Belize Retirement through the Qualified Retired Persons program (QRP) is designed to attract more retirees to Belize by promoting retiring in Belize. In 1999, legislation was passed (Qualified Retired Persons Incentive Act) to make this process as painless as possible for the retirees, and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is responsible for running this program.
It is relatively easy to comply with the rules for the Belize’s Qualified Retired Persons Program (QRP). And other than the name suggests, you do not have to be retired at all, but there are some limits to employment.
The four main criteria for the QRP program are:
You, or your partner, must be at least 45 years of age.
You and your partner must have a (combined) monthly income from outside of Belize of at least BZ$ 4,000 (US$ 2,000). This could be from your pension, but it could also be from a non-Belize business that you operate.
You must stay in Belize for a minimum of four weeks per year.
You may not seek employment within Belize.
The Belize Tourist Board (BTB) is responsible for this Qualified Retired Persons program. While it does not disclose how many people have moved to Belize through this initiative, it is rumored that there are a maximum of several hundred applicants taking part in this program and it is unknown how many of these applicants will result in people actually moving. Other sources claim that Belize has over 20,000 new residents that can be directly attributed to the QRP program.
BELIZE RETIRED PERSONS INCENTIVE PROGRAM:
International Services Limited
Who Can Qualify For Belize Retirement Under QRP?
Anyone 45 years and older from the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, China, Commonwealth countries, Belize and any other country.
Qualified persons can include their spouse, dependents 18 years of age and younger, college students dependent up to 23 years old.
Belizeans who are 45 and older can qualify if they are returning to live in Belize.
Belize Retirement Documents Required:
1. Submit Application Form (See Application Form Attached)
2. Birth Certificate Copy for each member of the family (Notarized)
3. Marriage Certificate Copy, (if married and spouse is a dependent) (Notarized)
4. Authentic/Original Police Record from last place of residence, issued 1 month prior to application for applicant, wife and children 18 years and older.
5. Passport Color Copies of Complete Passport (including all blank pages) for each family member; each page must be certified and stamped by a Notary Public from your place of residency.
6. Proof of Income:
An official statement from a Bank or Financial Institution from the country of residence certifying that the applicant is the recipient of a monthly income of a minimum of US $2,000.00 through a pension or annuity that has been generated outside of Belize.
Kindly Note: All retirees are to open a Local Bank Account and deposit their monthly pension funds. The Belize Tourism Board will request bank statements on a yearly basis to show proof of income and compliance with the retirement program.
7. Medical Examination plus HIV/AIDS test for each member of the family.
8. Four front and four side passport photographs of each family member.
Please Note: Items 5, 7 and 8 can be completed in Belize when you are visiting.
Belize Retirement Incentives and Benefits:
Qualified Retired Persons can import personal effects free of import duties;
Qualified Retired persons are strongly encourage to procure a vehicle in Belize, no older than three years. However, we will facilitate duty and tax exemption on an imported vehicle. Motor vehicles must be no older than 3 years from the present year;
Qualified Retired Persons can import a boat free of import duties to be used for personal use;
Qualified Retired Persons are exempted from payment of all taxes on income received from outside Belize.
Please Note: All importation must be done within a year after the date of approval into the program. A Master List of household & personal effects must be submitted for approval before shipping.
Belize Retirement General Information:
Qualified Retired Persons are not allowed to seek employment in Belize, however, voluntary work and business investments are encouraged;
Qualified Retired Persons will be asked to submit a yearly bank statement showing compliance with the financial requirements of the program;
You will be required to renew your retiree status every year;
You will require a Customs Broker to process you importation of personal effects, vehicle or boat at your expense. You can request Broker available or check in the yellow pages;
You are not allowed duty free on items used to repair or build, neither tools of their trade;
You must spend an equivalent of 1 month in Belize annually to maintain your Belize Retirement status.
Please Note: If you desire to apply for Work Permit and Permanent Residence your Retirement Card will be revoked and payment will be required for all Duty Free Items.
Application Processing can be done through the Belize Tourism Board or via a private consultant.
International Services Limited’s Fees (by Private Immigration Consultant):
Our application processing fee for a Single Applicant and follow up on Retiree Card and Customs Letter for Duty Exemption is $700 USD in addition to general sales tax of 12.5% plus estimated miscellaneous expenses of $100 USD for local courier, telephone, fax, e-mail, photocopy and office supplies.
Processing of Additional dependent to the same application pays a fee of $75 USD, plus 12.5% general sales tax for a total of $84.37 USD.
The program fee to the Belize Tourism Board is US $1,200.00 for a Single Applicant; additional dependent pays a fee of $750 USD, which includes fee for the issuance of the Retirement Card. Note that payments to the BTB must be paid by form of a US Bank Draft, US Cashier’s Check or US Cash.
A Non-Refundable application fee of $150 USD payable to the Belize Tourism Board must accompany the application and required documents.
Kindly Note: The below does not include medical examination expense, photographs, notarization of documents and overseas courier for the application. Any additional work will be at a fee of $50 USD per hour.
Quotes from ISL, a private immigration consultancy firm, and not BTB:
Processing Fee for Single Applicant for Belize Retirement Program: $700 USD
Administration & Miscellaneous Expenses: $100 USD
General Sales Tax (12.5% of $800.00): $100 USD
TOTAL FEES: $900 USD