Panamanian “Retail” business.
- Company must be registered in Panama
- Applicant must be a majority shareholder (50% or more)
- New Panama corporations or Panama companies must provide proof of franchise tax being paid (for active companies)
- Corporations or companies over one year old require proof of tax returns, and good standing certificates
- Corporation must exist until Permanent Residency is approved
- Current law states the corporation does not need to conduct active business
- Corporation must be inscribed in the Public Registry of Panama
Option 2 – Get a job at an existing Panamanian company
While this option is less popular among residency seekers, it is definitely an option to consider. This alternative proves “Professional Activity” by displaying that the applicant is employed by a legal corporation established in Panama. Taking a step as simple as getting hired by a company in Panama is enough to apply for the Panama Friendly Nations Visa. The applicant should have a Panama work permit, and must be registered with Panama’s Social Security System.
In order to provide evidence of employment, proof of income such as employment contract and salary must be provided by the employer. Supporting documents substantiating these activities must be submitted during the Panama Friendly Nations Visa application process. Most importantly, bear in mind that foreigners (non-Panamanian citizens) are prohibited from practicing in certain professional areas such as, medical or veterinary doctor, attorney-at-law, architect, and engineer.
- Professional activity is a job or work contract issued by a Panamanian company.
- Applicant must submit proof of employment contract
- Hiring company must be registered with Panama Social Security
- Applicant must get a social security card and work permit
- Work permit can be obtained through laws that allow Panamanian companies to hire a certain percentage of foreigners
- Professional activity must not be one reserved for Panama nationals such as an attorney, medical doctor or veterinarian doctor.
Proving Economic (Financial) Solvency
For both options above, Proof of Economic (Financial) Solvency is as simple as opening a Panamanian bank account and depositing at least US$5,000 in your name. A US$2,000 deposit is also required for each family member/dependent that is also applying for the Panama Friendly Nations Visa. After the bank account is opened, solvency is proven by the primary applicant by requesting a letter of reference from the bank. Whether an applicant is sufficiently solvent or not is not obviously defined in Panama immigration law, leaving the situation at the discretion of the immigration officials.
Documents Required to Open a Bank Account in Panama
It is important to note a personal interview is required at the bank in Panama in order to open an account. The basic requirements by Panamanian banks for opening a personal bank account are:
- Second I.D. (e.g. drivers license, state or national/country I.D.)
- Two (2) original bank reference letters, addressed to the bank in Panama where you are applying to open an account. This letter should be not be older than 3 months at the time of opening the account in Panama and should have the contact details of the bank issuing the reference letter
- Personal resume / CV, detailing your education and work history
- Proof of business / earnings
- KYC documents – Annual tax declaration (tax return), employment letter, or retirement income document (document that proves your source of income). This requirement is very important since the bank needs to know how you make money or the source of your funds to be deposited to the account.
- Personal reference – Letter addressed to the bank, explaining the purpose of establishing the bank account, what banking services will be required such as checking/savings account, debit card, credit card, online banking, etc, the estimated monthly deposits / withdrawals, and estimated average balance of the account.
Requirements for Dependents
Approved Panama Friendly Nations Visa dependents include spouses and children up to 25 years of age if they are enrolled as full-time university students. Residency applicants are required to submit a written letter of responsibility with regard to each dependent. Each child application being submitted as a dependent over 18 years old must prove they are not married by providing an authenticated certificate of “single” status (not married) from their respective country.
- Dependents must have a letter of responsibility from the primary applicant (your attorney can help will this)
- Applicants must provide a birth certificate or marriage certificate to prove relationship with children or spouse
- Document must be Apostilled or authenticated by a Panamanian Consulate where the document was issued
- Document must be issued within six (6) months before the residency application date (document should not be more than 6 months old)
- Child dependents up to age 25, enrolled full time in university or is disabled, and must provide an authenticated certificate of single status (not married) from their country
- Child dependents over 18 must submit an affidavit that they are single (not married), the affidavit must be Apostilled or authenticated by a Panamanian consulate
Friendly Nations Permanent Residency Application
Once the Panama Friendly Nations Visa application has been completed with all necessary documents, the immigration office issues a one year temporary residency card (carnet), which is replaced by the issuance of a permanent residency card as soon as the application is approved.
