Belize has positioned itself as one of the best countries where retirees can seek residency. It’s quite affordable compared to many countries in the west. The cost of living here is generally cheap and they have good medical care and transport system.
The country was warm weather with amazing beaches. So, retirees don’t have to worry about going on holiday trips. Although Belize is small, it’s also a charming stunner. The natural beauty has many ruins and historic sites. In fact, it has the 2nd biggest coral reef in the world. The country has so many positive things going for it including a straightforward residency application procedure.
Residency and Retirement Programs in Belize
Note that Belize has a general permanent residency visa and a special Retired Person’s Incentive Program i.e. QRP. Permanent Residency is designed for those who can’t apply for the QRP program. Candidates eligible for this program must have stayed in Belize for one year and can’t leave the country for over 14 consecutive days during this period.
Retirees opt for QRP because it comes with a special residence status. A QRP can bring their personal items to Belize duty-free during their first year. Additionally, they can come and go as they please and they only must spend at least a month annually in Belize.
A QRP applicant needs to be at least 45 years old. Besides that, they need to show evidence, they are able to move $2,000 monthly or $24,000 annually to their bank account. For retirees, the best form of proof of income is a pension or social security statement.
- A copy of the birth certificate
- A passport copy
- Two passport photographs
- Current police record and medical records from your last country of origin
Fee payable at application submission:
USD $150.00 – Application Fee (non-refundable)
Fees payable at acceptance:
USD $1,000.00 – Applicant Program Fee
USD $750.00 each – Dependent Program Fee
USD $200.00 – QRP Program Card Fee
Annual Renewal Fee BZD $50.00 (US $25.00)
The Residency Application Process
This Central American country appeals to many expats because once you get permanent residency, you can work anywhere in the country without the need to have a work permit. The application process is quite easy, and you don’t need a lawyer.
The best way to go about it is by talking to the local immigration officials as soon as you arrive. This will give you a comprehensive overview of what you need to do. In case you are told that processing your visa will take more than 6 months (which is usually the case), get an attorney to write a letter to the immigration department on your behalf so that the waiting period can be shortened.
How Long Does it Take to Get Residence Visa in Belize?
The process of residency acquisition is quite different in Belize. First, it’s a requirement that they must spend at least 50 out of 52 weeks in a year in this country. After that, they can complete their application but it will still take them at least one year to get the residence.
For Permanent Residency Fees dependent on what country you are coming from, Click Here to take you to Belize Immigration Fees (in Belize Dollars)
Do tourists need a visa?
Most nationals who are tourist, do not require a visa to enter Belize and can stay up to 30 days before requesting an extension. The extension fee is per month for US $100 (BZ $200).