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Belize: Country and Foreign Investment

Entry and Residence

The following information was correct at the time of writing, but travellers to Belize should check with their local embassy or Belize Immigration Department prior to travel since visa requirements are subject to change.

United States citizens and citizens from the European Community do not require visas for travel to Belize; citizens of Bangladesh, Bolivia, Columbia, China, Angola, Brazil, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Cuba, India, Libya, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa and nationals of the former USSR require previous approval for a visa from the Ministry of Human Resources, Department of Immigration. Visitors are permitted to stay in Belize for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days. Extensions may be granted upon application to the Immigration Office, Corner Pickstock and North Front Streets, Belize City, at a cost of BZD25.00. Travelers should show that they have sufficient funds for their visit (USD50.00 per person per day), as well as a ticket to their onward destination. Any individual can apply for permanent residence after one year of legal residence in Belize on a continuous basis. The permanent residence fee is BZD100.00 and a deposit is needed which can range from BZD100.00 to BZD1,200.00 depending on the nationality of the applicant. This deposit may be refunded three years after residency is granted. The application form is to be accompanied by two passport photographs of each member of the family wishing to travel to Belize, and the back of a photograph should be endorsed with his or her name and signed by a Justice of the Peace. Applicants should also attach to the petition personal bank statements and current Medical and Police Records.

To acquire nationality status an applicant should have permanent residence or have resided legally in Belize for at least 5 years. For additional information contact:

The Immigration and Nationality Department
Belmopan, Cayo District
Phone: 011-501-822-3860
Fax: 011-501-822-2662

The Retired Persons' Incentive Act

The Retired Persons Incentive Act passed by the Belize legislature in early 1999 resembles the formerly popular but now defunct pensionado program in Costa Rica, and is designed to attract more retirees to Belize. Qualified retirees are able to live full time tax-free in Belize and bank there, under a 'permanent' tourist visa. To be designated a Qualified retired person under the program, applicants must receive a monthly income of not less than USD2,000 through a pension or annuity that has been generated outside of Belize.



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