Panama Visas, Residency and Citizenship

by Jean Bouttet - Date: 2007-01-25 - Word Count: 830 Share This!

Panama is now positioning itself as the "New Costa Rica". It has put together the most appealing program of special benefits for foreign residents and retirees you'll find anywhere in the world today. We can refer you to a law firm in Panama that has an attorney who does nothing but Immigration Law in Panama. Below are some of the Visas available.

Panama Visa Qualifications

All visa applications must be made through a Panamanian lawyer.
There is no age limit required for applying for any of these visas, save for the minimum legal age of 18 years. Youngsters under 18 will qualify for a visa as dependents of their parents.
All overseas documents to be presented to the authorities in Panama must be authenticated by a Notary and by the Panamanian consulate nearest you, or by a notary and the Apostille. The Apostille (The Hague Convention of 1961) is a faster way of authenticating documents and is normally obtained through the Secretary of State in your home state (in the United States) or through the Foreign Office (in Britain). For Canada, please check with the Panamanian Embassy or consulate nearest to your home city.
All documents must be fresh (within two months of visa application) and passports must have at least one year to run.
Dependents: Bring a marriage certificate. However, original marriage certificates are not acceptable if over two months old, so you'll need to request fresh ones. If your children under 18 are to be covered by your visa, you'll need to bring fresh birth certificates (not originals).
None of these visas grant work permits.
All visa applications require that you obtain a health certificate and HIV test in Panama.

Panama's Pensionado Program

The following are the benefits and privileges for all those classified as Jubilados & Pensionados (irregardless of age) and for all other residents of Panama be they Panamañian or foreign nationals residing in Panama in their 3rd and 4th Ages. It sets the age at 55 for women and 60 for men. Law No. 6 of 16 of June 1987, modified by subsequent changes in the law by Law 18 of 1989, Law 15 of 1992, Law 37 of 2001 and Law 14 of 2003.

Article I
To receive these benefits, it sets the age at 55 for women and 60 for men for all residents of Panama be they Panamañians or of different nationalities irregardless of age. And it states that all Jubilados and Pensionados (irregardless of age) are also entitled to these benefits:

Discount of 50% of price charged for entrance to recreation and entertainment activities, such as movies, theaters, sports and other public productions. This discount is not applicable for those events marked as benefits for the youth, homeless or those specifically authorized by the competent authorities.
Discounts for the following means of public transportaion:
Inter-Urban buses, 30%
Trains, 30%
Launches and boats, 30%
25% discount in air fares in public and private national and foreign Airlines.
A minimum discount of the regular prices of hotels, motels and pensions:
50% from Monday to Thursday
30% on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
25% discount of food consumed by the individual in all restaurtants except for the Fondas which do not require license to operate.
15% discount in those rapid food establishments.
15% discount in the total cost for services of hospitals and private clinics.
10% discount in pharmacies for those medications obtained with a medical prescription.
Discounts in the following medical services:
20% in consultation fees of general medicine doctors andmedical and surgical specialists.
15% for dental services.
15% for optometry
Insurance companies that include in their policies health benefitsfor illness shall adjust their fees to include the necessary adjustmentso that the benefits of these discounts are transferred in the payment of the premiums when the insured is 55 years old if female, and 60 years old if male and to the Pensionados & Jubilados.
20% discount for technical and profesionnal services.
20% discount for all prosthetic devices as well as those items and accessories of personal assistance.
(12, 13,14, 15, 16, 17 pertain to commercial transactions, loans, etc. and require a better translation than I can give.)
50% discount in cost of passports.
25% discount in monthly electrical consumption of private orpublic entity up to 600KW's and the normal tariffs will be applied to anything above that amount.
Discuss's discounts to properties owned by associations of jubilados and pensionados and the different discounts they are intitled.
25% discount to the basic phone service charges when:
the phone service is in the name of the individual
is for a residential phone
is for one and only one phone. The normal tariffs will apply for anything more.
25% discount in the water bill as long as:
the consumption does not exceed $30.00
by bill is in the individuals name
the bill is residential and is the prime residence. The normal tariffs will apply to all other residences.

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