Work Permit in Panama

Do you want to work in Panama? Then you’re going to need a work permit! This is a mandatory requirement for anyone who wants to work in the country, whether temporarily or permanently. But who can apply for a work permit in Panama? What are the requirements? What is the process like? Read on because we’ll tell you everything you need to know about it.

What is a work permit?

In general terms, a work permit is a document that authorizes a foreign person to legally work in a particular country for a specified period of time. It’s important to note that the work permit in Panama may have restrictions regarding the type of work that can be performed and a specific duration depending on the type of permit obtained. Therefore, each permit should be thoroughly evaluated to apply for the one that is most suitable for the applicant.

Options to obtain a work permit

In Panama, there are around 18 different options through which a person can obtain a work permit. Below, we will outline each work permit in Panama and its requirements. Join us!

Work Permit (Executive of the Free Trade Zone of Colon under Executive Decree No. 17 of 1999)

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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Employment contract (original).

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Certification issued by the Free Trade Zone of Colon.

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Certificate issued by the General Directorate of Public Registry (original).

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Certificate issued by the National Immigration Service verifying the applicant's immigration status (must include stamps).

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Legible photocopy of the migration card or, alternatively, a photocopy of the applicant's personal identification card (authenticated).

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Legible photocopy of the passport (valid).

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4 passport-size photos.

Opciones para obtener un permiso de trabajo
Permiso de Trabajo (Indefinido para residentes con más de 10 años en el país)

Work Permit (Professional Foreigners)

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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Certificate issued by the National Immigration Service verifying the applicant's immigration status (must include stamps).

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Authenticated copy of the approved card (or in process) issued by the National Immigration Service, or a copy of the permanent residence card endorsed by the National Identification Directorate.

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Copy of the university diploma or degree (notarized). For bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees, they must be duly apostilled or legalized.

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4 passport-size photos.

Work Permit (Diplomatic Personnel)

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Letter signed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIRE) formally requesting the work permit for the employee.

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Certification from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (General Directorate of Protocol) certifying the diplomatic dependent status.

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Photocopy of the identification document issued by MIRE.

Work Permit (Permanent Resident)

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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Certificate issued by the National Immigration Service verifying the applicant's immigration status (must include stamps).

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Copy of the Resident Card duly authenticated by the National Identification Directorate.

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4 passport-size photos.

Want to work in Panama legally and securely?

Contact us, and we will help you obtain the work permit you need quickly and hassle-free!

Work Permit (Temporary)

This type of permit applies to temporary foreign workers, experts and technicians within the fifteen percent of specialized personnel, foreign artists, and alternadoras (dancers).

The temporary foreign expert or technician worker must submit:

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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Employment contract, including the start and end dates of the 3-month validity of the permit.

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Employer's Operation Notice.

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Original Public Registry Certificate of the employer or employing company.

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Copy of the passport displaying the applicant's general information.

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Adequacy of the worker (if technical) duly apostilled.

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Apostilled reference letters from previous jobs proving the applicant's experience.

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Valid health certificate.

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2 passport-sized photos.

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Payroll of the employing company and proof of payment to the CSS.

Permiso de Trabajo (Empresas afiliadas a la Ciudad del Saber)

For foreign artists, the requirements are as follows:

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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Operation Notice certifying that the company is dedicated to the presentation of international artists.

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Certificate of Public Registry of the company responsible for the artist.

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Photocopy of the legal representative's ID card.

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Original and 5 copies of the international contract.

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Legible photocopy of the artist's passport.

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Artists' affiliation.

To obtain a work permit as a dancer or entertainer, the following documentation must be submitted:

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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Original contract and 3 copies of the same.

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Recent HIV test.

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Updated general medical examination.

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Payment of the MEF tax.

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Passport-sized photograph.

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Legible copy of the passport.

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Legible copy of the National Immigration Service card.

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Clinic control.

Work Permit (Friendly Countries)

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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Photocopy of the resolution issued by the National Immigration Service (authenticated).

