Many people know that Panama is a prime location for work. It boasts great weather, good wages, and a relatively low cost of living. You must obtain the right-to-work permissions to benefit from everything it offers. With the introduction of the Panama Digital Nomad Visa in May 2021, the country is cementing itself as a top destination. For those embracing the location-independent lifestyle, it is an ideal choice.

The primary purpose of this visa, of the Non-Resident category, is to encourage tourism for telecommuting travellers. And simplified pathways for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote employees to live and work legally. It’s the perfect mix of adventure, affordable living, and opportunities to grow your career relocation.

Here is everything you need to know about this exciting opportunity –


What is the Panama Digital Nomad Visa?

The Panamanian government officially created the Short-Stay Visa, the Panama Digital Nomad Visa, by executive decree on May 7th, 2021. This particular visa attracts remote workers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs worldwide. It allows digital nomads to live and work comfortably in Panama while enjoying its rich culture, beautiful landscapes, and favourable tax regime. Its visa joins the list of countries that offer digital nomad visas.

This visa allows remote workers to stay in Panama for up to nine months, possibly extending it for the same duration. With remote workers in mind, the Panamanian government introduced this visa to help anyone working for a foreign company to stay. Thanks to its strategic location, modern infrastructure, and vibrant expat community, it is ideal for those looking to balance work and leisure.

Panama Digital Nomad Visa

💡 Related – 15 Countries with the Best Work-Life Balance in 2024


Benefits of the Panama Digital Nomad Visa

They provide numerous advantages for remote workers seeking a new lifestyle in Panama. From extended stays and flexible work arrangements to cultural immersion and cost-effectiveness, this visa offers an ideal opportunity for digital nomads to explore Panama while maintaining their remote careers.

Here are some key benefits –


  • Extended Stay – An initial nine-month visa with the possibility of a nine-month renewal allows up to 18 months in Panama.
  • Cultural Diversity – Experience a rich blend of indigenous, Spanish, Afro-Caribbean, and American influences.
  • Natural Beauty – Access to diverse landscapes, including rainforests, beaches, mountains, and the iconic Panama Canal.
  • Growing Community – Join a thriving community of digital nomads and expats worldwide.
  • Strategic Location – Convenient access to North and South America with multiple international flight connections is available.
  • Dollarized Economy – Simplifies financial transactions and eliminates currency exchange concerns.
  • Lower Cost of Living – Panama is more affordable than central US or European cities for digital nomads, costing an average of $1,500 – $2,500 per month.



Who Is Eligible to Apply?

The Panama Digital Nomad Visa welcomes a diverse range of remote workers seeking to explore and reside in this dynamic country. Eligibility criteria cater to various professional roles, including freelancers, business owners, or employees of foreign companies. This visa allows you to work while experiencing Panama’s vibrant culture and stunning landscapes.

To qualify, applicants must meet the following criteria –


  • Remote Workers – You must be employed by a foreign company, freelancer/business owner with clients/income outside of Panama.
  • Minimum Income – You must prove a stable monthly income of at least $3,000 (or $36,000 annually) through bank statements or other verifiable documents.
  • Criminal Background Check – You must have a clean criminal record, often verified through a certificate of good conduct from your home country.
  • Proof of Remote Work – You must provide evidence of your remote employment or business activities, such as contracts, invoices, or a letter from your employer.
  • Valid Passport – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Panama.
  • Health Insurance – You must have health insurance coverage valid in Panama for your stay, with a minimum coverage of $50,000.


Please note that this visa is not open to individuals seeking employment within Panama. Eligibility requirements may vary depending on your nationality and other factors. Always consult a legal professional or immigration specialist for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

If you want to buy digital nomad insurance, SafetyWing is the best option. It starts at just $45.08 for four weeks. Click here, visit the site and buy it now.

💁‍♀ Also read – SafetyWing Digital Nomad Insurance for the Adventurous Soul


Panama Digital Nomad Visa Requirements

The documents needed to apply for a Panama Digital Nomad Visa may vary depending on your situation and the Panamanian embassy or consulate where you submit your application. It is essential to confirm the specific requirements of the consulate you plan to visit before proceeding. It ensures all your documents are correctly prepared, including any required translations into Spanish or notarizations.

Typically, the required documents include –


  • Valid passport (at least 3-6 months validity remaining)
  • Employment letter with details of your remote position and income
  • Business registration documents if you’re self-employed
  • Proof of income (bank statements, tax returns, etc., showing $36,000 annually)
  • Health insurance coverage with at least $50,000 in medical coverage
  • Clean criminal record check from your home country (apostilled or legalized)
  • Three passport-sized photos
  • Payment for the visa itself (around $360)
  • An affidavit stating you won’t seek employment in Panama
  • Proof of accommodation in Panama (hotel reservation, rental agreement)
  • Flight itinerary or proof of onward travel


Remember – Requirements and fees are subject to change, so verifying the latest information with the Panamanian embassy or consulate is essential.


