Updated 10 months ago

You must have a work permit in order to work or operate a business in Belize unless you are a permanent resident. Here you will find all necessary information on the related formalities for obtaining one.

Do you wish to settle and work in Belize? Unemployment is high, so there are a number of jobs that are reserved for Belizeans only. In fact, in order for an employer to hire a foreigner, they must show that Belizeans are unable to do the job. If you have a special skill, you may be able to find a job.

The other way to get a work permit is to start a business. The government is much more friendly with this route, particularly if you plan to hire Belizeans and create new jobs.

Procedure for acquiring your work permit

Generally, formalities are almost the same in either case. You go to the closest Labor Department of Belize with the following documents:

  • The application form, which can be obtained from any number of office supply type stores
  • Photocopies of all pages of your passport
  • 3 passport-size ID pictures
  • A receipt from the Treasury Department indicating that you have paid the BZD25 administrative fee
  • BZD20.00 in postage stamps
  • A copy of your Belize Police Record

If you are applying for a work permit to be employed, you will also need:

  • Three clippings from local papers showing that your employer attempted to offer the position to Belizeans
  • A bank statement from your employer
  • Relevant certificates
  • A letter of recommendation from your employer

If you are applying by means of starting a business, you will also need

  • Bank statement and/or letter indicating how you plan to sustain yourself and finance the business
  • Your trade license
  • A letter of intent to employ Belizeans
  • A recommendation letter from the village council
  • Company Registration Certificate
  • Certificates and/or diplomas
  • Recommendation letter from relevant ministry or organization
  • Other relevant documents, including birth certificate, marriage license, land title, etc.
  • Business plan

The company that wants to hire you may be willing to handle the formalities on your behalf. Your employer will also have to justify your skills to hire you for the position.


There are fees for obtaining a work permit in addition to the application fee. These vary depending on type of employment. You must reapply each year until you obtain permanent residency.

 Useful link:

Belize Work Permit: http://www.ins.gov.bz/index.php/

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