Belize Visa and Residency: Everything You Need to Know about the Many Options Available
Belize Visa and Residency Information
With more than 180 miles of beautiful beaches and islands, a friendly, relaxed pace of life, and fabulous year-round weather, more and more people are making the move to live or retire in Belize. Unlike other countries that force expats to run an expensive and complicated gauntlet of visas, the government of Belize openly welcomes visitors to its country.
If you have thought about moving to or retiring in Belize, here is everything you need to know about visas and residency:
Residency in Belize
The most popular residency program in Belize is known as the Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) Programme. Anyone aged 45 or older (retired or not) may be eligible. Qualifying individuals who can demonstrate a $2,000 a month pension, Social Security, or other annuity program can benefit from a number of tax breaks, including the duty-free importation of all household goods, including personal vehicles. The QRP program generously only requires 30 days a year to be spent in country. The QRP program benefits also cover spouses and children (including adult children) of eligible individuals.
The QRP program does preclude qualifying individuals from conducting business in or working in Belize, but does allow individuals to continue to operate businesses located outside of Belize.
Citizens of many countries, including Canada, the United States, Great Britain, CARICOM, Japan, Norway, Mexico, New Zealand, Venezuela, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Colombia, Japan, Brazil, Guatemala, and the European Union, can enter Belize without obtaining a visa prior to using their passport (that has at least six months left of validity).
Expats, tourists, and residents of Belize, including those entering on a tourist visa, have the right to freely move around in the country, buy property, sell property, and rent property, but not to work in Belize.
To stay in Belize longer, visitors must continue to renew their tourist visa every 30 to 90 days at the Immigration Department in Belize City, Belmopan, or directly with the senior immigration officer in other districts of the country. To renew the tourist visa, foreigners must demonstrate proof of sufficient funds, generally prorated at $60 per day.
In order to qualify for residency, foreigners must have spent one full year in Belize legally and pay a non-refundable fee of around $1,000 (depending on country of origin) and prove that they have transportation to their home country.
For more information on residency requirements, click here.
Citizenship in Belize
For permanent residents who can demonstrate that they have legally resided in Belize for five years or longer can qualify for citizenship. Citizenship can also be bestowed on spouses and minor children.
For more information on citizenship requirements, click here.
One of the best places to retire or invest in a second property in Belize is Orchid Bay. A master-planned, gated community located in Belize’s scenic Corozal District, Orchid Bay has completed villas, undeveloped lots, and condominiums available for expats looking for a new home in an established community.
For more information, please visit Orchid Bay today!