Your Pathway to Application Process

To apply for the Panama Digital Nomad Visa, gather essential documents such as a valid passport, proof of remote employment or business ownership, proof of income, global health insurance, and a clean criminal record. Submit your application at the nearest Panamanian consulate or embassy, ensuring all documents are translated into Spanish if required and properly notarized.

The application process typically involves –


  • Gather all required documents, translate them into Spanish, and notarize them if necessary.
  • Complete the Short-Stay Visa for Remote Workers application form on the Panamanian immigration website.
  • Pay the non-refundable $250 application fee online.
  • Depending on your location, schedule an appointment at the nearest Panamanian embassy or consulate to submit your application.
  • Attend an interview if required to discuss your work and intentions in Panama.
  • Visa processing typically takes 2-4 weeks.
  • Receive notification of visa approval and issuance.
  • Enter Panama within six months of visa approval.
  • Register with the National Immigration Service within 30 days of arrival to obtain your temporary residency card.


Remember to start the application process well before your planned move to Panama. Contact the Panamanian embassy or consulate for any questions regarding the application process.


Timeline for Applying for Panam Digital Nomad Visa

The Panama Digital Nomad Visa application process typically takes 2-4 weeks (10-20 working days), but it can vary depending on the volume of applications and your circumstances. It’s advisable to apply well before your planned move to Panama to allow ample time for processing. To expedite the process, gather and prepare all required documents beforehand.

Ensure any translations into Spanish are accurate and obtain any necessary notarizations or apostilles from the relevant authorities. This proactive approach will minimize delays and ensure a smoother application process, giving you peace of mind as you prepare for your exciting move to Panama. Following these steps, you’ll enjoy living and working in this beautiful Central American country.


How Much Does the Panama Digital Nomad Visa Cost?

The cost of the Panama Digital Nomad Visa includes a non-refundable application fee of $250, paid directly to the National Immigration Service. In addition, there’s a $50 fee for issuing the visa card itself. It brings the total government fees to $300. Depending on your circumstances and nationality. You may also have additional costs for documents such as police clearances, translations, and apostilles.

Budgeting for these potential expenses, ranging from $50 to $200 or more, is wise. While the exact amount can vary, it’s essential to check the latest information on the official Panamanian immigration website or consult an immigration lawyer for the most up-to-date and accurate cost breakdown. It will ensure you are financially prepared for the entire visa application process.


What are the long-stay visa Types in Panama?

It offers several long-stay visa options tailored to different needs and circumstances if you want to live and work in Panama for an extended period. Whether you’re an investor, entrepreneur, married to a Panamanian citizen, or can demonstrate economic solvency. There’s a visa type designed to facilitate your stay.

Some of the most relevant visa types include –


  • Friendly Nations Visa – This visa is available to citizens of countries with friendly diplomatic relations with Panama. It allows for residency and work privileges in Panama.
  • Business Investor Visa – It is designed for foreign investors looking to establish or invest in a business in Panama. It facilitates residency for those making substantial investments in the country’s economy.
  • Panama Marriage Visa – This visa is issued to foreign nationals married to Panamanian citizens or permanent residents, allowing them to reside in Panama.
  • Self-Economic Solvency Visa – This is granted to individuals who can demonstrate sufficient financial means to support themselves in Panama without needing local employment.


Recommended read – 10 Remote Work Hotels with Workspaces That You’ll Want to Work at Forever


Paying Taxes as a Digital Nomad in Panama

Tax obligations for digital nomads in Panama can vary depending on your residency status and the source of your income. Panama’s tax laws are generally favourable for foreign-sourced income, but it’s essential to understand the specific rules and regulations that apply to your situation.

Here’s a general overview with relevant information –


1. Non-Resident Digital Nomads

If you have a Panama Digital Nomad Visa and derive your income from outside Panama, you are generally not subject to Panamanian income tax. This advantageous tax treatment makes Panama an attractive destination for remote workers seeking a tax-efficient base for their international careers, providing financial flexibility and savings opportunities.


2. Resident Digital Nomads

If you stay in Panama for more than 183 days in a calendar year, you may be considered a tax resident. As a tax resident, you would be liable for income tax on your worldwide income, including both Panamanian and foreign-sourced income. It has a territorial tax system, meaning only income earned within Panama is subject to taxation.

By understanding the tax rules and seeking professional advice, you can effectively manage your taxes as a digital nomad in Panama and enjoy the benefits of living and working in this tax-friendly country.


Thriving as a Digital Nomad in Panama

It offers modern amenities and a tropical paradise. From bustling Panama City with its skyscrapers and vibrant nightlife to the tranquil beaches of Bocas del Toro and the picturesque highlands of Boquete, there is something for everyone. The country’s infrastructure supports a high quality of life, with excellent healthcare, affordable living costs, and various leisure activities available.

Panama’s strategic location as a bridge between North and South America makes it a hub for business and travel. Expatriates and digital nomads benefit from a cosmopolitan environment where diverse cultures converge. It offers a vibrant lifestyle that is appealing to both work and leisure. They offer something for everyone in Casco Viejo, such as coworking spaces or outdoor adventures.


