Requirements for Digital Nomads in Panama
The Republic of Panama is a country located in Central America and has a population of 4.3 million inhabitants that fill its landscapes with culture and charisma, giving an extra value to an already paradisaical
The Republic of Panama is a country located in Central America and has a population of 4.3 million inhabitants that fill its landscapes with culture and charisma, giving an extra value to an already paradisaical place.
Panama, as well as many Latin American countries, is one of the most wanted destinations by foreigners eager to find their ideal new home to retire or relocate.
Due to the high demand by foreigners to apply for temporary residence in the country, within the different formalities available, the government was forced to develop new laws to regulate such residences or stays in the country.
At the beginning of 2020, a virus threatened the peace and health of populations around the world, and Panama was not exempt from this. Countries later adopted alternatives to continue with the new normal and generate support for every household, without compromising anyone’s health.
The remote or virtual work mode, took force and became a trend in many countries around the world. With such a potential work option, many people decided to follow their dreams, and travel while continuing to work remotely or even look for places to stay, that would give them the lifestyle that the suburbs or the big cities, were not providing to their daily routines.
As a result, the concept of digital nomads was born, about people who move around the world or settle in other countries, but continue working abroad. Panama saw the need to implement measures like this, that would ultimately generate income and opportunities for the country, to encourage the arrival of foreigners with money from abroad, without risking or decreasing jobs for the locals and at the same time disburse their money in Panama.
In 2020, Panama made the first efforts to create laws for teleworking in the country and by May 2021 a decree came into force called “Short Stay Visa as Remote Worker“. This law established some mandatory requirements for foreign Remote Workers who want to apply for the visa.
What is the basic information to verify if a person can or cannot apply for this category?
In order to answer this question, it is required to determine if the applicant complies with the conditions below:
- Have an operative contract with a foreign company or be a self-employed worker.
- Performing work functions abroad.
- Receiving income from abroad and with an annual amount not less than 36,000 USD.
If the person has all these characteristics, then he/she can apply for the Short Stay Visa as a Remote Worker.
The requirements that must be produced at the time of filing the application are:
- Application form in which it has to be specified that the remote worker will assume the expenses for the return to his/her country, in case it is necessary.
- Three passport size photographs.
- Copy of the insurance policy with coverage throughout the country and the period of stay.
- Certification from the existing employer company and the place where it is registered.
- Letter from the company with the letterhead, signed by the legal representative and that includes the following information:
- General information of the applicant.
- Position and functions performed.
- Monthly income of the applicant, which cannot be less than $3000 USD per month.
- The work style (in this case remote).
- The commitment to assume the charges of return to the country of origin if necessary.
If the person is a self-employed remote worker, the requirements change a little due to their self-employed status. In this case, the following information must be provided:
- Certification or proof of owning a company, duly registered abroad.
- Sworn declaration before a notary, that describes the commercial relationship with the clients to whom you provide services, which will have to include the following data:
- Full name.
- General information of the applicant and the clients.
- What are the services rendered for the clients.
- How much it earns for these services on a monthly basis.
- Origin of the funds.
- Frequency of payments received for services rendered.
For the category of Short Stay as Remote Worker, the foreigner must obtain an important document that states that the applicant’s income comes from abroad, therefore the following documentation must be procured in order to comply with the law:
- Bank certification attesting that the income received comes from abroad and is linked to the declared employment status.
- Account statement from the bank abroad or from a local bank, with authentication stamps from the issuing bank, proving the transaction of the funds and proving that they are linked to the conditional labor condition.
By fulfilling all these requirements, the immigration process should be approved in approximately 3 to 6 months, and a 9 month stay will be granted with the right to extend it for the same amount of time, such process costs $50 USD. In order to request the extension, the same documentation that was filled in initially, must be produced again.
Digital Nomads are becoming more common among the different countries. What is remarkable, are the efforts of the countries to regulate their procedures and, at the same time, generate foreign attraction to their own piece of paradise. There is no doubt that this topic will have major developments in the future, as it becomes a global competition for governments, to polish their country’s attributes and updated regulations to create an inclusive, peaceful, and appealing option, for anyone who wants to taste de wonders of the world.
If you are thinking of applying for the Short Stay Visa or if you have any doubts about the process, do not hesitate to contact us, we are here to help you.