Relocating to Belize need info on provable income

Hi I am wondering the following...I want to do the visa renewal every 30 days method, I heard a USA citizen does NOT have to do this? also the $50 a day sustenance requirement.. does that count for a MINOR child as well? In other words myself and my 4 year old daughter equals $100 or do I just have to prove $50 and how CAN I prove that? also if I stay permanent which is the goal will a large account in say Atlantic bank there suffice for my income or does it have to be a monthly income?  Or a combo of both? Does buying a home there HELP with any of that? I would not have to prove I can afford a hotel etc ? any help appreciated  alSo DRUMMER DAN ( NOW DECEASED ) FROM  cRAZY cANUCKS WAS A LIFELONG FRIEND ANY PEOPLE HERE KNOW HIM?

Every nationality has to do the monthly Immigration trip it is $50 bze each month for the first 6 months then each month after that it is $100 bze. Ocaisionally you may be asked to prove you can sustain yourself. The usual way is to put your atm card into the bank machine and get the balance on it so that is what you can show the immigration officer. If you are hoping to get the residency you are not allowed to leave Belize for more than a total of 14 days in the 12 months before you can put in your application. After that you have more leeway, while things are being processed. The processing time is slow My son is coming up to the first  anniversary of his application going in.  He has been told he's on the last leg. If you are out of Belize for more than 14 days in that first year you have to start as day one again. I am sorry I do not know if the fees apply to your 4 year old, i Kinda expect they will though.
If going that route one bit of advice be sure you have plenty of free pages in your passport. The Belize stamp is large and they will not allow it to overlap either another Belize stamp or any other countries. Some of the officials will stamp to one side allowing sufficient room for two on the same page some will go directly in the centre so using a whole page. It is likely to be a full day trip for the immigration office depending on the area you will be living. This week they have just about caught up with the backlog for  the office  being closed for 3 days because of Earl. My son was due on Wednesday he was told all tickets gone come back tomorrow. On Thursday got a ticket but  the last 4 or 5  people were sent back again,  On Friday he got seen. We are lucky inso far as we are only 10 to 15 minutes away from the office but one older couple who he was waiting with each day were traveling in from half way down the Humming bird.  it is also 30 days not monthly or 4 weeks so its a different day of the week each time and if you are due on Saturday or Sunday you have to go in on the Friday. Being so close when  that is the case my son calls in around lunch time when mostly all  tickets are already issued, he is then officially told to come back Monday.

what happens if I run out of pages in the passport?

The people who manage the QRP program with the Government of Belize (GOB) should be very helpful. You can call them. Also, I would strongly suggest you rent there for a while before buying; just to make sure it is what you want. I have seen so many ex pats come down, think they are living in paradise for the first year and then suddenly have a epiphany and want to return. It is difficult to impossible to sell a property there in any reasonable period of time. I understand that you have probably spent time in Belize and think it is perfect; and it may be. Just saying that raising a child there, full time, with lousy schools - it is a third world country; no shopping; one grocery store in the whole country, and Chetamul the closest McDonalds sounds like heaven, but until you have lived there, you really don't know. There is no work in Belize. At some point your child will be thinking about high school and then college. There is very little there; the best jobs there for women is with the bank. There is a half way good school in Belize City, but do you want to LIVE THERE? There was a school in Maya Beach run by a lovely Mennonite couple; but the criteria for the teacher was that she graduate HS in Spanish Lookout. We leaves for a year and a that point, our son was getting older and it was time to move back. Do I miss it? Of course; it was beautiful and I still have friends there, but I am so glad we leased. When it came time to leave, we gave our thirty days notice, packed up and were able to go back without a huge financial obligation. With a child, you never know what the next turn in the road might be.

are you saying there are NO HIgh Schools in Belize? Certainly it can not be as glum as you have described here. ANybody else care to weigh in? She makes it sound like a nightmare


There is a private K-12 school in Belize City and I think one in Belmopan. The balance of the schools in Belize are operatated jointly by the GOB and the Catholic church (there may be exceptions, but in general that is the way it goes). There is a school in Placencia (elementary) that I think is joint GOB and Episcopal. I am not trying to suggest it is a nightmare; it just depends on whether you want to "live Belize" or "live first world" while you are down there. You can "live Belize" for very little. If you chose to live US/Canadian standards, it is a very different situation. We chose to "live US" and for us it was very rewarding and I would not trade my experiences or friends; however, the medical infrastructure is not as extensive as what you are probably accustomed to and neither is access to shopping. Electricity is outrageous; our bill to ac a 2200 sf house was $600-$700 US a month. Airfare in and out of BC is twice that of Cancun.  I am not familar with Ambergris as we never even visited there. We lived in Plantation near Placencia. Housing there was averaging about $400k - $600K US to buy. Maya Beach is lovely, but no kids there. There are few if any children among the ex pats as almost all are older and retired. If you are going to move to Belize with a young child, you might have to be prepared to raise your child "Belize", otherwise there is no one to play with or grow up with. The only part of the country that is not "Belize" is Spanish Lookout and they typically do not sell to outsiders. If might be worth looking at and if you are Mennonite, you could probably buy there. Not trying to paint a dismal picture at all. It is a wonderful country, but it is third world and the government has a lot of problems. There are only about 300K people in the whole country, so the growth and service infrastructure is, of necessity, limited by the population. There are stores scattered around the country, but they are mostly run by Chinese and have spotty goods. Fresh vegetables, which should be everywhere, are not, as the government, for some unknown reason, restricts the growing. (Lots of weird practices). We had green beans twice in the year and a half we lived there. San Ignacio has better access to vegetables and so does Corozol. If any of this comes as a surprise to you, then you may want to spend more time there before you buy and put down roots.

