Ministry of Labor releases

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Work permit requirements

By Staff at Panama Offshore Legal Services

E-Mail: Phone: (507) 227 – 6645

Panama has created several new immigration visas over the past year allowing foreigners to relocate their families and obtain work permits. Only recently has the Ministry of Labor issued rules and regulations specifying the requirements to obtain a work permit.

For professionals

One intriguing immigration residency program involves foreign “professionals” who can be hired by a Panama company to work in a “professional capacity.” The following documents will be required to obtain a work permit using this program:

1. Power of attorney appointing a Panama lawyer to act on the applicant’s behalf;

2. A certificate from the Immigration agency stating the applicant has been approved as a “professional;”

3. A notarized copy of the identity card (carnet) issued by immigration for permanent residency;

4. Copy of the professional’s university diploma, professional license, or doctorate degree. These must be authenticated by the issuing country’s State Department or Apostilled (internationally recognized stamp); and

5. Four photos of the applicant with name printed on the back.

For citizens of friendly nations

Another popular immigration residency program is the Friendly Nations Visa whereby these citizens can apply for permanent residency leading to full citizenship. It lists 48 countries which “maintain friendly, professional, economic, and investment relationships with the Republic of Panama.” A big difference from all of the other immigration visas is that the Friendly Nations Visa has a lower solvency requirement. An applicant needs to only show ownership of $5,000 USD while other immigration visas offering permanent residency require from $80,000 USD (Reforestation Visa) to $300,000 USD (Self Economic Solvency Visa) investment. The Pensioner (Pensionado) Visa requires proof of a lifetime monthly income of $1,000 USD.

Since immigration and the Ministry of Labor require using a Panama lawyer, find one who knows both immigration and labor laws.


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