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To get any residency Visa in Panama, you are required to present a national criminal report, like an FBI report. If you have ANYTHING on your national criminal report, no matter how long ago, I highly recommend that you get a copy of your report to send to your immigration attorney to ask if you will be able to apply for a Visa.
If your national criminal report has ANY infractions on it, your attorney must go through a process called a Buena Vista, where they submit your national criminal report to the immigration director requesting that you be allowed to apply for a Visa. In most cases, you will be able to apply for a Visa .
However, Panama has tightened the rules for getting any Visa, including a Pensionado Visa. You cannot get approved to get a Visa if you have a felony drug charge, a DUI that is less than 7 years old, charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, or charged with being a pedophile.
In addition, Panama immigration has PROPOSED significant changes to the Friendly Nations Visa. These proposed changes are listed below. These are only proposed changes at this time. A group of immigration lawyers have written a letter. and requested a meeting, with the Immigration Director requesting that the changes not take effect for at least 6 months. We should know this month what will happen to the Friendly Nations Visa. Of course, I will let you know as soon as I know the details.
As you can see from the proposed changes to the Friendly Nations Visa, it seems to have been written by real estate agents trying to FORCE you to buy real estate if you want to get a Visa in Panama.
Proposed changes to the Friendly Nations Visa (if real estate agents in Panama get their way)
1. It will require two (2) applications to obtain permanent residency. You will first apply for a two (2) year temporary residency and then before that expires you will apply for the indefinite residency.
2. The economic purpose of the visa will be provided with the following options:
a) Having a Job in Panama while providing all the corresponding contracts and paperwork from the company giving you work (payroll, operation permit, good standings, etc…)
b) Purchasing a property with a value at least of $200k. Important thing here is that you are allowed to purchase with a mortgage and there is no minimum established from your own money. So for example you could put $20k down and finance $180k as long as you obtain financing for that amount.
c) Establish a business or buy a business with $150k minimum investment.
It is important to note that we don’t know when, OR IF, these changes will take place. Of course, as soon as I have more details, either way, I will let you know right away.
FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE CURRENTLY IN THE PROCESS OF GETTING A FRIENDLY NATIONS VISA THESE CHANGES WILL NOT AFFECT YOU.
IMPORTANT... If you already have a Friendly Nations Visa, you will be grandfathered in by the OLD rules. These changes will not affect you at all.
When you first move to Panama, it will take awhile to learn where to go shopping for the things you really want or need. Sometimes people get frustrated because they can’t find a certain item to make their favorite recipe or the perfect accent piece for their new condo on the beach. I remember one time I wanted to make vegetarian enchiladas but I could not find chili powder anywhere in Boquete. I was not willing to drive 30 minutes to go to David. Luckily, I did find a McCormick Enchilada sauce mix, the main ingredient was chili powder, so I used that as a substitute. You WILL learn to substitute things in Panama! Now, when I find chili powder, or other things that I know are harder to find, I’ll buy 6 bottles so I know I always have some available.
Even if the item you are looking for is not available in the town where you live, it’s probably available in Panama City. But most people don’t want to fly to Panama City to go shopping. I HATE shopping anywhere!
THE SOLUTION: Luckily there is a great service in Panama City called SimplifyPanama.com! They will go shopping for you to find exactly what you need then they send it to you using a next day courier service.
Listen to the replay of the conference call when Julie, the owner of SimplifyPanama.com, talks about her shopping and concierge service.
Since the pandemic began, Panama Relocation Tours has been hosting weekly conference calls to keep you informed about life in Panama.
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Gwen moved from Canada to Las Tablas Panama where she enjoys warm weather every day. In this video she talks about building a house in Panama, safety, medical expenses and more. At the end of the video, she shares important advice for anyone who is considering relocating to Panama.
Las Tablas is a town of about 15,000 people in the Los Santos Province in the Azuero Peninsula. The Azuero Peninsula is known for getting much less rain than the rest of Panama. Las Tablas is an affordable town that has plenty of amenities like grocery stores, shops, banks, hospitals, and restaurants. Las Tablas is where many cultural events take place in Panama.
You’ll love the drone shots of the town of Las Tablas. And you’ll get to see Gwen’s amazing artwork too!
To make a donation to help Gwen with her animal rescue efforts, contact her HERE ON FACEBOOK
IMPORTANT! Between October 15 – October 31st 2020, Panama Relocation Tours will donate 10% of proceeds from the sales of the Online Panama Relocation Guide to help Gwen to help pay for her animal rescue efforts.