According to Panama's Constitution, citizenship is acquired by birth, by constitutional provision or by naturalisation.
As set down in Article 9 of the Constitution, those born in the national territory are Panamanian by birth, as well as the domiciled offspring of parents who are Panamanian by birth and born outside Panama. The offspring of parents who are Panamanian by naturalisation, born outside the country, are also entitled to Panamanian citizenship, 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.
By virtue of Article 11 of the Constitution, persons who are born abroad and adopted by Panamanian nationals before their seventh birthday, would also automatically acquire Panamanian citizenship.
The following may request Panamanian citizenship by naturalisation: foreigners with five years of continuous residence within the territory of the Republic; foreigners with three years of continuous residence within the territory of the Republic, who have children born on the national territory to a Panamanian father or mother, or who have a spouse of Panamanian citizenship; and those nationals by birth, of Spain or any Latin American nation provided they fulfil the same requirements necessary in their country of origin for the naturalisation of Panamanians.
Those listed above have to declare their intention to become naturalised, 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 organisation.
While Panamanian nationality law requires an oath of renunciation of the former citizenship as a condition of request Panamanian citizenship by naturalisation, there is no obligation to register the citizenship in the applicant’s country of origin. This oath will therefore not result in the loss of original citizenship, unless the applicant renounces the citizenship directly in the foreign country in question.
Panamanian nationals who acquire a foreign citizenship, however, are subject to implied renunciation of the Panamanian citizenship under Article 13 of the law.