City of Knowledge Work Visa Program
This program allows foreign investors to obtain up to 5 work visas (valid for an initial term of 2 years, and renewable for an additional 2 years) for their company in Panama under the condition that they must rent an office or building within the City of Knowledge of Panama (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 "City of Knowledge", in attempts to attract foreign investment and businesses, offering similar tax benefits as the existing Colon Free Trade Zone (the second largest distribution center in the world).
The businesses operating from the 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.
Procedures for Applying for 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 Work Permit Visa, under the Ciudad del Saber (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 Work Permit Visa). After 3 months, you will be issued a new Work Permit Card that is valid for 2 years.
4. After the 2 year Work Permit Visa expires, our law firm will submit a new application to extend the Work Permit Visa for a maximum of another 2 years.
A short visit to Panama is required for the processing of the Work Permit Visa.
For Primary Applicant:
For Dependents (spouse or children under 18 yrs):
Required Documents (for Work Visas):
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. HIV Test results of the applicant (and dependents - if applicable), done by a licensed Panamanian laboratory, showing negative results. THIS MUST BE DONE DURING YOUR INITIAL VISIT TO PANAMA.
8. 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 our law firm 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.
you are interested in relocating to Panama, or obtaining legal residency
in Panama, please contact us for a personal consultation.
Note: If calling to Panama from the US or Canada, you must dial "011" prior to the country code (507).