Can a US citizen live in Belize?
You’ve visited Belize and have fallen in love with the lifestyle, the people and the climate. Now you want to make this country your new home. So, can a US citizen permanently move to Belize?
The short answer is “yes”. Belize is one of the most welcoming countries in Central America for expats and there are many options you can consider.
If you’re an American citizen with a valid passport, you get a tourist visa when you enter Belize. Good for up to 30 days, this is renewable each month for up to 6 months at any immigration office. However, you can’t work on a tourist visa.
To work, volunteer or start a business in Belize, you’ll need a work permit which you can renew annually for about US$1000. If you have an employer, they’ll take care of the paperwork; otherwise, you can do it yourself at an immigration office. Make sure to keep your tourist visa valid until your work permit is approved!
Qualified Retired Persons Incentives Program (QRP)
If you don’t plan to work in Belize, then the QRP is a great option. To qualify, you must be at least 45 years old. You must also be able to prove a monthly income of US$2000 per month from a source outside of Belize.
If you qualify for the QRP, you’ll be able to import all of your personal belongings into Belize without paying any fees. This includes your car or boat.
While there are up front fees of about US$1200 associated with applying for the QRP, once you are accepted, you only need to pay US$25 a year to maintain it.
Becoming a Citizen or Permanent Resident
After a year of living in Belize, you can apply for permanent residency. The advantage is that you don’t need to file for renewals and you can work without a permit. Once you’ve been a permanent resident for 5 or more years, you can apply for citizenship.
Buying Property in Belize
Whichever option you choose from those listed above, you will face no restrictions on buying property in Belize. Not only is it easy for foreigners to buy property here, there are also no capital gains taxes and property taxes are very low.
Salt Life Belize
One of the best places to live in the country is Salt Life Belize. With every modern convenience and a fantastic location in San Pedro, this is the place to consider for your next home. To find out more, contact us to talk to one of our friendly staff members.