Visas and Inmigration Information

Tourist Visas

US citizens, Canadians and members of the European Union do not need a visa. When you arrive in Panama, you receive an automatic 180 days stay. For other countries, contact a Panamanian consul.

Extending your Stay

You have to go to the immigration offices located on Peru Ave. This is no picnic because the staff doesn't speak English, and it takes about an hour or more depending on the lines.

For all other visas, get a good lawyer

All other visas require a lawyer. See our Legal Services page for reputable law firms, use a law firm that is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce or get a recommendation from someone you know very well. Hiring a trustworthy, bi-lingual lawyer is an essential first step.

Advantages of the Retirement Visa

If you are retired it is a good idea to get a retirement visa because then you can take advantage of Panama's Retiree Discount Program- the best in the world. You get discounts on everything from airfares, restaurant meals, hotel rooms and eyeglasses. There is a 25% discount on airfares both local and international, but only if you have a retirement visa. See the complete list here: Benefits for Foreign Retirees.

General Visa Requirements

All visas require a police report from the city you last lived, a medical exam report and an AIDs test.

Retiree or Fixed Income Visa

You only need to prove a monthly income of $1000 plus $250 for a dependent. This visa allows you to import household goods tax free up to $10,000.00 and also to import a car free of custom duties ( other taxes apply). Your wife and children under 18 are also eligible for this visa.

Home Buyer Visa

This is a new residency visa available for those who pay fully for homes of at least $200,000.

Investor Visa

You get a visa as the proprietor of a business. There are several kinds of companies. A capital of $200,000.00 is needed. Setting up a company is a complicated process in Panama. Start by buying the American Chamber of Commerces ABC's of Investing in Panama book is helpful. Hire a reputable lawyer that is listed on our Legal Services page or belongs to the American Chamber of Commerce.

Visa for the Financially Self Sufficient

This visa requires placing and maintaining $100,000.00 in a Panamanian bank.

Reforestation Visa

You get a visa by investing $40,000.00 in an approved reforestation project. Your wife and children can also get visas. You may never get anything from that investment, so this is not the most attractive option.