A little glum, do you think? But everyone's expectations and reality are different.

I spent my first year and a half in San Pedro, I can assure you that there are high schools, Catholic, public, and private. Also, off the top of my head I can think of at least five good size grocery stores, not to mention the many convenience stores. If you want mustard for example, you might not find Heinz or French's but you will find mustard. US brand names will be considerably more expensive. Most people by fruits and vegetables at the markets, meat from the butcher, and bulk and packaged items at the grocery store.

We find that the mainland has more selection of everything for half the price. In San Ignacio, there are at least six grocery stores I can think of off the top of my head. I can't really speak to the schools there but I can tell you that many students  graduate and go to the US or Canada to university, so I assume the quality of education here is sufficient enough that they do keep up and earn degrees. You might want to research the schools, like everywhere some probably have better academic reputations than others.

Hope this helps.

Bill hahah thanks... I thought perhaps she was being a tad over the top ..As a new yorker and also a part time resident of Italy I prefer the open air markets and butchers bakers and candlestick makers  better quality for sure.. I can survive anywhere ..Italy is the same USA name brands cost more ..even in the USA Frenches brand cost more than Walmart brand .. thanks for restoring my peace of mind. If anyone knows a lawyer that can give me a little free advice on my Full Custody rights with my daughter I would love a little extra peace of mind there as well ciao!

Don't Know a lawyer but just about anything you need is available , you may have to search for it in  the markets or small stores but it is there.
As for schools do look into home schooling possibilities some find it the better way.if you live North american it will be very expensive if you live at least part Belizean  the cost are considerably lower

There are many schools in Belize...both government schools and parochial schools, ie Catholic, Anglican, Nazarene, Methodist.  Some better than others.  There is also Escuela Mexico....a high school that is very good and if accepted there the student, from what I am told, has an advantage in going to Universidad de Quintana Roo in Chetumal.  But Spanish is necessary.  As to grocery stores...please...only 1?  In corozal town we have several, some owned by Asians, by East Indians and by Belizeans.  Yes, US brands cost more ( remember they are the imports) but local brands, ie Mexican and Guatamelan are more reasonable and quite good  Fresh fruits and vegetables are good and inexpensive, beef for the most part is not what you are used to...we stick to chicken, pork, fish and shrimp...all very good.  We do not use AC and our electric bill for a large house is $100 BZ ( $50 USD ) per month...with the breezes we do not need AC.  It truly all depends on if you want to live like you did wherever you came from...or if you want an adventure

ok Carolyn 1 I appreciate your replies however you and I are TOTALLY different people I am looking at $50 thousand dollar houses I LIKE other cultures if I want to live as an american i will stay in america I lived in Italy I know how to adapt also I have no intention of living in nor COOLING a 2200 sq foot house! My daughter and I do NOT need that kind of space... I WANT to integrate as much as I can i WANT to live like a local .. I want t be accepted because I respect where I will BE and that I AM A GUEST there.  My daughter is 4 and has travelled the world  and has learned to love other cultures ..her fave food right now is Salvadoran Pupusas and Colombian EMpanadas haha  all due respect Carolyn 1 but sorry you were sounds like you went there with the mindset of living like you would in the USA or at least trying to bring those hopes expectations with you..a recipe for disaster and disapointment... your posts here bring an old saying to mind..."When in Rome..."

If you run out of pages in Passport you have to get a new one. The Immigration officer will most likely point out you need a new when only about 3 or 4 pages left. After you get a replacement take both passports old and new every subsequent visit to immigration as they will be counting the stamps for your application for residency.

Depending which area you settle in there are High schools in every area, I do not know the schools available in Corozal but in the Cayo district there are several in Belmopan  San Ignatio and Santa Elena, Some are state  run and some church or private schools.  The education system is based more on the UK rather than the US but still learn basicly the same stuff in General, but more general world history and not as much US specific hisstory. I do not agree the schools are lousy, but I can see a lot of problems transfering into and out of the belize system to and from the US system.
Well I am not sure where that One grocery store is but there are grocery store in most villages and the  towns have loads, in Belize you can get most stuff you can get in the US.  prices may be from 50% to 150% higher and you wont have the same choices of Brand names. for example a fairly basic Whirlpool stove in Belize can cost about $3000 Belize, if you buy a top of the line Mabe (local mexican brand) stove it will be half price and the climate in Belize will start rusting it in time regardless of brand.  I have been living and visiting Belize for 20plus years in that time the changes are very  noticeable. One thing is  the pricing  of everyday groceries has improved hugely, but still if you ONLY want your american brands it will still be very expensive.

I use Mikhail Arguelles for my legal concerns - 501 223 6798. He is located in Belize City on New Road. He is very competent and deals with a variety of issues, from property closings to business licensing and more. I am sure he could handle that issue as well. Good luck with your endeavors.

Hi everyone,

@ Karenjoe, could you please recommend your contact in the Belize business directory ?

This will surely benefit members looking for a reliable professional.

Thank you in advance,

There are plenty of supermarkets and schools in Belize the Gob makes a good share of its income on Tariffs so imported products will be more expensive because of that local products will be cheaper a big factor to moving to Belize is being able to accept local differences. Homeschooling is popular in Belize and there are groups in Belize to support each other. Expect Health Care to be basic you will learn who's competent by talking to other expats. It is common for people to go to Merida or Playa Del Carmen or Cancun for more advanced Healthcare or go all the way up to the US or Canada

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