The Government approved an Executive Decree which creates "a new and innovative" program called Short Stay Visa as Remote Worker, which aims to stimulate economic reactivation by attracting "extended stay" tourists and nomads that can “telecommute from Panama”.
"This program would invigorate the economy by stimulating tourism, restaurants, shopping and consumption and services in general, resulting in a greater reactivation of jobs for Panamanians," reported the Secretary of State for Communication.
As a result of the Covid
-19 pandemic, new work modalities have been created in the world, including remote work, practiced by many companies. Your workers have had to adapt to working from home or from anywhere in the world.
"In other words, a person who works in the United States, and who, due to the Covid
-19 restrictions, has to work from home in that country, can decide to do it now from Panama, from the place of their preference and in an extended manner,” Says the statement.
The program will be valid only for tourists whose work functions or services take effect abroad, and are provided to companies located abroad. They can also apply independent workers who provide services abroad, and whose source of income is from abroad. That is, people who work locally in Panama or who generate income by providing services to Panamanian companies will not be able to apply to this program.
To apply for the program, tourists must meet some requirements, including proving income from a foreign source of more than $ 3,000 per month (or $ 4,000 per month per family). In addition, you must have medical insurance, fill out the application form, present a letter from the foreign company for which you work or a contract with the company to which you provide professional services abroad, an affidavit of non-acceptance of an offer labor in the Panamanian territory, among others.
The Government reported that it will enable an online platform to process applications for this program that allows a stay of up to 18 months, with an initial period of 9 months extendable for a further 9 months.
According to the authorities, prior to the pandemic, the tourism sector represented more than 4.5% of GDP directly and 14% indirectly, and generated more than 100,000 jobs in total in the national economy.
The total cost of the program for the 18 months is approximately $550 and it seeks to reactivate this important industry for the Panamanian economy.