Panamanian citizenship is acquired by birth, by naturalization or by Constitutional provision.
The following are Panamanian by birth:
- Those born in the National territory;
- The offspring of parents who are Panamanian by birth, born outside the territory of the Republic, provided they establish their domicile in the National territory;
- The offspring of parents who are Panamanian by naturalization, born outside the territory of the Republic, provided they establish their domicile in the Republic of Panama and state their desire to elect Panamanian citizenship, not later than one year after reaching legal age.
The following may request Panamanian citizenship by naturalization:
- Aliens with five years of continuous residence within the territory of the Republic, if, after having reached legal age, they declare their intention to become naturalized, expressly renounce their citizenship of origin or any other citizenship, and establish that they have a command of the Spanish language and an elementary knowledge of Panamanian geography, history and political organization;
- Aliens with three years of continuous residence within the territory of the Republic, who have children born on the national territory of Panamanian father or mother, or who have a spouse of Panamanian citizenship, provided they make the statement and submit the evidence to which the preceding section refers;
- Those nationals by birth, of Spain or any Latin American nation provided they fulfill the same requirements necessary in their country of origin for the naturalization of Panamanians.
Persons born abroad who before their seventh birthday were adopted by Panamanian nationals are Panamanians by virtue of the Constitution without need of a naturalization certificate. In this case nationality is acquired from the moment when the adoption is entered into the Panamanian Civil Register.
Regulations concerning naturalization shall be established by law. The State may refuse the request for a naturalization certificate for reasons of morality, security, health, and physical or mental impairment.
Panamanian nationality by origin or acquired by birth can not be lost, but express or implied renunciation of it, suspends citizenship.
Panamanian nationality derived from or acquired by naturalization shall be lost for the same reasons. There is express renunciation when the person states in writing to the Executive Authority that he/she desires to abandon Panamanian citizenship; and implied renunciation when the person acquires the citizenship of a foreign state, or enters the service of an enemy State.
Immigration shall be regulated by law, considering social, economic and demographic interests of the country.
Both nationals and aliens who are within the territory of the Republic shall be subject to the Constitution and the Law.
Panamanians by naturalization shall not be obliged to take up arms against the country of their birth.
If you believe that you are elegible for Panamanian nationality, please contact our team of legal professionas and translators in Panama.