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Green Card for an Employee of the Panama Canal Company, the Canal Zone Government, or the U.S. Government in the Canal Zone

An employee of the Panama Canal Company, the Canal Zone Government, or the United States Government in the Canal Zone is eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) if they have an approved Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. 

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify, the individual must have been one of the following, at the time the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977 was enacted:

  • A resident in the Panama Canal zone who was working for the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government, and
  • Worked for the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government for at least 1 year
    OR
  • A Panamanian national who honorably retired from the United States Government employment in the Canal Zone with a total of 15 years or more of faithful service
    OR
  • An employee of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government who had performed faithful service for five or more years as an employee, and
  • Whose personal safety or the personal safety of his or her spouse or child is in danger as a direct result of the special nature of his or her employment, and
  • Was the direct result of the Treaty 

Application Process

To apply for a green card while in the United States based on employment with the Panama Canal Company, the Canal Zone Government or the United States Government in the Canal Zone, you must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. 

Supporting Evidence For Form I-485

  • Two passport-style photos
  • Form G-325A, Biographic Information, if you are between 14 and 79 years of age
  • Copy of birth certificate or other birth record with translation, if available
  • Copy of Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record or other evidence of inspection and admission or parole into the United States
  • Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
  • Copy of the approval notice for Form I-360 (Form I-797 Notice of Action)
  • Applicable fees 
  • Certified copies of court records (if you have been arrested)

If you are outside the United States, please see the “Consular Processing” webpage.

Work & Travel Authorization

Generally, when you have a pending Form I-485, it is possible for you to apply for authorization to work in the United States and to seek advance parole (advance permission to travel and be admitted to the United States upon your return). For further information, see the “Work Authorization” and “Travel Documents” webpages.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/02/2009