Executive Decree 198 of 7 May, of Panama offers digital nomads an 18-month visa, which allows an initial stay of nine months. The visa can then be extended for an additional nine months.
The Short-Term Visa is only for tourists who work remotely for foreign businesses, President Laurentino Cortizo stated in a press release. People who work in Panama or bring in income by giving services to Panamanian businesses won’t be able to apply for this program.
To apply for this program, digital nomads will only have to fill out an online request, with the price of 550 dollars. Plus, they will have to demonstrate that they receive a minimum of 3,000 monthly from a foreign source. In the case where the digital nomad applies together with his/her family, he will have to receive an income of over 4,000 dollars. The foreign business that will pay this amount will have to issue a letter or a copy of the contract where it guarantees this income.
Panama offers an 18-month visa for digital nomads that is very advantageous
Together with all this, the digital nomad will have to show medical insurance and fill out a sworn statement that he/she will not accept any offer for work in Panama. Digital nomads who receive the Short-Term Visa won’t have to carry out any other formalities, or obtain a permit from any other Government entity.
Panama’s economy has been greatly affected by the pandemic. In 2020, the GDP plummeted some 17.9%. In the meantime, the unemployment rate increased up to 18.5%. One of the most affected sectors is exactly the one that the government has tried to recapture with this program: tourism. Before the pandemic, tourism represented more than 4.5% of the country’s PIB and generated up to 100,000 jobs.
“This program will boost the economy by stimulating tourism, restaurants, purchases and consumption, and services in general, resulting in a greater reactivation of jobs for Panama Panamanians,” Cortizo stated.