Work for Foreigners in Panama

Colombian, Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, Dominican and Spanish are among the nationalities of the immigrants who are coming to Panama to work.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Economic growth in Panama and the works of a series of large projects have raised the interest of foreigners who come to work in the country.

According to data from the Ministry of Labor and Workforce Development (Mitradel) 11,037 work permits was granted to foreigners in 2011 , about 1,063 more permits than in 2010 (10,224).

"This phenomenon is happening because large multinational companies are setting up offices in Panama, and staff are not qualified, and they see the need to bring staff from their countries of origin, recognizes Felix Cuevas, president of the Association of Panamanian Business Executives (Apede)," according to

A real example of the situation are some the companies in the area of Pacific Panama (APP).

Olmedo Alfaro, manager of the project, said the Panamanian workforce is 90%, except in special cases such as in aircraft maintenance where there is not enough skilled local labor. For this reason the APP together with the Technological University of Panama (UTP) have established an aggressive plan to prepare full scholarships for a thousand aviation mechanics that will be needed in the next 10 years.

Another case is in the technology sector. "The Panamanian Chamber of Information Technology and Telecommunications (Capatec) requires about 15,000 computer programmers this year until 2015. Also, the logistics sector has raised the need for 6,000 places of employment due to growth in activity which includes the expansion of ports on the Atlantic and Pacific," reads the article.

More on this topic

Timeframe for Permanent Residence for Professionals Reduced

March 2013

The government of Panama has reduced from seven to two years the timespan for granting Permanent Resident immigration status to professionals in the country.

As explained by the Director of Immigration, Javier Carrillo, the measure seeks to reduce the timeframe and make the process easier.

Panama Keeps Generating Jobs

December 2011

The Net Employment Outlook for the first three months of 2012 is +24%, putting more pressure on a market with a serious shortage of qualified human resources.

While efforts are being made to the train people locally, foreigners continue to come into the country to meet the demand of international companies based there.

Panama Announces $8 Million Training Center

February 2011

The government will put in place a training center to address the lack of qualified labor in the country.

Such initiative will be executed by the National Training Institute for Human Development and the Panama Pacifico Agency (APP).

Olmedo Alfaro, manager of APP, expressed his concern over the “lack of technical staff, capable of supplying the needs of transnational companies located in this economic area”.

More Foreign Workers in Panama

March 2010

Work permits to foreigners have increased 24.4% in the first two months of 2010.

1.220 permits were issued between January and February 2010, 24,4% more than in the same period of 2009, when 980 permits were granted.

“Jaime Bocanegra, consulting director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said that companies will pile on the pressure, especially multinational corporations, as there are not enough skilled workers in Panama”.

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London & Regional Panama is the master developer of the former Howard air base in Panama, now called PANAMA PACIFICO. Panama Pacifico, a mixed-use, business, residential and recreational center, will be created over 40 years by renowned developer London & Regional Panama in conjunction with the government of Panama. For those expanding business overseas, retiring in Latin America or simply visiting this beautiful locale, our sustainable, mixed-use business center and residential hub provides a balance of world-class amenities, infrastructure and services.
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