Panama has a unique eco-friendly immigration visa program which allows foreigners to invest in government certified reforestation projects in return for a permanent residency visa. In addition, these reforestation investments have provided good returns.
In order to qualify for a Panama immigration permanent residency visa the foreigner must invest a minimum of $80,000 USD in a reforestation project with is certified by the Panama government. There are several such projects to choose from around Panama where most of them are foreign owned mainly from Europe. The $80,000 USD investment goes towards purchasing a minimum of 5 hectares of forest land. Besides making the investment in one’s own name, there is an option to make the investment using a Panama legal entity.
Panama immigration provides permanent residency for the applicant and dependents which can lead to full Panama citizenship with a Panama passport.
Panama law requires that a foreigner must be a permanent resident for at least 5 years before qualifying to apply for citizenship.
An additional $2,000 USD investment is required for every dependent that will be included with the visa application.
A Panama reforestation investment provides a perfect opportunity to help the environment by reducing rainforest losses. Reforestation involves planting new trees to replace the ones cut down for lumber. Rainforests are a natural habitat for wildlife, plants, climate preservation, air purification, and replenishing worldwide water resources. It is better for the environment to source lumber from sustainable reforestation projects and not from rain forests.
This is truly a “Green Investment” where investing in environmental cleanup or alternative clean energy helps reduce pollution and costs of energy. Panama’s immigration reforestation visa is often called “Panama’s Green Investment Visa”.
The Panama reforestation projects plant new trees, cultivate them, trim them every few years, harvest them in 15 to 20 years, and replant more trees in their place.
In addition to the usual required documents for application to Panama immigration to become a permanent resident, here are the documents required for the Panama Reforestation Visa:
1. If you will be using a legal entity like a Panama Corporation to purchase the reforestation property then a sworn affidavit from the treasurer or secretary (other than the applicant) verifying the ownership and shares held by the applicant along with the total capital stocks.
2. Panama Public Accountant (CPA) certification detailing the total amount invested in the Panama reforestation project by the applicant. The accountant must submit documents supporting this.
3. Certificate authenticating shares owned by the applicant.
4. Copy of official tax returns showing the invested capital. If the first tax year has not ended yet, then a copy of the certificate of the corporation’s tax ID (RUC) must be submitted.
5. Copy of the National Environmental Authority (ANAM) resolution certifying the reforestation project.
6. Copy of the Panama Public Registry certificate of the business (corporation) and the property’s title.
7. Proof of the direct investment of a minimum of $80,000 USD in the reforestation project. Acceptable documents include:
(a) Audited Finance Statement
(b) Bank certification that funds were transferred or payment was made
(c) Documents that merchandise was imported
(d) Receipts for purchase and sale
In Gerli & Company, we help you to manage this type of Visa. Our qualified team is ready to provide you legal advisory and give you all required tools to make this possible.