Foreigners can defend titles to practice in Panama

The Immigration Service endorsed the option of retaining the diplomas, coupled with approval in force since last June.

Foreigners entering Panama applying to reside and seek visas for professionals have a new option to make the process of legalization of their diplomas.

The National Immigration Service approved that immigrants undergo revalidation process your career technical titles, bachelor’s degrees or master’s degrees.

The revalidation applies in those professions in which the State should collate and abroad to submit a series of tests to ensure the legitimacy of the title he holds, in accordance with local requirements.

The academic process is confirmed by the Resolution 17362, enacted on July 17, 2015, signed by Javier Carrillo, director of Migration.

The process should be implemented by the University of Panama, the Technological University of Panama or the competent authority, depending on the specialty.

The first was the approval procedure adopted, which runs from June 7 and is authentication of the title, and studies of the race is certified.


Rafael Rodriguez, president of the Association of Residents Naturalized of Panama, described as positive the new option for foreigners to exercise the professions not reserved for Panamanians.

However, he warned that there is a ‘great confusion’ between foreigners seeking residence in Panama, because when you get to college there is no definition of costs to be paid to achieve certification of their diplomas.

‘Some officials explain that they have to pay $ 100 and others $ 500. This confusion is very dangerous, because you can pay for another situation, «he argued.

The lawyer Conrad Rodriguez, a specialist in migration issues, has a different view. For Rodriguez, migration should not come airing own subjects Ministry of Education, the University of Panama and governing bodies of professional suitabilities.

‘The National Immigration Service has it generated anxiety in the issue of permits for professionals, and should be limited to only requirements’ he said.

The expert said the immigrant, before going to do their transactions, must bear its legalized diploma and the administrative decision recognizing both that title and suitability.


The visa for foreign professionals comes with Executive Decree 804 of October 9, 2012, signed by President Ricardo Martinelli. The standard provides for first residence in the country for two years, then given permanent stay permit.

Subsequently, Resolution 10294, issued on May 13, 2015, orders standardize titles, in extensive research by introducing cases of forged certificates.

The Federation of Professional Associations of Panama (FEDAP) rejected the revalidation of titles foreign and reiterated its call for repeal of Executive Decree 804 of 2012.

«It is a decree detriment the right to work of Panamanians, since it creates unfair competition in their own land because ‘he argued Luis Chen, president of the group.

Chen warned that the revalidation is applicable ‘only Panamanians studying abroad’ concept.

In Panama there are no professions reserved for nationals, such as graphic design, media, logistics, business administration, banking and finance.

Others, such as nursing, dentistry, medicine, engineering, architecture, agricultural sciences, pharmacy, law and chemistry, are closed to foreigners.



Venezuelans are most processed visas for professionals

732 visas for foreign professionals were approved until April. Mainly Venezuelans and Colombians.


Ernesto Chong de León, Ernesto Emilio Chong Coronado