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Certificate issued by the National Immigration Service validating the applicant's immigration status (must include stamps).

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Notarized copy of the approved card (or in process) issued by the National Immigration Service, or alternatively, a copy of the permanent residence card authenticated by the National Identification Directorate.

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4 passport-sized photos.

Permiso de Trabajo (Por razones humanitarias, Crisol de Razas)

Work Permit (Humanitarian Reasons, Crisol de Razas)

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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Original or authenticated copy by Immigration of the resolution issued by the National Immigration Service, granting the foreigner their permit.

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Notarized copy of the card issued by the National Immigration Service, certifying the permit.

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Certificate issued by the National Immigration Service validating the applicant's immigration status (must include stamps).

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4 passport-sized photos.

Don't risk your immigration status and future employment in Panama

Obtain your work permit with PGS Legal and comply with all legal requirements!

Work Permit (Refugees, Law No. 74 Executive Decree No. 17 of 1999)

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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Copy (duly authenticated) of the Resolution issued by ONPAR, recognizing the applicant under refugee status.

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Certification issued by ONPAR demonstrating the applicant's refugee status.

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Certificate issued by the National Immigration Service explaining the applicant's immigration status.

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Copy of the migration and naturalization card.

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4 passport-sized photos.

Permiso de Trabajo (Cónyuge de Nacionalidad Panameña)

Work Permit (Family Reunification)

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ower of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Certificate issued by the National Immigration Service validating the applicant's immigration status (must include stamps).

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Authenticated copy by a Notary Public of the card issued by the National Immigration Service, granting the Permanent Resident Permit to the applicant.

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Birth certificate(s) of Panamanian child(ren) issued by the National Civil Registry.

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Sworn statement of the father or mother of the minor as a responsible parent (notarized).

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4 passport-sized photos.

Work Permit (Spouse of Panamanian Nationality)

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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Original marriage certificate, issued no more than 2 months ago.

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Original birth certificate of the Panamanian spouse.

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Original birth certificate(s) of the children (if applicable).

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Certificate issued by the National Immigration Service, certifying the applicant's immigration status.

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Photocopy of the Panamanian spouse's personal identity card (authenticated by the National Identification Directorate).

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Photocopy of the migration card or legible copy of the applicant's personal identification card (authenticated by the National Identification Directorate).

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Photocopy of the valid passport.

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4 passport-sized photos.

Work Permit (Companies affiliated with Ciudad del Saber)

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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Legible photocopy of the passport.

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Authenticated copy of the visa application submitted to Immigration or copy of the already granted visa (card).

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Copy of the affiliation agreement with the Ciudad del Saber Foundation.

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Original Employment Contract.

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2 passport-sized photos.

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Certification from the Ciudad del Saber Foundation to the Ministry of Labor and Workforce Development, stating that the interested applicant works in the affiliated entity and requesting the issuance of the respective work permit.

Work Permit (With Panamanian Spouse under Parental Custody)

Permiso de trabajo (Temporal)
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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Original marriage certificate, indicating the dissolution of the marriage.

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Original birth certificate of the child(ren).

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Certificate issued by the National Immigration and Naturalization Service demonstrating the applicant's immigration status.

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Copy of the migration card or photocopy of the applicant's personal identification card (authenticated by the National Identification Directorate).

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Photocopy of the valid passport.

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4 passport-sized photos.

Work Permit (Indefinite for residents with more than 10 years in the country)

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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Certification issued by the National Immigration Service stating the applicant's immigration status.

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Copy of the applicant's personal identification card (duly authenticated by the National Identification Directorate).

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4 passport-sized photos.

Contact us now and start working in the country you desire!

Trust our experience and professionalism to obtain your work permit in Panama.

Work Permit (Within the 10% of Ordinary Personnel, Decree No. 20 of 2019)

Permiso de Trabajo (Países amigos)
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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Original Employment Contract of the applicant in accordance with the applicable laws.

