Retired persons who receive a monthly pension or annuity from a state or private institution, company or corporation may apply for a permanent residence permit in Panama as "Jubilado Pensionado". The requirement is a monthly pension of at least US$ 1,000 plus US$ 250 per dependant (e.g. spouse) for life. If the applicant verifiably acquires real estate in his name in Panama with a cadastral value exceeding US$ 100,000, the required monthly pension is reduced to at least US$ 750 (plus US$ 250 per dependant).
If the applicant is a married couple where both partners receive a monthly pension, the joint monthly income can be used as the basis for assessment. In this case, the necessary proof and documents must be provided for both pension recipients. There is no statutory minimum or maximum age to qualify for this migration category. The pension does not necessarily have to be paid out by a state institution. In order to qualify for the "Jubilado Pensionado" residence permit, the applicant can also submit a private pension plan, paid out by a bank, insurance company or similar institution. However, the private company must be specialised in the payment and administration of pensions, a private company pension or income from rental income etc. is not recognised by Migration.
Do I need a lawyer to apply for a residence permit in Panama?
Yes, the application for a residence permit must be presented by a licensed attorney. For the application itself and the receipt of the residence permit, all applicants must come to Panama personally.
What else do I have to consider?
The police clearance certificate, the marriage certificate (if applicable) and the pension certificate must be legalized for presentation in Panama (by apostille or consular authentication) and are valid for six (6) months from the date of issuance.
ATTENTION! As soon as you enter and leave Panama without submitting an application, the police clearance certificate automatically loses its validity.
Documents not written in Spanish must be translated by a licensed interpreter in Panama for presentation at migration.
What is the average processing time for my residence permit?
Once your application has been filed with the National Migration Service your status changes from "tourist" to "temporary resident". You will receive a temporary residency for six (6) months while your application is being processed. Nevertheless average processing time is between three (3) to four (4) months.
Immigration to Panama as a pensioner: What conditions must I fulfill?
1. Complete copy of the valid passport (cover sheet, photo page with name, date of birth, passport number, date of issuance etc. and all other pages), notarized by a Panamanian notary public. Please note that the passport must be valid for at least another six (6) months at the time of application.
2. Police Clearance Certificate, issued by the competent authority in the country of origin or permanent residence
(Note: A nationwide/federal comparison of the criminal record must be made. For a successful application, all applicants must be of good repute and, regardless of their country of origin, must not have a criminal record in the USA - FBI Register).
The police clearance certificate must be duly certified (Apostille), please also note the validity.
3. Health certificate, issued by a licensed physician in Panama.
4. State application fees: Applicants under the "Jubilado Pensionado" category are exempt from the state application fees of US$ 250 per applicant and from paying the repatriation deposit of US$ 800 per applicant.
5. Declaration on oath (application form with personal data).
6. Five (5) passport sized photos (with white background).
7. Power of attorney from a lawyer and formal application.
Special requirements (only to be met by the main applicant):
8. Proof of pensioner or retiree status, issued by a foreign government agency, international institution or private company, confirming that the applicant receives a monthly pension for life of at least US$1,000 (plus US$250 per dependant) or its equivalent in a foreign currency.
The certification must not be older than six (6) months. The certification must be duly authenticated (Apostille).
Note: If the information on the pension statement is in euros, the amounts indicated must be converted into US dollars in advance by the Banco Nacional de Panama (National Bank of Panama).
9. Land register extract about the property (if applicable).
10. If the pension or annuity is paid out by a private company, the following documents must also be submitted:
10.1. Letter from a foreign pension insurance company, a trust company, a company that manages pension funds, an insurance company or a bank, which proves that funds are managed for the company or the applicant.
10.2. Proof of the existence and validity of the company that pays the pension and manages the funds.
10.3. Proof of payment: Copy of the payment receipts or bank statement of the last three (3) months.
If applying as a married couple, the following additional documents must be provided:
11. Proof of the family relationship: marriage certificate. The certification must not be older than six (6) months. The certification must be duly authenticated (Apostille).
12. Declaration of liability.
13. Proof of domicile in Panama: For example by means of an electricity bill. The electricity bill must be in the name of the main applicant. If this is not the case, a notarized rental contract must be presented (rental period at least one year).