Panama has had a long relationship with the Americans, dating back to the construction of the Panama Canal and the Gold Rush in the 18th Century.
This relationship with Americans for more than 97 years has undoubtedly put Panama at the top of the list of places that attract Americans and/or American retirees looking for a country as a second home or a place to retire.
The immigration of Americans to Panama has never stopped; in fact, it has been on the rise due to the Friendly Nations Visa (Decree 343) issued to 51 countries worldwide and the Pensionado Visa (Retirement Visa). Additional upsides of living in Panama include, but not limited to, the national currency (the Balboa) which circulates alongside with the U.S. Dollar and pegged at par (1:1); proximity to the U.S. thanks to Panama´s transportation ¨hub of the Americas¨; medical care provided by hospitals with U.S. accreditation and doctors educated in the U.S.; English language spoken by many Panamanians; and the accessibility to U.S. products in the local market. All of these attributes make it possible for the Americans to live in a more friendly environment.
Panama with a total population of approximately 4 million habitants has only two seasons: wet/rainy season and dry season. Her beaches and high mountain areas, such as Boquete and Volcan give foreigners the opportunity to also enjoy a very cool climate.
The requirements to apply for the Friendly Nations Visa or Panama Retirement Visa are relatively simple. After applying, it usually takes seven to eight working days to receive the provisional residency and between four to six months for the permanent residency.
At Williams & Associates we have been offering immigration services for more than a decade. We are ready to guide you and help you through the process in making PANAMA your second home.
BY: MARCO WILLIAMS