Panama´s second passport
By Executive Decree No. 320 of August 8, 2008, amended by Executive Decree No. 26 of March 2, 2009, Panama reinstated its so-called instant passport program, based on the Law No. 9 of 1987.
A foreigner can apply for a Temporary Residence Visa with an Independent Retired Status (Rentista Retirado), if he/she has a time deposit at the National Bank of Panama or at La Caja de Ahorros (both saving banks), and the time deposit produces a monthly income in interest. According to the original requirement, the amount of the monthly income in interest was $750. In 2008 Decree No. 320 changed it to $2000; now it is $850 per month, according to Decree No. 26 of March 2009.
The period of the time deposit is for a minimum of 5 years, and the current available interest rate are 4-5%.
The foreigner can bring his/her family, as dependents into the country under the same Temporary Residence Visa. However, he/she will have to produce $75 per month per dependent. This permit is granted for 5 years, and a special Panamanian passport is issued for the same period of time. After 5 years, it can be renewed, together with the deposit agreement, if the program still exists at the moment.
This passport gives the holder a non-immigrant residence status, and does not lead to citizenship. It works for traveling purposes, and it allows the holder to enter a long list of countries: Chile, Argentina, Finland, Spain, Columbia, Portugal, Holland, Greece, Israel, Sweden, Korea, Austria, England, Poland, Hungary, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Germany, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Brazil, Norway, Belgium and Switzerland. Based on the the Panama resident status, the holder can apply for visas for several countries, including USA and Canada.
Although, the process may take from 1 to 2 months, this program is as fast as you can get compared to other countries offering a similar program. The applicant must visit Panama, come to the Migratory Movement Department to register and have his picture taken before approaching the National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization to apply for the passport and make a number of formalities. He/she should also bring a police record from his/her country of origin or country of residence for the past 2 years. Although, the basic requirement is the time deposit for a 5-year term, this a separate thing from the application process at the Immigration authorities, so there is a possibility the application gets refused.
Click here to contact us for more information