|June 15, 2012|
Previously published on June 13, 2012
Panama has introduced a new nationality-based permanent residence permit program in an effort to attract foreign investment. The new program allows nationals of 22 countries to establish permanent residence in Panama and search for a job after entry. It does not automatically confer work rights, and those who obtain the new status must still be sponsored for a work permit by an employer under standard procedures.
Nationals of the following 22 countries qualify for the new program: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, and the United States. Applicants must also possess a minimum bank balance of US$5,000 and have a clean police record.
As with all foreign nationals in Panama, those who obtain the new permanent status are not permitted to work in certain professional occupations, such as public accountants, architects, doctors, attorneys, dentists and engineers.
Additional details about eligibility requirements and application procedures are expected in the coming months, as Panamanian immigration authorities finalize bylaws to implement the new program.