Retirement & Immigration
About Belize – Retirement & Immigration
Residents of the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, Panama, members of the EU and most members of CARICOM nations do not need to have a visa in order to enter Belize. Other exceptions exist so please check. Visas are good for 30 days and can be extended for 30-day increments for a $25 fee at various immigration offices. The closet one to Placencia is in Independence, which is 10 minutes by Boat.
Residency in Belize can be obtained in any of the following ways:
- Reside in Belize continuously for 1 year
- Invest a significant amount of money or create a business that results in job creation
- Provide skilled and professional services that are needed in Belize
- Retire in Belize via the QRP Program
Qualified Retired Person (QRP) Program
One of the major attractions of buying property in Belize is the ease of becoming a resident via the QRP program. Even though you are allowed to reside in Belize permanently you do not obtain official “Resident” status; you obtain “QRP” status instead. This program is easy to qualify for, quickly to obtain and allows the person and dependents an unlimited stay in Belize. How to qualify? Simple! Be 45 years or older and deposit $US 2,000 a month in a local Belize checking account. The funds must originate from out of Belize and can be utilized as desired by the retiree while in Belize. This source can be pension, property investment returns, savings or any other source outside of Belize. The resident is then exempt from taxation on any income that comes from outside of Belize and may import personal items, one car, one boat and one airplane duty exempt. A small nominal fee is paid with the application. The one restriction to the QRP program is that one is not allowed to work in Belize since this program is intended for people moving to Belize to retire.
One can apply for citizenship and thereby obtain a passport after being a resident for 5 years.
In order to work in Belize one must either be a citizen or Resident (not QRP) or possess a proper work permit. Work permits are issued on an individual basis. Boris Mannsfeld & Associates can assist you in obtaining a proper work permit.