RETIRE IN BELIZE – QUALIFIED RETIREMENT PROGRAM IN BELIZE
Belize offers a very attractive and affordable retirement package to foreigners through its Qualified Retirement Program (often referred to as the QRP Program of Belize).
BELIZE RETIRED PERSONS INCENTIVE PROGRAM
Incentives and Benefits
- Qualified Retired Persons can import personal effects free of import duties;
- Qualified Retired persons are strongly encouraged to purchase a vehicle in Belize. The vehicle must not be more than three years old.
- This requirement is the same for imported vehicles.
- 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 the jurisdiction of Belize.
Note: All importation must be done within a year after the date of approval into the program. A list of items being imported must be provided to the authorities before shipping.
- Qualified Retired Persons are not allowed to seek employment in Belize. However, voluntary work and business investments are encouraged by the Department;
- 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. We work closely with Ernesto Perera. Click here to visit his website.
- You must spend an equivalent of 1 month in Belize annually to maintain your retiree status.
Note: If you should apply for a Work Permit and/ or Permanent Residence your Retirement Status will be revoked and payment will be required for all Duty Free Items.
Application Processing Fees
- Our processing fee is $600.00 USD plus tax which includes the processing of a single application, the request for the retiree card and a custom letter for Duty Exemption.
- Processing of Additional dependents for the application requires an additional fee of US $75.00, plus tax.
- The program fee to the Belize Tourism Board is US $1,200.00 for a Single Applicant; additional dependants pay a fee of US $750.00, which includes fee for the issuance of the Retirement Card.
- A Non-Refundable application fee of US $150.00 payable to the Belize Tourism Board is required to process the application.
- Kindly note that the below does not include medical examination expense, photographs, notarization of documents and overseas couriers for the application.
|Processing Fee for Single Applicant||US $ 600.00|
|Administration & Miscellaneous Expenses||US $ 100.00|
|General Sales Tax (12.5% of $800.00)||US $ 87.50|
|TOTAL FEES||US $ 787.50|
Who may apply for a work permit?
- Anyone over the age of 45.
- Must have an income of over $2,000.00 USD monthly.
- Anyone who qualifies may include his or her dependents in the program.
- Dependents include spouses and children under the age of 18; however, it can include a person up to the age of 23 if enrolled in a university.
- Belizeans over the age of 45 who are returning to live in Belize may also qualify.
- Application Form (Request Form)
- Notarized Birth Certificate for each family member
- Notarized Marriage Certificate
- Original Police Record from last place of residence (issued one month prior to application).
- Color Copy of entire Passport (including all blank pages). This is required for each family member. Each page must be certified and stamped by a notary public.
- Proof of Income. An official statement from a Bank or any other Financial Institution from the country of residence will be required certifying that the applicant is recieving a monthly income of a minimum of US $2,000.00 through a pension or annuity that has been generated outside of Belize. Once approved, all retirees are requested to open a local bank account and deposit their monthly pensions funds. The Belize Tourism Board will request bank statements on a yearly basis to show proof of income and compliance with the retirement program.
- Medical Examination plus AIDS test for each member of the family.
- Four front (profile) and four side passport photographs of each member of the family.
General Information about Belize Retirement Program
Anyone forty-five years and older may qualify for the program. A person who qualifies can also include his or her dependents in the program. Dependents include spouses and children under the age of eighteen. However, it can include a person up to the age of twenty-three if enrolled in a college or university.
INCOME FROM PENSION OR OTHER SOURCE
- Qualified Retired Persons
To be designated a Qualified Retired Person under the program, applicants must receive a monthly income of not less than US $2,000 through a pension or annuity that has been generated outside of Belize.
- When a company grants a pension, that company has to prove that it has been in operation for at least 20 years by submitting proof of registration.
- The company that grants the pension shall certify that the pension of no less than US $2,000.00 per month will be forwarded to a reputable financial institution within Belize. This letter must be signed by the manager, president, or by a legal representative of the company.
- Certification by a Certified Public Accountant independent of the company:
-Stating the date the company was established
-Verifying the authenticity of the above mentioned letter
-Certifying that the obligation signed in favor of the beneficiary is not less than US $2000.00 per month.
