19 Jun PROCESS TO REQUEST THE PERMANENT RESIDENCY UNDER FRIENDLY NATIONS VISA
The creation of the immigration category of “Specific Countries that Maintains Friendly, Professional, Economic and Investment Relations” with the Republic of Panama, better known as Friendly Nation Visa, was adopted through the Executive Decree No. 343 of 2012 in order to create more immigration incentives to attract more foreign investments to the national territory.
This immigration category has great benefit for those who obtain the residency, which we have described in other articles. In this publication we will focus on explaining each documentation needed to apply under this category, which are as follows:
- The applicant must justify his interest of investing in Panama to be eligible to apply for the Permanent Residence Visa, in accordance with the economic or professional activity, the legal nature of such Decree is to increase the number of foreign investments and skilled workforce in the country, therefore the Law establish three (03) options to satisfied this requirements:
- Incorporating a Panamanian Company, which it can be registered only for immigration purposes, since having the company commercially active it’s not a requirement, therefore registering the company and issuing the shares certificates under the name of the applicant it is sufficient proof of investment in accordance with the Immigration Law;
- Purchasing a Property, such purchase must be done in full, without a loan, and the funds must have their origin from outside the panamanian territory, the Law does not establish a minimum price or value over the property but we advise that the minimum value of the property be USD$ 100,000.00 to avoid any complication at the Immigration Authority;
- Submit a Promise Labor Contract issued by a Panamanian Company. It is important to note that once the immigration process conclude the Panamanian Company is obligated to hire the applicant based on such contract once he obtains the Work Permit.Complete Passport Copy of the applicant, which must be valid for the next six (06) months and duly notarized before a Panamanian Public Notary. We will take care of this requirements, we only need the original passport with the 6 months of validity.
- The applicant must open a Personal Bank Account in Panama with a minimum balance of US$ 5,000.00 and US$ 2,500.00 for each dependent in order to comply with the requirement of Economic Solvency, which can be demonstrated through a Bank Reference or Bank Statement duly stamped by the bank with the amounts deposited in numbers or digits (Minimum 4 medium digits). It’s important to note that the National Immigration Service considers Bank References and Bank Statements only valid for a period of one (01) month. We can assist you opening the bank account.
- Certified Checks, it’s necessary to issue two (02): The first one for the amount of US$250.00 in favor of National Treasury, which is used to cover the cost for the application under an immigration category; and the second, for the amount of US$800.00 in favor of the National Immigration Service, which is a deposit that can be used by such entity to cover the expenses for the repatriation purposes, this check can be recoverable once one (01) year has passed. Once the applicant makes all the payments to the law firm, we will proceed to request and issue the Certified Checks.
- Also, the National Immigration Service requires the Criminal Record of the applicant and his dependents, this document must be issue by the country in which the applicant has been a resident in the last two (02) years, must be duly Apostille, if the country is a member of the Haya Convention; or legalized before the Panamanian Consulate or Embassy in the country issuing the Criminal Record.
- Copy of personal I.D. or resident I.D. of your country, which will need to be duly authenticated before a Panamanian Public Notary. This documents must match with the country that issued the Criminal Record.
It´s important to note that if any document legalized by the Panamanian Consulate or Embassy will need to be verified and validated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The applicant will be able to include in the same petition as dependent is spouse and children under 25 years of age, as long as they proof:
- The family relationship. In the case of the spouse, the marriage certificate, and the children with birth certificate, both duly Apostille or legalize.
- In case of dependents, the applicant will need to proof that the children are dedicated completely to their education in high school or university, and a Certificate of No Marriage issued from the country of origin will be necessary, this document must be Apostille or legalize.
- Additionally, the applicant shall render a letter of responsibility duly signed, establishing that he or she will be responsible financially for his dependents. We will draft it on your behalf in order to comply with all the requirements by the National Immigration Service.
Finally, the National Immigration Service will require from the applicant and dependents a health certificate issued by a Panamanian license doctor and personal affidavit form, which basically consist in filling a form issued by the National Immigration Service. We will assist the client with both documents.
In this sense, any applicant only need to provide the documents described on number 1, 3 and 5, as well as the passport. In the case of dependents, all the documents listed will be required accordingly.
It is important to note that in all immigration categories the National Immigration Service grants a provisional ID at the moment of submitting the application with the documents and its validity is for six (06) months; then such public entity will issue the permanent residency once the application has been approved.
For any additional information do not hesitate in contacting us, we are a law firm specialized in the Immigration Area.
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