A new executive decree on labor law has been issued in Panama!

Through Executive Decree 4 of March 2, 2023, articles 17, 18 and 19 of the Labor Code are regulated.

Among the most relevant articles for our clients are:

• Article 7: Regardless of the type of visa used to achieve permanent residence, individuals having a permit for permanent residence are eligible to apply for ANY category of work permit.

• Article 8: People who carry out economic, business or investment activities that are not under the legal subordination or economic dependence of an employer are not required to have a work permit.

• Work Permit with more than 10 years of residence in the country: The person cannot have remained outside the country for more than two consecutive years and must present a work contract and social security registration or tax income statement or aviso de operaciones (if applicable). The ten years are counted from the first resolution that grants the provisional permit of permanence.

• Work permits for special conditions:

1) Residence by Friendly Nations

2) Immigration Regularization

3) Professional foreigner

4) Family Reunification for dependents

5) Student

For these work permits (from 1-4) they must be «self-employed» (through your own name or legal entity) or work for another person or company.

In both cases, they must submit an aviso de operaciones and proof of RUC registration.

In the case of the student permit, it may be requested by people who are studying a higher technical, bachelor’s or postgraduate degree with a minimum duration of 2 years and must be consistent with what they are studying.

• The work permits must be ready in 40 business days from the business day after the application is submitted.

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