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Obtaining a Pensionado Visa in Panama

Pensionado Visa: Your Guide to Retirement in Panama

By in Exploring & Living in Panama with 76 Comments

An increasing number of people are choosing to spend their retirement years in Panama. Perhaps the main reason why Panama is such an attractive retiree destination is the government’s pensionado visa program, introduced in 1987. Over the years, this program has gained a reputation as one of the best retiree residence schemes in the world. The pensionado program offers unique benefits that are hard to find anywhere else and will help make it easier to enjoy your retirement.

Best of all, the pensionado program is available to foreigners. By meeting a few simple requirements you may be eligible to apply for a pensionado visa and retire in Panama at a fraction of the cost of what it would cost to retire in many other countries.

Why Panama is a Great Place to Retire

Why Panama is a great place to retire. Pensionado visa retirees on bench beside beach

Panama checks nearly all of the boxes on a list of what to look for in a great place to retire. And don’t just take my word for it. Every year thousands of people from around the world choose to move to Panama after retirement. While many retirees come from North America, the destination is also becoming increasingly popular with European and Asian expats as well.

Easily the best part about retiring in Panama is the country’s ability to offer the conveniences of a developed country with low costs and natural landscapes of a less developed destination. Panama City offers nearly all of the amenities that expats could long for. Often considered an “Americanized” city thanks to the long-term involvement of the United States with the Panama Canal, Panama’s capital is as much a modern metropolis as any.

Shopping and dining options abound at prices that are much lower than what you will find in big cities in the United States. A three-course meal at a nice restaurant can be had for as little as $30-$50. And don’t think you’ll be limited to Panamanian fare. Panama City’s long history as a destination for expats means that high-quality Spanish, French, Italian, American, Japanese, and Middle Eastern restaurants are easy to come by.

Panama City also boasts modern hospitals and top of the line medical facilities with great options for affordable health care. English speaking doctors are very common, and in general Panama City has a low language barrier. Many Panamanians speak English, making the transition to living immersed in a new language much less stressful.

While Panama City offers all the amenities of a modern capital, there are plenty of other regions of Panama for those who wish to escape city life. Whether beaches, mountains or quaint country towns call your name, Panama has plenty of all three. With a perfect climate all year round, it’s easy to see why so many people choose to spend the golden years of their lives in Panama.

A final reason why retiring in Panama is so popular? The government offers special benefits for retirees. And through a pensionado visa, one doesn’t even need to be from Panama to take advantage of these great perks.

What is a Pensionado Visa?

What is a pensionado visa. How to obtain a pensionado visa in panam

A pensionado visa is a visa available to anyone looking to move to Panama who has a lifetime pension income of at least US$1,000 per month. While there are technically no age limitations for receiving a pensionado visa, retirees are typically those using the visa as they are more likely to have a monthly pension income.

There are a few loopholes to getting the visa for individuals who don’t have a lifetime pension of at least $1,000. For one, married couples can combine their monthly pension incomes to meet this requirement. Additionally, if you have a monthly pension of at least $750, but short of $1,000, you can buy real estate in Panama worth at least $100,000 and the monthly minimum drops to $750.

Benefits of a Pensionado Visa

Benefits of a pensionado visa in panama retirees having fun on beach

The benefits of a Pensionado Visa are extensive and shed some light on why so many expats choose to retire in Panama. To start with, retirees who’ve recently moved to Panama have a one-time tax exemption for up to $10,000 in household goods that they’d like to import. Additionally, there is a duty tax exemption for importing a new car every two years.  

The following are some of the benefits that Pensionado Visa holders can expect to enjoy for the duration of their retirement in Panama:

  • 50% off entertainment anywhere in the country (movies, concerts, sports)
  • 30% off domestic transportation fares (trains, buses, public transportation, boats)
  • 25% off domestic and international flights
  • 50% off midweek hotel stays
  • 30% off weekend hotel stays
  • 25% off at sit-down restaurants
  • 15% off at fast-food restaurants
  • 15% off hospital bills (if no insurance applies)
  • 10% off prescription medicines
  • 20% off doctors visits
  • 15% off dental and eye exams
  • 20% off professional and technical services
  • 50% reduction in closing costs for home loans
  • 25% discounts on utility bills
  • 15% off loans made in your name
  • 1% off home mortgages for homes used for personal residence

As you can see, the savings available are extensive. When you add this to the already low cost of living and high quality of life available in Panama, it makes it clear why the pensionado visa is so popular. For retired individuals, this is a great deal to enjoy the rest of their lives to the fullest at a fraction of the cost. And unlike some countries that can rescind a pension-based visa if their laws or requirements change, Panama will never arbitrarily rescind your pensionado visa, even if future requirements for the visa change.

