Saturday, November 17, 2007

Panama green card has another color

Unlike the US where a single application results in a work permit and a visa, Panama requires two separate applications for a work permit (issued by the Directorate of Employment of the Labor Ministry) and a visa (issued by the Directorate of Immigration of the Government Ministry).

The number of work permits is of 6, which requirements are listed in the Labor Ministry website. As a general rule, a foreign worker can apply for a permit if the company which sponsors him/her would have no more than 1 foreign worker for every 10 Panamanian workers if the application was approved. The ratio is raised to 1 foreign worker for every 15 workers if the foreign worker has a technician permit.

Foreign spouses of Panamanians are exempt from this requirement.

Every year the permit must be renewed and proof of the immigration visa renewal must be included.

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