7 Reasons Digital Nomads Choose Panama for Remote Work
Thanks to better tech, a pandemic, and the emergence of digital nomad visas, remote work has never been more popular or accessible and Panama has become one of the top destinations for digital nomads.
Everyone has something they love about Panama, but we’ve compiled the top seven reasons most online remote workers come here on their nomadic journey. Here’s why you should consider our beautiful tropical country your next destination.
Why Travel and Work Remotely in Panama?
Panama ranks as one of the favorite destinations for ex-pats, especially for travelers who want to live, retire and work in the country. With its tropical climate, beautiful beaches, advantageous tax system, low cost of living, and eccentric culinary scene, many see this country as a land of opportunities. Here’s why you should consider traveling and working remotely in Panama.
Many people have experienced the rise in living expenses in America, including healthcare, education, and leisure activities. Fortunately, the living expenses in Panama are less than 50% of the major cities in the United States.
In the areas of beaches and mountains, you could live comfortably with a thousand dollars or less, while in Panama City, it’s reasonable to live well with $2000 a month. Even the cost of outsourcing every task is affordable. Many housekeepers or gardeners can cost $20 per day, giving you the freedom to do what you love.
Quality of Life
Panama offers a welcoming lifestyle for nomads, which is why it’s a favorite for ex-pats and retirees. Its vibrant capital, beautiful scenery, and warm climate make it an attractive destination. The country is vibrant with untapped natural beauty, from the tropical islands along the coasts to the tropical rainforests throughout all of Panama.
Many digital nomads set out for remote work due to their passion for outdoor adventure. Panama offers an abundance of opportunities for fishing, sailing, boating, scuba diving, hiking, bird watching, snorkeling, indigenous tours, and extreme sports.
Business-Friendly Tax Regime
Panama is tax-friendly and won’t tax remote workers on any foreign source of income made outside of the country. Additionally, once you’ve lived in Panama for nine months or more, you can apply for tax residency, meaning you don’t have to pay taxes to your home country. Of course, this is contingent on which country you come from and the tax rules in your native country if you live abroad.
Fast Processing and Extended Stay
You won’t have to wait months to hear back from their country’s embassy. You can complete the digital nomad application online and be approved within 30 days by the Panama immigration office.
In addition, their digital nomad visa offers up to 18 months of stay, with an opportunity to extend it for nine additional months.
High-Quality and Affordable Healthcare
In addition to living expenses, the healthcare cost in the United States is rising faster than anywhere else. Getting proper healthcare is vital to your decision to move to another country.
Panama offers an extraordinary healthcare system with many English-speaking physicians who studied in the best medical institutions around the world. Routine doctor visits can cost between $25 to $35 without insurance, while $50 to $75 to see a specialist. The low costs of access to healthcare make it accessible to achieve high-quality healthcare.
With a small population and a stable government, Panama is the safest country in Latin America. Due to the tax jurisdiction and the vital trade zone of the Canal, there is also international interest in preserving a safe living environment for investment across Panama.
As proof of their safety, Panama has the lowest crime in Latin America. If you’re concerned about crime in your area, you can ask your realtor to provide you with the safest neighborhoods.
US dollars (USD) are the currency of Panama, which makes their economy unlikely to experience the hyper-inflation that other countries have suffered from in Latin America. This economic stability helps digital nomads budget their living expenses, ensuring that the cost of living won’t fluctuate wildly.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re unsure about moving to Panama, you might have logistical questions about the visa and tax requirements. Here are common questions that many digital nomads ask:
Does Panama Have a Digital Nomad Visa?
Yes, in 2021, Panama released a telework visa for remote workers, designed for remote workers and digital nomads. The visa grants them up to 18 months of stay for anyone with $3000 in monthly income from their telework.
This short-stay visa aims to fuel economic growth in their economy after the Covid-19 pandemic—this incentivizes digital nomads to explore the possibility of moving to Panama due to their convenient visa policy.
In addition, visa holders can extend their stay once for an additional nine months. There are some attractive benefits for digital nomads looking to obtain this visa, such as:
- They don’t need to obtain a work permit.
- After nine months of living in Panama, a person can apply for their tax residence certificate.
- The income from the foreign source won’t be taxable by the Republic of Panama.
Who Can Apply for the Panama Digital Nomad Visa?
All foreigners who meet the following criteria can apply for the digital nomad visa:
- The person has a contract with a foreign transaction company, meaning they are a teleworker.
- They can perform their work in Panama.
- They receive income from a foreign source and must earn at least $36,000 or its equivalent exchange.
Can I Work Remotely From Panama?
Panama has adapted to the new global work trends, making it easy and convenient to work remotely. It’s perfect for digital nomads who want to live in a beautiful tropical country with a low cost of living and tax benefits. As mentioned, their new Short Stay Visa is ideal for remote workers allowing foreigners to stay at least nine months in the country.
Can You Be a Digital Nomad on a Tourist Visa?
Visitors to the country need to obtain a short-stay tourist visa before entering Panama.
Technically, any digital nomad can work remotely on a tourist visa. However, the tourist visa stay is much shorter than a remote worker visa.
The stay for a tourist visa is up to the migration authorities, which typically allows 30 days per visit. Typically, foreigners are allowed to visit the country several times each year with a visa.Here’s a list of countries that require a tourist visa for entry.
Depending on the country you can get a tourist card that gives you 90 days in Panama. If you want to extend your stay for more than 90 days, you must visit the Immigration and Naturalization offices before the end of the 90-day period.
How Do I Become a Tax Resident in Panama?
Any person can become a tax resident if they spend 183 consecutive or alternate days in Panama or if a person has a permanent residence in Panama.
The General Revenue Directorate (DGI) defines the idea of permanent residence as a place where a person maintains essential economic or family interests. The latter means they must have a personal link with the specific house for personal use or a family member living there.
For a digital nomad, it’s best to spend most of your time in Panama to prove that you’re actively living there year-round.
Considering Moving to Panama? View Our Rentals!
The cost of living is continually rising in the United States and other countries. As a result, digital nomads find it feasible to upgrade their lifestyle in another country like Panama. With the new short-stay visa, low cost of living, tax-friendly policies, and affordable housing, it’s no wonder why digital nomads are flocking to Panama. The countless online work and business opportunities make it easier to pack your bags and move to another country.
Looking for high-end accommodation while working in Panama? Browse House Hunters Panama and discover your next luxury stay.