Domestic Worker Visa

A domestic worker visa status in Panama is a specific type of visa designed for foreign nationals who wish to work in Panama as domestic worker visa status. This category includes roles such as housekeepers, nannies, gardeners, and similar positions typically associated with household maintenance and care.


You can apply for a Domestic Worker to visit Panama with your employer if you:

  • Live outside Panama
  • Employed as a domestic worker in a private household setting.
  • meet the other eligibility requirements

If you’re currently experiencing Panama as a tourist (not a resident), there’s a possibility for a status shift, especially relevant if you’re interested in a «domestic worker visa status». For this to happen, you:

  • Secure a job with an employer ready to back your application,
  • Have not exceeded the time boundary attached to your tourist standing,
  • Fulfill other qualifying benchmarks.

The roles typically associated with the domestic worker visa include:

  • House cleaners
  • Chauffeurs
  • Cooks or chefs
  • Personal care aides for the employer
  • Nannies or babysitters.

What you need to do

  1. Check you meet the eligibility requirements.
  2. Check if you need to apply for a visa to visit Panama.
  3. Initiating a Domestic Worker visa application process, it’s important to understand that all visa requests made within the Republic of Panama and intended for the National Migration Service must be conducted by a legally authorized representative acting on behalf of the prospective applicant.

What you can and cannot do

You can:

  • Travel internationally and subsequently return to Panama to complete your authorized stay
  • Move to another domestic worker role within a private household.

You cannot:

  • Perform any work other than being a domestic worker visa status in a private household,
  • Stay in Panama for periods that extend beyond four years,
  • Alter your employment status or quit your job without informing the National Migration Service in advance. Non-compliance might result in the cancellation of your visa.

Check if you need a visa to visit Panama

Depending on your nationality, you’ll either:

have to apply for a Domestic Worker Visa before you travel to panama
be able to visit Panama for up to 1 year without needing a visa

Before applying, ensure if a visa is needed.
If you do not need a visa, you must still meet the Tourist Visa eligibility requirements.

Domestic worker visa fee

The acquisition of a Domestic Worker Visa fee is subject to a fee of B/.600.00, or equivalently $600 US dollars, with the validity spanning up to 1 year.

Please note that the above-mentioned cost pertains only to the governmental fees for acquiring the domestic worker visa status. This does not include any charges related to our professional services. For information regarding our service fees, please contact us directly.

Documents and domestic worker application form

You must have a passport or travel document that is valid for the whole of your stay in Panama. There must be a blank page in your passport for your Domestic Worker Visa.

  1. A Notarized Power of Attorney and Application containing your parents’ names and nationalities.
  2. Three (3) recent photographs.
  3. An authenticated copy of your passport.
  4. A Certificate of No Criminal Conviction.
  5. A valid Health Certificate.
  6. A sworn Statement of Personal History.
  7. A verified copy of your country of origin’s Identity Document or residency permit of the domestic household.
  8. An Employer-paid Guarantee Deposit of five hundred Balboas (B/.500.00) per foreign national, to the National Migration Service.
  9. A migration service fee of one hundred Balboas (B/.100.00) payable to the National Migration Service.
  10. A proof of receipt for public utilities, indicating the location of the residence where the domestic service will be performed.
  11. Evidence of the foreign national’s affiliation to the Social Security Fund, along with a photocopy of their card.
  12. An Employer’s Letter of Responsibility.
  13. An Employment Contract.
  14. A certified copy of the responsible person’s identification or resident card.
  15. Proof of the responsible person’s financial stability, which could be demonstrated with:
    • Letter from employer, along with pay stub.
    • Tax return with a corresponding clearance.
    • Bank reference letter from a local bank, properly stamped.
  16. Completed Domestic Worker Application Form.

The duration it takes to receive a decision

After submitting your Domestic Worker Visa application at the consulate in your country, confirming your identity, and providing the required documents, you can generally anticipate a decision on your visa within sixty (60) business days.

It’s important not to finalize your travel plans until your Domestic Worker Visa has been officially granted.

Upon approval of your visa, it’s imperative that your authorized legal proxy makes a personal visit to The National Migration Service (El Servicio Nacional de Migración). Their role will be to ensure that your passport receives the official Domestic Worker Visa stamp.

Domestic worker application form for renewal

For an application seeking an extension of the domestic worker visa, the following materials are required:

  • A Notarized Power of Attorney and the filled-out domestic worker application form.
  • Migration service fee, amounting to fifty balboas (B/.50.00), made payable to the National Migration Service.
  • A utility bill indicating the location of the residence where the domestic service is being rendered.
  • A token from the Social Security Fund.
  • An Employer’s Letter of Responsibility.
  • A copy of the previous identification card.

If you’re a victim of modern slavery or human trafficking

It’s vitally important to highlight the pressing issue of modern slavery or human trafficking, and the rights of those who may find themselves victims of such crimes, particularly in the context of foreign employment.

Article 89 of the Panamanian legislation strictly addresses this issue, punishing employers who retain the identification documents, travel documents, or passports of foreign workers and do not comply with the minimum labor, health, and social security provisions indicated by national legislation. Such employers could face fines up to a thousand balboas for the first offense, and up to five thousand balboas for recidivism. These penalties are in addition to any potential criminal liabilities that may apply.

Furthermore, Article 90 establishes penalties for any other infringement of this Decree Law not established in this Chapter. Penalties may range from one thousand to five thousand balboas, depending on the severity of the committed violation.

Both these articles underscore the commitment of the Panamanian government to safeguard the rights of domestic workers, and their steadfast stance against any form of modern slavery or human trafficking. They also serve as a reminder to employers of the severe penalties that will be imposed should they fall short of their obligations. It’s imperative that both employers and employees remain well-informed of these protections and responsibilities to ensure safe and fair working conditions.


Constitución Política de la República de Panamá, Articulo 43, 44, 45 y 45-A del Decreto Ejecutivo No. 320, de 08 de agosto de 2008, modificado mediante Decreto Ejecutivo No. 26 de 02 de marzo de 2009, Ley 38 de 2000.

artículo 89 del DECRETO LEY No.3

artículo 90 del DECRETO LEY No.3

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