More QRP questions

My wife and I purchased property in the Cayo a couple years ago. We have been heading back down there a couple times a year for 2 weeks at a time to prepare the property for our permanent home. Once our house we are in now sells we will be ready to move to Belize and start building. My question is, when should we apply for the QRP program? Can we do it before we actually move there? I've also heard that once you are accepted you only have one year to bring your stuff in to Belize. I've heard that acceptance in the QRP could take a couple years. If this is the case, and I am ready to move to Belize next month will I have to wait till I'm accepted into the QRP to bring in my personal belongings?
Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to get everything in line before we make the move.

Hello bwd61;
Permanent Residency can take several years to be approved and is administered by the Immigration Department. The QRP however is administered by the Belize Tourist Board (BTB) and is approved much quicker if you qualify. The QRP may also be applied for before you move. In addition to the one year amnesty on duties, some items are allowed to be brought in every three years such as personal transportation, although duty would then have to be paid on the previous vehicle.

Rules and requirements can change often and without notice, or are interpreted and enforced at the individual discretion of the officer that handles your imports. I would suggest contacting BTB directly to get the best advice on how to proceed. If you are planning to move in a month, now is probably the time. FYI here is a link to the BTB with contact information. A phone call may be best to connect with someone there with whom correspondence can exchanged.

Good luck, I hope this helps.

Thank you Bill,
We will be back down there next week and will stop by the BTB office. Do you know if there is an office in San Ignacio or Belmopan?
Thanks again, you usually seem to have the answers.

I just spoke to the lady who handles this in the Belize City office (tel: 227-2420). It would appear that there are offices in San Pedro and in Belize City as well as at the Northern Border. All documentation must be forwarded to Belize City for security checks and approval. I was told that when the documentation is complete, the approval process "usually" takes 6 - 8 weeks.

My experience when applying for Permanent Residency ( I am sure this would apply to QRP as well) was that it is best to go directly to the office where approvals are issued.  For example we applied for PR in Belmopan where the process is handled, but our initial police interviews were done in San Pedro (where we lived at that time). Those reports that we were told normally take 4 -5 weeks to be received in Belmopan took 5 months for me and 7 months for my wife.

My advice would be to maybe visit the border office to obtain the application and requirements to apply, but then submit the application in Belize City and be able to follow it's status at the source. The rules are not always clear here, so I would plan to stay overnight when applying in case there are hoops to jump through. For example, with our PR, some required documentation, or forms that needed to be notarized were not be indicated on the application.

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