“Kathleen, your ‘That’s Spanish For Cocaine’ article was too funny.
“I was just in Colombia last week in Bogota, and, given my poor excuse for Spanish, when I was asked what I wanted to drink at lunch, I unknowingly said, ‘Coca, por favor,’ thinking that would work to get a Coke.
“Well, everyone smiled and then politely said they didn’t have any cocaine.
–Cliff A., United States
“Kathleen, I’m signing up for your Panama Letter, and I have a question. How long does it take to get a residency visa in Panama, and how many years will it take to get a citizenship after that? Also, would I be allowed to have my 70+ mother (with her own income and who has a healthy lifestyle) accompany me?”
–Kashif S., United States
Panama’s Specific Countries visa processes in four to six months, in theory, though it can take longer due to a backlog at immigration. This residency visa can lead to citizenship.
The pensionado visa processes faster but doesn’t lead to citizenship.
You probably could establish residency for your mother as a dependent on your visa. Otherwise, she could apply for Panama’s pensionado visa if she has US$1,000 or more per month in Social Security income.
In either case, once you’ve applied for the visa, you’re able to stay in the country until final approval has been processed.