Listen to the replay of the September 4th, 2021 Conference call with more information about the pros and cons of getting Panama’s Digital Nomad Visa.
The biggest con is that it is only good for up to 18 months. But this may be just enough time to bridge the gap until you qualify for a Pensionado Visa.
The biggest pro is that you can get a Panama driver’s license with this visa PLUS of course, that you get to live in beautiful Panama!
The online platform to sign up for this visa is not open yet but an immigration lawyer can help you get the Digital Nomad/Remote Worker Visa.
Here’s additional information that my attorney sent about the Digital Nomad/Remote Worker Visa
The Government of Panama has issued, through Executive Decree No. 198 of May 7, 2021, a new Short Stay Visa for Remote Workers Visa
Any foreigner who meets the following conditions can apply for this visa:
• That he has an operating contract with a foreign transnational company or is an independent worker. The work must be done in a telework mode.
• To have the ability to perform their work in Panama.
• That he receives income from a foreign source and with an annual amount not less than Thirty-Six Thousand Dollars with 00/100 ($36,0000USD) or its equivalent in foreign currency.
This visa is particularly interesting for those individuals who are better known as digital nomads. Some of the advantages are:
• Those foreigners who are granted this visa will not require to obtain a work permit.
• Your income, being from a foreign source, will not be taxable by the Republic of Panama.
• The visa is granted for a term of nine (9) months, which translates into a stay of more than one hundred and eighty-three (183) days, enough time to apply for a tax residence certificate.
The visa can be extended only once, for an additional term of nine (9) months.
To apply for this visa, the foreigner that has a contract with an external company must fulfill the following requirements:
• Complete the corresponding request form
• Three photographs ID size
• Copy of medical insurance. It is important that this insurance covers the person in Panamanian territory.
• Letter from the company with letterhead and signed by the legal representative that indicates:
o Solicitors general information
o Position and functions that the person executes
o Monthly income
o Work modality
o Commitment to assume costs of returning to their country
o Affidavit of non-acceptance of job offer in Panama
o Proof of payment of $250 in favor of National Immigration Service (Servicio Nacional de Migración)
In the case of self-employed or freelance workers, they must provide the following documentation:
• Certification or proof of ownership of a company, properly registered in their country
• Notarized sworn declaration that describes the commercial relationship with clients that receive their services
Every person that requests the visa must have proof of their income by bank statements that are properly authenticated.
The visa does not allow the beneficiary to act as the representative of the company for local activities, which will lead to the repeal of the visa.
The Panamanian Government will enable an online platform (NOT OPEN YET) to process applications efficiently for the program that allows a stay of up to 18 months.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS
What Are the Benefits?
The visa is highly attractive for digital nomads who are looking for a location that is tax-friendly, has a good quality lifestyle, and is affordable. The main benefits of the program include:
• Fast processing time: You will be able to complete the entire online in under 30 days. The Panama immigration office is currently working to enable the online platform to process applications efficiently and timeously.
• Affordable: The total cost of the visa application is $250.
• Tax benefits: Panama is a tax-friendly nation that will not tax remote workers on any income sourced from outside of Panama. In addition, residing in Panama for 9 months or more is enough time to apply for tax residency, which means you may be able to avoid paying tax to your home country.
• Quality of life: Panama offers an attractive lifestyle for nomads. It has long been a favorite destination for expats and retirees alike, with its warm climate, beautiful scenery, and vibrant cities. It is also relatively affordable compared to developed Western nations.
• Extended stay: The visa offers a stay period of at least 9 months, with the opportunity to extend it for an additional 9 months.
There are two types of applicants who can apply for the short-stay visa: those who are working remotely for a foreign company and those who are working as independent freelancers or autonomous business owners. The application requirements differ slightly depending on which category the applicant falls under.
All applicants must submit the following documents:
• A completed application form, which also includes a commitment to fund the costs to return to their home country upon completion of stay period.
• Three passport size photographs.
• A copy of valid medical insurance which covers the applicant during their stay in Panama.
• Certified passport copies.
• Certificate showing a clean criminal record.
• Affidavit of non-acceptance of any job offers within Panama territory (i.e., all work needs to relate to operations carried out outside of Panama territory).
• Proof of annual income in excess of $36000. The applicant must provide bank certification and authenticated bank statements to prove sufficient income and funding.
Applicants who are working remotely for a foreign company must submit a letter from the company which includes:
• The role and functions which the applicant exercises at the company,
• The monthly income of the applicant,
• The work modality (how the work is performed from abroad).
Applicants who are self-employed must provide:
• Proof of ownership of a company which is registered outside of Panama,
• A sworn declaration outlining the business activities that they are engaged in, the services which they offer, the nature of their clients, and their past and expected revenue. Documents must be properly notarized and authenticated at a Panama Consulate.
The visa costs include:
• $250 application fee payable to the National Immigration Agency
• $50 for the issuance of the visa card
Why Should You Apply for the Panama Digital Nomad Visa?
The life of a digital nomad or remote worker is not always an easy one. One of the more challenging issues is finding the right countries to live in which have a friendly outlook towards foreign freelance workers, along with favorable regulations. The new Panama short-stay visa for remote workers has certainly put them on the list of top choice countries for digital nomads.
The visa makes it extremely easy to comfortably spend up to 18 months in Panama as a remote worker while taking advantage of the great lifestyle, top-class infrastructure, affordability, and numerous other benefits.