Applying for a Pensionado Visa

Applying for a pensionado visa in panama signing

Like most legal processes, obtaining a pensionado visa requires a bit of paperwork. Getting all of your documents in order before you start the process can save you quite the headache down the road. You’ll also want to hire a lawyer to help with the completion and filing of your application. If you know other expats living in Panama with pensionado visas, find out what lawyer they used. If can’t get a personal recommendation, you can find a good lawyer online. Make sure to read reviews or get references when you’re making your choice. Having an organized and experienced lawyer you can trust will mean far fewer headaches during the process.

The first and most important document that you’ll need is a certification letter stating the amount of your monthly pension and guaranteeing that the pension is for life. This letter can come from a foreign government or a private company depending on the entity that pays your pension. If the pension is from a private company, you’ll also need to show documentation from a government authority that the company administering and disbursing the pension is registered and in good standing, as well as proof of monthly payments or an account statement from the bank.

If you’ve purchased real estate in Panama to meet the pension requirement, you will also need to provide certification of Public Registration of the property with the title in your name. Next, you’ll need a police record from your last 5 years of residency, and pass a medical examination upon arriving in Panama.

Your lawyer will be able to walk you through the specifications of each requirement, but expect that all documents need to be originals, notarized, and either authenticated by your nearest Panamanian Consulate or duly apostilled. Marriage certificates are also required to be originals. Be prepared that apostilling documents will take time and involve some fees. It’s best not to wait until the last minute for this process as delays are common.

Once your application is submitted, it will take about 6 months for the immigration office to process and approve it. When your application has been approved, you’ll need to go to the immigration office in Panama City to obtain your permanent residence card.

There are some upfront costs for obtaining your pensionado visa, but the long-term savings are well worth it. The Panamanian government charges between $300 and $400 per applicant to cover administration and processing. This also includes the cost of your temporary and permanent residence cards and your passport registration. If possible, come prepared to pay this fee in cash as it will speed up the payment process.

Additionally, you’ll need to pay the legal fees that your lawyer charges. Depending on the lawyer you chose, whether or not you’ll require translation services, and whether or not you are applying with a spouse, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000 in legal fees to obtain your visa.

So, there you have it. A beautiful country and friendly culture, with low cost of living and high quality of life, plus the opportunity to save money while living your best life? Why would anyone not want to retire in Panama?

If you are interested in relocating to Panama and searching for real estate, we are here to help!



About The Author

Kent Davis, founder and Managing Director at Panama Equity real estate, has been widely quoted in publications such as Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, The Miami Herald and the Financial Times for his unabashed views on the Panama real estate market. Panama Equity is regarded as one of the most active real estate agencies in Panama and Kent’s articles, reports, and market research projects have been syndicated by press agencies including Bloomberg and the Associated Press.   Connect with the Author via: Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+


  1. Ronald McCurdy says:

    The “requirements” on this page don’t seem to match the ones from the Embassy of Panama website, so I’m confused just what kind of documentation that I need. I am looking at possibly applying for the Pensionado Visa in about 6 months but that is flexible, just not before then. But I see that the process can take a while, so I thought I’d start formalizing my future plans.

    Can you give me a suggested person who can be more specific on details. For instance, I will be eligible for Social Security befits in 2 months — the Embassy speaks of Proof of Income — notarized, yet i got the impression that i can print my specific Social Security Statement, but they no longer mail them — i have to log into their website and print it. Who notarizes that?

    • Kent Davis says:

      Hi Ronaldo, thanks for your message. Panama seems to change their requirements on an irregular basis so its hard to say if the US Embassy keeps up with it. In either case, I’ve sent you a private message introducing you to our go-to Panama Pensionado Visa attorney.

