Retire in Panama
Panama is listed in Forbes as one of the best countries to retire offering many great options. You can choose between city life in the capital Panama City, live on the beach in Coronado, Pedasi, Bocas del Toro, or enjoy a calm lifestyle in a Highland town such as Volcan, Boquete, David or Santa Fe. Panama is a very safe retirement option, in fact Panama is one of the safest countries in Latin America.
Pensionado program allows foreigners to obtain legal permanent residency in Panama under the condition that they are retired or pensioned.
According to the Immigration Department of Panama, there is no minimum age required to qualify.
The applicants' retirement income (or pension income) must be at least a lifetime US$1,000 per month plus US$250.00 per additional dependent.
If the applicant can provide documentation showing that he or she owns a real estate property in Panama, in their personal name for over US$100,000.00, the minimum pension income required starts from US$750.00 per month. The property must be mortgage free.
The law grants, in addition to the indefinite resident visa, tax franchises to import households or personal items once, up to the total amount of Ten Thousand Dollars (US$10,000.00), and an automobile for personal use every two (2) years.
Under Panamanian law certain discounts and benefits apply as follows:
1. At the age of 55 for women and 60 for men for all residents of Panama, be they Panamanian or of different nationalities.
2. For all Jubilados and Pensionados (regardless of Age)
· Discount of 50% of price charged for entrance to recreation and entertainment activities, such as movies, theatres, sports and other public productions. This discount is not applicable for those events marked as benefits for the youth, homeless or those specially authorized by the competent authorities.
· Discounts for the following means of public transportation:
- 30% off Inter-Urban buses
- 30% off trains
- 30% off boats
- 25% off public and private national and foreign Airlines
· A minimum discount of the regular prices of hotels, motels and pensiones.
- 50% from Monday to Thursday
- 30% on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
· 25% discount of food consumed by the individual in all restaurants except for the "fondas", which do not require license to operate.
· 15% discount in fast food establishments.
· 15% discount in the total cost for services of hospitals and private clinics.
· 10% (6) passport sized photographs of the applicant (and dependents - if applicable).
· Discounts in the following medical services:
- 20% in consultation fees of general medicine doctors and medical and surgical specialists.
- 15% for dental services.
- 15% for optometry.
· Insurance companies that include in their policies health benefits for illness shall adjust their fees to include the necessary adjustment so that the benefits of these discounts are transferred in the payment of the premiums when the insured is 55 years old if female, and 60 years old if male, as well as to the Pensionados & Jubilados.
· 20% discount for technical and professional services.
· 20% discount for all prosthetic devices as well as those items and accessories of personal assistance.
· 50% discount in the cost of passports.
· 25% discount in monthly electrical consumption of private or public entity up to 600KW's. Normal rates will be applied to anything above that amount.
· Discuss discounts to properties owned by associations of jubilados and pensionados and the different discounts they are entitled to obtain.
· 25% discount to the basic phone service charges when:
- The account is in the name of the individual.
- It is for a residential phone.
- It s for one and only one phone. The normal rates will apply for additional phone lines or services.
· 25% discount in the water bill as long:
- The consumption does not exceed $30.00
- The account is in the name of the individual.
- The bill is residential and is the primary residence. The normal rates will apply to all other residences.
1. Your application must be submitted in Panama through a lawyer, it can’t be done through our offices. So obtaining a reliable Panamanian lawyer is the first step. You will be asked to authenticate your documents through our Consulate. Read about the authentication process here: https://www.embassyofpanamaincanada.com/legalizations
2. A short visit to Panama is required for your Passport Registration at the Immigration Office. You will also sign the Special Power of Attorney at your law firm to handle your immigration paperwork to start the processing of the Pensioned Visa.
3. Provide all required documents (that the lawyer will confirm)
4. Your lawyer will submit your application.
5. After the application is submitted, within approximately three (3) months, the Immigration Department will approve your visa and issue your permanent resident card. If you will not stay in Panama, a second short visit to Panama is required for you to personally have your official picture taken at the Immigration office.
Please note that some Canadian documents intended for use in Panama, must first be taken to a Canadian notary, (like letters from your bank or documents of certification for your pension in Canada or Passports) then to Global Affairs Canada (GAC) for authentication, and finally, to the nearest Panamanian Consulate to you.
In Canada we have offices in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. In that sense, before your departure from Canada, we advise you to confirm with your lawyer what documents you should legalize.