Living in Belize there are three different programs that you can use to move here. First there is the tourist visa which allows you to stay in the country for 30 days and is renewed monthly. The next is Permanent residency Program which allows you to stay in the country as a resident and not have to pay exit fees or the monthly renewal of a visa. The final is the QRP (qualified retired person) program which allows a person with an income to retire in Belize and import their goods for free.
Today, many expats apply for permanent residency in Belize, which makes it easier to travel in and out of the country and to deal with bureaucracy when you’re in it–when getting a driver’s license, for instance. You must live in Belize for one year to be granted permanent residency. To do this, enter the country on a tourist visa, apply for residency and then renew your tourist visa every 30 to 90 days until residency is granted.
To become a resident, you must pay a non-refundable fee of $1000 if you’re American or Canadian. Most other nationals pay slightly higher amounts to cover the cost of a return ticket to the country of origin.
Many expats in Belize opt for the Qualified Retired Persons Program residency program in order to gain residency in Belize. To take advantage of this visa, you have to be at least 45 years old and have a monthly income of at least $2,000 from a pension or annuity (including Social Security) generated outside of Belize. Despite the name, you don’t necessarily have to be retired.
As a Note: To acquire nationality status, you must have a permanent residence, and be a legal resident for a minimum of five years. There is also a provision for the registration of minor children along with the applicant. All necessary evidence should accompany the application to avoid delays.
Whether you decide to visit Belize as a Tourist, opt for permanent residency status or apply for QRP. Belize offers options for you to live a life full of warm sunshine, wonderful people and loads of freedom. Belize is a comfortable haven in a busy, stressful world. More information is available online through various channels. One of the joys of Belize is that you can always ask a question and someone will usually have an answer.