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Why Panama?

Why Panama?
There are many reasons why Panama is quickly becoming the new premier emigration destination for South Africans.

Easy Permanent Residency
- There is no point system for Permanent Residency
- The Friendly Nations Visa is aimed at making immigration into Panama easy
- South Africa is on the Friendly Nations list
- No employment or investment required for Permanent Residency
- Cost of legal and immigration fees compare well to other countries
- Dependents can be added.

Strong Economy
Panama is the fastest growing economy in Central America, and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. They make use of the US Dollar as a currency alongside their own currency (Balboa). Mining, tourism, construction, farming and the service industry are all robustly growing sectors. Panama offer many tax advantages, with a 0% income tax levied for online work. Pensioner's discounts are offered to permanent residents of a certain age (men over 60, woman over 55) on health care, entertainment, public transport, restaurant meals, etc.

Great Infrastructure
All the elements of a great infrastructure is available and in good shape in Panama.

Internet – Almost all malls, hotels, guesthouses and public areas have free wi-fi. There are several high-speed internet providers in Panama. All the major underwater internet cables travel through Panama, so options are endless.
Roads – The Road Infrastructure in Panama is simple due to the geography of the country. The Pan American Highway runs East to West between Panama City and David, and kept in good condition. Secondary roads are well maintained, with most areas easily accessible by vehicle.
Shipping - The Panama Canal ensures Shipping is probably the best part of Panama infrastructure with 35 – 40 vessels crossing the canal daily. There are 2 big ports in Panama City and Colon.
Travel - International Flights are readily available to more than 160 destinations world-wide. There is an extensive Public Transport network in Panama that will allow you to get by without owning a vehicle. The reliable bus network is inexpensive to use, and from the main terminal at Albrook in Panama City runs across the whole country and even to Costa Rica. Panama City also has an extensive bus and underground system, apart from UBER and taxis.
Health Care – Public Hospitals, private hospitals, clinics, dentists and pharmacies are world-class in Panama. Their public hospitals are on par with private hospitals in SA.
Schools - English and private Schools are found in most areas in Panama, from Panama City to Coronado, Pedasi, Santiago, David and even Boquete.

Crime is statistically 96% less than in SA. Contact and violent crime is very infrequent, and are mostly isolated incidents between gang members in the drug trade. As an expat, you are very unlikely to ever experience any violent crime in Panama. High-jacking, kidnappings and smash-and-grab incidents are unheard of in Panama. Kids still play outside until dark, and woman walk around alone at night. Like all places on earth, crime does exists, and there are certain areas you should avoid if possible, but you will be safer in Panama than in most upmarket neighbourhoods in SA. Panama is also outside the Hurricane Belt, so there are no hurricanes and typhoons. Panama has never recorded a death due to a natural disaster. Some minor mud slides may occur in the rainy season that will call for a road clean-up, and near the western border you may experience some tremors from earthquakes in Costa Rica.

Politically stable
Panama has a strong multi-party democracy, with Laurentino "Nito" Cortizo from the Democratic Revolutionary Party as president. He won the 2019 election in a close race based on his campaign to root out all corruption and strengthen the Panama economy. Politicians are held responsible and accountable, as could be seen by the fact that the previous ruling party which was responsible for a corruption scandal only finished 4th in the 2019 election. Strategically important country due to the geographical location. The Panama Canal ensures stability both politically and economically

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