Panama City of Knowledge Work Permit Program

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POLS provides employee Panama work permits and Panama City of Knowledge Work Visa.

The Panama City of Knowledge Work Permit Program allows foreign investors to obtain employee Panama work permits for their company in Panama on the condition they must rent an office or building within the Panama City of Knowledge (located within the former Fort Clayton military base), for the purpose of operating a business from Panama.

Since the turn-over of the US military bases in Panama, the Panamanian government has designated part of Fort Clayton as the “Panama City of Knowledge”, in attempts to attract foreign investment and businesses and offering similar tax benefits as the existing Colon Free Trade Zone (the second largest distribution center in the world).

Businesses operating from the Panama City of Knowledge have distinct tax advantages for operating manufacturing plants, assembly plants, software creation facilities, call centers, and other such businesses that export their products or services.  These businesses also get a substantial tax break on a certain percentage of their products or services sold locally.

Foreigners that enter Panama as a researcher, professor, businessman, technician, or student with the purpose to contribute to the development of the Project of the Panama City of Knowledge Foundation, in agreement with the Decree Law 6 of 1999 will be able to request this Panama work permit.


AS RESEARCHER OF THE PANAMA CITY OF KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION

In addition to the basic requirements established in Article 28 of the Decree Law (except for the numerals 2 & 4), the applicant must submit the following documents:

1. Certification from the Panama City of Knowledge Foundation by its Executive Director of the existence of the applicant’s business, the work that the foreigner carries out, and the term of rental in Panama;

2. Letter of responsibility from the business where the activities of the researcher are occurring and the earned salary;

3. Proof of affiliation to the CSS and copy of the social security card.


AS EDUCATOR IN THE PANAMA CITY OF KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION

In addition to the basic requirements established in Article 28 of the Decree Law
(except for the numerals 2 & 4), the applicant should provide the following documents:

1. Certification or documention showing educational purpose from the country of origin and accrediting the educational conditions;

2. Certification from the Panama City of Knowledge by its Executive Director, verifying the existence of the school, the work that the foreigner carries out, and the term of their stay in Panama;

3. Letter of responsibility from the business where the activities of the professor are evident and the salary that will be earned;

4. Proof of affiliation with the CSS and copy of the social security card.


AS BUSINESSMAN OR EXECUTIVE OF THE PANAMA CITY OF KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION

In addition to the basic requirements established in Article 28 of the Decree Law (except for the numerals 2 & 4), the applicant must submit the following documents:

1. Certification from the Panama City of Knowledge by its Executive Director, verifying the existence of the business, the work that the foreigner carries out, and the term of their stay in Panama;

2. Letter of responsibility by the parent company that certifies the activity that the foreigner will carry out as the executive in the business within the City of Knowledge, that they will exercise no other activity inside Panama, and the term of their stay in Panama;

3. Proof of affiliation to the CSS and copy of the social security card.


AS TECHNICIAN OF THE PANAMA CITY OF KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION

In addition to the basic requirements established in Article 28 of the Decree Law
(except for the numerals 2 & 4), the applicant must submit the following documents:

1. Letter of responsibility of the business, as well as, the salary to be earned;

2. Certification from the Panama City of Knowledge by its Executive Director, verifying the existence of the business, the work that the foreigner carries out, and the term of their stay in Panama;

3. Work permit and copy of their card;

4. Proof of affiliation to the CSS and copy of the social security card.


AS STUDENT OF THE PANAMA CITY OF KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION

In addition to the basic requirements established in Article 28 of the Decree Law (except for the numerals 2 & 4), the applicant must submit the following documents:

1. Original certification authenticatied by the Panama City of Knowledge Foundation verifying the existence of the educational center.

2. Certification by the education center that the applicant is a full time student in good standing taking approved courses.

To request an extension, the applicant must submit:

1. Certification by the education center that the applicant is a regular full time student and has passed the previous year courses.

The study credits that show they are a regular students and that they have passed their previous year courses.


Procedures for Applying for Panama Work Permits:

1. Provide all required documents, and sign the Special Power of Attorney for our law firm to handle your immigration paperwork.

