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Residence Requirements

If you are considering moving to Panama, you should contact an attorney (PDF - 69kb) to help you manage the transition.  The U.S. Embassy cannot provide advice on legal or residency requirements.

For information on how to apply for a “Retiree or Pensioner” Visa, please click here.

For information on other types of visas and residency, visit the National Migration Service, Panama Tramita or Panama’s Embassy in Washington. 


Dear Federal Retirees:

Panamanian authorities frequently ask for Embassy certifications in lieu of certifications from the Panamanian Consulate in the United States.  However, U.S. Consular regulations do not provide for Embassy certifications of retirement benefits.  They do permit formal affidavits sworn before Consular Officers.  As an accommodation to federal retirees, the Consular Section has prepared a standard affidavit form in Spanish and English because Panamanian authorities are more likely to accept documents if they are in a uniform format.  Consular regulations require a $50.00 non-refundable fee for affidavits.  The Consular Section cannot guarantee that the Panamanian authorities will accept any affidavit.

How to Complete a Standard Sworn Affidavit
To better serve our American citizen community in Panama, the U.S. Embassy’s American Citizen Services Unit uses an appointment system for notary services.  All individuals requiring notary services will need to make an appointment online. Be advised that an individual appointment should be made for each individual seeking a notary service.

Step 1: Obtain an Affidavit Form
You need to make an appointment online to obtain a form at the American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Consulate in Clayton, Building #783, and Cashier’s Window.  Office hours are 8:00 - 12:30 and 1:30 - 3:00 Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 8:00 - 12:00 Wednesday; and 8:00 - 10:00 Friday except Panamanian and U.S. Holidays.

Step 2: Gather Original Supporting Documents and a Photocopy of Each Document
Gather original copies of your supporting documents (passport or two forms of photo identification, your bank statement, and any other documentation showing monthly retirement income and its source (i.e. social security statement).  Make a photocopy of each document.

Step 3: Staple the Photocopies of Your Supporting Documents to Your Affidavit
The Consular Section will not accept the affidavit until the documents are attached.  If you do not bring your photocopies and do not wish to attach your originals, Consular regulations require us to charge $1.00 each for photocopies we have to make in connection with affidavits.

Step 4: Fill Out the Affidavit Completely
Write “N.A.” if the item does not apply to you.  NOT SIGN THE DOCUMENT.  You must wait to sign before the Consular Officer.  If any item is blank, Consular Officers will need to note this in the notary certificate, which could cause Panamanian authorities to reject the document.  Type or print the forms.  Panamanian authorities prefer typed forms over hand-written ones.  If hand-written, please print neatly.

Step 5: Return to Cashier’s Window in the Consular Section with:

  1. $50.00 (non-refundable);
  2. Your completed affidavit;
  3. Copies of your supporting documents stapled to your affidavit; and
  4. Your original supporting documents (including passport or two forms of photo ID)