Permanent Residency: General Documents Required
In order to apply for Panama Friendly Nations Visa permanent residence you must compile the following documents:
- Eight (8) passport size photographs
- Background check of criminal history, duly authenticated by the Embassy or Consulate of Panama, or Apostilled
- Copy of applicant’s second I.D. (not Passport) from country of origin such as a driver’s license or government issued photo I.D., must be authenticated by the Embassy or Consulate of Panama, or Apostilled
- Birth certificate (child dependants) or Marriage certificate (spouse dependant), must be authenticated by the Embassy or Consulate of Panama, or Apostilled
- Bank reference letter (from a licensed bank in Panama) addressed to: “Servicio Nacional de Migracion”, that certifies at least US$5,000 deposited in applicant’s name plus US$2,000 USD per dependant
- Sworn Affidavit explaining the applicant’s purpose for seeking Panama Permanent Residency and ability to support family and dependents.
- Certification from the Public Registry of Panama, certifying that the applicant appears on the board of directors of the owned company or work permit, job contract and Panama social security
Panama Friendly Nations Visa Detailed Costs
Many countries worldwide have residency programs that cost so much money you will either reconsider or dig deep into your pockets. Fortunately, getting a permanent residency through the Panama Friendly Nations Visa is quite affordable. You should budget about US$10,000 in completely accessible cash, in addition to approximately US$5000 for flights and accommodations.
Cost to Incorporate a New Company
It can take up to 3-7 business days to incorporate a company in Panama. The cost to set-up the company in its first year ranges from US$1,000 to US$1,600 which includes government fees of US$100. Annual costs after the first year expires ranges from US$500 to US$1200 including government fees. As previously stated, your Panamanian company only needs to exist in the country’s registry, it is up to you if the company is active or inactive. If you have no intention to use your company to operate a business you can close it after you have received your permanent resident status. The process of closing the company will cost almost just as much as keeping it open.
It is possible to share half the cost of opening and maintaining the company through a partnership with an associate or friend as long as both parties are registered with a 50% ownership of the company. This strategy will work for getting a permanent residency. Another cost to bear in mind are director costs.
Each company must have three directors, one director can be the owner of the company. The other two can be anyone chosen by the owner. Panama privacy protection laws allow owners to forgo having their names listed in the public registry and can instead opt to have the name of three selected directors listed in order to maintain anonymity. Annual director fees can cost around US$100 per director. An option to setting up a company is the establishment of a Private Interest Foundation. The basic setup costs are around US$2,500.
Panama Permanent Residency Fee Breakdown
- Multiple Entry Visa (US$50), Temporary Card (US$50), Permanent Card (US$100) and translations can cost up to US$600 in total. An official translation, signed by a licensed official public translator from the Republic of Panama is required for all documents that are not written in Spanish.
- Sum of US$800 payable to “Servicio Nacional de Migracion” (National Immigration Service) for repatriation purposes (deportation fund). In other words, if you die or commit a crime you already paid your way back to your home country.
- Immigration fees payable to “Tesoro Nacional” (National Treasury) (US$250)
- Attorney Fees cost around US$2000.
- Bank introduction (banking lobby) can cost as much as US$535. This fee is may be collected by an attorney to employ connections in order to get you an introduction to the bank where you will open your account. As a foreigner, opening a bank account in a new country has many hurdles. This introduction should help to make this process favourable.
- All legal fees should include VAT, you have a right to inquire if necessary.
Total investment adds up to roughly US$5000 for each primary applicant with the cost per person for a family (dependents) being significantly lower. The primary applicant will absorb most of the costs of the Panama Friendly Nations Visa. Bear in mind this $5000 investment is different from the $5000 that will be sitting on your Panamanian bank account waiting for you to withdraw or let sit. The decision is up to you. You can immediately start using this sum after you have received the necessary bank reference/statement.
It is recommended you let the money sit, you can start using it, however, it might appear suspicious if you turn up at the bank the next day to withdraw the entire sum. Be sure to calculate the costs for flights to and from Panama (two flights at most), as well as booking accommodation in the city.
