Who doesn’t want to move to Panama? With a lower cost of living, a real estate market where it is effortless to purchase a new home, and the beautiful weather and living conditions, it’s hard to say no! If you have been itching for a change, Alpen Partners is here to make your dreams come true. In this article, we will cover some of the basics of moving to Panama. While this quick guide alone cannot take the place of the guidance, you will need to get the job done; we hope this points you in the right direction. For a thorough and unique expatriation plan, contact Alpen Partners to turn your aspirations of living in Panama a reality.
What’s It Like To Live In Panama?
Panama has a long-standing reputation as a pleasant place for foreigners to live in terms of personal and financial life. The country is one of the most important economic and business hotspots in Latin America. Personal life is pleasant, with a range of benefits. Let’s explore some of those now. One of the first draws in the cost of living in Panama. As is the case with many Central American countries, the cost of living allows foreigners to live at a fraction of the cost as back home. This is especially attractive to retirees who want to avoid paying a lot of money to live in popular retirement communities. This is also attractive to digital nomads who are earning North American or European income. It allows them to live at a higher standard of living than they would be able to afford back home. In some cities, it is possible to live for as low as $1,000!
With a lower cost of living, foreigners get to experience the best of the best in terms of food, entertainment, leisure, and more. The style of life is much more attractive too. It is generally more healthy. Panamanian locals and ex-pats love to eat healthy foods rather than fast food, and the public transportation system will eliminate the need to own a car. The public transportation is also quite affordable. Remember, we mentioned the inexpensive food? Not only is it affordable, but it is also delicious! Some move to Panama for stability. The country is positively standing in the world of global politics and has a very stable economy and government.
How Can I Move to Panama?
There is a range of routes to Panamanian relocation. Depending on the stage of your life, your income, and where you are coming from, there are a few different options. One of the most popular is the Panama Friendly Nations Visa. We understand that not everyone can take advantage of the Friendly Nations Visa, so let’s look at each option.
Panama Friendly Nations Visa
Panama is quite popular among citizens from the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union citizens since residency is easy and affordable through Panama’s Friendly Nations Visa Program. The Panama Friendly Nations Visa was introduced in 2012 and grants investors interested in emigrating to the country a streamlined process to residency. To qualify for the visa program, an individual must be a resident or citizen of one of the 50 friendly nations. This list includes the US, Canada, most European countries, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
For more information on dual citizenship, read our guide here!
Residency by Investment
There are a few options for residency by investment visas in Panama. The first is making a $300,000 real estate investment. The second option is investing $300,000 in a 3-year Panama bank time deposit, or Certificate of Deposit (CD), which can only be in the name of the primary applicant, not in a trust, corporation, or foundation. There is also the option to combine these first two options, investing in CDs and real estate, adding up to $300,000. The third option is through an investment in a reforestation project.
One of the favorite ways to obtain permanent residency, and eventually full citizenship, is through Panama’s Reforestation Investor Visa. The reforestation visa requires individuals to invest a minimum of $80,000 to buy at least 5 hectares of titled land that is part of a government-certified reforestation project.
Panama is one of the countries that offer a retired or pension program. These are the perfect vehicle for retirees looking to spend their retirement offshore. It is not just for retired individuals, however. This residency is for any person over the age of 18 that receives a monthly pension or annuity of at least $1,000 for the rest of their lives. As a retired person, individuals receive many financial benefits, such as discounted entertainment and food.
Where to live in Panama
This small town, which is thirty minutes from the city, is home to only 20,000 residence. It features lush valleys and is known for hills, mountain streams, and cooler temperatures. This is the perfect Panamanian destination for those looking for a tranquil, small-town environment.
If you want a bustling Central American city with high rises and great views, Panama City is where you want to be. While the prices in this city are comparably higher than the rest of the country, it’s worth it. $1200 can land you a three-bedroom, four-bathroom apartment with a balcony. There are also plenty of job opportunities here.
Bocas del Toro
Dubbed “a backpacker’s paradise” Bocas del Toro is a party town with hostels and B&B’s everywhere. This would be the perfect destination for young digital nomads looking to get the most out of life. The main form of transportation in the Caribbean-side province is a bicycle. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants that are often filled with tourists and water sports to take part in.
Some ex-pats are looking for a quiet, more secluded lifestyle. This is what Coronado is perfect for. The beaches are vast and nearly empty at times, so that it will feel like a private paradise. It’s great for those who love to swim and surf. As an added benefit, it’s not far from Panama City, so access to city life is not difficult to obtain.
Taking the leap and leaving your home country can be a big decision with tons of personal and legal steps. The hassle of navigating the legal process of expatriation can be reduced with the guidance of Alpen Partners. Each level requires assistance, including getting the passport, making sure everything is completed correctly regarding taxes, acquiring work permits, making investments, and more. No matter what expatriation route is chosen, it can be a powerful tactic to allow clients to gain better control of their financial and personal lives. If you believe that Panama is right for you and want more information on how to make a move, or you want expatriation and relocation guidance in general, contact Alpen Partners today! Our team is ready to create a hands-on, unique plan to make your dreams come true.