In April 2006, the Department of Immigration reactivated the immigrant category of Reforestation Investor. You can invest directly by purchasing land for reforestation, or indirectly by investing in a certified reforestation project. With this visa, foreigners become eligible for a permanent residency visa and eventual naturalization.
This type of visa may be suitable for those who wish to invest in cash wood crops such as teak plantations; however, it should be noted the investment must be made for a minimum of 10 years, and there are no guarantees on returns. This category is very similar to the Business Investor category, however, there are number of tax incentives in place for Reforestation Investors.
In order to further encourage investment in reforestation, the Panamanian government has put in place various incentives:
- 100% of the investment into reforestation is income tax deductible
- Income tax exemption on all revenues derived from the commercialization of forest products
- Import tax exemption on all goods and materials used for reforestation and use of forest plantations
- Real estate tax exemption and transfer tax exemption for farms with half of total area dedicated to reforestation, or, a minimum of 200 hectares
- Preferential loans
There are two types of visas under this category:
- Reforestation Micro-Investor ($40,000)
- Reforestation Macro-Investor ($80,000)
To qualify as a Reforestation Micro-Investor, applicants must directly or indirectly invest a minimum of $40,000 USD (plus $4000 for each dependent) for at least 10 years in an certified reforestation project. Certification is granted by the Ministry of the Environment’s Forestry Department.
Upon approval of the application, applicants will be issued a one-year, provisional residency visa, which can be renewed three times; after the fourth year, applicants can apply for permanent residency and eventual naturalization.
To qualify as a Reforestation Macro-Investor, applicants must directly or indirectly invest a minimum of $80,000 USD (plus $4000 for each dependent) for at least 10 years in a certified reforestation project. Certification is granted by the Ministry of the Environment’s Forestry Department.
Upon approval of the application, applicants will be issued a one-year, provisional residency visa, after which they can apply for permanent residency and eventual naturalization.
- Certificate of Good Standing from the Public Registry for the Panama company or foreign company in which the investment has been made
- Certificate of Investment from the company in which the investment has been made
- Certificate of approval from the Ministry of the Environment
- Copy of share certificates in nominative form
- Copy of company’s tax registration
- Deposit slip of investment
- Proof of reforestation activities
Applicant and dependents must also gather the following for the visa application:
- Good Health Medical Certificate from Panama
- Police report from the country where you have lived the last two years
- Copy of passport
- 4 Passport-sized photos
- Marriage certificate (for dependent spouse); must be official
- Birth certificate (for dependent children under 18 years of age)
- An additional $4000 investment for each dependent
- These documents (except the Health Certificate) should be gathered before arriving in Panama
- All official documents must be issued within 3 months of application
- No copies of official documents will be accepted (except in the case of the passport)
- All documents must be notarized and certified by the nearest Panama consulate** in your country; countries participating in Hague Apostille Convention can also have their documents apostilled by designated authorities. In the US, these include court clerks and deputies, and secretaries of state.
- Certified translations of all non-Spanish documents by a recognized public office translator in Panama are also required
- Your passport should be valid for at least six months from the date you apply for residency
- Two short visits to the Immigration Department in Panama will be necessary, to register your passport, and to take the picture for your Permanent Resident card once the application is approved; otherwise you need not remain in Panama for the application process.
- If you wish to leave Panama and re-enter during the application process, you must apply for a Multiple Reentry Visa
Homes International will provide you with all necessary forms, including:
- Power of Attorney, authorizing our law firm to process the immigration applications and documentation
We will assist you in gathering all the necessary documentation to ensure the process is as smooth and unhindered as possible. Once all the documents are in place, we will review, prepare and submit the application on your behalf with Panama’s Department of Immigration.
Ministry of the Environment: Technical guide for reforestation in Panama by the Forestry Department (Spanish only)
Panama Government Forms Office: Forms required for Micro and Macro Investors (Spanish only)
Department of Immigration
Panama Public Registry