Company registration in Belize is convenient for many foreign investors who are looking to incorporate a company that will be primarily used for trading with customers outside of the country – the International Business Company (IBC).
While many investors are interested in the opportunities if their company generates the income outside of the country, they can still choose to relocate to the country permanently and manage their business. In this case, we can be discussing the option of acquiring Belize citizenship by investment, provided that the owner of the business not only opens a business and invests a minimum amount in the country, but also that he remains in Belize for a minimum period so as to be able to be considered for temporary and the permanent residency.
Is there a special Belize citizenship by investment scheme?
Belize is a favorable location for the incorporation of an offshore company, however, it is not a jurisdiction that allows investors to instantly acquire citizenship after making an investment.
Although there is no formal program for acquiring Belize citizenship by investment, investors who are able to make a minimum investment amount are awarded temporary residence. We present the conditions for temporary residence and permanent residence below:
- – investment: the applicant needs to be able to make a minimum investment in Belize of no less than 500,000 Belize dollars;
- – temporary residence: if he makes this investment (adequate investment proof and valuation is needed), then he will receive a temporary residence for 1 year;
- – permanent residence: this can be applied for after having lived in the country for 1 year;
- – permanent residence conditions: during the first year, the foreign national cannot leave Belize for more than 14 days; moreover, he must not be convicted of a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment of more than 12 months.
The permanent residence status is the one those interested in applying for Belize citizenship by investment should be aiming for.
What are the main residency application requirements?
The documents needed when applying for this include a valid passport, a police record, proof of financial means, medical certificate as well as photographs.
Investors who wish to have their family with them in Belize can reach out to our immigration specialists for more in-depth information about the documentation required for the spouse and/or children.
Some of the fees that apply for permanent residency application purposes depend on the applicant’s nationality. Examples include the following:
- CARICOM countries: $1,000;
- Central American Countries, Mexico and Dominical Republic: $1,500;
- Commonwealth countries: $3,000;
- European countries: $6,000.
The fee for other countries in addition to the ones listed above is $4,000 and all fees are expressed in Belize dollars.
The first fee that is payable by foreign nationals remaining in the country for investment purposes is that for temporary residence which has a value of 1/5 of the permanent residence fees expressed above. Residence permit holders who lose their residence card will pay a fee of $300 to replace it. This is mandatory in order to ensure that they lawfully remain in the country.
The government may choose to change these fees. You can receive updated information when you decide to apply with the help of our team.
When do you become a Belize citizen?
Acquiring Belize citizenship by investment is not a formal option, however, the route to residency is through investment. Foreign nationals can become Belize citizens through the process of registration. The conditions are the following:
- – the applicant has been lawfully living in Belize for at least 5 years as a permanent resident;
- – during this five-year period, he has continuously lived in the country, and only left for periods of no more than 30 consecutive days or three cumulated months in a period of twelve months;
- – in some cases, extended travel is acceptable when it was for medical and health reasons or when it was needed for work purposes (in the course of employment).
Two other options for acquiring residency in Belize are through marriage or through descent. Those foreign nationals for which the option to open a company in Belize is not possible can check the conditions for these options, if they qualify.
If you wish to know more about the option to apply for Belize citizenship by investment after having lawfully remained in the country for one year as an investor, our team can give you more details. Contact us as soon as you decide to relocate to Belize and plan on doing so by starting and managing a business.