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Moving To Panama FAQs


Moving to Panama Frequently Asked Questions!

If any of your questions are not listed in this page, give us a call at (251) 281-0783 and we will help you clear up any questions.

What are the visa requirements for entry to Panama?

Citizens from the US, Canada and the European Union can stay 180 days on their tourist visa. You get that visa automatically when you go thru Panamanian immigration. After 180 days, you must exit the country for 30 days before reentering.

For a permanent residency, there are several options. If you can prove a lifetime minimum of $1000.00 in monthly income from overseas, you can get a Retirement (pensionado) visa regardless of your age.

There’s also a visa for those who want to start a business in Panama. Only $5000.00 in a Panamamian bank is necessary.

A visa can also be granted for persons who purchase a home, mortgage free for $200,000, a Reforestation Visa which requires a $40,000 investment in a reforestation project and an Investors visa which requires you deposit $300,000 in a bank account.

After 3 years of any of these visas, you can apply for permanent residency. Your spouse and underage children dependents are eligible for a residential visa under your visa.

We recommend consulting with a reputable lawyer to understand the details of these laws and visa requirements.

How can I ship my car and household goods?

A good moving company is key. Many people can put all their household goods and even their car in one 40 foot container. The container can be loaded right in front of your house in the States and brought to the front of your house in Panama. As an alternative, a single family home can usually fit most items in a 20 foot container. A family head must have begun his residency process before being allowed to import personal effects into the country.

There are no import taxes on importation of your household goods. You are allowed to bring up to $10,000.00 worth of household goods, including one vehicle, completely tax free.

For your car, it can be put in your container or shipped separately. Whether you are a Retiree or not, taxes will apply for your car.

Mexico Moving Company can help arrange door to door shipping for your items. Fill out our contact us form for more information.

Is there anything that I am not allowed to ship in my container?

You are not allowed to import any type of plants, fruits or meats. Weapons including firearms and ammunition are not allowed as well as any narcotics (even prescribed) or alcohol, including wine. You also cannot import any new electronics.

What are the requirements to ship personal effects?

You must have the following:

  • Valid Passport
  • Residency Visa or copy of a visa application and a letter from a Panamanian lawyer confirming that the visa application is in process
  • Detailed inventory of everything that you are shipping into Panama (English or Spanish is ok)
  • You must be present at the time of customs clearance

Will my good be insured?

Yes! We will help insure your precious goods. As a supplement we always suggest a third party insurer to provide additional protection. Contact us for more information.

Are there stores that sell home repair items and tools?

Do-it Center and Novey Center are the most popular stores for do-it-yourself needs.

Grocery Stores

Panama has a host of very good supermarkets. Riba Smith, El Rey, Super 99 and Xtra are very similar to an American super market. Riba Smith with 4 stores, all in Panama City, is popular with Americans because it has the most American brands and specialty items. El Rey has stores in almost every neighborhood in the city, as well as in Coronado and David. Super 99 and Xtra are the least expensive.

Can I safely send and receive mail in Panama?

The Panamanian mail system is not reliable. There are two excellent companies dedicated receiving and sending your mail as well as bringing stuff you have ordered over the internet etc: Air Box Express and Mail Boxes Etc. Airbox Express delivers your mail and packages directly to your home. Mail Boxes receives them at the offices where you can go pick them up. They’ll give your own PO Box address in Miami where you can have things sent to and they’ll bring your mail from Miami to Panama for a starting fee of about $25 a month. These mail services are invaluable for life in Panama. For more info see Air Box Express.

How can I get around Panama City and get all the things I need?

To be honest – Panama City traffic is chaotic and not easy to get around by car. You can hire a taxi driver to take you around. For stress-free and fun shopping, if you can, we recommend you hire a personal driver with fluent English. Uber is the best way to go – it’s by far the cheapest and easiest way to get around.

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    Mexico Moving Companyis the only company I would recommend for shipping your most precious household and personal items. Their door -to -door service is seamless. I am sure they have spent many years accumulating the contacts and developing the partners...


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    Mexico Moving Companyhelped us move our belongings from the US to Panama. We had the boxes ready for pickup in a storage unit but had already left for our next destination. Not only did they pick up our belongings on time, but they were also in constant...


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    I must admit I was nervous about using this smaller, family-run specialty company, but I chose to trust the referrals from others who had a great experience. The real trust kicked in after speaking with Ron. He made me feel safe and secure. It was clear...



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    The most proactive thing you can do to protect your rights, especially to protect yourself from self-incrimination or a false confession, is to hire an experienced attorney, particularly one with a lighter caseload than an overburdened public defender.


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Our moving services to Panama and Mexico handle everything so you don’t have to. As many have already found, you too may be surprised at how affordable it can be compared to going through so much trouble yourself. We have more than 10 years experience helping families and retired couples move to these beautiful international destinations.