Application Process and Required Documents
Relatively simple but it's what you don't know that gets you.

How to Apply for the Panama Friendly Nations Visa: A Step-by-Step Guide

Navigating the application process for the Panama Friendly Nations Visa can seem daunting, but with the right guidance, you can approach it with confidence. This blog post breaks down the process into manageable steps and highlights the key documents you'll need to gather to ensure a smooth application.  Just a quick note.  There are some nuances and important points that your relocation partner will help you with that are what I call the hidden steps of the process that are just one of those things you get only via experience.  So, while the process below is the official process, there is a certain timing and method that I added in the tips section below that I cannot express how important they are for a smooth relocation.  

Step-by-Step Application Process

  1. Arrival in Panama:

    • The visa application must be initiated once you have arrived in Panama. This requirement ensures that applicants are serious about residing in the country.
  2. Temporary Residence:

    • Upon application, you will first receive a temporary residence permit valid for six months. This period allows the Panamanian authorities to process your application and assess your documentation.
  3. Provisional Residency:

    • After the initial six-month period, if your application is in order, you will be granted provisional residency for two years.
  4. Application for Permanent Residency:

    • Towards the end of the two-year provisional period, you must apply for permanent residency by demonstrating continued compliance with the initial requirements and any additional stipulations set by the immigration authorities.

Required Documents

To ensure your application is processed smoothly, you need to prepare and submit the following documents:

  1. Notarized Power of Attorney and Application:

    • This document must include the name and nationality of the applicant’s parents and should be prepared with the assistance of a legal advisor in Panama.
  2. Passport Copies:

    • Provide a properly compared copy of your passport, notarized or authenticated as necessary.
  3. Certificate of Criminal Records:

    • You must submit a recent criminal record certificate from your country of origin or from where you have resided for the last two years.
  4. Health Certificate:

    • A health certificate issued within three months of the application date, confirming you do not carry any contagious diseases.
  5. Economic Solvency Proof:

    • Depending on your route (employment, investment in real estate, or fixed term deposit), proof of economic solvency through financial statements or investment records is required.
  6. Photographs:

    • Three recent color passport-size photographs.
  7. Additional Documents for Dependents (if applicable):

    • Marriage certificate for a spouse or birth certificates for children, along with proof of financial support.

Tips for a Successful Application

  • Hire a Competent Lawyer: Navigating the legal and bureaucratic landscape of Panama can be complex. Hiring a knowledgeable local attorney can greatly facilitate the process.
  • Keep Documents Updated: Make sure all documents are current and meet the criteria specified by the Panamanian authorities.
  • Follow Up Regularly: Stay in touch with your legal advisor and the immigration office to keep track of your application's status and respond promptly to any requests for additional information.
  • Make sure you verify how long your apostilled/notarized documents are valid for and that you get your documents in during that window.
  • Ask your relocation partner about anything you're not clear about, it is no fun having to go back to Canada because you let something expire.  Be sure of what you need.


By thoroughly preparing and carefully following these steps, you can enhance your chances of a successful application for the Panama Friendly Nations Visa. This visa not only offers a pathway to residency but also opens up a world of opportunities in one of Latin America’s most dynamic countries.

Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll discuss the financial requirements and investment opportunities associated with the Panama Friendly Nations Visa.

Continue to Part 4: Financial Requirements and Investment Options

Application Process and Required Documents
Adam Phillips 30 April, 2024
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