Panama’s Launching a Qualified Investor Program: What Does it Include?

It includes a lucrative scheme suitable for seasoned investors worldwide.

Panama’s program was first published on 16th October 2020. It was released as part of Decree 722.

The Decree set a new category of “permanent resident,” defining it as a route for QI (Qualified Investors) in Panama.

Program Details

Previously, to qualify, applicants need to invest $300,000 USD minimum. Typically, those had to be property investments. Also, the finances must come from a foreign source.

But starting October 2022, the investment cap will be increased. Investors will now require $500,000 USD minimum. Thus, applicants have a little over a year to join the program on the current investment cap.

Also, to maintain their permanent residency, they’ll need to keep the property for 5+ years.

Fast-Track Option.

Panama’s program offers a fast-track. This allows investors to gain quicker and simpler processing for their applications.

Doing so requires the application to be submitted through a local attorney. Also, the filiation process should be finished before the immigration card is issued.

The filiation request should be completed in less than 30 business days. After that, applicants can get their permanent residency by visiting Panama for a single week.

This allows investors to finish the QI application process without travelling to Panama.

It’s also more convenient than Panama’s other permanent residency options. The other options require investors to schedule visits to the country, and in advance. Also, a long processing time is required, which may range from 6 to 24 months, depending on the investment route.

Pros of Permanent Residency in Panama

After getting permanent residency, applicants aren’t required much to maintain it. Spending 1 day per 2 years in Panama is all that’s necessary.

In fact, a simple airport transfer also qualifies as staying in Panama!

Additionally, Panama has a lenient tax system (compared to other countries). That is, it doesn’t tax worldwide income. Therefore, investors can rest assured that their overseas enterprises won’t be taxed in Panama. Nor should they worry about reporting overseas companies locally.

Also, tax paperwork is easy to receive in Panama. After approval of permanent residency, an investor can immediately get a tax certificate.

The reason for that is the significant presence of qualified applicants in Panama. Not only are they holders of large investments. But they’ll also hold a property ownership certificate, a possible local enterprise, bank account, and multiple business connections.

Plus, being a Panama permanent resident is a predictable route to citizenship. After residing for 5 years (based on nationality), an applicant can sign up for citizenship.

Panama’s passport is considered high quality. It allows visa-free travel (or access) to 142 territories and countries.

Do note that exceptions are offered to certain applicants, who may receive citizenship on a faster schedule 1-3 year schedule. They include:

  • El Salvador and Colombia: May apply after 1 residency year
  • Peru, Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras, Spain, Ecuador, and Argentina: May apply after 2 years
  • Uruguay: May apply after 3 years