Work Permits for Panama

Why 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 Labor and Social Welfare and must be renewed every year. Work permits are offered under the sponsorship of a Panamanian employer, without such sponsorship it can be difficult to obtain a work permit Work Permits are granted on the basis of percentages established by Article 17 of the Labor Code, and the percentages of wages and remunerations combined may not exceed those established by the Labor Code. The percentages indicated above shall be applied in the following manner:

  • 10% of a firm's labor force may be foreign personnel carrying out any functions.
  • 15% of a firm's labor force may be 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.