- The applicant must present two (2) bank references from the company that is sending the pension.
- The company granting the pension must present a document outlining its pension scheme.
- Requirement ii, iii, iv could be omitted where the company sending the pension is considered to be a Fortune Five Hundred Company.
- Background Check
All applications are subject to a background check to be carried out by the Ministry of National Security.
All persons who have been designated a Qualified Retired Person shall be entitled, on first entering Belize, to import his or her personal effects and an approved means of transportation free of all import duties and taxes.
A Qualified Retired Person shall be exempt from the payment of all taxes and duties on all income or receipts which accrue to him or her from a source outside of Belize whether that income is generated from work performed or from an investment.
All privileges, exemptions and regulations herein included are governed by the Retired Persons (Incentives) (Amendment) Act, 2001 and the ACT will serve as the basis for all purposes of interpretation.
- Personal Household Effects
Qualified Retired Persons have one year from the date that they officially enter the program to import their personal and household effects free of duties and taxes as determined by the Customs Department. Numerous entries are permitted within the one year period; however, your detailed master list of household and personal effects must be submitted to the Belize Tourism Board upon approval into the Program. After the year has elapsed, you will be subject to all duties and taxes under the Customs Department.
- Motor Vehicle
Qualified Retired Persons are strongly encouraged to procure a vehicle in Belize. However, we will facilitate duty and tax exemption on an imported vehicle.
- Light Aircraft
A Qualified Retired Person is entitled to import a light aircraft less than 17,000 kg. A Qualified Retired Person is required to have a valid Private Pilot license to fly in Belize. This license can be obtained by passing the requirements set by the Civil Aviation. However, if the participant has a valid pilot’s license, that license only has to be validated by Civil Aviation Department in Belize.
Any vessel that is used for personal purposes and for pleasure will be accepted under this program.
- Motor Vehicle
- Disposal of Duty Free Items
If for whatever reason a qualified retired person decides to sell, give away, lease, or otherwise dispose of the approved means of transportation or personal effects to any person or entity within Belize, all duties and taxes must be paid by the qualified retiree to the proper authorities.
Qualified Retired Persons must note that only after 3 years and upon proof that the vehicle previously imported into Belize under the Program has been disposed of according to regulations, will another concession be granted to import a new transportation.
- Offenses & Penalties
Any person who knowingly makes any false declaration or entry in order to qualify for or renew any exemption or privilege granted under the Retired Persons (Incentives) (Amendment) Act, 2001 commits an offense and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars.
Terms and Conditions
- All Qualified Retired Persons must adhere to the general procedures cited by the Customs Department for the clearing of all personal and household effects including ‘Mode of Transportation’.
- Qualified Retired Persons are not allowed to seek employment or work for pay while in this program or in Belize.
- Qualified Retired Persons within this program must inform the Belize Tourism Board regarding any changes stated on the application form. Failure to do so may result in the revocation of applicant’s status.
- Qualified Retired Persons must adhere to all existing laws of Belize, in addition to the Retired Persons (Incentives) (Amendment) Act, 2001.
- All benefits provided by this program will be exclusively used by the Qualified Retired Persons and his or her dependents.
- The Belize Tourism Board has the authority to carry out any investigation with respect to the validity of any document provided by the applicant under this program.
- Participants within this program must inform the Belize Tourism Board prior to leaving the country indefinitely so that the assets purchased under this program can be liquidated.
- All documents presented to the Belize Tourism Board become the property of the Board.
- The applicant must not have any criminal matters with the law at the time of application.
- Applicants must present a listing with all the necessary information with regards to his or her dependents. If the applicant has a dependent over eighteen and in school, then he or she must present a proof of enrollment from that institution.
- Qualified Retired Persons must submit a yearly bank statement showing compliance with the financial requirements of the program.
- Qualified Retired Persons must spend an equivalent of one month in Belize annually to maintain their status as a Retiree Resident. Acceptance of these terms and conditions must be endorsed with the signature of the applicant in the presence of a witness.