Step-by-Step Friendly Nations Visa Process
The 4 steps involved in applying for the Panama Friendly Nations Visa are as follows:
Step 1 – Compile Documents
Collect and compile all required documents in your home country. You will also need to get criminal records and have them apostilled. You know your country best and can determine how long this process may take. It is also possible to wire the money you need for the Panama Friendly Nations Visa application process to an escrow account in Panama in order to easily access it when you arrive. As soon as all your documents are compiled, your lawyer can remotely open a company for you. This should take about 3-7 business days.
Bear in mind some Panamanian lawyers can be slow to act and are often unreliable. Finding the right lawyer is key. The best lawyer you can hire will speak both Spanish and English, respond in a timely manner, be present when necessary and have an assistant/paralegal follow you around to help you with the immigration office and other appointments when you arrive in Panama.
Step 2 – Open a Personal Bank Account in Panama
When you arrive in Panama, one of your first tasks is to open a personal bank account in a licensed bank. It should not take more than 1 business day to begin the account opening process. On the first day at the bank, you will interview with the banker, sign the bank forms, and submit the required documentation to the bank. The time frame for completing opening a personal bank account in Panama varies. Some bank account opening processes can take 1 day or it could take as much as 1 month, depending on the bank you choose to open the account with, and depending on the supporting documents you provide to the bank. This process is often lengthened by the bank’s requirement to exercise due diligence investigation on the client prior to the account approval.
Be prepared to attend interviews with two separate banks in order to increase your chances of getting an account opened, as some banks may deny the account if insufficient due diligence documentation is provided. This is where a bank introduction may smooth things over. If your lawyer is well experienced in this area, he/she will make the necessary recommendations. Once your personal bank account is approved by the bank, you need to fund it and make a minimum deposit of US$5,000.00 plus US$2,000 per dependent in order to qualify for residency.
Step 3 – Passport Registration and Temporary Residence Application
At this point in your residency application it is recommended you stay in Panama for a minimum of 10 to 14 business days. Your lawyer can make the best recommendation based on the current flow in the immigration offices. Bear in mind, shorts, t-shirts and sandals are not permitted in government offices. You have been warned, pack your suitcase accordingly! There have been instances where applicants wearing ‘banned’ clothing had to make an unexpected detour to the mall before being allowed to enter a government office. This will cost you time, money and an extra pair of jeans pants you don’t need.
Passport Registration Process
- Applicant(s) presence is required
- Your lawyers will outline the tasks to be completed
- Be sure to travel with your passport, at least 2 passport photographs and some cash on hand
- National Migration Service, or “Servicio Nacional de Migración”, in other words, the Immigration offices, open between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. The passport registration process is generally done on the same day, however, the time it takes will depend on the number of applicants ahead of you. The earlier you arrive the better. Some lawyers have an assistant go to the immigration office, pick a number and call you when your turn is near.
- The Panama immigration office will place a “stamp,” in the applicants’ passport, displaying an entry number that will be used throughout the immigration process . It is advisable that your passport used should have at least 1 to 2 years of use before its expiration date. Once the passport is registered at the Panama Immigration office, the applicant’s passport will be returned. It makes sense to keep a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp page with you at all times on your visit.
Document Preparation by Lawyer
- Applicant(s) presence not required.
- A complete photocopy of the applicants’ passport (including a copy of the Panama Immigration Registration stamp page) must be made and it must be authenticated by a Public Notary in Panama, which requires you to leave your passport with your lawyer. If possible this can be completed the same day you register your passport.
- Other documents such as the Health Certificate (must be done in Panama by a Licensed Medical Doctor), authentication of all documents, and translation to Spanish of all documents issued outside of Panama, etc. Some lawyers may offer services that expedite the authentications and translations of documents if they are sent by courier prior to your arrival in Panama. You could also find out if you can scan and email or fax your documents to your lawyer before arrival, for verification purposes to ensure that all documents are prepared accurately.
Residency Application Presentation
- Applicant(s) presence is not required, but your lawyer may need to keep your original passport for the immigration application presentation. You should be advised when your passport will be returned
- After all documents are compiled, authenticated, translated to Spanish, and the completed package with a full set of copies for the Immigration office is ready, your lawyer will file the application by visiting the Immigration office.
