Belize has become a very popular place for people from around the world who are looking for a lifestyle change. It is important that you understand residency requirements for your status so that you can plan ahead. Basic information is provided below. If you have additional questions about any of these topics please feel free to contact us.
Retirement: If you plan to retire here in Belize, you should consider the Qualified Retirement Program (QRP) which allows you free access in and out of Belize. It also allows you to bring in your personal belongings and vehicles without paying any duties or taxes. If you do come in under this program, you cannot work in Belize. To qualify you must be 45 or older and have income of at least $2,000.00 USD monthly or $24,000.00 USD annually.
Residency: Citizens from most developed nations are welcomed to Belize without the need for additional paperwork. However, if you plan on spending more than 30 days in the country, you will need to go by the immigration office on the island to get a stamp which will allow you an additional 30 days. The extension will cost you $25.00 USD every 30 days. After six months the fee will increase to $50.00 USD. You cannot work in Belize during this time. After one year in the country you can apply for permanent residency, which will require you to complete some forms, provide a police report, medical report as well as to pay a fee. There are facilitators who can assist you with this process for an additional fee. Once you receive permanent residency status, you can come and go and work as you please without the need to check in with immigration.
Work Permit: If you plan to come to Belize and purchase a business or start a business, you will need to consider getting a work permit (valid for one year) which will allow you to work until you gain residency status. The work permit application will require a medical report, a police report and payment of a fee. Again facilitators are available to speed up the process. Certain jobs will not be available to you here as they are generally reserved for Belizeans (tour guides, regular hospitality positions, dive masters). The process will take about 30 days and you must be in Belize to apply.
For details and assistance in getting additional information on any of these programs, do not hesitate to contact us.