Panama expects the highest numbers of approvals of its investor visas in more than a decade. And according to official statistics Panama was leading country giving approvals of 4659 residency permits (Panama Investor Visa) in 2021, while Greece counts 1035, Ireland IIP – 265, Portugal – 865. The easiest way to get a temporary residency permit under the Business Investor scheme is to open a company in Panama and start your own business. To be able to apply for Panama Investor Visa it requires to make an investment of US$160,000 in capital stock of a Panamanian corporation. For each dependent investment, the amount will need to be increased by US$2,000. Investor must detail their position in the company and register them with Social Security (CSS).
This visa is suitable only for those willing to physically spend most of their time in Panama running a business that employs local staff on permanent basis. Permanent residency (Panama Investor Visa) is available after two years, and applicants who speak Spanish and have made Panama their actual home are eligible to apply for citizenship within 5 years. It is also required to show knowledge of Panamanian history, culture and values, and attend an interview.
Citizenship of Panama grants visa-free travel to 141 destinations, including Schengen countries (90 days within any 180 day period in the Schengen Area) and visa free access to Hong Kong up to 30 days.
The economy should continue to recover this year, albeit losing some steam following last year’s strong rebound. Growth should be fueled by an improving transportation sector and healthy copper exports. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists foresee the economy expanding 7.1% in 2022, which is up 0.7 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2023, the economy is seen growing 5.2%.
The economy of Panama is centered on a highly-developed services sector, which represents more than 75% of gross domestic product (GDP). The Panama Canal and use of the U.S. dollar have promoted the strengthening of a globally-oriented services economy. The Panama Canal is essential to global trade and accounts for almost 10% of the country’s GDP. Other important components of the service economy are the Colon Free Trade Zone (CFZ), which is the second largest free port in the world, and the Trans-Panama Pipeline, which allows for the transport of crude oil between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. The license and registry of the Panama flag to merchant ships is another source of economic activity.
If you are looking for an investment program leading directly to the citizenship, ask us a question about Caribbean CIPs.