Preparing for Panama

Does anyone have any suggestions regarding what order things need to be done in order to eventually become a Panamanian passport holder and citizen?

I am thinking along the lines of....

1) Arrive in Panama & see a lawyer
2) Rent or buy a property so i have a permanent address.
3) Open a bank account
4) Set up a corporation
5) Apply for a visa

I expect there to be a fair bit of waiting in between each stage, time for practicing my Spanish maybe!

Would people advise this to be the correct order, or would you do things any differently?

Many Thanks,


1) open a bank account
2) get a vehicle and settle down
3) find an honest lawyer

I have been denied to open a bank account before I had a permanent visa. So I lawyer would be my first option.

which banks did you check

Credicorp,  Citibank  (when still in Panama ), Banco General  and Banismo

Contact a lawyer about applying for residency.
Rent a place to live and get settled in.
Go out and meet your neighbors, make friends - lots of opportunity to practice your Spanish.

Open a bank account at some point, no rush. It's probably easier after you have residency.
Live here for a while, make sure it is good fit before buying any property.
Consider getting a cedula.

Watch this video

I don't think a corporation is necessary, though I know some do this when buying property. That would be a discussion for you and your lawyer.

From what I have heard, you have to be a resident of Panama for five years before you can apply for citizenship. Then, there are tests, applications, etc. You are from the UK? Would this impact your citizenship, rights, obligations, ability to visit the UK, etc?


Thanks for your reply, the video explaining about citizenship was particularly enlightening, and not something i was aware of.

I put getting a bank account in front of obtaining residency because i thought that to go for the Friendly Nations visa one needs to deposit $5000 in a Panamanian bank before the visa will be granted, however, if i were to go for the reforestation visa (invest $40,000 or $80,000 in a teak reforestation project) then i dont think i would need to have a Panamanian bank account straight away.

Has anyone had any experience or thoughts on this?


Ahh ok, then that makes sense about the bank account. We have the retired people visa which doesn't require a deposit of money.

Love ya Kris, Had to chuckle.....

Am i missing something here?

Maybe something about "the retired people visa" tickled his funny bone

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