  2. Jeff Lowery says:

    Hello Kent, My wife and I are putting our house on the market by the end of July and plan to move to Pedasi’ as soon as it sells. The market is hot here right now so we do not anticipate it taking very long to sell. We want the pensionado visa, and would consider looking at some private medical ins. down there. My wife and I both draw disability here in the U.S. however mine does not begin until this October. We could use some help in making sure our transition is smooth. We made some friends in Pedasi’ , but we know nobody else. Please Help!!!

  3. Steve B. says:


    My wife and I are seriously considering pursuing Pensinado Visa’s for ourselves. I am retired military so I have the pension requirement covered. Is the Pensionado Visa a good path to citizenship (i.e. Panamanian Passport)? If so, can I get Visa’s for my children (currently 11 and 14) as dependents and does that open the door for them to get citizenship as well?

  4. Lyle says:

    Hi, I’ve been living in China for about 7 years.
    I’m considering a move to Panama in a few years.
    I would require a criminal background check from China, right?

  5. Mikael L McLeod says:

    Hello Kent,

    I am an American Citizen married to a Russian citizen. We have been living in Thailand for the past 3 years. I easily qualify for the income requirements. Will we have any problems getting a Pensionado Visa? Do we still provide police reports from our home countries? We are 66 and 54 years old. Do you perceive any problems for us possibly moving to Panama?

    • Kent Davis says:

      Mikael, thanks for your question regarding obtaining a pensionado visa in Panama. To answer your question, YES you will still need to furnish police reports from your home country. I dont see any issue with you moving to Panama based on what you’ve shared so far, as both Americans and Russians have no restrictions on immigration visas or pensionado visas for that matter. Best of luck and if you need a good attorney, please let me know.

  6. Randy stuart says:

    You seem very helpful. I’m looking for a trustworthy Panamanian attorney or law office that can help with pensionado visa along with real estate purchases and possibly setting up a company. Also wondering if a property can be changed from ROP land to titled before purchasing said property.  Thoughts? Direction?
    Thank you for any help possible,
    Randy Stuart

    • Kent Davis says:

      Randy, thanks for taking the time to reach out. Im sending you an introduction to a Panama real estate attorney and would be happy to answer any of your questions regarding investing in property in Panama. As for ROP: it’s quite a long and arduous process that can vary from 1-10 years. LONG! And hard to predict, which is why you wont find any ROP property for sale listed on our site. It’s just too much of an unknown.

  7. lars holm says:

    Hi Kent,

    I visited Panama a month ago and would like to apply for the “pensionado Program”.
    I (think) need a immigration attorney (Filipe?) – can you help me. Thanks

    • Kent Davis says:

      Hi Lars, thanks for your message! I’ll send an intro to your email to one of the Panama immigration attorneys we recommend. The Pensionado program is complicated enough that yes, you’ll want to have an attorney helping you.

  8. Alisha says:

    Do you have a referral for a immigration attorney that can handle doing the friendly visa paperwork and opening up a company in Panama? I have a few questions and I would like to get started on the process. Thanks.

    • Kent Davis says:

      Alisha, thanks for reaching out regarding Pensionado visas in Panama and an immigration attorney who can help. I’ve just sent you a private message introducing you to our go-to Panama immigration attorney, he’s fantastic and speaks good English. Good luck and hope to see you down in Panama soon!

  9. Jenn says:

    Could someone who is not officially retired and doesn’t receive a pension, but who makes more than $1000 a month in advertising revenue from blogging/selling e-books/teaching English online, have any hope of getting this visa? I don’t know how to prove the lifetime requirement.

    Or should I just form an off-shore company and try for the Friendly Nations visa?

    • Kent Davis says:

      Hey Jenn, here’s the answer from our immigration attorney regarding your question on pensionado visas in Panama: The simple answer will be, apply for the Friendly Nations Visa. Her situation is difficult for Pensionado and she does not comply with the particular requirement of having the prove that she actually is a Pensionado.

      So, it will be better and easier (but not that cheap unfortunately) to apply for the Friendly Nations.

