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FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama

Immigration IssuesBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Wow. Today Executive Order 343 of 16 May 2012 was published in the Official Gazette, "that creates within the immigration category of Permanent Resident, the sub-category of Permanent Resident in the form of foreign nationals from specific countries that maintain friendly, professional, economic, and investment relationships with the Republic of Panama."

Executive Summary - Short Answer Up Front: The government of Panama has just created an entirely new immigration sub-category to make it easier for citizens from specific countries to obtain Permanent Residency status. Within this status newly qualified permanent residents will be able to exercise professional or economic activities - such as create a business or get a job. I suspect the "hand brake" will be the Ministry of Labor, so if they ever need to in the future they can either shut down or slow down the granting of work permits. But anyway, this is it. This is the big move I have been expecting for years. This is what the government of Panama has decided to do in order to ease their shortage of qualified workers. This move will allow the economy of Panama to keep growing. The text of the Executive Order is full of references to contributing to the growth of the Panamanian economy. Read on, kind folk, because it just got a whole lot easier to move to Panama, and to live here and work here as a Permanent Resident, if you're carrying the right color of passport. (more)

What's Going On? Article One of Executive Order says "To create within the immigration category of Permanent Resident, the sub-category of Permanent Resident in the category as foreign nationals from specific countries that maintain friendly, professional, economic, and investment relationships with the Republic of Panama."

What Countries Are On The List? Article Two of Executive Order 343 provides a specific list of the countries covered;

  • Germany
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Brazil
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Spain
  • United States
  • Slovakia
  • France
  • Finland
  • "The Low Countries"
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Norway
  • Czechoslovakia
  • Switzerland
  • Singapore
  • Uruguay
  • Chile
  • Sweden

How To Apply: Article 3 of Executive Order 343 tells foreigners how to apply for this category as a Permanent Resident. Specifically, "The foreigners who solicit this permission as foreign nationals from specific countries, that maintain friendly, professional, economic, and investment relationships with the Republic of Panama, who have as a goal of exercising economic or professional activities of any type, should comply with the requisites established in Article 28 of Decree Law 3 of 22 February 2008, and provide the following;

  • 1. Three passport sized photographs;

  • 2. Document that demonstrates the purpose of requiring the permanent residency, according to the professional or economic activity that will be realized;

  • 3. Proof of the economic solvency of the applicant, which will be demonstrated by providing the following;

    • a. A banking certificate or bank account statement from the past month that reflects an account balance of no less than four digits, or that demonstrates your income, that's acceptable to the National Immigration Service;

  • 4. A copy of the identification card or residency card from your country.

  • 5. A letter of responsibility, if necessary;

  • 6. Documentation to verify kinship, if you have dependents.

Dependents and Family Members: Article 4 of Executive Order 343 describes the requirements for bringing your dependents and family members with you to Panama; "The applicant can include in their application as dependents their spouse, minor children under 18 years of age, family members with disabilities, and parents who are dependents. Adult children aged 18 to 25 can be applied for as dependents, as long as it can be proven that they are studying in a regular manner and that they are under the economic dependency of the applicant. The foreigner who proves to have the tutelage or guardianship or custody of a minor can apply for them as a dependent.

You Can Work, But You've Got To Stay Legal: Article 5 of Executive Order 343 gives a warning, saying "Those foreigners who wish to take advantage of this permission as a Permanent Resident in the category as foreign nationals from specific countries that maintain friendly, professional, economic, and investment relationships with the Republic of Panama must comply with all Panamanian legal norms and regulations in the areas of commercial, labor, or any other type, according to the professional or economic activity that will be realized." In other words, whatever you're going to do, you have to comply with all applicable Panamanian commercial and labor laws.

You've Got To Apply With Immigration: Article 6 of Executive Order 343 says "The applications for permission as Permanent Resident in the category as foreign nationals from specific countries that maintain friendly, professional, economic, and investment relationships with the Republic of Panama, can only be presented to the National Immigration Service."

