Work permits

All workers who provide their services in conditions of legal subordination and economic dependence in Panama are required to maintain a valid work permit issued by the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development. As of the promulgation of Executive Decree 6 of April 13, 2023, articles 17, 18 and 19 of the Labor Code are regulated and the following categories of Work Permit are created:

  • Work permits for migrant workers with ten (10) or more years of residence in the country.
  • Work permit for migrant worker married to a Panamanian national.
  • Work permit for migrant worker with children of a Panamanian spouse, divorced.
  • Work permit for migrant worker with Panamanian spouse by virtue of parental authority, in case of widowhood.
  • Work permit for migrant worker with special permanent residence.
  • Work permit for migrant worker as a Panamanian father or mother in dependency status.
  • Work permit for migrant worker in accordance with the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between Panama and Italy.
  • Work permit for migrant worker dependent on diplomatic, consular, administrative personnel and accredited international organizations in Panama.
  • Indefinite work permit in accordance with Executive Decree 140 of August 2, 2012.
  • Work permit for migrant worker hired by an employer as regular staff of 10% of the total workforce.
  • Work permit for a migrant worker hired by an employer as a specialist or technician within 15% of the total number of workers.
  • Work permit for migrant worker hired by an employer as trusted personnel of 15% of the total number of workers.
  • Migrant worker hired by a micro or small employer.
  • Migrant worker hired as trusted personnel of an employer whose transactions are perfected, consumed or take effect abroad exclusively.
  • Migrant worker hired as an executive by a company in the Colon Free Zone, City of Knowledge Foundation, Panama Pacific Area, Free Trade Zones or Multinational Company for the provision of services related to Manufacturing (EMMA).
  • Migrant worker hired as a pilot for a commercial aviation company.
  • Student Work permit.
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