Can you work under the friendly nations visa?

If you start a business and apply for the friendly nations visa does that allow you to work?

Yes. Technically you are supposed to only manage but I've never see it enforced.

You can, however you will first have to request for the work permit, it is an additional process once you have your permanent residency or cédula. Once you have a work permit you are allowed to work. If you will have a payroll you do not need to be in it if you are the owner, if you are going to hire foreigners you will need to comply with the 90% minimum of Panamanians. Residents with more than 10 years in Panama and married to Panamanian, can count as Panamanian in the payroll.

Janice, I don't believe the 90% rule is being enforced currently. Personally, I wouldn't (and don't) worry about it.

there are restrictions for foreigners even when you have a work permit
check the following link: … _Laborales

FYI-I've run and worked in my business in Cocle for 2 1/2 years and no one has ever asked if I had a work permit (which I don't) If you try to obey all the restrictions, you won't be able to do anything else. And guess what-NO ONE knows what they are (including gov. staff) Just make sure you have your employees social security covered. That is the only thing I get checked for (one time) I do get reviewed by ANAAM (environmental agency) about 2x year. Always be friendly with them.

The following professions cannot be conducted by foreigners in Panama:
Accountant, agricultural science, architect, attorney, barber, chemist, chiropractor, cosmetologist, dentist, dental assistant, doctor (medicine, veterinarian), economist, engineer, journalist, laboratory, medical assistants, nursing, nutritionist, pharmacist, physical therapist, psychology, public relations, radiologist, social worker, sociologist, speech therapist, and teacher (under Ministry of Education for public schools)

Yes you are entitled to a work permit with the Friendly Nations visa.  Your attorney can prepare the paperwork so you can go to get your work permit once your residency is approved.  If you are working for your own business you will count as a foreign hire. (part of the 10% allowed)  Do not rely on the posts that say this is not enforced.  Sometimes it is.

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