Many expats have chosen Belize for retirement. The many benefits of Belize include: year-round warm weather, official language of English, numerous opportunities for adventure, warm and laid back culture, and a beautiful, bio diverse landscape.
The government of Belize has established the Qualified Retired Persons Program (QRPP) to encourage retirees to settle in the country. Obviously, you will have to meet certain criteria. Read through the advantages and disadvantages of both the QRPP and the Permanent Residency Programs before making a decision.
Conditions of the qualified retired persons program
To be eligible for the QRPP, you must be more than 45 years old and receive a monthly income of more than USD2,000. Your dependents, that is your spouse and children (less than 18 years old or students less than 23 years old), may accompany you.
How to apply for a Belizean retirement visa
To qualify for the program, you have to submit your application to the Belize Tourism Board, which operates under the Ministry of Tourism. The documents to be produced are:
- The application form
- A copy of each family member's birth certificate
- A copy of the couple's marriage certificate if the spouse will be considered a dependent
- A police report produced in the last country of residence (no more than six months before the application) for each family member
- Notarized copy of each family member's passport, including blank pages
- Proof of income, including a bank statement from the applicant's most recent country of residence and another statement from a bank in Belize, certifying a monthly salary or pension of at least $ 2,000
- Medical examinations, including results certifying that none of the family members are HIV
- Four frontal and four profile passport size photos of each family member
- Proof of school enrollment for dependents between 18 and 23
Benefits of the qualified retired persons program
The QRPP card allows you to travel in and out of Belize and stay as long as you like without having to renew the tourist visa every 30 days.
Certain tax reductions and exemptions
Successful applicants are permitted duty free import of all personal belongings and one vehicle, boat, and airplane
Good to know:
Retirees are not allowed to work in Belize. However, they can invest or volunteer. You are required to renew each year, proving that you have met all the conditions set by the program, including spending at least 30 consecutive days in Belize each year. Should you decide you would like to switch to the Permanent Residence program, none of the time spent under the QRPP will be counted toward the year needed to apply for residence, and duty will have to be paid on all imported items.
Ministry of Tourism Belize Tourism Board belizetourismboard.org
QRPP details and application belizetourismboard.org/Belize-Retired-Persons-Incentives-Program