Temporary Resident Card Issuance
- Applicant(s) presence required.
- You will visit the Immigration office a second time for the Temporary Residency Card issuance. As usual, the earlier the better. Your photograph will be taken at the Immigration office, and you will be issued a “Temporary Resident Card” (I.D. Card). This card will have a validity of one (1) year, which means that within that one (1) year the Immigration office should approve(deny) your residency request. The Panama Immigration office usually takes 3 to 6 months to make a decision
- Your lawyer may need to keep your original Passport for the Multiple Entry-Exit Visa application & processing.
- You are expected to keep your Temporary Residency Card and a photocopy of your Passport data page and the most recent entry to Panama stamped page.
Multiple Entry-exit Visa Application And Processing
- After your “Temporary Residency Card” is issued, you will need to get a Multiple Exit and Entry Visa, in order to leave the country and return.
- You are not required to be present for this step, however, your lawyer may need to have your original passport for the presentation of the Multiple Entry-Exit Visa. Approval will take approximately 3 business days. Your passport will be returned once the Panama Friendly Nations Visa is processed
- DO NOT leave Panama without the Multiple Entry-Exit Visa, if you do a fine of US$2,000.00 will be applied by the Immigration officials.
Return Of Passport & Multiple Entry-exit Visa
- Your presence is not required
- Your lawyer will visit the Immigration office to collect your original Passport with the stamp of the Multiple Entry-Exit Visa, and advise you when to collect
Subsequent to the residency application submission, the Immigration office will take several months to communicate a decision. Your lawyer may perform follow-up at varying intervals and give you updates along the way. Once an application is approved, your presence is necessary in Panama in order to continue the immigration process. Usually, you have 3 months appear after an approval is issued, this allows you advance notice.
Step 4 – Permanent Residency Approval (Immigration Office)
Once your permanent residency application is awarded an approval, you will be given a period of 3 months to visit the immigration office in Panama City to have your picture taken for your I.D. card. One (1) business day is required for this process. To find out more about Panama’s immigration office you may visit their website.
Step 5 (Optional) – National ID/“e-cedula” and Tax ID (Civil Registry)
After your permanent residency card is issued by the National Immigration Service, you may request the permanent residency card issued by the Civil Registry (“e-cedula”), this is optional. Cedulas for foreigners are called e-cedulas, the ‘e’ stands for ‘extranjero’. To clarify, there are two permanent residency cards, one is issued by the National Immigration Service (immigration office) at the end of your residency application, this card is mandatory. The other is issued by the Civil Registry and can only be attained after completing the Panama Friendly Nations Visa application process. This card is optional.
It may take from 2 to 3 months for your Immigration File to be transferred from the National Immigration Service to the Civil Registry. At this stage, you can apply for your National ID card. You will only need to be in Panama City for 2 to 3 business days in order to have your cedula processed by the Civil Registry. Your permanent residency card in most instances is only valid alongside your passport. The “Cedula” is a stand alone ID document in Panama. Apart from being used as a valid identification document, it also provides you with your official tax ID.
National ID/“e-cedula” Process
This process is simple, and can be completed without much assistance or you may choose to have your lawyer assist all the way.
- Your lawyers will give you a letter sent from the national immigration service to the civil registry. Take the letter along with US$70 to the ‘Tribunal Electoral’, located in the western part of Panama City.
- The address is: Tribunal Electoral, Avenida Omar Torrijos Herrera, Panamá, Panama
- Take a moment to admire this building as it is one of the most impressive governmental buildings in Panama City.
- Your search for the Tribunal Electoral should begin and end on the ground floor in the right wing of the building.
- As soon as you have paid for the document, be prepared to sign your signature a few times and take one last photograph to close out the entire application process.
- Processing takes about 7-14 days and you can collect your cedula at the same office, in the same amazing building.
- The number on the right beginning with E is your official Panamanian Tax ID.
Panama Friendly Nations Visa Benefits
1. Territorial Taxes
Panama’s tax system is centered on the concept of territorial income. Citizens and residents are taxed on net income earned from Panamanian sources. Income derived from foreign sources outside the territory of Panama is 100% excluded. Non-residents are taxed solely on income from Panamanian sources, and the tax charged on any income paid to a non-resident should be retained by the payer. Tax breaks are given to citizens, residents, and non-residents on exempted sources of income for example Panama government securities interest, saving account dividends and term deposits held at banks founded in Panama.