  10. Mike says:


    I am retired military, my retirement pay and VA disability pay are $4,151 per month. I am in the process of getting a divorce in the States. in the interim, I would like to start the process of getting a Pensionado Visa in Panama. I would like to start sooner than later. How do I get started? Who do I contact? And what can I do in the States to make things easier and at what point do I need to come to Panama? I would love to move to Panama in January 17. From reading some of the responses above I have a good ideas of what is needed, but I am a little confused on how to start. Also how much will the whole process cost. Please help…

    • Kent Davis says:

      Mike, thanks for taking the time to reach out. To answer your question, the best place to start with the process of obtaining a Pensionado visa in Panama is with an immigration attorney. I’ve got a great one who speaks English and replies to emails. In fact, I just introduced you to him via the email you provided.

      Next question: how much does the Pensionado visa cost. The answer is with Felipe, around $1,500.

      What to start getting prior to heading to Panama: You’ll need to round up a police report and a document that explains the terms of your pension. From there, it really depends on how you set yourself up in Panama. Some pesionados open up bank accounts here, and in some cases use a corporation which they set up locally.

      Felipe can walk you through all the nitty-gritty and give you a list of any other documents the government might be requiring these days. He’s on the ball.

      Thanks again and hope this answer was helpful!

  11. Tim Wightman says:

    My wife and I are about 5 years away from retirement. In Feb, 2016 we are going to spend a week in Panama and see if we like the vibe there. If so we will begin taking the steps and jumping through all the hoops to get properly papered so we can buy property and settle in.
    With retirement 5 years away, is it too soon for us to start to filing paperwork and performing all the immigration rituals so when the time arrives we are “good to go”?

    • Kent Davis says:

      Tim, its never too early to get started on obtaining your Pensionado visa here in Panama as the process can take up to a year. Once you’ve got it, you’re good to go!

  12. Patricia Parsons says:

    My husband and I are planning to apply for the pensionado program. And are interested in finding out how much we should expect to pay an immigration attorney to assist with this process. Thank you. Patricia Parsons.

    • Kent Davis says:

      Patricia, thanks for reaching out regarding your immigration visa needs. I’ve sent you an attorney’s information here in Panama who can help you with the pensionado program and immigration matters related to Panama. Suerte!!

  13. Cheria Gata says:

    we plan to move in 2 years. We have a 6 year old son. I am a working professional and hoping to qualify for the friendly nations visa. I have a clean record, but my boyfriend does not. He has domestic violent charges about 8 years ago with ex. Is there any chance we will qualify or no? I should also mention in two years he will be retired; however, I am younger an nowhere near retirement age. We wanted to raise our son in a Spanish speaking country close to USA and start a small business living an unassuming la vida loca lifestyle. Any chance for us or no?

    • Kent Davis says:

      Cheria, thanks for reaching out. Am not sure about your situation but have sent you information on a Panama attorney who can help with immigration on the friendly nations visa. Please check your inbox!

  14. John says:

    I am a single, 63 years “young” man who is retiring January 2, 2016 on Social Security and savings. I intend to move to Panama and live for 1 1/2 to 2 years until my Life’s Companion of 25 years turns 62 then move to Florida, living on our combined Social Security income and enjoying the kids/grandchildren. Can I move to Panama, apply for the Pensionado Visa, remaining there during the process and then just stay? I plan to rent and, possibly, work a part time job during my residence, hopefully, residing in Las Tablas.

    Thank you,

    • Kent Davis says:

      John, thanks for your inquiry regarding pensionado status and your move to Panama. I’ve sent you a private message along with an introduction to our fantastic attorney who can help you with your Panama visa.

  15. Nora Hubik says:

    Hello Kent
    I would love to retire in Panama, with my brother. We meet all requirements, except the medical for him. His health isn’t that great. He is a survivor of esophageal cancer tumor surgery. It has been 7 – 8 years now. He is just puny because of a small stomach , and results of that surgery. Is there any hope for us?

    • Kent Davis says:

      Hi Nora,

      Thanks for your comments on obtaining a visa in Panama and I hope that this message finds you and your brother in good health. I would suggest getting out here and asking around about the medical treatment and coverage, as it sounds like he’s got a pretty specific issue.

  16. saneasha byfield says:

    I am in Panama a year now and would Like to look about my papers. But I would Luke assistance on how to do it. Can u help me out.

