Work Permit in Panama: Requirements, How to Obtain it

Panama is known worldwide as being the perfect destination for businesses. Its privileged location, developing industries, business-friendly environment, as well as laws and regulations that promote foreign investments, attract people interested in expanding their companies to a new market.

However, Panama not only offers attractive benefits for companies but also offers opportunities for professionals and investors looking to start working there. In the last years, Panama has been promoting immigration and work for foreigners, as well as creating alliances with other neighboring countries to facilitate mobility in the region.

If you’re interested in moving to Panama to work, or already have a job proposal, you’re going to need a Work Visa or Work Permit.

On the other side, if you’re an Investor, you can easily apply to the Panama Qualified Investors Immigration Program, which grants permanent residency to you and your dependent family, also allowing them to work, study, and access Panamian facilities. Furthermore, also gives you the opportunity to obtain Citizenship after 5 years of continuous residence.

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What are the requirements to obtain a Work Permit in Panama?

To obtain a Work Permit or Work Visa in Panama, you’ll need to present these documents to the Ministry of Work and Labor. It is advised that you work closely with a local lawyer or attorney to guide you in the process and/or act on your behalf in case you’re not in Panama at the moment of the application.

  • You must have a valid passport with an expiration date no less than 6 months from the intended stay in Panama

  • A copy of your passport

  • Completed Visa Application Form

  • Four recent passport photos

  • A valid employment contract with a company in Panama

  • Letter of responsibility provided by the company hiring you

  • Documents with information about the accommodation in Panama

  • Depending on the job you’re being hired to do, you’ll need a Certificate of Studies or a Certificate of Professional Experience

Do I need to have a Resident Visa to be able to work?

Yes, you need to have a valid Residency Visa in Panama to obtain a Work Permit. This can either be temporary or permanent, depending on how long your work contract is for and how long you’re planning to stay in the country.

If you don’t have a Residency Visa you’ll have to apply for one. The process usually takes around 6 months to be completed. However, if you’re part of the “50 Panama-friendly nations” the process is faster and can take from 1 to 2 months.

How long is the Application Process?

If you already have a residency in Panama, the process to obtain a work permit must be done only at the Ministry of Work and Labor. However, if you don’t have a valid residency yet, you must apply for one at the National Immigration Service.

The application process to obtain a Work Permit in Panama can take from 1 to 3 months. Once approved, you will receive an Identification Card that proves you’re allowed to work in the country.

What is the Panama Qualified Investment Immigration Program?

The Panama Qualified Investment Immigration Visa is a program that allows applicants from all over the world to get fast access to permanent residency in Panama by investing in real estate, securities, or funds in Panama for a minimum period of 5 years. After this time, it is possible to apply for naturalization and obtain Panamanian citizenship. However, due to alliances, some Latin American countries can apply for citizenship after 3 years.


  • It gives you and your dependent family permanent residence in Panama

  • You can take your family with you as long as they financially depend on you: 1 spouse, 2 children under the age of 18 (unmarried), 3 children with ages between 18 and 25 years old (unmarried)

  • Opportunity to apply for Panamian citizenship after 5 years

  • You and your dependents will be able to work, live, and study in Panama. Additionally, you will have access to all the Panamian health and welfare services

Types of Investment

The applicant must choose one of the 3 types of investment in order to qualify for this type of Visa:

  • Real Estate: At least USD 300,000 (USD 500,000 since October 2022) in properties in Panama for a minimum of 5 years

  • Securities: A minimum investment of USD 500,000 in any kind of Panamian Securities (debt securities, equity securities, derivative securities, and hybrid securities) for at least a 5 year period

  • Bank deposit: A deposit of USD 750,000 in an approved bank in Panama for a minimum period of 5 years

Get Assistance from Easyco Experts!

Would you like assistance to obtain your Work Permit in Panama? Send us a message and we will send you all the information you need to know, as well as help and assess you. Easyco also provides additional services to guarantee your company’s compliance, which include:

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