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Saturday, August 23 2014 @ 01:31 AM EDT

Pensionados In Panama Can Now Get A Cedula

Immigration IssuesThe National Immigration Service (SNM) reported, through a press release, that foreigners who apply within the immigration status of retirees (pensionados) will be eligible for the permanent resident card (cedula). This measure will apply to those who are covered by the Law # 9 of 1987, which grants exemptions for retirees and pensioners who are retired from active life and to retired annuitants. This measure will be applied to those who comply with Executive Order #320 of 8 August 2008, which states that those who receive a retirement or pension from any foreign government, shall maintain a monthly income or pension that shall not be less a thousand dollars (per month) and must be granted for life.

According to Javier Carrillo, before permanent residency was being given to retirees, but they could not complete the process to be given a personal identification card (cedula). 'Now they can be permanent here, and they can be issued a cedula," he said. He added that, as the law provides for these benefits, the applicant should have a pension of not less than one thousand dollars (per month).

Strict regime - Given these statements, the lawyer Ernesto Cedeņo argues that Panama has created a number of benefits that many foreigners come to invest, however, they face a strict regime to remain permanently. According to Cedeņo, for a person to obtain a visa as a pensioner, they must have a monthly income of one thousand dollars or more, while the foreigner who has no resources, who enters country for several years and remains hidden, the SNM grants work permits for up to ten years.

"The current administration is benefiting more the foreigners who do not have the resources or to survive, over those who come here to invest," said Cedeņo. According to the lawyer Cedeņo, in Panama there is no defined immigration policy regarding this issue.

In 2011, the SNM processed 648 immigrant visas for pensioners or retirees, of which 538 were approved and 110 denied. Through July this year, of the 388 visas Immigration has processed, 295 were approved and 93 were denied. (Siglo)

Editor's Comment: Cool. Now everyone out there who already has a pensionado visa can also obtain your permanent identification card (cedula). This is a big advantage, because in the Panamanian business community as soon as you flash a cedula, then they relax because you've been completely identified, even though you're a foreigner. I zip through the airport using the "Panamanian" line in immigration, just by showing my cedula. Now, before you ask - this is all I know about this issue thus far. I'm sure the lawyers who deal with these things were also caught flat-footed by this surprise announcement on a Saturday. Next week there will be a lot of discussion. Anyway, prepare to apply for your cedula. This is good news.

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Pensionados In Panama Can Now Get A Cedula | 2 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Pensionados In Panama Can Now Get A Cedula
Authored by: JPANAMA on Saturday, August 18 2012 @ 12:11 PM EDT

While I agree that all foreigners should be able to obtain a cedula, I do not agree that they are entitled to the benefits of retirees in Panama. I am an American citizen who has retired both in the United States and Panama. I possess both a cedula and a card from the Panama Social Security showing that I am a pensionado.

If memory serves me correctly back in the 60's or thereabout, the retirees in Panama were demanding an increase in their pension. As usual the Social Security did not have ample funds to meet such demands. So their solution was to give e a 25% on all travel originating from Panama and up the a 25% discount from various eateries.

In my opinion this proposal was acceptable to me.however, the majority of the retirees in Panama will never benefit from these discounts as they most likely would be unable to take advantage of the travel discount and most likely would only be eligible for a discount of 10 or 15% in restaurants.

As an example In Argentina in order to receive s similar discount you must have had to work and pay into the Social Security in order to
receive the various discounts.

Unfortunately Panama gave in and decided to give everyone the discount regardless of the country from where they retired. I have always thought this was wrong and I continue to feel the same.

Pensionados In Panama Can Now Get A Cedula
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 20 2012 @ 02:14 PM EDT

Panama's "Pensionado" laws have attracted thousands of foreign retirees to Panama, stimulating the economy in ways not dependent on tourism. Resident retirees visit the same shops, the same restaurants and hire the same service providers repeatedly. Tourists come and go, often to never return.

Foreign residents also pay ITBMS like everyone else. Yes, even those who pay no income tax still contribute to the tax base in Panama. Unlike native-born Panamanians, foreign residents must pay over one thousand dollars in taxes (excuse me, "Immigration fees" is probably a better term) and legal fees (guaranteed jobs for lawyers) to access this benefit.

Unlike foreign retirees, Panamanians who spent their entire adult lives living and working in other countries enjoy the same benefits as foreign residents without contributing a penny to Seguro Social or paying immigration and legal fees.

To deny benefits to those who did not pay Seguro Social in Panama would remove some of the appeal that Panama has in the eyes of foreign retirees and negatively impact everyone.

Having a Cedula is merely giving all legal residents the same identification documents, no more, no less.