Dreaming about Panama for retirement? Here’s a dream you’ll want to catch, a perk offered by the Panamanian Government called the Pensionado Visa. I’ll cover requirements & qualifications for this ambitious & attractive Visa program, and then add details in a later blog.
Here’s what you need to know about the Pensionado: In short, it grants retirees substantial discounts throughout Panama on utility bills, public transport, travel on COPA, (the national airline) and many more enticements to move to Panama, the land of the world’s best shortcut!
Oso Perezoso: no mas problemas para mi!
Are you 18 or older? Do you have a guaranteed monthly income or annuity of at least $1,000 dollars U.S? Do you have notarized proof of that steady income from a certified financial institution? No criminal record in the previous five years? Chances are you qualify for the Pensionado Visa. If you purchase property in Panama—something allowed by law—the requirement is a bit different. Buying real estate worth at least $100,000 reduces the monthly income requirement to $750 dollars U.S. Seem simple? It is, but like all else in a bureaucracy, it takes time—and patience.
Push? Are you sure?
Speaking Spanish well isn’t a qualification requirement, of course. The Pensionado program is purely a financial transaction. But being conversant in the local language certainly helps, as noted above. Yes, unlike the featured door jamb, it does work both ways; learn Spanish, or acquire a good attorney to shepherd you through the process and push (or pull) open doors. You’ll need an attorney anyway if you intend to buy real estate, and it can’t hurt to establish contact with someone who specializes in local laws & customs. That said, no attorney is strictly necessary to get a Pensionado Visa, but…