The Panama government has approved an innovative new program to attract extended-stay tourists and “digital nomads” to work in Panama. The legislation established on May 21 creates a new temporary visa for remote workers, which will give foreign nationals the opportunity to stay in the country, as long as they are working for a foreign corporation.
The visa is an interesting way to address the realities of the new economy and make Panama the perfect choice for a new generation of workers. The initiative should help tourism, restaurants, shopping, and other industries, as Panama looks for new ways to stimulate the economy, the government said in a statement.
The new temporary visa should also be a big win for the rental market, as the visa will allow workers who meet the requirements to stay in the country for up to 18 months. We’ve already seen that the shift toward a remote workforce can affect the industry. When the pandemic hit, we saw a notable increase in interest in bigger apartments, as people looked for homes with space for an office. We expect that trend to continue, as this new visa brings in remote workers from around the world.
The visa certainly makes sense for someone with a remote gig looking to work in a special place. They can live the Panama waterfront lifestyle as a resident, which might be a lot nicer than their hometowns.
To qualify for the visa, applicants must show income from a foreign source of at least $3,000 per month, or $4,000 per month for a family. They must also show proof of health insurance, a contract with the foreign company, and complete an affidavit of non-acceptance of a job offer in Panama.
But the Panama government has promised to establish a system to expedite applications, which will be for 9 months and extendable to another 9 months. The visa is expected to cost about $500, which should make it a bargain for prospective applicants.