Permanent Residency

Hey! Anybody have any experience with the 14 day bit? Specifically, we are trying to get my husband to be able to be in the states for both Christmas at my mom's house (not actual Christmas day) and New Year's Eve (our anniversary). This would mean him being gone from Belize 14 days not including the day he leaves or gets back. Do departure and return days count? I know I could call immigration, but the answer would depend on who answers the phone, so I'd rather have a survey of sorts. His year is up end of January, so we really don't want to screw this up, but we also really want to be together for New Years. I already have my tickets because I've already applied. And yes, I know they can turn down my application too. I'm willing to take the chance.

Monkey Town brew;
I must admit that I have no actual experience pushing that particular envelope.

My experience in Belize is to always err on the side of caution. As you mentioned, even if you can find and obtain printed documentation from Immigration explaining the rule the way that works for you, That may all change at the discretion of an individual enforcement officer.

I know that this is not what you want to hear, but a choice between Christmas or New Years, or of doing both at the expense of restarting the clock(s) may have to be made.

I would suggest visiting Belmopan and ask to see the director, get her opinion and make the introduction. Unlike many of her subordinates, she is a nice and helpful lady and may even sign something stating her ruling and that you are good for specific dates. My understanding is it takes about two weeks to get an appointment with her, but, I was able to see her without an appointment (no palms greased either). I did have to wait for an hour or so to be fit in. Then at least then you would have something for her to remember you by, and someone of a higher authority that could help you later with the desired ruling, if everything were to go south when you get back.

I hope this helps. Please keep us informed on how this plays out.

Thanks, Bill. I will try that and keep everyone posted. If we can't get in to see her, we may have to go the cautious route.

Also, I don't know if others have experienced this, but for those of you that homeschool, we were told we needed to have a letter from the Education Ministry approving that before they would even take my daughter's application. I had never heard that. Also, they changed the minimum age for the police report from 16 to 12. A sad statement on the times we live in, no doubt. Hope that makes someone's Belmopan trip a little smoother ;)

The 14 days is a cumulative number for the full 12 months and yes it counts the dates you leave and return  in that 14 day allowance not just nights out of country. These rules were spelled out to My son in Belmopan, which was why he had to start again after the first 10 months he was there. They counted 3  different day trips into Chet when he did not even over night, which took him 2 days over. He then took a longer break in the US and started again when he returned. In theory they can give a dispensation to just add an extra month to the 12 but they were clear that is only given in rare compationate cases, say visiting a sick or dying relative. Still waiting on a final interview for a decision about his Citizenship now up to 13 months after papers went in.

BTW the Directot in Belmopan has been on sick leave for a while now but if she in Her office she will often see people without an appointment if time is availabe, yes a very nice lady. She explained the compasionate dispensation part, but you do have to get the dispensation before you travel not in retrospect.

Hmm. Well, that's a bummer. We'll still check. Now to see if he chooses New Year's with me or Christmas with my family.

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