Are you 18+ years of age?
Do you receive any kind of monthly pension over $1,000?
Is that pension guaranteed for life?
Are you without any serious criminal history?
If you answered yes to all, congratulations- you qualify to retire in Panama under the Pensionado Program.
Now comes the fun part- proving it!
Panama requires you to provide a few documents when applying for your Pensionado Visa. These are in addition to the general documents required when applying for Panama residency.
I have done my best to effectively translate and simplify these requirements, removing or explaining jargon whenever possible.
If you find anything to be confusing, I encourage you to drop your comments into the discussion at the bottom of the page. I welcome any opportunity to clarify things when I can, or point you towards an accredited and trusted expert when I cannot.
Required for All
- Certification letter of your retirement or pension by a foreign government, international agency, or private enterprise, confirming that you receive a pension of at least $1,000 US Dollars monthly, or its equivalent in foreign currency, and that the pension is for life.Note: If you and your spouse have a combined sum of at least US $1,000 per month pension income for life, the two of you may be approved.
- Copies of proof of pension payments from Institution/Company to applicant. This generally consists of copies of pension checks and/or bank statements showing deposits. All copies must be authenticated (see below.)
- Police record from the country of last 5 years of residency. Document must be original, official, updated, and authenticated. (See below.)
Required for Some
If you are married:
Marriage Certificate. Must be original, official, updated, and authenticated (see below.)
If you are bringing children under 18 years of age:
Birth Certificate for all accompanying children. Must be original, official, updated, and authenticated (see below.)
If you are financially responsible for a dependent:
You must pay an additional $250 application fee in favor of the National Panama Immigration Service for each dependent.
Note: Those dependents will be protected under your Pensioner Visa until they reach 25 years of age. Exceptions exist for dependents suffering form verified physical or mental disabilities.
If you own or are purchasing Panama real estate:
Certificate of Public Registration of the property with the title in your name.
If your pension or retirement is from a private enterprise:
- Letter from an administration of foreign business of pensions, of trusts, of mutual funds, of insurances, or a bank, that certify that the funds exist to guarantee an annuity of the applicant for life.
- Certification of existence and work of the business that offers the pension and administers the fund
- Payment proof with a copy of payments or statement from the bank.
If the Pension Letter is from a private company:
Certification from the Government authority that certifies that the Company that pays the pension is in good standing and duly registered. Certification must be original, official, updated, and authenticated (see below.)
The private company administering the annuity or pension must also provide an original letter certifying that this company is administering said annuity or pension.
- Original: Not copies. Original documents.
- Official: Issued directly by the source. (Not pulled offline or from other secondary source.)
- Updated: No more than 6 months since the document was issured.
- Authenticated: Notarized and Authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate or a verified Apostil.
Disclaimer: At the time that I write this (Oct. 2013) – These is the most up-to-date criteria available, as provided by the Panamanian government.However, visa requirements in Panama are known for changing quickly, as the government is constantly evolving and improving upon its procedures.