Panama offers a visa program for foreigners who have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or PhD in any profession that is not a protected profession for Panamanians only.
You do not need to show that you have a lifetime income from a pension, like the Pensionado Visa. (You can hold off on collecting Social Security or your retirement pension.)
You do not need to buy $200,000 in real estate or invest in a 3-year CD, like the Friendly Nations Visa.
Simply having a university degree, which is not a protected profession in Panama, can open the door to a permanent residency visa in Panama.
What’s The Catch?
THE CATCH is that your degree must not be in a protected profession for Panamanians only (see the list below). The other CATCH is that your degree can take six months to be approved. You cannot apply for a visa until your degree is approved.
You could relax on the beach much sooner than you thought if you qualify for the Professional Residency Visa.
You must use a Panama immigration lawyer to get this visa. Initially, you must submit:
*Two copies of the diploma duly authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate or apostille.
*Two copies of the record of grades corresponding to the subjects
studied, authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate or apostille.
*Two copies of your Passport
*Certificate check of $500.00 to Universidad de Panamá
*Study Plan or Program of the Subjects of the college career university you graduated from, authenticated by the Panamanian consulate or apostille.
*Two ID photos
Once the homologation process is approved, you can apply for a residency visa. You will also need a national criminal report when you apply for the visa.
There are no age restrictions for the Professional Residency Visa
You can get a work permit with the Professional Residency Visa.
There is no requirement to get a job or work in your profession in Panama.
Your spouse and minor children can qualify as your dependent with this visa. (there will be an additional fee for their visa)
You will initially be issued a two-year temporary visa. After two years, your attorney can help you apply for a permanent visa.
Once you get your permanent visa, you can still take advantage of the Pensionado (Jubilado) discounts if you meet the age requirements of 55 for women and 60 for men.
In addition to the attorney fees, a fee of $1250 must be paid to immigration for this visa.
This is an overview of some of the protected professions. If your degree is in one of these professions, you will not qualify:
- Agricultural Sciences
- Barbering and Cosmetology
- Chemical Laboratory Technicians
- Computer Science
- Dental assistant
- Engineering and Architecture
- Medical Assistant
- Medical radiology
- Odontology (Dentists)
- Public Relations
- Social Work
- Speech Therapy, therapists and similar
If you are unsure if your degree falls in the category of a Panama-protected profession, you will need to contact a Panama immigration lawyer to find out.
The Online Panama Relocation Guide lists affordable and reliable immigration lawyers who can help you get a Professional Residency Visa. It also has recommendations for honest real estate agents, insurance agents, and all the other information you need for a hassle-free move to Panama!