Panama makes it possible for pensioners to live in Panama with what is called the pensionado visa, or pension visa. There is no age requirement for the visa as long as one can prove they receive $1,000 USD a month from a private or government pension.
In order to apply for the pensionado visa, one must first find a lawyer and collect a list of documents from their country of residence that prove their pension status. Once the documents are collected and the visa application is filled out, one must visit Panama and obtain a temporary residence card. A visit to an immigration office to take an identification photo is also required. Immigration offices are located in the cities of Santiago, Panama City and David.
It can take up to six months for the immigration office to approve an application for the pensionado visa. Once approved, the next step is to obtain a permanent residence card at the immigration office in Panama City.
Benefits of the pensionado visa include:
If one's pension is from a private corporation, it is entitled to all the benefits and regulations of the pensionado visa. In order to be approved for the visa with a company pension, one must provide an official letter from the company that pays the applicant's retirement or pension income. The letter must be signed by a representative of the company, certifying that the person receives a "pension" in the amount of at least a lifetime's worth of $1,000 USD per month. This letter can be provided by a private retirement or insurance company.
If one's pension is a private pension plan, it is entitled to all the benefits and regulations of the pensionado visa. To be approved for the visa with a private pension plan, one must provide an official letter from the institution that pays the applicant's retirement or pension income. The letter must be signed by a representative of the institution, certifying that the person receives a "pension" in the amount of at least a lifetime's worth of $1,000 USD per month. This letter can be provided by a mutual fund manager, bank, insurance company or trust.
A few countries, such as China and Canada, have a bilateral agreement with Panama that allow for years worked in Panama to count towards their State pension. Inquire with your state plan about the particulars.
If your country does not allow for years worked in Panama to count toward your state pension, there may be an opportunity to buy back time once you have returned to your home country and are once again contributing to the pension plan. Again, inquire with your state plan about the details.
Expats can make tax-deductible contributions to private pension plans not exceeding 10% of the individual's gross yearly income.
One can collect a monthly foreign pension from a foreign government, private company, or international organization.
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