  17. Damian says:

    Hello Kent, I recently travelled to Panama and have decided to return to stay. I heard about a new visa, which is the visa for friendly countries. Can you tell me when I return can I apply for a job in Panama without a visa, if im in the application process? Also do you know of any trustworthy lawyers I may be able to consult with? Thank You

  18. Randy says:

    Hello, I have searched and searched for my answer but cannot find it. Hoping you can help. I am 50 years old. I am American. My social security disability was just approved at 1400 a month. My minor children will receive 600 a month. Now, my major question: How many days/weeks/months a year do I need to reside in Panama to qualify, assuming everything else is okay. My children would not be coming with me, and I would come back to the states often. Thank you and I hope you can clear this up for me.

  19. Terry Alex says:

    Can you live the same quality of life in Panama as you would in a good neighbourhood in a major Canadian city such as Toronto? Both my wife and I are 58 and have full pensions.

    Average costs per month?

    • Kent Davis says:

      Terry, thanks for your message. I dont really know Toronto, but prices are similar to a city like Chicago if that helps. It really depends on your life style. You can always send me an email to so I can get a better feel and answer your questions more specifically.

  20. susan says:

    I already have a permanent resident ID card for Panama,for several years and am now 59, I am getting Social security Disability, what would I need to do for a pensionado card since I’ve pretty much gone through all of what is required already?
    Thanks, Susan

  21. Ed Murphy says:

    Looking for Minnesotan’s that have retired in Panama and wondered if there is a way to find where they may have landed?
    Local TV channel KSTP did a spot on this and interviewed attorney from Panama, Ana Luisa Cao who talked about the Pensionado advantages, wondered how to contact her in Panama?

  22. Susan Picciuto says:

    Hello Kent. Thank you for such wonderful information. I receive $2100 from social security monthly. I am not married. I have lived with my significant other for many years. Can we apply for the Pensionado Program together? We have been to Panama and love it. Thanks, Susan

  23. Tim Coney says:

    I, too, am wanting info on the Pensionado visa process. I am unclear about the criminal background/income verification process with the notaries, Apostilles, and consulate requirements I need to do before going to see a Panamanian lawyer (know one specializing in NOT rich Americans? 🙂 ). Guidance is appreciated. I contacted an Apostille company here but they are as confused as I am. Thank you.

  24. Andrew says:

    Hi Kent,

    Thanks for all the great info here! And thanks to those for contributing from experience. Could you please put me in touch with a reasonable lawyer whom I can ask questions and begin the process of applying for this program? I am also interested in beachfront, mountain, or island property if you would like to email me on those topics as well. Your assistance is much appreciated.



  25. Rob Carey says:

    Hi Kent,

    I am a dual citizen (Panama and U.S.), when I retire and move back to Panama will my wife (U.S. citizen) be entitled to residency since I am a Panamanian citizen? Thanks for your time.

  26. Jean says:

    Hi !
    If I qualified for pensionado resident do I have to stay a minimum of days in Panama during the year.

  27. Jeffrey Ellis says:

    My wife are looking into the retirement visas for Panama and would like to speak with your immigration lawyer also,
    Best regards,

    • Kent Davis says:

      Jeff, from our Panama immigration attorney:

      First of all, allow me to introduce myself. I understand that you are interested in the Pensionado/Retirement Visa Program. I will be happy to assist you on all your queries or concerns.

      In Panama, there is the options for any foreigner to apply for a Pensionado or Retiree and get a PERMANENT Residency Permit. This is the key benefit of this program, it´s PERMANENT not temporary, which will eventually will allow you to get a Panamanian ID and even become a citizen.

      The Law states that any foreigner with a retirement or pension income from either a foreign government, private company or international institution, with enough source of incomes to take care of his/her expenses and his/her dependants, will be elegible to optain a Visa under the Pensionado Program. The minimum monthly pension must be for at least $1,000 and it must be a lifetime pension. However, the minimum income accepted could be $750/month if the applicant proves and show that he/she has made a property investment in Panama for at least $100,000.00.

      Husband and wife could both apply for this program but both will have to accomplish all the requirements. If you have children under 25, proving that they are still studying and dependents, could also be beneficiaries of this program, but their permit will be temporary until they reach 25 years old.

      There are some other requirements for this Visa program, but they are related to paperwork and government fees. The most important requirement would be a Certification of you monthly pension.

      I hope I had answered to your question and please feel free to contact me and send me any further questions or comments. I will be happy to discuss about this program with you, as well any other alternatives to your needs.

