Close

QRD & shipping personal items

I have a few questions about participating in the QRD program.  Mainly...WHEN can you apply?

Can we apply and get approved before we move to Belize so we can ship our household items duty-free at the same time we plan to move there? 

Or...Do we need to live in Belize first to apply - and just have our personal items held in the U.S. until we qualify?  If we need to live there, then for how long? 

Or...Can we apply immediately upon entering Belize - instead of going the tourist route with the $25/mo & $50/mo fees? 

Do we have to own our property before applying?

Lastly, is it better/easier to just come in as a tourist, ship our stuff, and pay duty on everything?

CharMace;
The QRP program is administered by the Belize Tourist Board (BTB) rather than by the Immigration Dept. as is the case with Permanent Residency.

The QRP Program can be applied for prior to moving to Belize. I have not gone that route so I cannot speak to the difficulty of the process, or the time it takes to be approved. Here is a link to the BTB page regarding this program. https://btb.travelbelize.org/media/download/1667

I would recommend making contact directly with them for the most up to date information with regards to requirements, fees, and proceedures.

Good luck, I hope this helps.

Thank you.  That does help.  Being able to get approved prior to moving there will help with timing the arrival of our personal effects.

Makes much more sense to deal with the government agency why would you go to a forum online

I have been to the tourist board's website.  I have read the packet they put out.  I have also sent an email to them with my questions - but have not heard back yet.  In the meantime, I went on this forum to seek general knowledge of the process or experiences of those who have actually done it to get opinions and comments.   

Our retirement is several years away, and by then the rules, fees, etc. could definitely change, so I'm not looking for rock solid advice.  I'm just trying to get a general idea so we can start weighing the pros and cons of each choice we have on how to get there, and how to stay there.  I know to get my final answers from officials.

With that in mind...my next question is:  If you don't do the QRD program, but still want to buy property and stay long term, what other choice do you have?  I know about the visitor route - get your passport stamped each month, and pay the monthly fees, but I can't find anywhere what happens after the first year?  Is there another way to stay long-term that I'm just not finding?

With that in mind...my next question is:  If you don't do the QRD program, but still want to buy property and stay long term, what other choice do you have?  I know about the visitor route - get your passport stamped each month, and pay the monthly fees, but I can't find anywhere what happens after the first year?  Is there another way to stay long-term that I'm just not finding?

CharMace;

Here is a link to an article that will explain your options to legally stay in Belize permanently. I hope it helps. http://bit.ly/23EIeDp

In short your options are the Qualified Retirees Program(QRP) which you know about and is a quicker process that offers some benifits with regards to import of personal items, but also has restrictions that should be considered.

The next option is Permanent Residency (PR). This is a longer process that is administered through the Dept. of Immigration and you will find less actual documentation on this option. You must live in Belize without leaving for more than a total of 14 days during that year. At that time you may apply for PR. The process to be approved generally is between one and two years. During that time you must continue to renew your visitor visa until you are approved.

Perpetual Tourist is the process of renewing your visitor visa indefinitly and it is the route that many part time expats (annual visitors) utilize. This is not usually an option for people that make a permanent move. Immigration at some point will insist that some form of residency is applied for.

The options each have their own set of pros and cons that should be considered depending on what your goals are with respect to working, owning a business etc.

Land can be purchased at anytime without any residency status. I am told by Immigration officials that purchasing land helps with the PR process. Personnaly I question the wisdom of purchasing land without living here for a while or before the residency process is approved, might be just me though.

The above post is correct buying land without having a certainty of what you're buying is a mistake there is no title insurance in Belize there is fraud and there is Maya communal land so best to live rent there for a while and ask a lot of people about what land is legal to buy and what isn't

Thank you!

I have no experience of the retirement programme, I dismissed it as I thought it too restrictive. I have had no problem buying every thing i needed if it  would not fit in my luggage.. I have not yet stayed a complete year so have not qualified for permanent residence.   the downside of monthly renewal , is that accidently overstaying can be a big hassle. do not ever try to leave with an overstay . one of the problems can be how you passport is stamped.  my previous passport had to be renewed half way through its life. no pages left.   I am more qualified to comment on property matters.  you do not say how much experience you have of belize.   I have done business in over 40 countries, and think Belize has more variation in climate and topography than any developing country I have been to.   to buy without experience of the locality borders on lunacy in my view.  always use your own attorney, never totally rely on the vendors or agents assurances.   always make sure there is clear full title,   leases are a minefield.   several long holidays are a good plan before buying.
    Belize has changed enormously over the last five or six years. the pioneer spirit is not as essential as earlier.  there is so much to enjoy in belize, but do not compare it with your home country.

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in Belize

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Belize

Moving to Belize

Find tips from professionals about moving to Belize

Travel insurance in Belize

Enjoy a stress-free travel across Belize

Flights to Belize

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Belize