- Easy Residency: If you have a South African passport, you can get a Friendly Nations Visa. This is a permanent visa that can typically be issued in less than six months. Plus, you can stay in Panama while your visa is in process. Once you get your Friendly Nations Visa, you can also get a work permit. We have a great attorney to recommend to help you with this. Contact us to learn more.
- Great Financial Opportunity: Panama has a strong economy, and a large number of Multinational companies have their Latin American headquarters here. Companies such as Nestle, Dell, Proctor & Gamble, and Adidas all have a large presence in Panama. But even better, Panama is ripe for entrepreneurs. It’s like being in America 50 years ago. If you have a great idea and are willing to work hard, chances are good that you’ll be successful.
- Low Cost of Living: Often times South Africans choose Australia, the UK, or the US. But Panama makes more financial sense. The currency is based on the US dollar, but the actual cost of living is about half of what is is in the US, and a fraction of what it is in the UK. You can live a better quality of life for less.
- Thriving International Community: One of the most important things when moving to a new area is the friends you will make. Panama City is very international, which means you will meet other expats from around the world. There are a lot of American expats in Panama (including the writer of this blog), but you'll also meet people from Europe, South America, as well as a lot of other South Africans.
- Good Schools: When it comes to education, Panama has a lot of choices. There are both public and private schools, and in the private school arena, there are a variety of international schools based on language, religion, heritage, and more.
- No Tax on Foreign Earned Income. As a South African citizen and Panama resident, you will only pay taxes here on income that you earn in Panama. That means the money that you bring into Panama is not taxed, nor is the money you earn outside of Panama.
- No Tax on Interest Earned in Panama Banks. You know what this means... more money in your pocket.
- Affordable Beachfront Real Estate. Panama has 2,490 kilometers (1,547 miles) of coastline. But the best property in the country is the luxury apartment tower called Casa Bonita, located in a resort community less than 15 minutes from the heart of Panama City. Similar to resorts on Mauritius Island, the Playa Bonita Resort features a Westin Hotel with restaurants and five swimming pools. As an apartment owner, you'll have the opportunity to become a member of the Pearl Club, a private beach club just steps from the Pacific Ocean. Apartments start at just $300,000 USD for 103 m2, but you can get penthouses up to 389 m2 if you need more room to fit your lifestyle. Click here to see a video of Casa Bonita and the fabulous resort lifestyle you could live. It is near enough to Panama City for easy shopping or dinner reservations, yet it's out of the congestion and traffic of the city.
- Low Crime Rate. Panama has low unemployment and strong drug laws. This translates into one of the lowest crime rates in Latin America, a welcome change for anyone who has ever had to worry about their safety.
- Discounts for Pensioners. If you are retired and receive a minimum of $1,000 per month in government or private pension funds (plus $250 extra for each dependent), you can qualify for the Pensioner Visa. Although this visa does not allow you to work, you will get discounts on things like restaurants, electricity, flights originating in Panama, and even movie theater tickets.
As you can see, there are some great reasons to consider Panama. If you’d like to receive more information about Panama, just request my book, Panama Uncorked. I’d be happy to send it to you.
We also offer customized relocation tours where you can see the options for renting and purchasing in Panama City or nearby Coronado. Contact Melissa to learn more. I'd be happy to setup a time to chat on Skype.