  28. Terry "Doc" Musgrove says:

    I have a enough income for life to qualify for my family. We plan on moving to Panama as soon as we sell our house. Will you put me in touch with an attorney who is reliable and reasonable as we have adopted 2 children (3 & 6) so we know it will be a real circus for us and would like it to go as smooth possible.

  29. Brad Swanson says:

    Is the requirement 1,000 per person or combined of my wife and myself social security and pension ?
    Thank You, Brad& Cindy

  30. Peter Raphael says:

    I am sailing with my boat to Panama next February. Will take all necessary paperwork with me. Can you give me a name ((contact) of a lawyer ?

  31. TC says:

    Hi Kent,

    Thanks for the information – I too had heard that ONLY FBI background checks and not local PD reports are being accepted. Just applied for our FBI checks and was informed that they take six weeks to receive, so everyone plan ahead! TC

  32. Jim says:

    I thought I read some where that an FBI background report was the only one excepted.

    You article says different. Has something changed? Is a state police report OK?


  33. Tiziano Repetto says:

    Hi Kent congrats for the site, I’d like to know whether citizens from Italy, Europe, can apply for a Pensionado program, thanks sincerely

    • Panama Attorney says:

      Hello Tiziano,

      Of course citizens from Italy, Europe can apply for a Pensionado Visa. Most important thing, you must have a Life-Time Pensionado income for at least $1,000 per month. Actually, for Italians, there is another option as there is a Economic and Mutual Assistance Agreement signed between Panama and Italy, which allows or gives advantages for Italian citizens to obtain a Permanent Resident Visa in Panama.

  34. evangeline says:

    Please help me to find a good Lawyer in Panama. I am planning to spend 3 months in Panama this winter and would like to get residency Penionada while I am there.
    I am taking with me to help the process

    6 Passports size pictures,
    Criminal Background check
    Letter and bank deposits from the Federal Governemnt of Canada

    Please let me know what else I can take to make the process faster. Do I do the Medical here or in Panama.
    How much those the whole process costs.

  35. Sandra says:

    I am curious, I recieve a pension from the Veterans Administration as a widow of a deceased veteran. This is for life and is over the required amount. Would this qualify me for the pensioners program? I am 40 something and very interested in living in Panama. Thank you.

  36. Donald Mckee says:

    Hello Mr. Davis – I am 75 years of age. My monthly Social Security check is currently $956 per month. Please advise how I can add on an additional $44 to reach the $1000/mo requirement for pensionado status. Thank you.
    Donald Mckee

  37. Xose Alvariño says:

    Hi Howard, great site, much info. Got a few questions for you, here are a couple: can I apply for the Pensionado Visa from the US? How does depositing SS/pensions in Panamanian banks work? Thanks! My e-mail is:

  38. Dino Bozen says:

    I’m on Social Security Disability and have been 12+ years. I need to know what I need to prove that I get this pension (the amount is almost double the requirement) in order to qualify for the pensionado visa. Will 12 years worth of yearly statements do it? Will a copy of the deposit page of my bank account for the last few years do it or do I need something else (please tell me I do not have to deal with Social Security, I get a headache just thinking about it! LOL) The FBI Background check and sending it off to the state dept for the apostille, I get (I actually have done this once already, and found an error that I got straightened out, so I just need to repeat the process). Do I do this with my last yearly SS statement? I cannot seem to get this answered anywhere, so please … be my savior! I did receive a letter asking about my condition last fall and received a reply that they don’t need anything further from me, and thanks for replying. BTW, I’m looking to make the move around Sept ’13 and will be 57 at the time. Thanks! Dino

  39. Rick Mewshaw says:

    I am 57 years old and I have retired. However, I am entitled to access my 401K and IRA without any penalty. As far as showing that I receive the minimum of $1000/month, can I show that I am receiving $1000/month from my IRA through what is called the rule 72t? This is a rule in which the IRS allows one to take automatic distributions from their IRA, even though they are not 591/2 years old yet. That the distributions must be taken for at least 5 years. Once I turn 62, I can use my social security to show that I am receiving an automatic distribution but until then i want to know if distributions from my IRA using the rule 72(t) would still qualify me.

  40. Robert & Helen Berding says:

    Hi Kent.

