Offshore Visas, Residency, Passports 

Obtaining an Offshore visa, a permanent residency or a second Passport 

We can provide a legal temporary and permanent residency  visa, in many  countries where we operate with our  lawyers and where we have local offices. We provide permanent residency in Panama, Permanent residency in Ecuador, Permanent Residency in Mexico, Permanent Residency in Colombia and Dominican Republic. Remember that for Mexico and Ecuador, you should start with a temporary residency that then will be converted int a permanent one. We also provide permanent residency in Paraguay. Here we will explain the main differences and why you should take a specific residency  instead of other.

How Obtain a Permanent  Residency Visa ? 

The residency requirements for tax purposes in your home country depend on your home country rules. In theory, though, all you should have to do is to establish legal residency in another country. That should eliminate any tax obligation in your home country—though there can be exceptions to this and, again, it depends on the country.

The country where you establish tax residency is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter where you establish your new residency for tax purposes. It’s all the same to your home country.

Panama only requires you to be in the country once every rolling two years to maintain your status once you’ve qualified for permanent residency (which is what is granted under the Specific Nations residency option).

Obtaining permanent residency in Belize requires spending a full year in the country and then applying, so that probably doesn't work for you.

Other practical considerations when choosing among the many available residency options are taxes (will you be liable for them in the country where you're thinking about becoming a resident?); required time in the country (Ecuador, for example, restricts the amount of time you can be outside Ecuador during your first two years of residency; you can't leave the country for more than 90 days per year for some specific visas); and ease of access (this is especially important if you intend to divide your time between or among more than one country).

If you're considering making a move overseas as a retiree, here are countries offering attractive pensioner residency options right now. In each case, I indicate the current minimum monthly income requirement to qualify:

  • Belize (US$2,000)

  • Colombia (US$803 at the current exchange rate)

  • Ecuador (US$800)

  • Panama (US$1,000)

If you're shopping backup residency country options... not planning to make a move imminently but wanting an escape hatch should you decide you need one... following are your best current options. The physical presence requirement for each of these countries is nominal:

  • Belize

  • Colombia

  • Panama

  • Uruguay

If you're hoping to acquire second citizenship and a second passport through residency, here are your best choices today:

  • Colombia

  • Paraguay

  • Portugal

  • Uruguay

These programs and options are not static; countries adjust immigration law all the time.

This is why we strongly recommend that, when you identify a residency visa that allows you to realize your objectives, act on it sooner rather than later.

Immediately, if possible.

The 4 Best Places To Get A Second Passport In 2020

How many countries the document allows you to travel to visa-free…

Residency requirements (both to earn the passport and to maintain it), language requirements, and whether or not the country allows dual citizenship…

As well as how long the naturalization and approval processes typically take… and what they entail. Some countries require you to pass history and geography tests in the local language…

And, finally, unless you're planning on giving up your current citizenship, make sure your targeted country for a second passport allows dual citizenship. Many still don't. Norway only recently passed a law allowing it, for example.

With all those parameters in mind, here are the four jurisdictions I recommend you consider if a second passport is on your 2020 to-do list. These are your best current options for second citizenship earned through residency:


Panama's Friendly Nations program makes it easy for a North American to qualify for permanent residency, and permanent residency is the key to the naturalization timeline in this country. That's when the five-year clock to your Panama passport starts ticking.

In addition, for your naturalization to be approved, you'll have to show a connection to the country. A vacation home that you visit every year could be enough to satisfy this requirement.

Panama requires you to pass a written test as part of the naturalization process, but attorneys in the country tell us that they have used the same multiple-choice test for years and they simply coach clients in memorizing the answers.

While Panama does allow for dual citizenship if you're born with more than one citizenship, they technically expect you to give up any previous citizenships once naturalized… at least according to most attorneys. However, Panama doesn't strictly enforce this even if the attorneys are correct. They don't require you to show a certificate of renunciation like Singapore does.

Panama's passport currently allows visa-free travel to 134 countries.

If you're interested in Panama residency or naturalization, act sooner rather than later. While the Friendly Nations program has been around for eight years, it is in place by presidential decree from two presidents ago. There is talk that the current president may cancel the program.


In Colombia you can apply for naturalization after five years of permanent residency.

Permanent residency in Colombia requires you to be in the country at least once every two years. However, to be granted citizenship, you'll need to show a connection to the country so plan on more time in-country than a visit every other year. That will also help you with your Spanish, which you'll need for the written and oral tests you'll need to pass.

Colombia allows for dual citizenship, and a Colombian passport allows you to travel visa-free to 129 countries.


Establishing residency in Uruguay is straightforward but requires more of a commitment to the country than is required by Colombia or Panama.

