WORK PERMITS IN PANAMA
Foreigners who wish to work in the Republic of Panama must obtain a Work Permit. The Work Permit is issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and must be renewed every year.
The documents required for a Work Permit application are the following:
1. Power of attorney for the Work Permit application.
2. Letter of responsability issued by the employer in Panama.
3. Original and two (2) copies of full-time Employment Contract.
4. Certificate of School Records and Professional Experience, legalized either by a Panama Consul or by the Apostille.
5. Eight (8) photos, passport size.
Work Permits are granted on the basis of percentages established by Article 17 of the Labour Code as above mentioned, and the percentages of wages and remunerations combined may not exceed those established by the Labour Code.
The percentages indicated above shall be applied in the following manner:
1) Within 10%, foreign personnel carrying out any functions.
2) Within 15%, foreign personnel qualified as experts or technicians. Work Permits granted to technicians or experts are issued for a maximum period of 5 years, at the end of which the foreign worker must be replaced by a Panamanian.
No foreigner shall be allowed to work in Panama prior to obtaining a Work Permit.
Note: All documents issued abroad must be legalized either by a Panamanian Consul or by the Apostille in the place of issuance.