Intel & DataLatin-America

Panama Independent Means Visa Approvals at All-Time High, Investor Visa Interest Stable

Applicants to Panama’s four most popular investment-based visas – there are more than a dozen, but statistics are only available for the top four – garnered an aggregate of 2,475 approvals in 2023, statistics from Migración Panamá reveal.

Accounting for 2,120 approvals last year, the Friendly Nations Visa (FNV) remains Panama’s most applied-to investor visa by some distance.

While this approval volume represents a contraction of 17% from the preceding year, the program's 2023 performance showed tenacity, considering that the price for the FNV rose from $5,000 to $200,000 in late 2021. The announcement of the imminent price hike drove a surge in applications in late 2021, most of which the government only approved in 2022. As such, it is remarkable that application volume didn't fall more sharply in 2023, when the new price level had already been established.

Results from January this year - 201 approvals in the first month of 2024 - indicate FNV demand is stabilizing in the 2,000+ applications-a-year range.

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Among the other investment-based visas in Panama, the Qualified Investor Program (QIP) - which requires a minimum investment of US$300,000 - has been the largest category since its introduction in 2022. Last year, 187 investors gained permanent residency in Panama through the program, a 34% increase compared to the year before.

In the independent means visa category, which merely requires that applicants demonstrate a modest regular income, approval volume for the Jubilados and Pensionados permit reached an all-time high of 1,627 last year, up 15% on the year.

Across both the investor and independent means visa categories, rejection rates in Panama remain exceptionally low. In the last three years, approval rates have consistently exceeded 95% across the board.

If you like data-driven articles like this one, you'll love the IMI Data Center, the world's largest collection of investment migration statistics, with more than 350 graphs and charts on dozens of IM programs and markets.

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