    We are Dutch and since 10 years permanent residents of Saint Lucia. How long does the process takes
    once you have presented all documents for the Pensionado Visa correctly? We speak fluently Spanish as we lived and worked 15 years in Spain.

    Robert & Helen

    • Kent Davis says:

      Hello Robert and Helen, thanks for your message. Im going to send you an email response from address. Keep an eye out!

      • Enrique Yearwood says:

        Iam a panamenian married to American what kind of document I will need for my wife to come with me to live in panama married to a panamenian citizen thankyou very much.

      • Scott Eads says:


        I have a similar question. In particular, I am nearly 59 yrs old and will not begin receiving social security distributions until age 66. However, at 59 1/2, I will begin taking automatic distributions from a 401(k) plan that will easily meet the income requirements for pensionado status. Is this sufficient to satisfy the requirements of Panamanian law?



        • Scott says:


          I have corrected the email address in this email (the email address in my earlier email was mis-typed).

          To re-state the question, I am a U.S. citizen interested in a Pensionado Visa. I am 58 now and will not begin taking social security until 66. However, I will begin taking automatic distributions from my 401(k) retirement plan at 59 1/2 and these distributions will exceed the income level required for the Pensionado visa. Can this be used to satisfy Panamanian law, or will I need to wait until I am 66?


  41. Howard Landis says:

    Can my wife and I apply for the pensionado visa from the US or must we actually be in Panama to go through the process? We have the necessary minimum retirement income for a couple, $1250. Thanks for any assistance you might be able to give us.

    • Kent Davis says:

      Hi Howard, I know that a part of the visa application process must be done in Panama. Im going to connect you with our go-to attorney on immigration issues.

      • Barbara Mathewson says:

        I own a home in Valle Escondido, Boquete, Panama and I spend time here. I paid cash for the home and I am very comfortable here. I have a Republica de Panama ID which expires 26/07/2013. Do I need anything else?

    • jacob says:

      my question is that my finacee is Colombian and I am a U.S citizen and we are traveling to Panama to look at a home to purchase. Would there be any problem with her staying in Panama if I open a joint account there with at least 10,000 to show support for her until I return back to Panama to establish residence under the pensionado program? I am a retiree and am looking forward to starting a new life in Panama. Just also wondered if the lawyers that handle real estate also hand the pensionado paperwork? Does my finacee needs any particuar paperwork as well? I will be coming to Panama blind and can’t afford to tangle with a situation that would leave a bad taste in my mouth. If your firm has the answers please direct me. If not would apprecitate your assistance in directing me in the right direction. Thank you

      • Kent Davis says:

        Dear Sir,

        It is a pleasure to greet you.

        Mr. Davis from Panama Equity asked me to respond to your immigration questions.

        Basically your fiancé will be able to stay in the country legally until her tourist visa runs out, she can always leave the country and come back to renew it. Once you apply for the pensionado visa, if you plan to apply with her, you will need to be legally married to be able to add her a dependent.

        Attached you will find some useful information regarding the pensionado visa, also there is more information on our website.

        If you are receiving a pension of more than $1000.00 per month then you qualify under the law to obtain an pensionado Visa in Panama. The process basically has 3 main steps, which are first registration, we make an appointment with the client to come into our office sign some forms and we take the next morning to immigration to get their passport stamped. The second step is the application, when we present the application to immigration with all the requires documents, bellow I will indicate what you will need to provide, you will need to be in Panama for minimum of 7 working days as we will need to process a temporary ID for you and a multiple entry and exit permit after application. After application Immigration will take around 3-6 months to grant the visa assuming all the paperwork is in order, once the visa is granted the client must come down to Panama to obtain their permanent ID, though they don’t have to come right away, this can be done at your convenience.

        The documents we will require from you are the following:
        1. Police report issued during the last 6 months, this document must be authenticated by the Panamanian consulate nearest you. If you are a US citizen, the police report must be FBI 2. Proof of pension (from what organization is your pension?) this document must be authenticated by the Panamanian consulate nearest you 3. If you are planning on applying with your spouse you must also provide a marriage certificate and police report, these documents must be authenticated by the Panamanian consulate nearest you 4. Declaration at US embassy in Panama (if you are using Social Security) 5. 8 passport size pictures (this you can get around the corner from our office)

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