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Getting a Job in Panama

It’s not that easy to get a job in Panama.  Panama’s rules say that the workforce at a company must be at least 90% Panamanian so that makes it harder for foreigners to get a job in Panama.  Wages for most jobs would be much less than what you are familiar with.   For most jobs, you’ll need to be fluent in Spanish too.  Because of the pandemic, unemployment is at about 18%.

The exception is multinational companies.  They pay more and some multinational companies have permission to hire foreigners even if they do not have 90% Panamanians working at their company.

Want to get a job in Panama and bypass the need to get a Visa or work permit first? The solution is to work for a multinational company that has established a headquarters in Panama. If you are offered a job by one of these companies, you may be able to get a 5-year Permanent Employee Visa which can be renewed. The Multinational company pays for the Visa (no cost to you) and you do not need to get a work permit. Click on the link below to see a brochure in English with more details about multinational company opportunities in Panama:

MULTINATIONAL COMPANY OPPORTUNITIES

Unfortunately, there is not a one-stop place to find a listing of all the jobs available through Multinational Companies.  You’ll need to go to each company’s website to see what jobs are available.  Spanish will be required for some jobs but not for all jobs.  (see the links at the bottom of the page for some job postings)

Several Panama Relocation Tour clients have obtained good-paying (6-figure salary) jobs with multinational companies.  So, it is possible to get a job in Panama but it will require a lot of investigating to find them.  You’ll need to check out the jobs for each company individually and it certainly helps to have an impressive resume.

If you get a job with a Multinational company you are also exempt from all taxes on your income in Panama.

EMPLOYEE VISAS

Law No. 41 in Panama created the Permanent Employee Visas specifically for foreign employees of the Multinational Company.   These special visas will be issued for a 5-year period and can be renewed.

Multinational headquarters are set up in certain areas in Panama City.  The City of Knowledge, Cuidad del Sabor, houses many Multinational companies with job opportunities.  Click on their website link below then Click on WORK AREAS, then click on the company logo to be taken to information about the company and a link to their website:

CITY OF kNOWLEDGE INFORMATION

Below is a list of additional Multinational companies in Panama.  To find out what jobs are available with the companies, you’ll need to do a google search the “company name Panama” then look for their careers or jobs listings.

Enterprise Country Activity
Maersk Central America S.A. Denmark Maritime
Procter & Gamble International Operations USA Goods
Inelectra Panama S.A. Venezuela Construction and Engineering
Sinopec International China Energy
LG Consulting Corp. South Korea Goods
Productos Roche Interamericana, S.A. (Prisa) Switzerland Pharmacy
Caterpillar USA Construction
Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. L.T.D. South Korea. Construction and Maritime
Aes Latin America USA Energy
Total America Latina Y Caribe France Energy
Grupo Volconsa Spain Construction
Endress + Hauser Instruments International Ag Switzerland Measuring Instruments
Western Union USA Money Transfer
Thunderbird Entertainment S.A. USA Entertainment
Peugeot Panama S.A. France Automation
Halliburton International Inc. USA Energy
Pan American Life Global Services, S.A. USA Insurance
Cemex Caribe, S.A. Mexico Construction
Moffatt & Nichol Latinamerican Inc. USA Engineering
ABB Switzerland Technology
Dell Panama Inc. USA Technology and Telecommunications
W. W. Grainger, Inc. USA Industrial Supply
BASF S.E. Germany Chemical, plastics and technology
Samtec USA Electronic Interconnect Industry
KLM Netherlands Air Transit
Pfizer, Inc USA Pharmaceutical
Hoffmann-La Roche Switzerland Pharmaceutical
We Simplify the Internet (WSI) Canada Technology and Telecommunications
William Wrigley Jr. Company (Wrigley) USA Food Processing
DHL Express Germany Express and Logisticas
Safra J. Asset Management S.A. USA Advising
Kumho Tire Panama Co. Inc. South Korea Automation
Heineken Holand Goods
Sab Miller England Goods
Genzyme USA Health
Philips Holand Goods
BMW Germany Automation
Nestle Switzerland Goods
Mars USA Goods
Cargotec USA Logistics
Hyosung Corporation South Korea Industry
Sanofi Aventis France Pharmacy
Otis USA Elevators Manufacturing
Ericsson Sweden Telecommunications
Adidas Germany Textile Industry
Smartmatic Venezuela Technology
Vf Sourcing Luxembourg Textile Industry
Alfa Laval, S.A. Sweden Engineering and Services
BWSC Denmark Energy

Here are a few websites where jobs are posted.  These are not necessarily Multinational companies though so some of these jobs would require a residency Visa and a work permit:

PANAMA PACIFICO  — https://logistics.gatech.pa/en/assets/special-economic-zones/panama-pacifico/companies

FIRST QUANTUM MINING – http://careers.first-quantum.com/cw/en/listing/

GLASSDOOR — https://www.glassdoor.com/Job/panama-jobs-SRCH_IL.0,6_IN194.htm

CAREERARC — https://www.careerarc.com/job-search/jobs-in-panama-city-panama-panama.html

DELL – https://jobs.dell.com/location/panama-jobs/375/3703430/2

To find more jobs available, go to the WORK AREA section at the City of Knowledge website.  See the list of company logs in each category, then click on the logo to be taken to the company website.

Even though it IS possible to get a job in Panama, you may be able to make more money by starting your own business which is easy to do in Panama.

Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

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