Homeoffice on the Beach: The New Remote Worker Visa in Panama
Several companies (especially in the IT sector) are offering their employees more flexible working models and making teleworking the new normal. Nowadays for many employees it does not matter where they work from, which creates new freedoms, self-determination and opportunities when it comes to choosing a place to live. Why not move your workplace to the tropics in the short or long term?
Like many other Caribbean countries, Panama has adapted its legislation to the new working conditions and has created an immigration category especially for remote workers and/or digital nomads. With this measure, the government hopes to encourage the development of the national economy, through investment and consumption of local goods and services.
Photo: www.pixabay.com // Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke
To qualify for the remote worker visa you must meet the following conditions:
To have an employment contract from a foreign company of transnational character or to be a self-employed worker, in the modality of remote worker
To carry out functions that take effect abroad.
Receive income from a foreign source and with an annual amount not less than thirty-six thousand U.S. dollars (US$36,000), or its equivalent in a foreign currency.
To apply for the Remote Worker-Visa, the following documents must be submitted:
Complete copy of the passport duly authenticated by a Panamanian notary.
Five (5) passport size photos.
Criminal background check from the country of origin or residence (duly apostilled).
Health certificate issued by a licensed Panamanian professional.
Affidavit of personal background.
Completion of the corresponding application form.
Copy of the applicant's medical insurance policy.
Affidavit of Non-Acceptance of any job offer or service offer from nationals, residents, tourists or companies of Panama in order to carry out business within the Panamanian territory (signed by the applicant).
Payment of two hundred and fifty U.S. dollars (US$250) in favor of the National Immigration Service.
Proof that your income comes from a foreign source: Bank account statement from your bank abroad (or from a local bank), duly sealed by the issuing bank that proves the transaction of the remittance of the funds and that accredits that the same is linked to the declared labor condition (if it comes from a foreign bank, the statement must be duly apostilled).
Additional requirements for REMOTE EMPLOYEES
If your are a foreign employee who wishes to reside in Panama to work remotely for a foreign company, you must additionally provide the following documents:
Certification or proof of existence of the foreign company you are working for in the place where it is registered (apostilled).
Letter of the company (apostilled), on the company’s letterhead, signed by the legal representative stating the following
Your general information.
The position and functions performed within the company.
Your monthly income (which cannot be less than three thousand US dollars US$3,000), periodicity of payments and that it comes from a foreign source.
The modality of your job (remote work / home office)
The commitment to assume the costs of return or repatriation to your country of origin or destination, if necessary.
Additional requirements if your are SELF-EMPLOYED OR DIGITAL ENTREPRENEUR
In order to apply for a visa as a remote worker, a self-employed person must provide the following documents:
Certification or proof of your company, duly registered abroad, through which you will conduct your business (apostilled).
Notarized affidavit describing the commercial relationship with the clients to whom your are providing your services.
Once approved the visa as a remote worker will grant you the right to live and work in Panama as a remote worker or digital nomad without having to request any other type of procedure or additional permission. The visa will have a duration of nine (9) months, extendable one-time (1) for the same period.