Assessing Interest in Group Trip to Secure Panamanian Residency [Imminent Rules Change]

post by Josh Jacobson (joshjacobson) · 2021-06-03T21:51:10.580Z · LW · GW · 9 comments

I’ve previously outlined [LW · GW] many of the best options for securing a second residency, and some reasons you may want to do so [LW · GW].

Panama had one of the most unique, accessible, and attractive programs for doing so [LW · GW]. Unfortunately, this program’s rules will be changing on August 20th, becoming much more restrictive, to the extent that I likely would not have mentioned the program under the new rules.

I’m interested in putting together a trip for EAs and Rationalists interested in securing Panamanian permanent residency, and in 5 years potentially citizenship, under the existing rules. I believe that there are some significant benefits to securing second citizenship, and to doing so under the existing Panamanian rules, together.[1]

Currently, I’d like to assess interest for this trip before taking further action. I previously estimated the citizenship process to cost $2k-4.2k all-in[2] (not including flights or lodging). Other information, such as time investment needed and the feasibility of success on this tight timeline, I will work to further determine if there’s sufficient interest.[3]

If I put together a trip, I expect to engage a lawyer to lead us through the process, interface with that lawyer to provide clear step by step requirements to each person, coordinate so that there are some cost savings, and help secure flights and lodging.

If you have any interest in this potential trip to secure Panamanian residency, please fill out this brief linked Google Form.

Footnotes


  1. In particular, the cost per person will be lower if pursuing citizenship with someone else. ↩︎

  2. I will not be highly surprised if costs have risen due to an influx of interest prior to the rules changing. ↩︎

  3. I feel 90% confident that, on average, time investment per person will be less than 10 hours (at home) of pre-work, 8 hours in Panama actively doing things, and 10 days in Panama total (including e.g. waiting time during which work could be done remotely). There is significant possibility the time requirements are far below these (e.g. 3 hours of pre-work, 2 hours actively doing things in Panama, 3 days in-country). ↩︎

9 comments

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comment by symian · 2021-06-03T23:48:46.383Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

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Replies from: joshjacobson
comment by Josh Jacobson (joshjacobson) · 2021-06-03T23:57:10.280Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Sorry about that, and thanks for letting me know. This should now be resolved.

comment by ozziegooen · 2021-06-04T21:22:07.023Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

This sounds potentially extremely promising to me. It seems really nice to have some legitimate backups of residency, just in case various things turn bad. Thanks so much for work here.

Do you have any idea on how annoying being a dual resident would be? My impression is that it's fairly easy to revoke, and the forms would be fairly simple (after you have residency). If it were the case that it's a whole lot of extra tax work, that could be a significant downside.

Replies from: joshjacobson, ozziegooen, ozziegooen
comment by Josh Jacobson (joshjacobson) · 2021-06-06T16:58:43.020Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't think it'd be very annoying at all. If, for example, you weren't doing significant economic activity in Panama on an ongoing basis, your US taxes would be unaffected and you wouldn't need to file any taxes in Panama (pretty confident).

If you're aiming for citizenship like I would be, then the main work is:

  • The upfront time and monetary investment
  • Showing investment / interest in Panama and knowledge about it for the 5 year later evaluation (probably involves at least 2 more visits to Panama during that time)
  • Then renewing your passport every 5-10 years
comment by ozziegooen · 2021-06-04T21:45:11.117Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Another issue with Panama, long-term (I'd expect the main benefits to come 6 to 30 years from now), is climate change, perhaps with political stability. 

I couldn't find much on the topic in an incredibly limited search, but here's something: (though the source isn't great)
https://www.adaptation-fund.org/project/adapting-climate-change-integrated-water-management-panama/

Panama is considered a highly vulnerable country to climate change impacts. Panama experiences a series of extreme weather events including intense and protracted rainfalls, windstorms, floods, droughts, wildfires, earthquakes, landslides, tropical cyclones, tsunamis and ENSO/El Niño-La Niña events.

comment by ozziegooen · 2021-06-04T21:41:22.612Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I did a bit more investigation on this:

https://internationalman.com/articles/the-easiest-country-to-obtain-residency-panama/

The duel citizenship thing seems possibly messy. I imagine it's moreso for people outside of the U.S.

It is true that on paper Panama does not recognize dual citizenship and requires you to renounce your previous citizenship in order to be naturalized. However, this does not mean you have to really give up your existing citizenship.

The Panamanian nationality law requires an oath of renunciation of former citizenship as a condition of naturalization. However, currently the US court system interprets this oath as “non-meaningful” and therefore it will not result in the loss of US citizenship, unless the US citizen renounces their citizenship directly to the US State Department, which will then result in loss of US nationality.

That said, it is not necessary to renounce US citizenship to the US State Department to become naturalized in Panama.

Replies from: joshjacobson
comment by Josh Jacobson (joshjacobson) · 2021-06-06T17:12:31.985Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

FWIW, this, and similar practices that imply dual citizenship isn't allowed, anecdotally seem to be a very common (perhaps the standard) situation. For example, the US doesn't expressly allow dual citizenship, and there's language in multiple places about renouncing other citizenships, but I've seen estimates that ~5-10% of US citizens have another citizenship and multiple US Congressmen are public about having multiple citizenships as well. I haven't heard about any US enforcement against multiple citizenships.

Having looked into many citizenships and residency programs, this situation is common amongst a high percentage of them, and outside of a few rare country exceptions (not present here) everyone seems to move forward being dual citizens without issue despite this. I do wish laws were clear and explicit about these sort of things, and that there was express permission for multiple citizenship, but it does seem that for a long time across many (most?) international jurisdictions multiple citizenships have been and are allowed in practice, even when commonly 'officially' disallowed.

For example, I mentioned this in response to a comment about Netherlands citizenship on the original post: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/jHnFBHrwiNb5xvLBM/?commentId=psZcBFaZfQnzJDXeq [LW · GW]

I do think, however, moving forward on this does require some willingness to accept that in-practice behavior differs from what may be implied by a country's official regulation, and that isn't a fit for everyone. For what it's worth, to me, after learning quite a bit about this issue moving forward doesn't feel messy at all, but I certainly understand others feeling differently.

Replies from: ozziegooen
comment by ozziegooen · 2021-06-06T17:59:19.959Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

That's good to know, thanks!

comment by Jiro · 2021-06-07T22:48:32.455Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

If you propose a course of action which a normal person would find profoundly weird, I suggest that Chesterton's fence applies, and you figure out why a normal person would object it. Then articulate why it is usually beneficial to avoid such things, before you decide that this one time, the normal person is wrong and you really should go after the thing that he avoids.

And the answer is not going to be "because he's a normal person and so he keeps missing twenty dollar bills in the street".