EXECUTIVE DECREE N°722 OF OCTOBER 15, 2020
The National Government established a Permanent Residence program for Economic Reasons for Qualified Investors that, for the first time, will allow interested parties to apply from abroad. In other words, they can make the investment from abroad, through a local lawyer, and complete the process when they are in Panamanian territory. It should be noted that all documents submitted from abroad must be duly Apostilled or under Consular Endorsement.
Among the options there are to apply would be the following reasons:
• For real estate investment reasons:
• For real estate investment reasons through a promise of purchase and sale agreement:
• Investments through a brokerage house with a license approved by the superintendency of the securities market of Panama
• Investments in fixed term deposits in the banking sector
In this article, we are going to focus on the first option, that is, the one to apply based on REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT REASONS. This process can be divided into 4 phases, which we can break down as follows:
1. Property Purchase (Investment in Panama)
2. Property Update
3. Investment Certificate
4. Application to Residence in Panama
PROPERTY PURCHASE (INVESTMENT IN PANAMA)
We must bear in mind that NOT all properties apply and NOT all payment methods apply. In order to apply to this Migratory Category, it will be necessary to make an Investment in Panama for the minimum amount of $300,000.00 paid WITH FOREIGN INVESTMENT, that is, that we can confirm through a local or international Bank, that foreign funds have been used for the purchase of this property.
For this, we have two Options:
• Open a Bank Account in Panama
• We must take into consideration that opening an account in Panama is simple, but your presence in the country is required. Once the account is opened, you can transfer the Investment amounts to said account and make Payments from the Account.
• In this way, the Bank in Panama can certify that funds have been received from abroad and the amounts that have been received.
• Make the Cash Payment from an International Bank Account
• Even when it is possible, you have to consider that the payment is made almost without guarantees, therefore, it must be under the assumption of Good Faith.
• We recommend the use of Bank Transfers (NO intermediaries). This in order to be able to request a Proof of Funds sent and that the Foreign Investment can be demonstrated.
Once the property is registered under your name, we can proceed with the property update.
RESIDENCE AS A QUALIFIED INVESTOR IN PANAMA
Once the property purchase and sale process is completed and once the deed of transfer of the property title is registered, we must start updating it at the National Authority of Land Management (ANATI). This process should take approximately two weeks. Once the update process is complete, we can request the Cadastral Certificate.
This Certificate will be necessary to request the Investment Certificate in Panama.
This is one of the MOST IMPORTANT steps in this Immigration Category. At this moment we must have the Immigration File Ready (even if it is Digital).
At this point we should have requested the following supporting documents:
• Proof of Investment
• Letter from a foreign or local bank, certifying the funds sent. If the document is issued abroad, it must be legalized by a Panamanian consulate or through an Apostille.
• Account statement from the foreign bank, duly stamped and legalized.
• Notarized letter issued by the recipient of the funds or original bank certification confirming the deposit or transfer and that the funds come from a foreign source.
• Three (3) passport size photographs.
• Duly verified copy of the passport (Notary or corresponding Authority).
• Criminal Record Certificate.
• Individual History Affidavit Form.
• Power of Attorney granted by the interested party (notarized).
• Request of the legal representative.
Once the Investment Certificate is submitted, we can proceed with the Filing of the Application for Permanent Residence as a Qualified Foreign Investor.
APPLICATION TO RESIDENCE IN PANAMA
Once we have the Approved Investment Certificate, together with the Original International documents, we can file the record. We want to remind you that your presence in these procedures is NOT necessary.
Once the record is filed, we must wait a maximum time of 30 days in order to have a response from the Panama Residence process. If there are no drawbacks, it must come out APPROVED. After this, we proceed with the Notification of the Record.
RESIDENCE AS A QUALIFIED INVESTOR IN PANAMA
Fifteen (15) days after the Notification, we can pick up the "Request Letter for Identity Card", a document that grants you the right to request your Permanent Residence Identity Card in Panama.
We RECOMMEND, that after this confirmation, you plan your trip to Panama, in order to be able to complete the process of your residence card, identification that proves your status as Permanent Resident in Panama.
Mgtr. Adriano Castillo M.