Get access to the exclusive HR Resources you need to succeed in 2018.
Sign up for free email newsletters and get more SHRM content delivered to your inbox.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Build competencies, establish credibility and advance your career—while earning PDCs—at SHRM Seminars in 14 cities across the U.S. this fall.
Gain the skills you need to rise to the next level in your career. Jon us at SHRM's Leadership Development Forum, October 2-3 in Boston.
Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
In recent months, the Panamanian government has taken significant steps to ease restrictions that had been making it difficult for certain foreign nationals to work in Panama. Through its introduction of three new work permit categories benefiting highly-skilled workers, Italian nationals and parents of children born in Panama, the Panamanian government is further expanding its open-door immigration policy to push and build upon the country’s recent unprecedented economic growth rate.
As the fastest-growing country in Latin America, Panama has seen an average annual growth rate of 8.5 percent with per capita GDP doubling over the past decade. A report by the International Monetary Fund highlights the fact that Panama’s impressive growth performance has been driven by a steady rise in public and private investment in a stable economic environment that has been bolstered by sound policies. The International Organization for Migration also notes that the expansion of the Panama Canal, the real estate boom and the investments made by certain companies that have selected Panama as their central operations hub have positioned Panama as an extremely attractive country to multinational companies looking to utilize and benefit from such economic growth.
The three new work permit categories introduced by the Panamanian government earlier this year are the:
Although residence permits for foreign nationals in each of these categories had already been in place for some time, there were no specific work permit categories reserved for these individuals, forcing them to apply for an employer-based work permit subject to quotas. The introduction of the new work permit categories now makes it easier for these groups to secure both residence and work authorization in Panama.
Highly-Skilled Worker Permit
Under this new work permit category, which is exempt from quotas and local sponsorship requirements, there is no minimum level of professional experience that the applicant must possess. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s or post-graduate degree, as well as a legalized copy of their original diploma. The Highly-Skilled Worker Permit can be renewed annually, and after two years, the work permit holder can apply for permanent residence.
Italian National Work Permit
Based on a treaty between Panama and Italy, work permits are now available to Italian nationals. The Italian National Work Permit is exempt from quota and local sponsorship requirements and will be issued with indefinite validity.
Work Permit for Parents of Children Born in Panama
Parents of children, who were born in Panama and are at least five years old, are eligible to apply under this new work permit category. The work permit can be renewed annually, and after two years, the permit holder may apply for permanent residence. This work permit is also exempt from quotas and local sponsorship requirements.
Eligible applicants for each of these work permit categories can expect processing times of approximately three months. It is important to note that Panamanian laws still prohibit work permit holders from working in certain professional occupations, such as accounting, architecture, dentistry, engineering, law, medicine, nursing and others.
Sanjee Weliwitigoda is an associate in
Faegre Baker Daniels’ labor and employment group where he concentrates on global mobility and U.S. immigration matters.
© Copyright 2013 by Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. All rights reserved.
SHRM Online Global HR page
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please sign in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies