Documentation Process for Pesionado Visa for Canadians

combine_images** Please ensure that you check with your closest embassy or consulate office for changes in documentation requirements.  **


– This program allows foreigners to obtain legal permanent residency in Panama under the condition that they are retired or pensioned.

– According to the Immigration Department of Panama, there is no minimum age required to qualify.

– The applicants’ retirement income (or pension income) must be at least a lifetime US$1,000 per month plus US$300.00 per additional dependent.

– If the applicant can provide documentation showing that he or she owns a real estate property in Panama, in their personal name for over US$100,000.00, the minimum pension income required starts from US$750.00 per month. The property must me mortgage free.

– The law grants, in addition to the indefinite resident visa, tax franchises to import households or personal items once, up to the total amount of Ten Thousand Dollars (US$10,000.00).

Procedures for Applying:

1. This visa must be requested to immigration through a lawyer, so obtaining a reliable Panamanian lawyer is the first step.

2. A short visit to Panama is required for your Passport Registration at the Immigration Office. You will also sign the Special Power of Attorney at your law firm to handle your immigration paperwork to start the processing of the Pensioned Visa.

3. Provide all required documents.

4. Your law firm submits your application for your Pensionado Visa. 5. After the application is submitted, within approximately three (3) months, the Immigration Department will approve your visa and issue your permanent resident card. If you will not stay in Panama, a second short visit to Panama is required for you to personally have your official picture taken at the Immigration office. Note: It is recommended that you also obtain a Multiple Entry Visa if you are planning on leaving Panama during the visa process.

Required Documents: Please note that all Canadian documents intended for use in Panama, must first be taken to a Canadian notary, then to foreign affairs Canada for authentication, and finally, to the Panamanian Consulate nearest you. In Canada we have offices in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.

1. Photocopy of complete valid passport of the applicant (and dependents – if applicable), including the picture page (that shows the picture, name, date of birth, passport number, place of issue, etc.), and all other pages. This should be provided after the Passport Registration is registered at the Immigration Office in Panama. Please note that the passport must be valid for at least one year from the date of the immigration application.

2. Six (6) passport sized photographs of the applicant (and dependents – if applicable).

3. Certificate of Good Health, issued by a licensed Panamanian hospital or clinic, signed by a registered, licensed physician, indicating that the applicant (and dependents if applicable) has no contagious diseases and is in good mental and physical condition.

4. Proof of Pension: – If Pension is from a Government Institution or Social Security: Person must provide certification from the respective Government institution that pays the applicants retirement or pension income, certifying that the person receives a “pension” in the amount of at least a lifetime US$1,000 per month.

– If your Pension is from a Private Corporation: Person must provide a letter on the corporation’s letterhead from the corporation that pays the applicant’s retirement or pension income, signed by a representative of the corporation, with complete contact information for verification purposes, certifying that the person receives a “pension” in the amount of at least a lifetime US$1,000 per month. This letter can provide by a private retirement company, mutual fund manager, bank, insurance company or Trust.

– You must also provide a Certification from the appropriate Government authority that certifies that the Corporation pays the pension is in good standing and duly registered.

– Proof of pension payments (copies of pension payment checks, bank statements showing deposits, etc.) from Institution/Company to applicant.

5. Police record from the country of your last 5 years of residency. The document has to be presented to the immigration authorities, along with the application, within the three months of its expedition. *Note – Fingerprints are now required as part of the police check.

This information is from the Canadian Embassy in Panama:


The Government of Panama requires the official RCMP format for the criminal record (where they can see the finger-prints and photo).

If you are outside of Canada: Submitting electronic finger-prints to the RCMP is not cur-rently available outside of Canada. However, you can contact accredited companies within Canada who will digitize ink fingerprints taken overseas and submit them electronically to the RCMP.

The DIJ (Dirección de Investigación Judicial) is the police force in Panama that will take your fingerprints in ink. Please remember to bring your Canadian passport with you to the police station.

Your submission must contain:

1. Rolled and flat impressions of all ten fingers taken with black ink (Forms available at the Embassy);
2. Your full name, date of birth and sex;
3. The name and address of the police agency; and
4. The signature of the official taking the fingerprints RCMP

6. Marriage Certificate (for the spouse – if applicable), and/or Birth Certificate (for children under 18 years of age -if applicable). Benefits of the Pensioned Tourist Visa:

Under Panamanian law certain discounts and benefits apply as follows:

A. At the age of 55 for women and 60 for men for all residents of Panama, be they Panamanian or of different nationalities.

B. For all Jubilados and Pensionados (regardless of Age)

1. Discount of 50% of price charged for entrance to recreation and entertainment activities, such as movies, theatres, sports and other public productions. This discount is not applicable for those events marked as benefits for the youth, homeless or those specially authorized by the competent authorities.

2. Discounts for the following means of public transportation: – 30% off Inter-Urban buses – 30% off trains – 30% off boats – 25% off public and private national and foreign Airlines

3. A minimum discount of the regular prices of hotels, motels and pensions. – 50% from Monday to Thursday – 30% on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

4. 25% discount of food consumed by the individual in all restaurants except for the “fondas”, which do not require license to operate.