Which Coworking Spaces Are Available in Panama?

It features a dynamic coworking scene, offering a variety of spaces designed for digital nomads. Whether you prefer a bustling urban environment, Panama offers coworking spaces tailored to those preferences. If you seek a tranquil beachside setting, you can also find coworking spaces that cater to that ambience. With modern amenities and a supportive community, working remotely in Panama is convenient and inspiring.

Here are some of the best digital nomad coworking spaces in Panama –


Coworking Space Name Location City Rating Price (USD/Day) Hours Amenities Vibe
Panama Coworking Center Costa del Este Costa del Este Panama City 4.9 ⭐ $20-$40 Weekdays – 8 AM – 6 PM, Sat – 9 AM – 4 PM, Sun – Closed Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, printing, café Modern, relaxed
The Cube Coworking Via España Panama City 4.8 ⭐ $15-$30 Weekdays – 8 AM – 5 PM, Sat – 8 AM – 12 PM Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, phone booths, café Modern, social
My Office Panamá – Calle 50 Calle 50 Panama City 4.8 ⭐ $15-$30 Weekdays – 8 AM – 5 PM, Sat – 8 AM – 12 PM High-speed Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, private offices Professional
Panama Coworking Center Obarrio Obarrio Panama City 4.8 ⭐ $20-$40 24/7 Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, event space, kitchen Collaborative
Spaces – Panama City, Spaces Plaza 2000 Plaza 2000 Panama City 4.1 ⭐ $25-$50 24/7 Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, private offices, café Upscale, business


Please note It can vary depending on the type of membership or pass you choose. Ratings are from Google Maps as of June 2024.


Challenges as a Digital Nomad in Panama

While Panama offers a compelling blend of culture, affordability, and natural beauty, digital nomads may encounter challenges while living and working there. Through careful planning and preparation, digital nomads can effectively navigate these challenges. You are enabling them to fully immerse themselves in Panama’s vibrant and diverse environment in a rewarding manner.

Here are some common hurdles, along with practical solutions –


1. Visa Regulations

Panama offers various visa options, but navigating the rules and ensuring compliance can be complex, especially for long-term stays. It’s crucial to stay updated on the latest requirements and regulations to avoid issues during your stay. Consider seeking assistance from a local visa agency or consultant specializing in Panamanian immigration to simplify the process and ensure compliance.

Solution – Research and understand the visa options available in Panama. Consult with visa agencies or legal professionals specializing in Panamanian immigration to ensure compliance. Consider hiring a local agent for visa assistance and staying updated on regulation changes.


2. Internet Connectivity

While major cities like Panama City generally have reliable internet, remote locations may require additional connectivity solutions, impacting your ability to work efficiently. It’s advisable to research the internet infrastructure of your intended location before committing to a long-term stay. Backup internet solutions, such as mobile hotspots or alternative providers, can help you stay connected in case of outages.

Solution – Invest in the best mobile hotspot or consider renting accommodation in areas known for their stable internet connection. Local SIM cards or nearby coworking spaces can provide reliable internet backups.


3. Cultural Differences

Adapting to a new culture can be challenging, especially if you need to familiarize yourself with Panamanian customs and social norms. Open-mindedness and respect can facilitate better integration into the local community and enhance your overall experience. Engaging with locals, participating in cultural activities, and learning Spanish can deepen your cultural understanding and appreciation.

Solution – Engage in cultural immersion activities such as local language classes, artistic tours, or community events. Building relationships with locals and expats can help navigate cultural nuances and foster a sense of belonging.


4. Language Barrier

While English is used daily in tourist areas, language barriers can still arise in rural or less touristy parts of Panama. These barriers can hinder remote work communication. Learning basic Spanish phrases can facilitate daily interactions and enrich your stay. Consider taking language courses or using translation apps to improve communication where English may be less prevalent.

Solution – Learn basic Spanish phrases to enhance everyday communication. Utilize language learning apps (like Duolingo, Rosetta Stone or Google Translate) or enrol in language classes to improve proficiency. Speaking Spanish with locals enhances immersion.


Is Panama Calling Your Name?

Panama might be ideal if you’re a digital nomad seeking modern convenience, natural beauty, and rich cultural experiences. Spending your weekdays working from a vibrant coworking space overlooking the Panama Canal. Then, explore lush rainforests, pristine beaches, or charming colonial towns on weekends. With the Panama Digital Nomad Visa, transforming this dream into reality is easier than ever.


Your Easy Path to Panama with Relo.AI

Your Panama Digital Nomad Visa opens the door to vibrant cities, stunning beaches, and rich cultural heritage. But there’s more to explore! Don’t let the stress of relocating dampen your enthusiasm.

Relo.AI is here to simplify your transition if you’re relocating to Panama.

Book your FREE consultation with us today; let’s simplify your move to Panama! 🇵🇦


newsletter asset

Sign up for our daily newsletter

We bring the right people together to challenge established thinking and drive transformation. We will show the way to successive.