You'll be allowed to stay in the country as a temporary resident while your application is being processed. Figure up to a year before receiving permanent residency. However, the clock for the five years of residency required for naturalization starts when you receive your first temporary residency card.

Uruguay wants to see true connections to the country before granting citizenship. You'll need to show that you are really living there and not just passing through once in a while.

Uruguay allows dual citizenship, and a Uruguayan passport allows visa-free travel to 147 countries.

How to avoid the passports black market 

A passport doesn't necessarily mean citizenship.

You can obtain citizenship in another country through naturalization... and then, as a citizen, apply for a passport from that country. The other way around doesn't work.

Grey-market passports are typically real passports... maybe even issued directly from a country's passport office. However, they are issued under-the-table to non-citizens of that country. Maybe a grey passport will work as a travel document, depending where you want to go. It certainly won't work for travel in or out of the country the passport comes from. Because it's not an official passport. And you won't be able to renew it.
A black-market passport is a forged passport. Maybe it's a stolen passport reconfigured with a new photo. Maybe it's a passport blank that's been high-jacked during the shipping process. Whatever the origins, it's a completely illegal document that probably has been registered with the relevant authorities as missing. Try to use it for travel, and you're likely to get picked up and thrown in the slammer.
Despite the limited use and illegality of these types of passports, you find people selling them. And sometimes, unwittingly, some honest guy is bamboozled. He buys one of these black-market passports thinking he's found a fast-track citizenship option for a bargain price. Paying just US$17,000 for a Bulgarian passport may sound like a good deal... even too good to be true. And that's the point. There's no such thing as a legitimate US$17,000 passport.

If the price is too low, the document is not legit. You should take that for granted. To obtain a second citizenship legally requires being naturalized as a citizen of another country. No fast and cheap option exists. Fast (and legal) does exist, but it isn't cheap. The fast route would be through an economic citizenship program. Economic citizenships, however, aren't cheap. They'll cost you a minimum of six figures. Beware of anyone looking to sell you a passport or citizenship for less.
The not-so-quick (but much less costly) route to another citizenship is through legal residency in that country. The required residency period varies by country, but five years is typical. Once you've met the requisite time as a legal resident in the country, you can apply for naturalization. The naturalization process can take another two or three years, depending on the country.
Meantime, you want to make sure you understand any naturalization requirements beyond the residency requirement. In some countries, you'll have to take a test in the local language. That may require learning a few phrases just to get through the test, or it could necessitate becoming fairly fluent. Panama requires you to take a written test in Spanish to make sure you know some historical and cultural things about the country. Austria requires you to take a German proficiency test after three years of residency (seven years before you can even apply for citizenship).

In addition, some countries impose conscription requirements for all citizens, including newly naturalized ones. Talk about a hidden consequence (though only a concern if you fall within the conscription age range).

What is a Tax Residence Certificate 

Known as a tax residency certificate, that is issued by the Tax Authority of your choice, allows government entity companies and individuals to take advantage of agreements of double taxation avoidance.

The individual or company must either visit the ministry website or download the application to submit their documents. Once payment has been processed, a certificate will be issued within 3 working days. 

For a person to obtain a tax residency certificate, they must have been a resident in a Country for a minimum of 183 days.

For a company to obtain a tax residency certificate, they must have been operating in a country for a minimum of 1 year.( depend of the country , but generally is 1 year) Residency for tax purposes is a well-known concept for entrepreneurs . 

The Certificate of Tax Residence must be issued by the beneficial owner's tax authorities and include the following information:

  • The beneficial owner's full name, TIN, date of establishment (corporates) or date of birth (individuals) and address;

  • The validity period (dd/mm/yyyy –dd/mm/yyyy)
     All issuers are requesting the Certificate of Tax Residence with clear validity period details. Therefore, if a local tax authority does not issue a Certificate of Tax Residence with the above format, then the certificate must as a minimum state “for the year YYYY”.

  • A validity period dated in the current year will not be accepted for payments in the following year.

  • The Certificate of Tax Residency  must be dated in the same year that the dividend is paid but before the first relevant dividend payment date.

Contact Us

Panama : MMG tower floor 30 ,Costa del  Este , Ciudad de Panama, Panama Republic, 0816 .

Ecuador : Guayaquil , Puerto Santa Ana, Edif. The Point. Floor 1

Mexico:Ciudad de Mexico, Polanco CDMX .


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

© 2023 OVS, Offshore  Visa Services, the Legal Offshore Platform for your internazionalization

Erick Stuart
Calle 50 TowerBank
Ciudad de Panama , Panama/Panama , 0816 Panama
Law Office, Offshore Services, Offshore Bank Account, Offshore Company Incorporation,

This hCard created with the hCard creator.