Belize is a welcoming country for foreign nationals as well as investors. The beautiful natural landscapes, the fact that English is the official language and the general quality of life are one of the top reasons why many foreign nationals decide to immigrate to Belize
The choice to relocate is even more popular amongst American citizens, given the official language and the BZD to USD exchange rate. The straightforward Belize company formation
process is another reason why investors may choose this location to base their onshore or offshore company.
Main steps to immigrate to Belize
According to the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry
, US citizens, those from Mexico, Costa Rica, Austria, EU Member States as well as those from the British Commonwealth (excluding India) do not need a visa to enter Belize. The 30-day visitor visa is mandatory for all other categories of foreign nationals.
A special approval is required for those who wish to enter Belize from Colombia, China, Brazil, Afghanistan, India, Peru, and other foreign nationals. The visa approval is issued by the Department of Immigration in this case.
For those who wish to move to Belize, a key step will be to apply for permanent residence in the country. However, this is not possible immediately and many foreign nationals will first acquire temporary residence.
The conditions for temporary residence are for the applicant to invest in Belize and the value of the investment needs to be of at least 500,000 BZD. The temporary residence permit is issued for one year, and it can be renewed. In a sense, this can be understoon as a Belize citizenship by investment
, as remaining in the country after investing can lead to citizenship.
Permanent residence in Belize
Individuals who immigrate to Belize and wish to acquire permanent residence need to comply with the following:
Minimum time in the country: the applicant needs to have legally resided in the country for 1 year when he or she submits the application;
Duration of stay: it is important to note that, during the 1-year period, the applicant cannot leave the country for more than 14 days, cumulated;
Financial stability: proof of income will be presented to the Immigration Office; the applicant who wishes to relocate to Belize needs to be able to continue to be financially stable to obtain permanent residency;
Criminal record: the applicant must not have been convicted and must not have been liable to imprisonment for the duration of twelve months or more.
If you are ready to submit the application for permanent residency, an important step in order to immigrate to Belize, you will need to prepare the following documents:
- proof of having stayed in the country for one year;
- police record;
- marriage certificate;
- income tax statement;
- temporary employment permit, if applicable;
- proof of having acquired land, if applicable;
- health certificate;
- recent phorographs.
Other documents may be required. Proof of payment for the the following fees is also provided:
- 1,000 BZD: the fee for citizens of the CARICOM countries (the Caribbean Community including countries such as Bahamas, Grenada, Jamaica, the Grenadines and others);
- 1,500 BZD: applicable to citizens of Mexico, Dominican Republic and those of Central American Countries;
- 3,000 BZD: for foreign nationals from the Commonwealth countries; citizens from the European countries are subject to a 6,000 BZD fee;
- 4,000 BZD: for citizens of countries other than those mentioned, for example Albania, Argentina, Afghanistan and others.
The fee for the temporary residence permit is 1/5 of the value payable for the permanent residence permit according to nationality.
Another option to move to Belize applies in case of minors who have entered the country when they were under the age of 16. Certain conditions apply in this case.
Relocate to Belize permanently and acquiring citizenship
After having resided in Belize for five years as a permanent resident, a foreign national can apply for nationality or citizenship.
The fee for the citizenship application is 300 BZD for nationality by registration and 40 BZD for nationality by descent.
When you immigrate to Belize, some of the issues to take into consideration immediately can include housing, signing different utilities and services agreements, as well as exploring the options for education, should one be traveling with the children.
Living in Belize or retiring here is attractive for many reasons, especially because of the splendid beaches. Contact us
if you want to know more about the general procedure required to immigrate to Belize