New Immigration Law
Panama Immigration Law (Feb 25 – 2008) take effect in 6 months.
Estimated start date of Sept 1, 2008. This means the old laws are still in place until then,
If you need more information about the new law, please go to:
Differences between the old immigration law and the new law
– Under the new law the immigration department is given 60 days to approve or deny any applications that have been accepted. If a determination has not been made by the 61st day then the application is automatically considered to be approved.
– The fees for applications will be increased from $100 to $250. In addition there will be an $800 refundable repatriation fee to guarantee that one can return home if the application is denied.
– Under the new law if one leaves Panama for more than two years they lose their visa unless they obtain prior approval from immigration before leaving the country.
– One must maintain the conditions required for the granting of the visa or residency. For instance if one was required to put $200,000 in the bank then this $200,000 will need to stay in the bank for as long as they have the visa which could be the rest of their life. The bank account is required to be in the person’s personal name. Same applies with getting a visa by putting $200,000 hard cash equity into a residential piece of real estate. They will need to keep the home and the title in their personal name for as long as they have the residency or visa. It was proposed that the $200,000 amounts for these two visas be raised to $350,000 and then was removed from the actual law.
– Visas and Residencies are still obtainable but the permanent nature of them has been removed. The citizenship from Panama don’t exist. If one lives in Panama for 18 years under the new law and leaves the money in the bank to get the residency and then dies then the surviving spouse would need to file her own visa application with her own bank deposit or else would lose her status in the country. If you wish to live in Panama it is still not hard to get a residency just will not have any permanence to it.