The Scoop on Belize Citizenship, Residency, Visas & More
Posted by David Kafka on 06/21/2021 10:45 AM
What is one thing that Belize has that many other countries don’t? Space! No matter what religion you are, what political party you belong to, your background, etc. We have one word for you: WELCOME!
Belize is slightly smaller than Massachusetts with 8,867 square miles BUT only has just over 400,000 people.
That equals 5,674,880 acres in total or about 14 Acres per person. Now THAT is social distancing.
On top of that, we have gorgeous weather. When much of North America is freezing, we are warm and sunny at 82° F or 27° C.
To visit and stay in Belize is pretty easy. Just this week, we received a few messages from clients asking, “How can we visit as Americans? Can we buy property?” The answer is YES!
There are several ways to visit Belize, either by a Qualified Retirement Program (QRP), tourist visa, work permit, residency, or citizenship.
QRP - This is the qualified retirement program. If you are 45 years old and can put $24,000 USD in a bank account or $2,000 USD a month, you qualify.
You can bring a boat, car, plane, boat, and personal belongings to Belize duty-free. You can go and come as often as you want. There is a 30-day consecutive requirement on staying here a year total.
Tourist Visa - When you travel into Belize, you get a 30-day stamp on your passport. This stamp acts as your tourist visa. Then before your 30 days expire, you can go to immigration to renew for another 30-day visa stamp. You can do this forever if you like. The fee for this pleasure is $200 USD a month.
Work Permit - If you want to work while in Belize, you must get a work permit, which would replace the 30-day tourist visa stamp, and it is good for a year. You also can apply for a dependent permit for your dependents in your household. Then they would not have to get a stamp every month.
The work permit fee depends on what nationality you are and where your passport is from. Belize is business-friendly, and we welcome you to come and start a business to provide jobs for Belizeans.
What isn’t allowed is for people to take local jobs away from Belizeans. You can purchase a hotel and hire the locals. You just can’t take a job away.
Residency - If you come to Belize as a tourist or with a work permit and never leave Belize for more than 14 days in a ONE-year period, you qualify to get residency. The fee depends on what nationality you are, and where your passport is from.
Sometimes Immigration will allow a longer trip out of Belize if it was for a family or medical emergency. You will need to prove it and they can at their discretion approve the time away from Belize.
Citizenship - This is easy, it just takes time. Once you are in the country legally for 5 years you qualify for nationality.
When you receive nationality you can get a Belize CARICOM passport. The main difference in residency and citizenship is the right to vote in the elections.
I got it for my Plan B. I am proud to be an American but I do not want to be forced to go back. I want the option, so that is why I worked to get my Belize passport.
If we offered open landscapes, ocean views, sandy beaches, and warm relaxing sunshine, would you come?
Plan your cold weather getaway now. We will relax with our toes in the Caribbean Sea.