Through Executive Decree No. 722 of October 15, 2020, the National Government of the Republic of Panama created a new category of permanent residence permit as a Qualified Investor. The aforementioned rule provides that people who wish to avail themselves of the aforesaid permanent residence permit must make one of the following investments:
1. Investment of US$500,000.00 in real estate located in the Republic of Panama.
2. Investment of US$500,000.00 in a real estate property located in the Republic of Panama, by means of a promise of sale contract, provided that the investment is made through a trust deposit managed by a local bank or trustee, or
3. Investment of US$500,000.00 in securities of issuers whose businesses affect Panama, carried out on the Panama Stock Exchange, through a brokerdealer house with a license approved by the Superintendence of the Stock Market of Panama.
Additionally, the decree establishes that permanent residence as a Qualified Investor can also be obtained if a fixed-term deposit of US$750,000.00 is made in any bank with a general license authorized to operate in Panama.
It should be noted that, in order to attract foreign investment to our country after the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was established that during an extraordinary period of twenty-four (24) months, counted as of October 16, 2020 , the direct or through a promise of sale contract real estate investment could be for the sum of B/.300,000.00, provided that the real estate is free of encumbrances and is located in the Republic of Panama. As expected, the law had a very positive effect on the country's economic and social development, as it managed to attract investors from Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, among others.
Since the special period of twenty-four (24) months described in the previous paragraph was about to expire, Executive Decree No. 109 of October 13, 2022 was recently enacted, which develops and expands the requirements that must be met by the investments to be made, whilst maintaining the same amounts (US$500,000.00 or US$750,000.00). It should be noted that, due to the positive results obtained, an extraordinary new period was established (this time of forty-eight (48) months counted as of October 13, 2022), within which the minimum investment in real estate may be US$300,000.00 with funds from a foreign source. On the other hand, if the property has a value greater than US$300,000.00, its purchase may be financed through a mortgage loan granted by a bank or financial institution.
We are sure that the recently approved extension will serve to continue attracting foreign investors seeking refuge from the political and economic turmoil in the region.