Below you will find answers to some of your initial questions regarding property purchase in Panama.
Can foreign nationals own property in Panama?
Yes, foreigners can own freehold title for the vast majority of land and property purchases in Panama. The purchase procedure is akin to the Continental European style system, making it an all the more attractive option for foreigners.
Why should I choose Panama?
There are a multitude of answers to this question, depending on exactly what you are looking to benefit from in Panama. It could be the highly favourable Panamanian tax regime, paradisiacal tropical natural beauty, or even a profitable business or retirement decision. Whatever your motive, Panama is a well-served, modern location and suits the criteria of many international investors and homebuyers alike.
What is the economic and political situation?
In terms of rankings, Panama breaks records in Latin America, for example: it is the fastest growing tourism market (World Tourism Organisation); fastest growing economy (International Monetary Fund); third (after Chile and Mexico) for economic competitiveness; largest number of international bank offices; largest shipping registry and second largest free-trade zone in the world, after Hong Kong.
Furthermore, Panama has become a regional hub for major international enterprises such as Dell and DHL, while others such as Hewlett-Packard and Caterpillar are soon to follow suit. All will benefit from the valuable income tax exemptions of Panama’s Law 41.
Political Risk Services (PRS) placed Panama in the top three countries of its hemisphere with the best risk-investment qualifications. Moody's and Standard & Poors have both granted high ranking to Panamanian bonds.
How do I travel to Panama?
You can enter Panama via any of its five international airports, but the main one is Tocumen Airport, located along a modern highway (Southern Corridor) and only 15 minutes drive from Panama City centre. Marcos A. Gelabert is an alternative airport, also located near the capital city and it handles national and international flights.
At present direct flights are not yet available to Panama from Europe and the USA, but from 30th March 2008, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is launching three direct flights per week from Amsterdam Airport (Schipol) to Tocumen Airport.
A number of airlines currently make connections to Panama:
American Airlines –direct flights from Miami with connections from Italy, UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain and Japan
Delta Airlines –direct flights from various North American cities and connections from Italy, UK, Germany, France, Belgium and Spain
Iberia Airlines –direct flights from New York and Miami with connections from Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Holland, UK and France
KLM, Iberia and American Airlines – connections from London Heathrow
Continental Airlines – from Gatwick via Newark, New Jersey
Delta Airlines - via Cincinnati
Virgin Atlantic - via JFK Airport
British Airways - via Atlanta Airport
Is a visa required to enter Panama?
A visa is not required if you hold a passport from the following countries:
Argentina, Slovenia, Latvia, Republic of Korea, Andorra, Estonia, Letonia, San Marino, Austria, Finland, Lichtenstein, South Korea, Belgium, France, Lithuania, Singapore, Bolivia, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Brazil, Greece, Malta, Sweden, Chile, Great Britain, Monaco, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Netherlands, The Uruguay, Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Vatican City, Cyprus, Hungary, Norway, Czech Republic, Iceland, Paraguay, Denmark, Israel, Poland, El Salvador, Ireland, Portugal, Slovakia, Italy.
Tourist cards, normally to be filled out on the flight or upon arrival, are required from the following nationals: Antigua & Barbuda, Curacao, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Japan, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, Bahamas, Dominica, New Zealand, Thailand, Barbados, Grenada San Cristobal & Nevis, United States of America, Belize, Guyana, Saint Vincent & Grenadines, Bermuda, Saint Lucia, Venezuela. It is best to apply to your nearest Consulate for details as prices and conditions vary according to country.
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