How to Apply for the Panama Digital Nomad Visa: A Step-by-Step Guide

Updated on:

How to Apply for the Panama Digital Nomad Visa: A Step-by-Step Guide

In the era of remote work and digital connectivity, the idea of being a digital nomad is more tangible than ever. With a laptop and a stable internet connection, one can work from anywhere in the world. Recognizing this shift in work culture, several countries have started offering digital nomad visas, and one such country is Panama. A tropical paradise, Panama offers a unique combination of urban modernity and nature’s serenity. This guide will provide a step-by-step walkthrough on how to apply for the Panama Digital Nomad Visa.

What is a Digital Nomad Visa?

A digital nomad visa is a type of temporary residence permit that allows remote workers to live in a foreign country for a specific period, typically ranging from six months to two years. This period is often renewable. The visa is designed for individuals who earn an income remotely, either as an employee, business owner, or freelancer. However, it’s important to note that the income must be generated from an entity outside the country of residence, and the visa holders are not permitted to participate in local economic business opportunities​​.

Understanding the Panama Digital Nomad Visa:

Also known as the Short Term Remote Worker visa, the Panama digital nomad visa enables digital nomads to live in Panama for nine months, and it has the option for renewal for another nine months. This visa not only allows you to enjoy the tropical weather and the vibrant culture of Panama but also gives you the benefit of becoming a tax resident, allowing you to take advantage of the country’s favorable tax rates. However, this visa does not permit the holder to bring their families along. One unique aspect of the Panama digital nomad visa application process is that it requires the assistance of an immigration lawyer​​.

Panama Digital Nomad Visa Requirements:

Every visa has specific requirements that applicants must meet to be eligible. Here are the prerequisites for the Panama digital nomad visa:

Valid Passport: Your passport must be valid at the time of application.

Work Remotely: You must be earning an income working remotely as an employee or business owner of a company or a freelancer with clients located outside of Panama.

Minimum Income: You must meet the minimum income requirement of $3,000/month.

Health Insurance: You must have health insurance coverage for the duration of your stay in Panama.

Clean Criminal Record: You must be able to present a clean criminal record from your country of residence​​.

Applying for the Panama Digital Nomad Visa:

The application process for the Panama digital nomad visa, while fairly straightforward, does require the services of an immigration lawyer in Panama to file your application.

Step 1: Gather Documents

Before initiating the application process, you must gather all the required documents. These include:

Copy of Passport

Three Passport-Size Photos

Proof of Remote Work: If a freelancer or business owner, you must present a notarized affidavit proving your established business. If employed, you must present a letter with official letterhead from your employer.

Proof of Income with Certified Bank Statements

Letter of Health Insurance Coverage

Certified Criminal Background Check

Sworn Affidavit Promising Not to Engage in Local Business Activities

Ensure to have these documents notarized and signed where necessary​​.

Step 2: Complete Application

Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and have them notarized, you can proceed with filling out the application. Your lawyer will have access to the application and can help you complete it​​.

Step 3: Pay Application Fee

There is a $250 application fee that you must pay when submitting your documents and application for the Panama digital nomad visa. Your lawyer will submit your payment along with your application to the Panama immigration department. In addition to this, there is another $50 fee to receive your visa card upon approval​1​.

Cost Breakdown:

The basic cost for the main applicant is around USD $1,500. This includes notary, translation, and copies, government costs, and legal fees. However, this doesn’t cover the cost of medical insurance, which you must arrange according to your preference​​.

Living as a Digital Nomad in Panama

Once you have successfully obtained your digital nomad visa, you can start planning your life in Panama. With one of the strongest economies in Central America, tropical weather, beautiful beaches, and friendly tax rates, digital nomads have found an inviting and affordable place to live in Panama. The cost of living is relatively low, and the culture is vibrant and welcoming.

Panama City, the country’s bustling capital, is a major hub for digital nomads. The cityscape, dotted with skyscrapers, is filled with working professionals and offers a variety of co-working spaces and cafes with free Wi-Fi, making it easy for remote workers to find a comfortable and productive environment. After work, you can explore the city’s colonial architecture, take a dip in the ocean, or hike to a waterfall. There’s a sizable digital nomad community in Panama, so you’ll quickly feel at home​​.

Getting Legal Assistance

Although the process of applying for a digital nomad visa in Panama is relatively straightforward, it does require some specialized knowledge and assistance, particularly because you will need the help of an immigration lawyer to file your application. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you navigate this process.

Several organizations and firms specialize in assisting digital nomads with their visa applications. For instance, Nomads Embassy has partnered with top law firms in Panama to help applicants obtain their Panama digital nomad visa seamlessly. They offer consultation services with their partnered lawyers to help you start your visa application. It’s worth considering such services to ensure a smooth and successful visa application process​​.

In conclusion, the Panama digital nomad visa is a fantastic opportunity for remote workers looking for a change of scenery or a more stable place to live for a while. It provides access to the vibrant and diverse culture and environment of Panama, while also offering substantial financial benefits through the country’s favorable tax rates. The process of applying for this visa requires some preparation and professional assistance, but with careful planning and the right help, it can be a straightforward process. So, if you are a digital nomad and Panama seems like a place where you can picture yourself working and living, start preparing your application today!