Most people think that the process of becoming a resident in a foreign country is a dificult process. Panama after years of being voted the best in the world to retire has streamlined the process by order of the new executive decree signed into law by President Varela.
In order to qualify for a Panamanian Pensionado Visa You will need to be receiving a pension or structured pay out of at least $1,000 per month for life. After scheduling an appointment with the Immigration Office you will need to bring the following documents after they have been authenticated at your nearest Panamanian Consulate.
1. FBI or equivalent criminal background check.
2. Official statement of benefits recieved.
3. If you are married you must provide proof of marriage.
4. If you are American. a declaration from the U.S. Embassy if you receive Social Security.
5. Eight passport size photos
The process normally takes from 3-6 months, however the President would like that waiting time slashed in half. After filing the application you will need to remain in Panama a minimum of 7 days to receive your temporary ID to enter and exit the country as you please. After your application is processed and approved you will be notified to return and retrieve your permanent resident Identification Card – “Cedula”. Every citizen has one beginning with C, your card because you are a Extranjero – Foreigner will begin with the letter E.
If you have any questions please post them below in the comments and I would be happy to answer all your questions. We can also schedule private tours for you with a bi-lingual Panamanian to help ease your transition. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more.