More and more people around the world are turning to their “Plan B,” as economic and social situations deteriorate in their home country. To many, Panama offers the perfect alternative, the Plan B that checks all the boxes, including one of the most popular “Golden Visa” programs in the world.
Panama led the world in visa application approvals in 2021, according to an analysis by Investment Migration Insider. A total of 4,659 visa applications were approved in Panama in 2021, which surpassed Australia and Spain, the runners-up in the Golden Visa race, the site found.
The two-year-old Red Carpet Visa, Panama’s version of the Golden Visa, offers a quick path to residency for foreign citizens willing to make an investment in the country. Under terms of the program, an investment of $500,000 qualifies the buyer for permanent residency status.
So far, the visa has been a big hit. It’s easy to apply and provides an important perk for people who are looking to set up their Plan B in a stable country, far removed from the turmoil in other parts of the world.
The data from IMI supports that idea. Panama has more than a dozen investment-based visa categories, which may skew the data. But the generous visa offerings also help explain why Panama is known as such a welcoming country, including one of the most generous retirement visa programs in the world.
Investment-based visas are having far less of an impact in countries like Portugal, Greece, and Malta, where the process to obtain a residency visa can be long and cumbersome, the study found. In contrast, Panama’s Red Carpet Visa program is extremely simple. Most of the paperwork can be handled from overseas. The initial process should take no more than 30 days, with the department of commerce handling applications, not the immigration department.
For anybody considering a Plan B, the promise of less paperwork is welcome news. Panama is the option that offers all the benefits, without any of the hassles, in one of the most beautiful tropical destinations in the world.
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