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How to Retire to Belize

Belize ResidenceLocated on the beautiful coast of Central America neighboring Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is a retirement hotspot for foreign nationals from all over the world. Belize is attractive to potential retirees for several reasons, including the fact that English is the nation’s official language, the country’s purported low cost of living, its education system, healthcare facilities, and temperate climate. The country’s Qualified Retired Person’s Status (QRP status) is open to citizens or permanent residents of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Belize.

Benefits of Retirement in Belize

Retiring in Belize offers numerous benefits to foreign nationals and their families. Foreign nationals who hold QRP status are exempt from all taxes on all income and receipts, all import taxes and duties on the retiree’s personal effects for the first Belize importation, and all import taxes and duties on a personal motor vehicle every year. Additionally, the retiree’s spouse and all minor children (under the age of 18) can accompany the retiree to Belize. Finally, the retiree is authorized to conduct business while living in Belize, as long as the commercial activities are mainly carried on outside of the country.

Permission to conduct business from within Belize if business activities are carried on mainly outside of the country and are not conducted with Belizeans.

Who Qualifies?

Any Retired Person over 45 years of age who is a citizen or permanent resident of the USA, UK, Canada or Belize may apply for Qualified Retired Person status.

Application Requirements

Interested persons can obtain an application form from the Belize Tourist Board (BTB). Completed applications must be submitted along with the following supporting documentation:

  • Birth Certificate (A copy of a certificate for the applicant and each dependant)
  • Marriage Certificate (If married and spouse is a dependant)
  • Authentic Police Record (An authentic police record from the applicants last place of residency issued within one month prior to this application)
  • Passport (Clear copies of complete passport (including all blank pages) of applicant and all dependents that have been certified by a Notary Public. The copies must have the passport number, name of principal, number of pages and the seal or stamp of the Notary Public.)

Proof of Income:

  1. An official statement from a bank or financial institution certifying that the applicant is the recipient of a pension or annuity of a minimum of US$2,000.00 per month.
  2. A Financial Statement from a financial institution, bank, credit union, or building society in Belize certifying that the applicant’s investment will generate the sum of a minimum of US$2,000.00 per month or the equivalent of US$24,000.00 per year.
  3. Medical Examination (Applicants should undergo a complete medical examination including an AIDS test. A copy of the medical certificate must be attached to the application.)
  4. Passport photos (Four front and four-side passport size photographs that have been taken recently of applicant and dependents)
Given the complexity of business registration and operation in Belize, combined with the need to comply with the country’s immigration laws, it is highly recommended that interested investors contact skilled attorneys to help them complete these processes.
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