In the Law No. 15 on February 1th of 1966 was published the Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty between the Republic of Panama and the Republic of Italy, which rules the relationship between both countries in matters related to the treatment of their citizens in the territory of the other party. In this sense, the treaty established that any citizen of any of the parties shall be treated as a national in the territory of the other party, therefore any Italian will be granted with the rights and benefits as nationals, with the exception of performing retail sales and exercise professions restricted for Panamanians.
The documents required in the treaty in order to apply for the Permanent Residency are very similar to the category of Friendly Nations, even if Italy is not in the list of Friendly Nations. However, the applicant must provide a Proof or Certificate of Citizenship as an additional document unique for this category, which must be issued by an entity of the Government of Italy. This document must be translated by a Certified Translator of Italian to Spanish in Panama and must be legalized before the Panamanian Consulate in order to be verified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama.
On the other hand, the applicant must provide the following documents:
- The applicant must justify his interest of investing in Panama to be eligible to apply for the Permanent Residence Visa, in accordance with the economic or professional activity, this requirement can be satisfy trough the incorporation of a Panamanian Company or a Private Interest Foundation, or through the purchase of a property in Panama or presenting a Labor Contract of a Company duly incorporated in Panama.
- Complete Passport Copy of the applicant, which must be valid for the next six (06) months and duly notarized before a Panamanian Public Notary.
- The applicant must open a bank account in Panama in which must maintain a minimum balance of US$ 5,000.00 and US$ 2,000.00 for each dependent in order to comply with the requirement of Economic Solvency, which can be demonstrated trough a Bank Reference or Bank Statement duly stamped by the bank in which is established such amounts in numbers or digits (Minimum 4 medium digits). It's important to note that the National Immigration Service considers Bank References and Bank Statements only valid for a period of one (01) month.
- It's necessary to issue one (01) Certified Check in favor of National Treasury for the amount of US$250.00, which is used to cover the cost for the application under an immigration category.
- Also, the National Immigration Service requires the Criminal Record of the applicant and his dependents, this document must be issue by the country in which the applicant has been a resident in the last two (02) years, must be duly Apostille, if the country is a member of the Haya Convention; or legalized before the Panamanian Consulate or Embassy in the country issuing the Criminal Record.
- Copy of personal I.D. or resident I.D. of country of origin, which will need to be duly authenticated before a Panamanian Public Notary.
The applicant will be able to include in the same application as dependent his spouse and children under 25 years of age, as long as they proof:
- The family relationship. In the case of the spouse, the marriage certificate, and the children with birth certificate duly Apostille or legalize before the Panamanian Consulate.
- In the latter case, the applicant will need to proof that the children are dedicated completely to their education either in high school or university, and a single certificate issued from the country of origin will be necessary, this document must be Apostille or legalize.
- Additionally, the applicant shall render a letter of responsibility duly signed, establishing that he or she will be responsible financially for his dependents.
Finally, the National Immigration Service will require from the applicant and dependents a health certificate issued by a Panamanian license doctor and personal affidavit form, which basically consist in filling a form issued by the National Immigration Service.
The approximate time to obtain the Permanent Residence under this category is between four (4) to five (5) months. The working permit can take between two (2) to three (3) additional months.
It is important to note that under this category the Certified Check for the amount of USD$ 800.00 is not a requirement since Italian citizens are seemed as nationals, therefore the deposit for repatriation won't apply for the applicant and his dependents under this category, making this category the cheapest and fastest in granting Permanent Residency, as well as the right to acquire the panamanian nationality after five (05) years as permanent resident.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.