ARTICLES

Complete Guide to Obtaining a Work Permit in Panama

  • July 23rd, 2022
Category: Commentary
Services: Immigration

In addition to choosing Panama as a vacation destination, many foreigners are looking to move to Panama and obtain a work permit. There are multiple options available to apply for one, including being employed by a Panamanian company or even starting your own business.

In Panama, all work permit applications go through the Ministry of Labor which will review and determine if an application is approved.

Types of Work Permits in Panama

Professional Foreigner:

Granted for a term of two (2) years and renewed for a term of three (3) years, renewable for the same term.


Diplomatic Personnel:

Granted for a term of one (1) year, renewable for the same term.


Permanent Resident:

Granted for a term of three (3) years, renewable for the same term.


Temporary Work Permit:

Processes the hiring of foreigners whose stay in the country does not exceed three months.


Friendly Nations Visa:

The work permit issued will be granted on a provisional basis for three (3) years, extendable for the same term.


Humanitarian:

Granted for a term of two (2) years, extendable for the same term.


Refugee:

Granted the first and second time for a term of one (1) year, extendable for the same term.


Family Regrouping:

Granted for a term of one year, extendable for the same term.


Panamanian Marriage:

Granted for a term of two (2) years the first time and renewed for a term of three (3) years, renewable for the same term.


Affiliation with City of Knowledge

Granted for a term of one (1) year, renewable for the same term.


Indefinite:

Granted indefinitely, provided he/she has resided in the country for a term of ten (10) years or more.


Within 10% of Personnel:

Granted for a term of two (2) years, extendable for the same term.

Work Permit Requirements

Requirements vary depending on the form you choose to obtain the work permit. However, these are some of the most common requirements:

  • Power of attorney and memorial of application for work permit filed by an attorney.
  • Five passport-size photos.
  • In the case of people applying as permanent residents or under the Friendly Nations Visa, immigration status and certification of the cédula before the Electoral Tribunal is required (permanent resident). In the case of Friendly Nations Visa applicants, an authenticated copy of the resolution issued by Immigration where residency is granted is required.
  • Letter of responsibility issued by the Panamanian employer, depending on the case.

Application Process

At Kraemer & Kraemer we process work permit applications in two cities; David and Panama City. In the case of processing the application in:

David:

  • No prior registration in the Ministry of Labor system is required.
  • Waiting time for resolution takes approximately 6 months.
  • An additional waiting period of 2-3 months (approximately) once the resolution is approved to obtain the work permit ID, as the resolution must be sent to Panama City to issue the work permit ID.

Panama City:

  • Physical presence is required for pre-registration in the Ministry of Labor system.
  • Waiting time for the resolution takes approximately 4-5 months.
  • Once the resolution is issued, physical presence is required to take a photo and then the work permit is issued.

Contact us

At Kraemer & Kraemer we have a team of experts who can facilitate the application process. Send us a note at info@kraemerlaw.com to help you get the process started.