Panama has many interesting features that expatriates attract its beautiful beaches and lush mountain paradise. It is a nation that is very friendly to foreigners and perhaps never more than when it offers retirees a range of discounts for anything from flight to residential telephone service.
These benefits are part of the Panama Pensionado program, which corresponds to a small package of benefits for retirees of all ages. Depending on where you choose to pay the cost of living in Panama is already very affordable. However, the benefits of retirement retirees can make this Central American goal even more lucrative.
Duty-Free Imports Of Household Goods Up To $ 10,000 Free Importation Of A Vehicle Or Purchase Tax-Free From A Local Vehicle Every 2 Years
50% Discount On Leisure And Entertainment Like Cinema, Theater, Sports, Etc.
50% Discount In Hotels From Monday To Thursday (30% Discount On Weekends)
50% Discount On The Passes
30% Discount On Public Transport Such As Buses, Trains And Ships
25% Discount On Air Tickets
25% Discount In Restaurants (15% Discount In Fast Food)
25% Discount On The Electricity, Water And Telephone Service 2
20% Discount On Doctors And Specialists
20% Discount On Prostheses And Other Aids
15% Discount For Hospitals And Private Clinics
15% Discount For Dental Services And Optometry
10% Discount On Prescription Drugs
In addition, pensioners can get a card issued named “Cedula”, a card for the residents of Panama. While the retirement program participants can easily spend with Pensionado card and a passport issued by their country of origin, the Cedula provides greater ease of travel and Panama operations. Neighbors feel a little more comfortable when they are dealing with someone they know is "documented", so to speak. Keeping a Cedula does not confer any added benefit; it is only a step towards diving head first into your new culture.
The Qualification Required For the Pensionado Visas
Although it sounds like and is often referred to as a "retirement" program the Pensionado's visa is actually available for expatriates of any age who meet the stated criteria. Even better, the beneficiaries have acquired rights under the law and can never lose their benefits if they continue to meet the requirements. To qualify, you must:
- Monthly Income Of $ 1000 For Life A Guaranteed Source, I.E. Pension
- Sales Of $ 750 Per Month And A Minimal Investment Of $ 100,000 In Real Estate Panama
- An Additional Monthly Income Of $ 250 For Each Child Dependent
The $ 1,000 per month is a lot for a married couple. In other words, it should not be the case that both spouses meet the access requirements. Dependent children cannot be more than 18 years of age unless they are attending the college. You can also make exceptions for children disabled adults. $ 250 can also be obtained in the form of interest on deposits in a Panamanian bank.
Process to get a retiree visa
Getting the application procedure and Pensionado board visa is quite simple. Shebang takes about 6 months and costs between $ 1500 and $ 2,000 per person, including legal fees. If you apply for yourself, your spouse and family while at the same time, you can sometimes save a few cents in legal costs. A good deal of paperwork is required, and all must be properly authenticated. Having a successful lawyer in immigration has been a valuable tool as you navigate through this process. Typically, you need the following to be ready:
- Registered By The Organization Or Institution That Guarantees Your Lifetime Monthly Pension
- Government Certification That The Source Of Your Income Is In A Good State When Your Pension Comes From A Private Company
- The Proof Of The Previous Pension Payment (E.G. Pay Statements, Account Statements, Etc)
- Certificate Of The Public Registration Of Real Estate Panamanian To Its Name, If Necessary
- Police Record Of The Country In Which You Lived The Last 5 Years
- Marriage And Birth Certificates, If Possible/Applicable
- The Print Which is Fine
While the program certainly has some great advantages for expatriates, there are some who wonder if not everything is broken. Take, for instance, discounts on utilities. The water in some areas can be as low as $ 7. So discount of 25%, which is not much of a profit. All this adds up.
Another criticism of the program is the fact that the exclusions are often applied. Therefore, the flight buy tickets by the retiree can find another flight at the end, which is actually less than the discount rate they could get, that was already a high ticket price. And of course, entertainment discounts are not available at events such as charity functions.
Aspiring expatriates who know little Spanish standard to quickly learn the sentence:: Por favor, deme mi descuento de pensionado. Which mean "Please give me my retiree discount?"
The advantages are not automatic. For them, you have to ask, and some small companies even hesitate to grant them. It is also important to note that in the pension age (women over 55 and men over 60 years), you are eligible for most of these benefits anyway. So the choice is yours if you want to get through additional tries to jump the retiree visa, or just opt for another type of visa.
So we said that everything adds up. But how could you actually save with the visa benefits of retirees in a year? Here is a theoretical breakdown showing how a hypothetical couple can easily save $ 10,000. Whether it is a Pensionado visa or any of the many other Panama’s, you will surely find and get the right visa which suits you. Then your search starts today!
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