The proceeds obtained from the following activities are not deemed to have been created within Panama’s jurisdiction and are therefore tax exempt:
- Operations carried out in another region from an office located in Panama
- Transactions which are performed, finished or carried out outside Panama even if initiated by an office in Panama
- Distribution of dividends generated from income not obtained within the jurisdiction of Panama, including income gained from operations in the points mentioned above
2. Investment Opportunities
If you have made a decision to get a Panama Friendly Nations Visa you will realize the community of permanent residents(expats) in Panama is large and well connected. Check Facebook! Panama Residency is one of the most popular residency programs in the world and is widely preferred by international business people. The Panamanian laissez faire economy allows for plenty of deals and investment opportunities.
Most important for investors, Panama is a 100% dollarized economy, and you can easily use US dollars with no need for foreign currency exchange. This lack of currency conversion is due to the Panamanian currency (the Balboa) trading at 1:1 with the US dollar since the country’s independence in 1904.
Here are a few great reasons to do business in Panama:
- Most important Banking and Financial Center in Latin American Trade, Logistics, Finance and Investment
- The Panama Canal is home to the Free Trade Zone and the second largest port in the world supporting movement of 80% of all the shipments between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans
- Developed highway infrastructure and public transportation
- Tourism opportunities (luxury hotels, beaches, sports and a cultural diversity)
- Panama Residency allows you to enjoy the country’s world renowned tourism infrastructure with over 100 Casinos, the main Caribbean Cruise Line hub, the Latin American Convention Center, the Duty Free Shopping, and some of the best and most inexpensive Medical tourism options in the world
3. Relatively Stable Economy
Panamanian citizens and residents are not required to submit reports for income that is generated outside of the country’s borders. Regardless of international recessions, Panama’s economic policy helps to maintain its status as the only world economy that experiences 6% to 12% growth annually.
More and more citizens of outside countries are starting to notice Panama’s economic attractiveness and are getting a Panama Residency in order to avoid paying taxes on international income. With this legal, cost effective strategy, Panama residents can avoid breaking laws that have been imposed by their own greedy and corrupt governments.
4. Hassle Free, Affordable Permanent Residency
Panama has the most uncomplicated residency process in the world. You can obtain permanent residency in just a few months, and the process is relatively inexpensive. You have the option to save on travel costs and relocate immediately using your 1 year Temporary Card or travel back and forth using your Multiple Entry-Exit Visa until your Permanent Residency card is issued. They get their Panama Residency and end up becoming residents in a few months. The residency process can be completed with minimal documentation, little or no investment and with very low legal fees.
Panama has a large and growing community of expats from the United States and Europe. English is also widely spoken, along with the standard of living being very high in Panama City (similar to Miami but way cheaper).
Retirees age 55 (women) and age 60 (men) enjoy substantial discounts on activities such as dining, airfares and cinemas. All permanent residents benefit from Pensionado discounts even if they don’t have a Pensionado visa. As long as you’ve reached the age requirements and have your Panama National ID/’e-cedula’ you are free to enjoy these tremendous benefits.
Maintaining your Panama Residency
The Panamanian Residency is not only easy to get but is also easy to keep. A lot of countries will wrap you up in yards upon yards of administrative red tape or require you to spend several months per year to maintain your residency status, but not the great Panama. You only need to spend one day every two years in the country to maintain your status as a permanent resident.
If you happen to be absent for more than two years, the immigration officials may cancel your permanent residency. But there is good news, if you have been absent for less than six years, there is a procedure to recover your residency on your next visit to Panama. Due to bilateral agreements between both countries, Italian citizens are spared from this requirement from visiting as often.
How to get a Panama Passport and Citizenship
If for some reason you were locked away at the end of the Earth and you have not visited Panama in over six years, you will need to start the residency process all over again. If you plan to apply for a passport in Panama, show some commitment in order to better your chances of naturalization and visit Panama every year.
