Permanent residency with Panama’s Reforestation Residency Visa
Flags Foreign investors willing to invest a modest amount in Panama
teak forests can qualify for permanent residency and future citizenship.
Dateline: Panama City, Panama Panama has become one of the world’s best
countries for obtaining second residency and second citizenship. In
many ways, the country offers incredible personal and monetary freedom
for foreigners who wish to move their money to the country. And if
you’re looking for a high-quality citizenship that only takes five years
to get, Panama is an excellent choice. As a well-respected country, the
Panamanian passport is among the 25 best passports on earth, allowing
visa-free travel to almost all of Europe as well as the entire Americas
south of the United States. Whether you’re looking to retire to Panama
with a permanent resident visa that allows you to live there full-time,
or you are seeking Panamanian citizenship, there are several good
options to consider. One is the Friendly Nations visa, which allows
nationals of some 50 countries (mostly Western countries like the United
States) to get instant permanent residence in Panama by depositing
$5,000 in a bank account and obtaining on “economic tie” like a Panama
company. However, this program is not open to citizens of Asian, or even
many other American countries. It also requires you to set up an
offshore company, which is an excellent option if you have a business,
but may not be necessary if all you want is residency that leads to
citizenship. There is another way to get residency in Panama that also
allows you the potential to earn double- digit returns as a long-term
investor. By investing in hardwood forests through Panama’s
Reforestation Residency Visa, anyone can take advantage of an instant
permanent residency and path to citizenship, even if they are from
countries deemed “less desirable” by the government for immigration.
Investing in hardwood forests has traditionally been the domain of
wealthy Europeans who would buy up huge tracts of land and hold them as a
managed investment that almost never went down. Now, however, anyone
can buy plots ranging from 0.25 to 12.5 acres or more and have their
part of the plantation managed. It’s all part of Panama’s goal to be an
eco-friendly nation and reforest lands previously logged or used as
cattle grazing land. The key thing to look for in a reforestation
investment is that you own the land your trees are planted on.

Don’t fall for scams that promise royalties or the right to plant your own trees.

These timber visas are simple and have two contracts per
transaction. The first transaction is to purchase the land, the second
is a timber management contract. You need both unless you want to be
tending to your own teak or mahogany trees. Residency options with
Panama reforestation and timber investments.

1. Low-cost Panama teak residency investment for Westerners In one
version, those who qualify for a Friendly Nations visa can invest as
little as $18,000 in a quarter-acre teak plantation expected to yield
returns in approximately 10-12 years. You must be the citizen of a
Western country to qualify. Returns for this low-priced investment are
lower at around 8%, considering the costs involved with subdividing and
managing such a small tract. 2. More profitable Panama residency for
everyone No matter where in the world you hail from, you can obtain
instant permanent residence in Panama by investing at least $80,000 into
a hardwood plantation. Panamanian law grants reforestation visas to
anyone who can pass a background check and show ownership of at least
five hectares (12.4 acres) of forested land held in their name or in the
name of a Panama corporation of which they are the majority
shareholder. I have had several meetings with our lawyers in Panama who
tell me anyone can come to Panama. If you are from a country that does
not allow visa- free access into the country, you will need a visa
first, which will delay the process a bit, but you will have equal
status with Western immigrant investors once you arrive. Benefits of
investing in teak While the reforestation visa allows for any hardwood
forestry investment, teak is the most common one offered. Reforestation
of teak is important to Panama’s sustained resource use as soil erosion
and ranching projects have decimated the country’s forests. Teak grows
quickly and easily in tropical areas like Panama and allows for trimming
throughout the growth cycle, meaning you can obtain profits without
waiting 25-40 years, as would be the case in cooler climates. Teak also
comes with benefits in Panama. It is tax- exempt and enjoys special free
trade benefits with the United States. Teak and mahogany are the best
woods for investment and have historically returned 11-15% per year as
part of a long-term investment that doesn’t require immediate return of
capital. Under Panama’s forestry visa, all hardwood harvested is exempt
from export, capital gains and real estate taxes for the first 25 years.
You also enjoy special tax deductions if you have a tax liability in
Panama (which most Nomad Capitalist expats won’t). You do have to be
careful. There are plenty of Panama teak plantation scams that have
targeted investors over the years. One program even had ties with the
mafia and was suspended from doing business in Europe. As always, the
people you know are even more important than the knowledge you have. If
you are interested in this opportunity, Nomad…