And That's Pretty Much It: Here is a link to Executive Order 343 in it's original Spanish, so you can read it for yourself if you like. I think this will pretty much do away with the need for people to be living in Panama as permanent tourists, and making those trips across the border every six months to reset your tourist status. It appears that Panama has used this mechanism to open up the doors to foreigners, to allow them to come here and live as documented Permanent Residents, as long as you're from one of the countries on that list. Once you have your Permanent Residency status, then you can apply for a work permit from the Ministry of Labor, and get a job. Or, you can create your own business and hire a bunch of Panamanians. Anyway, this one is an important game changer (I think) - which is why I dropped everything to translate it at 8:30 pm. And remember, you heard it here first...

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama | 16 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 21 2012 @ 09:04 PM EDT

OMG!! This just made my day!! Definitely the best news I've heard in a long time!! Yippieee!! :))

FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 21 2012 @ 09:28 PM EDT

Im only sad that New Zealand is not on that list. I thought we had a good relationship. Actually Im sure we do. Ill just have to send them an email to remind them that NZ is not Australia.

FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 21 2012 @ 09:34 PM EDT

Great news.
But, there is no Czechoslovakia anymore for 20 years.
It's Czech Republic in the law. Slovakia is their neighbour country but not mentioned.

FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 21 2012 @ 10:55 PM EDT

This article makes me seriously feel sick. I just spent 10 years (!) fighting to obtain my residency. I got married, divorced, and spent more money on this than on my last car. Now they are just giving the visas away for free with no requirements? Holy crap I need a drink.

PS: I wonder how all those guys feel who recently got "fake" married for obtaining their residency... Must be a fun moment too.

FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 22 2012 @ 03:22 AM EDT

Just FYI, I believe "The Low Countries" refers to The Netherlands.

FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 22 2012 @ 04:13 AM EDT
Don, thanks for this (and all the other) news. Here's a small correction:

Paises Bajos = The Netherlands (aka Holland) and not "The low countries"

Keep up the good work!
FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 22 2012 @ 10:45 AM EDT

You are the best for reporting this.

FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 22 2012 @ 12:27 PM EDT

Does anyone know the following. Do you have to be currently living in Panama to apply? Can you send the information via the mail and if so any idea where to send it. I have our next scouting trip planned for Jan and we plan to move down to rent in 12-18 months but would love to get a jump on this if its possible

FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 22 2012 @ 01:12 PM EDT

Can this be done without using a lawyer?

FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 22 2012 @ 03:45 PM EDT

The UK, as Panama´s biggest investor is not on the list. I cannot believe this. Surely there is a mistake?

By the way, another name for the Netherlands is "The low countries". The original word "Niederlande" means "Low countries".

FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 22 2012 @ 09:13 PM EDT

Why is the UK not on the list?

FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 22 2012 @ 10:57 PM EDT

I think there is something between the UK and Panama.
When I started to work here a few years ago, myself and others had to provide a police record together with the rest of the papers like anyone else.
But my guys from the UK didn't require to submit this record and only passport and pictures where sufficient due to an agreement, probably made in early 2010.
So my guess, there might be something in place already.
Otherwise you would expect to see UK on that list.


FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 23 2012 @ 08:16 AM EDT

Does anyone know if the type of business also includes retail or other areas that have so far been reserved for Panamanians only?

FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 23 2012 @ 12:12 PM EDT

The timing couldn't be better! I am now seeking investors to expand my Yoga biz and this makes the reasons to invest even sweeter!!
Believe it or not, Yoga is the 4th fastest growing industry and growing 12% annually!
Yay!
Thnxks Don!

FLASH - New Executive Order Makes It Easier To Obtain Permanent Residency Status in Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 24 2012 @ 04:49 AM EDT

I heard a lot of UK people have really bad teeth so panama does not want to burden the dramatic dental expenses under the medical system, but please this is not confirmed, so dont take this as completely factual.