The entrance authorizations for foreigners to Panama and the permanence of immigrants are issued by the National Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization; ascribed entity of the Ministry of Government and Justice. The national regulations of immigration in Panama allow awarding visitors and immigrants, entrance visas and permanence under several types, like visitors, students, members of scientific, cultural, humanitarian or religious missions, specialized workers or technicians, company executives located in the Colon Free Zone, company workers located in export processing zones, among others.
In addition to this, foreigners are allowed to work within the Republic of Panama, with previous authorization of the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development and previous compliance of the paperwork required by this agency for the issuing of this work permit under one of the permitted types.
As an example, generally in Panama, companies are allowed to hire one foreign worker per each ten national workers, with the exceptions of companies specially empowered to surpass this proportion. Example: companies located in Colon Free Zone, in export processing zones, in international call centers, in the City of Knowledge, the International Techno-Park of Panama, or companies registered at the Panama Film Commission, or the Panama Pacific Agency.