2. Our law firm submits your application for a 2 year Panama Work Permit, under the Panama Ciudad del Saber (Panama City of Knowledge) Program.  You are issued a Temporary Immigrant Card, which is valid for 3 months (those 3 months are used by the Immigration Department to process the 2 year Panama Work Permit).  After 3 months, you will be issued a new Panama Work Permit Card that is valid for 2 years.

4. After the 2nd year Panama Work Permit expires, our law firm will submit a new application to extend the Panama Work Permit for a maximum of another 2 years.

A short visit to Panama is required for the processing of the Panama Work Permit Visa.

Note that immigration request that the applicant for any type of Panama visa, be present physically at the immigration office in Panama, at the time of Visa application.

Panama Immigration will not allow people to visit wearing shorts, t-shirts, or sandals.

When the immigration visa is approved plan to visit Panama for two weeks because immigration may hold onto your passport for 5 business days while they insert the official stamps and information in the passport.


Procedure for temporary (non-resident) permits (visas) are the following:

1. Register passport at Immigration.

2. Present application with all required documents to immigration, with Government fees & Repatriation Deposit (if applicable).

3. Immigration department issues applicant 3 months Temporary Permit (Visa) & Multiple Entry-Exit Visa.

4. Immigration department issues applicant 2 year Temporary Permit (Visa).
(Steps 3 and 4 are repeated every time the temporary visa is renewed).


Required Documents (for Panama Work Permits):

1. Photocopy of valid passport of the applicant (and dependents – if applicable), including the picture page (that shows the picture, name, date of birth, passport number, place of issue, etc.), and all pages showing entry/exit stamps (all pages used in the passport).

2. Original Police record of the applicant, from the place of residence (and spouse & children – if applicable), duly notarized and authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate nearest you.

3. Original Birth Certificate of the applicant (and dependents – if applicable), duly notarized and authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate nearest you.

4. Original Marriage Certificate for the applicant (and dependents – if applicable), duly notarized and authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate nearest you.

5. Six (6) passport sized photographs of the applicant (and dependents – if applicable).

6. Certificate of Good Health, issued by a licensed Panamanian hospital or clinic, signed by a registered, licensed physician, indicating that the applicant (and dependents – if applicable) has no contagious diseases and is in good mental and physical condition. THIS MUST BE DONE DURING YOUR INITIAL VISIT TO PANAMA.

7. Certification from the Fundacion Ciudad del Saber (Foundation of the City of Knowledge), certifying that the applicant is involved in a business located and registered within the City of Knowledge.


Documents that POLS will provide to you:

1. Special Power of Attorney, signed by the applicant (and dependents – if applicable), authorizing our law firm to process the immigration applications and documentation.

2. Letter of Responsibility, signed by the applicant, whereby the applicant takes responsibility for his/her dependents.

Note that immigration request that the applicant for any type of visa, be present physically at the immigration office in Panama, at the time of Visa application.

Panama Immigration will not allow people to visit wearing shorts, t-shirts, or sandals.

When the immigration visa is approved plan to visit Panama for two weeks because immigration may hold onto your passport for 5 business days while they insert the official stamps and information in the passport.


POLS Fees:

For Primary Applicant:

Stage 1:
Legal Fee – 2 year Work Visa: US $3,000
Government Fees and Costs: – To Tesoro Nacional (National Treasury): US $250
- Repatriation Deposit (refundable once visa is approved): US $800
- Other Fees: US $350
Total Government Fees & Repatriation Deposit: US $1,400

For Dependents (spouse or children under 18 yrs):

Stage 1:
Legal Fee – 2 year Temporary Visa: US $1,500
Government Fees and Costs: – To Tesoro Nacional (National Treasury): US $250
- Repatriation Deposit (refundable once visa is approved): US $800
- Other Fees: US $350
Total Government Fees & Repatriation Deposit: US $1,400


If you are interested in relocating to Panama, or obtaining legal residency in Panama, please contact us for a personal consultation with POLS.


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