Panamainfo’s Blog

Visas: How to Stay, Live and Do Business in Panama

Panama is such a great place that a lot of people would love to live and do business here.

To prevent too many foreigners from living here and to promote investment, the Panama government does not make it easy to live here.


  1. Tourist visa: The tourist visa you get when you come into Panama gives you 90 days in the country. This visa is for Americans, Canadians and citizens of the European Community and some other counties.  After 90 days, you must leave Panama and go to another country for three days and then you can come back and get another 90 days. There is no cost to this visa.


2 Retiree Visa or “Pensionado Visa” This is called a retiree visa but you don’t actually have to be retired to get it-you just have to be over 18. All you need to do is to prove you have a lifetime pension of at least $1000 per month.  If you buy 100,000 worth of property in Panama, then the minimum is just $750.

The pensionado visa comes with many benefits and discounts including 25% discount on all flights both international and domestic and major discounts at restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, certain medical services, prescription drugs and utility bills.

  1. Economic Solvency Visa: To qualify for this visa you need to deposit $300.000 in a bank account in a three year time deposit or purchase real estate for the same amount.
  2. Panama Bank CD Pension Visa: For this visa, you just need to create CD in  one of the national banks that earns a monthly minimum income of $850.00
  3. Reforestation Visa I: The least inexpensive visa, you need to invest $60.000 in a government certified reforestation project.
  4. Reforestation Visa II: You invest $80,000 in a government certified reforestation project and after a few years you have the right to permanent residence and citizenship.
  5. Business Investor Visa: Requires investing at least $160,000 in a Panamanian business that employs at least 5 Panamanians. Permanent residency is included.
  6. Agricultural Investor: Just make a $60,000 investment in agriculture or aquaculture but you only get a six year visa
  7. Tax Free Processing Zone Visa: You need to rent land, an office or building in one of the Free Trade Zones.


Others basics  you’ll need for a visa are a police certificate from the town you most recently lived in  your country of origin, a health exam and an AIDS test.


You must hire a lawyer for your visa and at the present time it takes a very long time to go through. It is very important you hire a lawyer from a well known firm or that comes with excellent referrals from people you know well.  See our Law Firm in our Business and Services section page for a good lawyer.

Rafting with Boquete Outdoor Adventures: More Fun than Disney World!

Every year our family goes to Boquete after Christmas. One of our favorite activities while there is rafting. In the last two years we been privileged to go  rafting with Boquete Outdoor Adventures. (BOA)  Their staff  really outdo themselves to make sure you  have a really fun and perfectly enjoyable trip. As we ride those rapids laughing all the way, taking in all the natural scenery I often think how this excursion beats any family experience Disney can offer.

The Boquete area is one of the best areas in the Americas  for both rafting and kakaking. The rivers are close and  the scenery is beautiful all along the way.  BOA  picks you up at your hotel at 7 am and get  you back around 4 pm.

Many people ask me “Isn’t rafting dangerous?” The answer is that there are different levels of rafting.  BOA offers rafting trips for the whole family and also for experts. Kids from age 10 can go. Also it is important you go with a company with an impeccable reputation for safety.  BOA, like that other good company, Chiriqui Rafting,  has a perfect safety record.

BOA is fully booked lots of the time, so we recommend you make a reservation before you arrive. Find them at