Panama to tighten educational pre-requisites for professional migrants

Thursday, May 14 2015 @ 09:41 AM EDT

Contributed by: Don Winner

Panama will tighten qualification requirements for immigrants seeking permanent residency in the foreign professional category.

A new law, standardizing and restricting recognition processes for educational qualifications, came into effect Wednesday.

Qualifications must now be recognized by the State University of Panama, the Technological University or by the corresponding national authority before aspiring immigrants apply to the Panama National Immigration Service, the SNM.

The new law states the SNM "will only accept professional qualifications not reserved for Panamanians."

According to local media, the professions not reserved for Panamanians include certain engineering, graphic design, communication, logistics, management, banking and financial roles.

Others professions, including nursing, dentistry, architecture, agricultural sciences, pharmacy, medicine, law and chemistry, are reserved for Panamanians, said media reports.

"Since these professionals will live and work in our country, their university degrees must meet the standards of Panamanian universities," adds the resolution.

Panama's economy has benefited from an influx of migrants from Central and South America in the last decade.

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