Five years after you get your permanent residency in Panama you can apply for Panamanian citizenship and a Panama passport. To apply, you’ll pay $600, do in interview (in Spanish) to explain why you want to become a Panamanian, then take a history test also in Spanish. Then the President of Panama must sign the authorization. I’ve heard from people who have obtained their Panama citizenship and passport that the whole process can take a year. Panama provides this STUDY GUIDE to help you pass the test.
Panamanian citizens enjoy visa-free access to 118 countries and territories. This article from ANPanama explains why a Panama passport is so great:
(Panama City-ANPanama) The Panamanian passport is the second in Central America that offers more visa-free access to countries in the world, behind that of Costa Rica, according to the Henley Passport Index, the only one endorsed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
According to this strict ranking, in Central America the best classified is that of Costa Rica, which gives its citizens access without visa to 150 countries, followed by Panama with 140, El Salvador and Honduras are third with 134, Guatemala fourth with 132; Nicaragua fifth with 128 and Belize sixth with 99 countries.
The Dominican Republic, which is part of the Central American Integration System, appears seventh with access to 64 countries.
Panamanians currently enter 48 countries in Europe, 20 Caribbean islands, 18 American countries, 5 countries in Oceania and the same number in Asia and the Middle East and 3 in Africa without a visa.
The data indicate that Panama has improved its position worldwide, where this 2019 is located in 34th place, similar to the one it held in 2015, since in 2016 and 2017 it was ranked in 36th place and in 2018 in 35, although In the last fourteen years the most notable classification was obtained in 2014, when it was ranked number 28 in the world.
Measured by Latin American countries, led by Chile, which has free access to 174 countries, Panama ranks twelfth, below Brazil and Argentina (170 countries), Mexico (158), Bahamas and San Cristóbal and Nevis (154), Uruguay (153), Costa Rica (150), Antigua (149), Trinidad and Tobago (148), San Vicente (145), Granada and Paraguay (142), but above Dominica (137), Peru (135), Venezuela (132), Colombia (126), Ecuador (91), Cuba (65 countries) and the rest of Central Americans.
“The Henley passport index is the most rigorous and sophisticated measure of global access. It goes beyond a simple passport classification to provide you with a detailed picture of your freedom of travel, including countries that you can access with what type of visa, how your passport has changed in the past 14 years, how your passport compares with other passports, why your passport has the level of access you have and what additional passports would improve your mobility, ”explains the consultant’s annual report.
You can see the Henley Passport Index HERE.
The Henley passport index is the original classification of all passports in the world according to the number of destinations that their holders can access without a prior visa. The classification is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the largest and most accurate travel information database in the world, and is reinforced by ongoing research from the Henley Research Department & Partners.
It is considered “the most robust, credible and reliable index of its kind” and this year the first, tied, are Japan and Singapore, with access to 190 countries and the most limited is that of Afghanistan, in 107th place and last to global level, because its citizens only access 25 countries without a visa.