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Panama's Pensionado Visa for Retirement

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Written by Andrew Cowan   
Sunday, 24 August 2008 16:02
Panamanian law allows for pensioners to live in Panama as permanent residents. While it is intended for retirees, drugstore you do not necessarily have to have stopped working to be granted a Pensionado visa. The visa allows foreigners to live in Panama as permanent residents if they can demonstrate a monthly pension of $500 a month, with an extra $100 for each dependent. This visa is one of the best bets for people looking to retire to Panama who do not want to jump through the legal or financial hoops required by the other visas offered by the Panamanian government. The requirements are straightforward and your status as a Pensionado, one it is granted, is indefinite, meaning you do not need to renew it on an annual basis. You will, however, need to submit a report every year to the Panama Department of Immigration showing that you still receive the monthly minimum amount for your pension.

The benefits of a visa of this kind include tax exemptions that allow you to import a car into Panama every 2 years and import exemptions on goods up to $10,000 per household. There is also a freeze on property taxes which makes the Pensionado visa perfect for those who wish to retire and invest in Panama. Discounts are given for Pensionados across the board in Panama, from flights to meals to movie tickets.

Pensionado Requirements

    •    Local Police Report – A local police report is required by Panamanian authorities. It should be issued from the police department in the same city or town as marked on your identification. A report from the FBI (if you are a US Citizen) is requested, but the local report is usually sufficient.

    •    Pension Letter – If you receive a pension from the government, you will need to provide a letter from the Department of social security that includes your name and identifies you as a pensioner, as well as outline the amount received from the government every month. Retirees who do not yet receive a pension are not eligible for this visa, as you will need to provide documentation that you are currently receiving a pension, not merely that you will eventually receive one.

    •    Private Pension Letter and Documentation – For people receiving private pensions, the Panamanian government requires a letter indicating what you are paid each month, along with proof that the company exists. This has proven difficult in the past, as the government here is weary of people abusing the system. The best way is to obtain a certificate of good standing issued by a government body.

    •    If you are married, you will be required to provide proof of marriage in the form of a marriage certificate. If your spouse is coming with you to live in Panama, he or she will need to provide all of the same documents except for the pension letter.

    •    Power of Attorney – You will need to contact a Panamanian Lawyer who will act as your power of attorney. This can be obtained once you are in Panama.

    •    Health Certificate – You need to be examined by a doctor and declared to be in good heath. This often requires an HIV exam. This can be done in Panama.

    •    Passport Photos. You can bring these or have them taken in Panama.

    •    Copy of your passport. This should be on file with your Attorney in Panama.

The Pensionado Visa is a great way to live and retire in Panama. Almost every Panamanian Attorney can help you with this. Contact a trusted attorney in Panama about visa options.
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Is this information current??
written by S Newton , August 08, 2009
Is this information current?? I was reading elsewhere that the amount is now $1000 month. Could this website be updated with the most current information, especially around whether there are now age restrictions (min. age to be qualified)
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