So you wish to move to Belize?

 

BPR & QRP – Qualified Retirement Program

Path to Residency in Belize.

 

The requirements and benefits for Belize Permanent Resident status I am told, are similar to those of the Qualified Retired Persons Incentive Act. The application process and supporting documents are virtually the same as for retirement residency. But there are some significant differences.

Permanent Resident

When you become a regular Belize permanent resident, you do not have to deposit a sum of money in a bank in Belize. And unlike the QRP program, you do not have to continue making cash deposits every monthly into a local bank account.

You do however have to show financial resources equal to those required to obtain residency status. Most importantly you can be gainfully employed in Belize.

You must reside here for a full year before applying for permanent residency. During this time, you cannot leave the country for more than 14 consecutive days.

Is it more expensive to apply for regular permanent residency than for retired permanent residency? The answer is yes.  Application fees vary according to your country of origin, ranging from US$125 (citizens of Guatemala and Mexico) to US$2,000.

If you are a citizen of the U.S. you can expect to pay US$1,000, and most British Commonwealth residents also pay US$1,000. CARICOM citizens pay US$250.

Once residency is granted however, you pay a fee of US$62.50 for a residency card. You apply to the Belize Immigration and Nationality Department instead of through the Belize Tourism Board. The address for information and application forms, contact: Immigration and Nationality Department Ministry of National Security and Immigration Belmopan, Belize Tel.: 501-222-4620 Fax: 501-222-4056 and the Government web site is

http://www.belize.gov.bz/

BRP or Belize Retired Persons Incentive Program.

I am quoting directly from the brochure given me by Roshel Godfrey, a government representative for the program.

The retirement program in Belize was created especially for those people who wish to live in Belize and can prove a permanent and consistent income from investment (abroad or in Belize) pension or other retirement benefit.

QRP - Who can qualify for this program?

Anyone 45 years or older from anywhere in the world can qualify for the program. A person who qualifies can also include his or her dependents in the program. Dependents include spouses and children under the age of 18. However it can include a person up to the age of 23 if enrolled in a university.

Some benefits from retiring in Belize (and again I quote):

  • Tax breaks

  • Peaceful nation

  • English speaking

  • Good education system

  • Sub-tropical climate all year round

  • Easy access to land for development or construction of a retirement home

  • Close proximity to the United States and  Mexico

  • Strong and stable Belize Dollar

  • Abundance of natural resources

  • Breathtakingly beautiful

  • Friendly people.

Detailed information on the application process (which I am informed changes often) is on their web site.

Please do not accept this information to be accurate! I have always been a great believer in going straight to the source where possible. There is no better; let me rephrase that – there should be no better source of current information on everything official ‘Belize’ than their own Governments web site. I made the correction because an official member of the government told me that you can’t rely on anything on the government web site!!!

The US Governments web site relating to US and Belize relations is  http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/1955.htm

 

Dr. Shield discusses the QRP program with government QRP & Licensing officer Roshel Godfrey

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