New Work Permit Category for Highly-Skilled Workers

  • Panama
  • 05/27/2013
  • Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

Three new work permit categories, introduced last month, will make it easier for certain foreign nationals to work in Panama. The three categories benefit highly-skilled workers, Italian nationals, and parents of children born in Panama. The new categories are not subject to quotas or local sponsorship.

Residence permits for foreigners in these categories were previously available, but applicants had to apply for work permits in a separate process. This change makes it easier for migrants in these categories to reside and work in Panama.
Highly-Skilled Workers

For a work permit under this new category, the applicant must possess an undergraduate or graduate degree and a legalized copy of the original university diploma. There is no minimum level of experience. The work permit can be renewed annually. After two years, the work permit holder may apply for permanent residence.

Parents of Children Born in Panama
Parents may apply for this type of work permit if their children were born in Panama and are at least five years old. The permit can be renewed annually. After two years, the work permit holder may apply for permanent residence.

Italian Nationals

Work permits are now available to Italian nationals due to a treaty between the two countries. The duration of this type of work permit is indefinite.