Panama: New short-stay visa as a remote worker in the Republic of Panama

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Executive Decree No. 198 of May 7, 2021 (the "Executive Decree") was published in Official Gazette No. 29290-A of May 20, 2021, which creates the short-stay visa as a remote worker (the "Short-Stay Visa as a Remote Worker") and other provisions are enacted.

Taking advantage of Panama's organized economy for the provision of national and international services and with the purpose of boosting investment and consumption of local goods and services, the Executive Decree seeks to convert Panama as a destination for those non-resident foreigners, in remote work or telecommuting modalities so that they may perform their functions from Panama.

The Executive Decree creates within the Non-Resident migratory category, the Short-Stay Visa as Remote Worker, applicable to the foreigner who complies with the following conditions:

  1. Has a contract as an operative of a foreign company of transnational character or is an autonomous worker in telework modality.
  2. Performs functions that take effect abroad.
  3. Receive income from foreign sources and with an annual amount not less than US$36,000.00 or its equivalent in foreign currency.

The workers within this modality must file the application before the National Immigration Service together with the requirements established in the Executive Decree, which will vary depending on the particular situation of each worker, plus those general requirements for the migratory procedures established in article 28 of Decree Law 3 of 2008.

The Short-Stay Visa as Remote Worker will have a duration of nine (9) months, extendable once for the same period and grants the right to the foreigner to work in the modality of remote work within Panama and does not require additional procedures before other institutions, nor the obtaining of the work permit.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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