According to Panama’s immigration regulations, these are the migration categories:


Foreigners entering Panama can do so under the following migration categories:

  • Non-resident
  • Temporary resident
  • Permanent resident
  • Foreigners under Panama’s protection

The Executive Branch will regulate immigration categories and subcategories, the procedure, form, and conditions under which permits and visas will be issued, in accordance with principles of national security, health, public order, and protection of rights and freedoms.



A non-resident is a foreigner entering Panama occasionally, without the intention of establishing residency, and who has sufficient economic resources to sustain themselves during their stay.

Visas or permits for non-residents are granted to tourists, passengers and transit crew, and sailors.


Temporary Resident

A temporary resident is a foreigner entering for labor, educational, cultural, humanitarian, or family reunification reasons for up to six years. Dependents can apply for residency if they meet certain requirements.


Permanent Resident

A permanent resident is a foreigner entering for economic, investment, special policy, demographic, or other reasons, with the intention of settling in Panama.

The Panama National Migration Service grants a provisional residence permit for two years, renewable.


Foreigners under Protection

This includes refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, and those under provisional humanitarian protection status. Temporary residence permits are granted based on condition and certification by competent authorities.

The Republic of Panama recognizes labor and residency rights for these groups, with the possibility of changing migration categories if applicable.

Panama welcomes and protects foreigners seeking refuge and opportunities within its territory.


If you need to speak with an immigration lawyer in Panama, please call us at +507 6290-3468 or email us at