After five years of permanent residency, you can apply to get your Panama passport & citizenship, which gives you visa-free access to 140 countries including all of Europe and the United Kingdom. The Panamanian Passport is ranked 36 out of 107 in accordance with the Henley Passport Index for 2020.
Panama is Latin America’s travel hub with Copa Airline headquartered at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. There are direct flights to most other international airports with flights to Europe, North America, Asia, the Caribbean and South/Central America. Panama permanent residents, who have a Panama Retirement Visa (Pensionado Visa), receive a $25% discount on all local and international flights. Medical services are excellent and affordable as Panama’s reputation continues to grow in the international Medical Tourism Sector, and the weather is great most of the year.
6. Asset Protection and Privacy
Panamanian law offers one of the best asset protection and privacy legislation in the world. Panama Foundations and Corporations use Nominee Directors that can be found in the Public Registry in order to protect the identity of the owners. Companies set up using this privacy strategy do not list the names of company owners in any public registries. Additionally, asset protection is accomplished by hiring a Panama law firm to create legal entities to secure your assets.
The most common method used as Panama asset protection is to set up Panama offshore corporations to own different assets. One Panama corporation can own your cars. Another Panama corporation can own your house. While other Panama corporations can own your jewelry, paintings, antiques, and other valuable assets. The explanation behind several corporations owning different assets is to avoid having one corporation owning all assets be liable in a legal dispute
Offshore Asset Protection
Panama offshore asset protection also ensures bank account interests are tax free, as well as, all income earned outside of Panama’s jurisdiction. A Panama corporation can open a brokerage account and use an international platform to make investments, trade corporate stocks, commodities, valuable metals, and global currencies. As long as these enterprise actions are carried out outside of Panama, the entire profit will be income tax exempted.
Asset Protection Framework
The asset protection framework in Panama offers complete confidentiality The laws of Panama enable its corporations to be owned in absolute anonymity. The Panamanian financial confidentiality policy is among the best in the world, so that every company’s bank account information is tightly secured by the bank, as it is a criminal offense for any bank employee to disseminate information about any account to an unauthorized person or even a government agency
Offshore Wealth Protection
Last but definitely not least, offshore wealth protection includes an estate planning system which will last for generations. It takes time and is expensive to contest a will in a court of law. Having all your assets owned by offshore legal entities prevents probate and immediately gives control of your assets to your beneficiaries in the event of death or injury.
Since 1927, Panama allows complete Privacy, Asset Protection and tax avoidance that ensures most private legal entities can benefit from:
- Asset security
- Lawsuit protection
- Tax free income
- Permanent estate planning system
7. Low Living Expenses
Panama is a very comfortable retirement option, partially because the country is more advanced than the majority of tourists expect. Many visitors are shocked by Panama’s modernity and the many skyscrapers against the skyline of Panama City. All the services you can think of are easily accessible.
Once you choose to live in Panama, you can enjoy the benefits of a developing economy where a taxi ride costs around US$2, or get a haircut for about US$10, or perhaps partake in dinner for two while indulging in a bottle of wine at one of the finest restaurants in Panama City for as little as US$30.
Your energy bill will be based on your location in Panama. In mountainous towns like Cerro Azul, expect to use less electricity, why use air conditioning if the climate is way cooler compared to Panama City. Sea-level places like Panama City are very warm, and people with access to air conditioning often make very good use of their units.
If you have a taste for imported items from the U.S., Canada, and Europe your grocery bill will vary, sometimes you will pay less than you might in the U.S., at other times more. Native fruits like mango, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, and bananas are plentiful and tremendously cheap. Many supermarkets stock imported apples, cherries, and blueberries, these are quite pricey. Look out for upscale grocery chains like Riba Smith and El Rey, they sell the best fresh produce.
Produce stalls are common and gourmet stores typically stock products you don’t find everywhere. Super 99 is another popular supermarket chain in Panama, however, it caters more to low-income customers and is not the best choice for fresh produce.
Show of hands if you’re not a fan of household chores and could do with some help. Many residents enjoy the extra help without the hassle because it’s easy to find help in Panama. You can pay as little as US$250 per month for a full-time live-in housekeeper, whereas a part-time housekeeper will cost you US$15 each visit.