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Operations Notice from the employer or employing company (excluding natural or legal persons listed in Article Twenty).

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Original Certification issued by the General Directorate of Public Registry, indicating the legal entity of the company.

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Photocopy of the Social Security payroll and payment receipt for the month prior to the date of submission (bring the original payroll for verification).

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Certificate issued by the National Immigration and Naturalization Service demonstrating the applicant's immigration status.

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Photocopy of the migration card or legible copy of the applicant's personal identification card (authenticated by the National Identification Directorate).

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Photocopy of the valid passport.

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4 passport-sized photos of the applicant.

Work Permit (Expert or Technician within the 15% of Specialized Personnel)

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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Original Employment Contract of the applicant in accordance with the applicable laws.

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Original note issued by the employing company, which must contain the name and identification card of the worker who will replace the expert or technician, committing to provide the necessary training for the proper performance of the respective specialty.

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Operations Notice from the employer or employing company (excluding natural or legal persons mentioned in Article Twenty).

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Original Certification issued by the General Directorate of Public Registry, indicating the legal status of the company.

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Photocopy of the Social Security payroll and payment receipt for the month prior to the date of submission (bring the original payroll for verification).

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Photocopy of the migration card or legible copy of the applicant's personal identification card (authenticated by the National Identification Directorate).

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Legible photocopy of the valid passport.

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Certificate issued by the National Immigration and Naturalization Service demonstrating the applicant's immigration status.

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Proof of professional competence of the expert or technician, demonstrated through reference letters from previous employers indicating their specialization. In the case of foreign companies operating in Panama and wishing to bring an expert or technician to work within the country, the letter must specify the length of service and the specialty. In any case, these letters must be authenticated by the Consul of Panama in that country or, failing that, by a friendly state's consul, attaching certifications endorsed by the professional technical council or a specialized entity in Panama.

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4 passport-sized photos.

Work Permit (Panama-Italy Treaty, Executive Decree No. 67 of April 2013)

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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Authenticated copy of the resolution issued by the National Immigration Service, through which the foreign applicant has received their Permanent Resident permit.

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Certificate issued by the National Immigration Service validating the applicant's current immigration status.

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Authenticated copy, before a Public Notary, of the ID card issued by the National Immigration Service, stating that the applicant holds a Permanent Resident Permit. The ID card must be authenticated by the National Identification Directorate.

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4 passport-sized photos.

Work Permit (Marrakech Agreement, Law No. 23 of July 1997)

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Power of attorney and application through a qualified lawyer (notarized).

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Original Employment Contract of the applicant in accordance with the applicable laws.

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Operations Notice from the employer or employing company (excluding natural or legal persons listed in Article Twenty).

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Original Certification issued by the General Directorate of Public Registry, indicating the legal status of the company.

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Photocopy of the Social Security payroll and payment receipt for the month prior to the date of submission; bring the original payroll for verification.

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Certificate issued by the National Immigration and Naturalization Service demonstrating the applicant's immigration status.

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Photocopy of the migration card or legible copy of the applicant's personal identification card (authenticated by the National Identification Directorate).

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Legible photocopy of the applicant's valid passport.

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4 passport-sized photos.

How can we assist you at PGS Attorneys with your permits?

Permiso de Trabajo (Residente Permanente)

When applying for a work permit in Panama, the assistance of a lawyer becomes crucial in many aspects. Firstly, lawyers can provide legal advice and guidance regarding the necessary requirements to obtain the work permit. Most procedures must be carried out exclusively through a qualified lawyer, making their collaboration essential with the immigration authorities.

Additionally, lawyers serve as a support system in case problems or adverse situations arise during the process. At PGS Legal, we have a highly trained and experienced team in processing work permits in Panama. We are here to provide all the support and guidance you need to achieve your goals quickly and efficiently. Contact us to learn more about our services!

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This is only a fraction of the natural and legal clients that we have the honor of representing.

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