How to Get a Pensionado Visa

Listen to the replay of the Saturday, October 2, 2021, Panama Relocation Tours weekly Conference call to learn the step-by-step process for getting a Pensionado Visa in Panama. It’s easier than you think and faster now!

There are several very important takeaways in this Conference Call:

1. If you have dings on your national criminal report (like FBI report), you will need to get a Buena Vista. That process can take 3-4 months. This must be done before you can apply for a visa.

2. Contact an immigration attorney 3-5 months before you plan to come to Panama to get a Visa. They will advise you which visa is best for your personal situation and give you a list of documents to gather in your country. And they will put you on their schedule. We have a list of reliable and affordable immigration lawyers in our Complete Panama Relocation Guide. The Guide also contains much more information about getting a visa and relocating to Panama.

3. The name on your national criminal report (FBI) must match the name on your passport exactly. If it’s not the same, it will be rejected by immigration.

4. Once your documents are authenticated by the Panama Consulate in your country, you need to mail all original documents to your attorney at least two weeks before you plan to arrive in Panama.

5. There is a three-step process for getting a visa. For a Pensionado Visa, it will be completed within 3-6 months. Have patience.

Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

Reader Interactions


  1. Rick Holbert says

    The people from Michigan may have been able to get their certified marriage license apostilled in Michigan. I’ve been able to get notarized documents apostilled here in Ohio by our Secretary of State in just a few days.

    • Jackie Lange says

      You can get a state-issued document apostilled at the state level. All other documents need to be authenticated at the Panama Consulate or apostilled at the Federal State Department.

  2. Eric says

    I’m sure I saw somewhere on your site that monthly income from investments doesn’t count for the $1000 monthly income, so it wouldn’t matter if someone has a million in the bank and planned on living off the savings/interest, right?
    What about, if they have a Canada pension and Old Age security that will kick in when they are 70, but want to move to Panama when they are 50? If they will be covered in the future for more than the required $, would that qualify, even though they can’t access the money for another 20 years?

  3. Joanne Towne says

    What happens if the pensionado visa (husband) has a spouse who is a dependent and the husband passes away? Will this impact the wife’s visa?

    • Jackie Lange says

      The wife does not lose her visa if her husband passes away

  4. Jerry McLaughlin says

    Hey Jackie
    #1 Can you give me you best guestimate on the total cost of getting a Pensionado visa .
    #2 What happens to your U.S.A. drivers licence if you get a Panamanian licence?

    • Jackie Lange says

      1. The cost to get a pensionado driver’s license depends on which attorney you use. Some charge $5000. Our list of recommended immigration lawyers are much more affordable. The most affordable lawyer on our list charges $1200 for a pensionado visa

      2. Nothing happens to your US driver’s license when you get a Panama driver’s license.

  5. Donna Felix says

    Hi Jackie
    If I have 500,000+ in short term CD’s that can be pulled, and I’ll be looking for rentals at around 500-700 a month.
    I will be able to start receiving my SS 3 years. Would they take all those Financial scenarios into account? Would I be able to get a pension visa with that info?

  6. Doneishia Ligon says

    How long is a Pensionado visa good for? Is it something that you would have to reapply for every so often?

    Also my pension is through a private company (Prudential) will I lose my pension if I move out of the Country? Do I have to maintain a US residency?

    • Jackie Lange says

      a permanent pensionado visa is indefinite. There is no requirement to live in Panama but you are required to come back every two years to keep thevisa active. You’d need to ask your pension company what their rules are. Most do not require that you live in the US.

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