Employ Candidates Compliantly in Panama

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  1. Overview: Panama
  2. Global HR Compliance
  3. Global PEO and payroll
  4. Work permit for hiring expats via PEO
  5. Contractor vs. employee: which is better?
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Using a PEO Service With Immigration Support For Expat Hiring In Panama

If you have plans to hire expatriate personnel for international assignments in Panama, you have a lot of key considerations to make. Some of the most important include:

  • Navigating Panama’s unique immigration procedures
  • Procuring all the documents required for a work permit
  • Managing employment and payroll after your workers get their visas

Most of the time, expats are sent abroad to work on short-term projects, which means trying to set up your own subsidiary isn’t practical in terms of time as well as money. A simpler, more cost-effective solution is equal.

If you need to pay expats overseas, in Panama, in particular, that ideal solution is a global PEO that offers work permit support as a part of their service. Rather than going through the long process of incorporation, a PEO service will guide you through all the steps for Panama’s immigration procedures. When you get your permit/visa, the provider then helps onboard and payroll your expat team for you.

Acumen International has been providing this service for our clients’ expatriate personnel in Panama for short- and long-term projects alike. If you want a quick and compliant way to manage this issue, we can help. No matter what business objectives or timelines you have to work with, Acumen International provides end-to-end work permit support. We also stay within full legal compliance with local labor legislation in Panama and 190+ other countries.

So, with this in mind, who are the ideal candidates for Acumen’s ‘work permit and hiring expats through a Global PEO’ solution?

  • Employer companies that want to relocate, hire, and pay expats in Panama.
  • Experienced, individual professionals that have an employer already prepared to finance their immigration and foreign employment in the country.
  • Companies that plan to send their highly skilled personnel to work for them in Panama

Important thing that you may not be aware of. Having a single provider to sponsor your work permit and employ your expats in Panama post immigration cuts down on the risks of visa getting rejected.

One thing that sets us apart from other global PEO Service providers is that Acumen also provides additional benefits along with a PEO employment and work permit for expats to be employed on-the-ground. These include:

  • Medical insurance
  • Housing
  • Office rent
  • Mobile phone/car provision for meetings
  • Dependant relocation

Attention: we are not an immigration service! We do not provide a work permit and immigration support as a standalone solution to individuals looking to find jobs overseas.

Estimated time for work permit issuance

Typically, the procedure of work permit issuance in Panama takes from 1 to 3 months until entry to Panama, and a further 1 to 3 months before the whole process is completed.


Major steps to get a work permit in Panama

  1. Visitor Visa Application
  2. Entry to Panama
  3. Registration at the Immigration Authorities
  4. Work Permit Application
  5. Transit Visa Application
  6. Work Permit ID Collection
  7. Transit Visa ID Card Collection

Documents for work permit in Panama, main applicant

Name Notes Copies
Return or onward flight booking, itinerary or airline ticket One clear copy
Passport (valid for at least six months beyond intended stay) One original
Visa Application Form Completed and signed One original
Completed Passport Copy (valid for at least six months) One notarized copy; one clear and notarized copy
Proof of Temporary Accommodation Confirmed hotel reservations, stating name, address and telephone number of the hotel, including confirmation number. Confirmed accommodation if not a hotel, stating name, address and telephone number of the lodging place. One clear copy
Proof of Employment Certificate of employment and last pay slip attached. One original
Registration Application Form Duly completed and signed One clear copy; one original
3 Photographs (Panamanian ID size) In color, with a white background. Face forward. Three originals
Copy of Passport Information Page and Entry stamp One clear copy
4 Photographs (Panamanian ID size) In color, with a white background. Face forward. Four originals
Immigration Status Certificate (Certificado de estatus migratorio) This must be applied for at the Panamanian Immigration authorities. One original
Medical Certificate The principal applicant and any accompanying dependents must obtain a medical certificate issued by a registered doctor in Panama. The medical certificate must state that the applicants are in good health. One original
Copy of Passport Information Page One notarized copy; one clear and notarized copy
Police Clearance Certificates Police clearance certificates (PCCs) are required. These must be obtained from the country of origin or country of legal residence over the last two years, and must have been issued within the six months immediately preceding the application (unless a shorter validity is stated on the certificate). They must be legalized/Apostilled translated into Spanish. If providing a PCC from a country of residence other than country of nationality, it is necessary to also prove residence in that country. One legalized and translated original
Personal Background Form This is a Panamanian Immigration Office form. It must include personal details and be signed by the applicant. For minors, it should be signed by one of the parents. One original
National or Residence Card If the country of origin/residence does not issue ID cards, a copy of the social security registration, driving license or certificate of nationality will be required. One original
Proof of Accomodation One original
Transit Visa Application Form Completed and signed. One original

If you need to have your expat personnel legally work for you in Panama without having to set up your own business entity for that, trust us to assist you with work permit and immigration support, and then employ your expats locally on your behalf.

Contact our team to let us take up your foreign employees’ immigration matters and relieve you of the responsibility of getting work permit by working with our local partners to organize and obtain all the necessary permits, as well as provide you with a detailed update on the progress of the process.

Contact us for more details about how you can get a work permit for your expatriate staff and employ them through Acumen International in Panama.

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