A noncommercial collection of information about citizenship, dual citizenship and multiple citizenship

[Please refer to How to Read a Country Entry for help interpreting this material. It was produced prior to March 2001 as part of a US government report entitled Citizenship Laws of the World. The accuracy and depth of these country listings varies significantly, and some information may be incorrect. At best, this page presents only part of the story for a particular country. Additional information for this country may be available in Country Information]


CITIZENSHIP: Citizenship regulations are outlined in the Panamanian Constitution.

BY BIRTH: Child born within the territory of the Republic of Panama, regardless of the nationality of the parents.

BY DESCENT: (Citizenship by descent is contingent upon person having established residency in Panama, either through parents or self.) Child born abroad, one of whose parents is a Panamanian by birth. Child born abroad, one of whose parents is a Panamanian by naturalization. Child must declare their intention to elect Panamanian nationality no later than one year after reaching age 18.

BY NATURALIZATION: Panamanian citizenship may be acquired upon fulfillment of the following conditions: Person has lived in Panama for at least five years, has a command of the Spanish language, is knowledgeable of Panamanian history, and has renounced their previous citizenship.

Child under age seven, born abroad and adopted by Panamanian nationals, does not need naturalization certification. Child, however, must declare their intention to elect Panamanian nationality not more than one year after reaching age 18

Nationals by birth of Spain, or of any Latin American state, become citizens of Panama under different conditions. Rather than follow the general requirements, the petitioner is instead obligated to fulfill the same conditions that would apply to a Panamanian national wishing to seek citizenship in the petitioner's country of origin.

DUAL CITIZENSHIP: NOT RECOGNIZED. Exception: A child born abroad to Panamanian parents, who obtains citizenship of country of birth, may retain it until reaching the age of majority (18). Person must then decide which citizenship they wish to retain.


VOLUNTARY: Letters of renunciation should be presented personally or by representative to the Ministry of Government and Justice.

INVOLUNTARY: The following are grounds for involuntary loss of Panamanian citizenship: Person voluntarily acquires foreign citizenship. Person enters the service of an enemy state.

ANY QUESTIONS concerning citizenship, or requests for renunciation of citizenship, should be directed to the address below:

Embassy of the Republic of Panama Consular Section 2862 McGill Terr., NW Washington, DC 20008

Embassy/Consular Telephone: 202-483-1407 Fax: 202-483-8413


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