5. 15% discount in fast food establishments.

6. 15% discount in the total cost for services of hospitals and private clinics.

7. 10% (6) passport sized photographs of the applicant (and dependents – if applicable).

8. Discounts in the following medical services:

– 20% in consultation fees of general medicine doctors and medical and surgical specialists.

– 15% for dental services.

– 15% for optometry.

9. Insurance companies that include in their policies health benefits for illness shall adjust their fees to include the necessary adjustment so that the benefits of these discounts are transferred in the payment of the premiums when the insured is 55 years old if female, and 60 years old if male, as well as to the Pensionados & Jubilados.

10. 20% discount for technical and professional services.

11. 20% discount for all prosthetic devices as well as those items and accessories of personal assistance.

12, 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17. Pertain to commercial transactions and loans.

18. 50% discount in the cost of passports.

19. 25% discount in monthly electrical consumption of private or public entity up to 600KW’s. Normal rates will be applied to anything above that amount.

20.Discounts to properties owned by associations of jubilados and pensionados and the different discounts they are entitled to obtain.

21. 25% discount to the basic phone service charges when:

– The account is in the name of the individual.

– It is for a residential phone.

– It is for one and only one phone. The normal rates will apply for additional phone lines or services.

22 . 25% discount in the water bill as long:

– The consumption does not exceed $30.00

– The account is in the name of the individual.

– The bill is residential and is the primary residence. The normal rates will apply to all other residences.


11 Responses to Documentation Process for Pesionado Visa for Canadians

  1. Carol and Steve says:

    Thanks so much for doing all this work for us Canucks! We are seriously thinking of moving full time to Panama within the next year and, like you, we have done a ton of research. But, it’s always better to have first-hand info and in such organized fashion too!

    Thanks again, Carol and Steve (Stettler area of Alberta)

    • indacampo says:

      De nada! And good luck. 🙂

    • Cindy says:

      We are from NS and are in the process of doing this now. I would like to add a few tips!

      Marriage certification has to be the long form from the government not what the church may have given you.
      Other documents were: lifetime work pension letter (this could be CPP if you make 1,000. + 500. if you’re taking a spouse.
      Criminal records checks ( we didn’t get the finger printing)
      A bank letter stating the balance of our accounts and that were good standing customers.
      ALL of these were notorized by our local MP (free)
      ALL of these must then be authenticated/Apostled/Legalized by Foreign Affairs and the Panamanian Embassy closest to you (we used Ottawa) They offer a service (explained below and are excellent in customer service)
      Embassy of Panama Ottawa charges $30. US per document plus $30. US service fee for any number of documents (this must be in a US money order), plus 25. Canadian cash for taxi charges.
      Next: Go to FedEx get 1 envelope with all above notorized documents inside, plus the 25. CDN Cash, US money order and one prepaid envelope address back to yourself.
      They physically take your documents to Foreign Affairs get them authenticated and bring them back to their office stamp and FedEx them back to you all in 5 days!
      Hope this helps!

  2. Mo says:

    We live in Toronto and in the process of going to Panama early next year. We have all paperwork, however we are confused. Do we have to get paper notarized before going to the Panamanian Consulate in Toronto? Where or who do we go to for notarization?

    • indacampo says:

      We only needed to get SU’s pension letter notarized. If you look in the yellow pages or Google notary for your area you should find one. Most often they are located in lawyer’s offices.

      • Mo says:

        Thank you for the info…… Once we have submitted all paperwork to Immigration in Panama, how long is the process to get the I’d card? And should we leave during that time, what is the cost of Multi entry visa?

      • indacampo says:

        You should get your temporary card the second time you go with your lawyer to immigration and while your permanent approval is pending this should be a few days after your first visit. The first time will be just to drop off paperwork. Plan to be in the city for at least a week. Your temporary card will be good for a year.

        If I recall our multiple entry visas were $50.00 each.

        Once you have your temporary card you’ll also have to get your Panamanian driver’s license which will be good up until your temporary residency card expires.

  3. Pingback: Panama’s Pensionado Visa | mebeinpanama

  4. Yvonne Michaud says:

    Hi Ina, We are having a home built in Panama and expect to move at the end of july 2017. The red tape is getting to us re the pensionado visa. My Panamanian lawyer says nothing has to be notarized but sent to Global Affairs Canada and then the Panamanian consulate in Ottawa, and then back to us. We are bringing a dog. Some sites says he needs to be vaccinated no less thn 10 days prior to arrival, others say 6-12 mos is fine. Again send it all to P. embassy after it is notarized?? Totally fed up and ready to move to Tucktoyucktat!!! Please help!!!

  5. Yvonne Michaud says:

    We can get a bank statement saying we are good people and the balances in our account. We have pension income over $6000 cad/mo. Does the CPP and OAS need to notarized?, I have been told no. I have the long form marriage certificate, i believe it doesn’t need to be notarized. (Believe me, I am married to him!) Our criminal record check will be done this week and sent to Ottawa for certification and then to the P embassy and then back to us. Would it just be easier to do all this AFTER we arrive in Panama and just go up to Canada for a few days?? Giving up on Panama!!

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