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Belize Permanent Residency

Belize Permanent Residency

Belize permanent residency is awarded to certain categories of foreign nationals who have been lawfully living in the country for a minimum time. The conditions are also related to the number of days the applicant has left the country as well as financial stability. The permanent residency application process is one that takes place with the Immigration Office and part of the steps also involve the Police Department. Working with a team of qualified professionals during this time is recommended to investors who are ready to apply.

 Quick Facts  
  Who can apply

Legal residents irrespective of their country of origin

Minimum residence before application

1 year

Maximum period out of the country

 14 days
Proof of financial means Yes. Justified through bank account statements and other documents 
Criminal record requirement Yes, individual police record issued in Belize
Mandatory medical documents

Medical certificate issued by a Belize medical practitioner and tests (HIV, VDRL and TB)

Other documents for application

Marriage certificate, if applicable
Employment certificate and social security card,
if employed in Belize
Certificate of business registration, if self-employed
Documents for the spouse and/or children, if applicable

Mandatory interview for application Yes
Police approval Yes. Through the aforemenioned police record and an interview with the Police Department
Permanent residence fee Between BZD 1,000 and BZD 6,000 depending on nationality
Time needed to obtain permanent residence Appplicants should schedule approximately 1 month for the process, given the need to conduct interviews
The residence card is issued within 5 days after making the fee payment
Option to reunite with family (bring family to Belize) Yes
Possibility to apply for citizenship Yes, after at least 5 years of permanent residence
Dual citizenship Yes
Reasons to choose Belize English is the official language
Low taxes
Beautiful country
Financial stability qualifications   You can qualify in the following cases: you are employed by a business or individual in Belize, are self-employed, a volunteer, missionary, are retired or are being sponsored.

 Financial stability qualification for income derived outside of Belize

In some cases you can also qualify for financial stability if you are employed outside of Belize or derive income from outside of Belize. 

 Proof of income from outside of Belize

 Employment agreement, rental agreement (when rental income is the main source of income), and others.

 Proof of income if sponsored For permanent residency applicants who are sponsored, a letter of financial support is needed, along with information concerning the sponsor. 
 Documents for the spouse included on the application

Income tax letter, social security card (if applicable), letter of financial support for residency. 

 Partner included on the application

Only a legal spouse can be included on the same application, common-law partners apply separately. 

 Documents for the child

 When a minor child is included on the application, the birth certificate, and a letter of consent from the parent who is not making the application are required.

 The requirements for permanent residency photographs

Designated size, full-face view, no older than 6 months, white background. 

Original documents or copies 

Original documents must be presented.

General requirements for the condition of the documents   All documents should be in good condition (not torn).
 The language of the documents

Documents are to be translated into English. 

 Reasons to work with us

We are a dedicated team offering tailored solutions. We can help you meet the application requirements and deadlines. 

 Assistance with residence permit renewals

 Our team will guide you through the renewal process in a timely manner.

When to contact us for permanent residency applications 

 As soon as the anniversary for your one-year temporary residency in Belize approaches.

 Other services we provide  Assistance with temporary residence permit applications, and guiding for those who are ready to apply for citizenship in Belize.

We present the main steps for becoming a permanent resident in this article and we also offer in-depth answers about the process if you reach out to us with your inquiries. We also assist investors to wish to open a company in Belize prior to considering residency in Belize.

The steps for obtaining Belize permanent residency

Several conditions are essential for those who wish to become permanent residents in 2024:

  • Minimum period: the applicant needs to have been legally residing in the country for at least 1 year at the time of the submission;
  • Departure time: during the minimum one-year period, the individual left the country for no more than 14 days;
  • Financial means: the applicant submitting a request for residency in Belize needs to be able to show that he is and will continue to be financially stable; this can be the case for those who choose to open a company in Belize;
  • No convictions: the individuals cannot be convicted by any court, in any country, for a criminal offence for which the sentence was of imprisonment of 12 months or more (also, he must not have received a fee pardon for such as offence).

It is important to note that permanent residency in Belize is preceded by temporary residence which can be a suitable option for investors as it is offered for a period of one year (subject to renewal) and is offered to those who have made an investment in Belize of at least 500,000 BZ$.

Maintaining the legal status in Belize according to the current immigration status (study, business, employment, dependent) is important for the residence permit application. 

The application process for obtaining Belize permanent residency includes six main steps, which are summarized below by our specialists:

  1. Prepare the documents
  2. Submit the application for residency in Belize
  3. Go through the interview with the Immigration Office
  4. Complete the interview with the Police Department
  5. Receive the notification from the Immigration Office in respect of the approval or the need to submit additional documents
  6. Pay the permanent residence fee

During the interview with the Immigration Office, the applicant’s spouse (if applicable) will also be interviewed.

Additionally, the applicant’s referees will accompany him or her to the Office and will also be required to properly identify themselves.

The scheduled interview will take place at the same Immigration Office where the application was submitted.

Applicants should keep this in mind when selecting the Immigration Office with which they submit their file.

Once the application is approved by the Immigration Office, the foreign national will be asked to visit the Office to make the needed fee payment.

For the payment phase, the chosen Immigration Office does not have to be the same as the one with which the interview was held, however, in most cases, it can be the same as applicants will understandably select the Office closest to their residential address.

The residence card is collected from the Immigration Office within 5 days after the fee payment.

The fees for obtaining Belize permanent residency depend on the applicant’s nationality and are exemplified below by our company formation agents:

  • CARICOM country national: $1,000;
  • Central American country national, Mexican or Dominical Republic nationals: $1,500;
  • Commonwealth country national: $3,000;
  • European country national: $6,000;
  • Foreign nationals from other countries: $4,000.

There is also a fee for the replacement of a lost, stolen or damaged residence card with the value of BZ$300. All fees are in Belize dollars.

Please keep in mind that these fees can be subject to change and were valid at the time this article was written.

Individuals who have had their residence document stolen, destroyed or otherwise rendered unusable will need to submit an application for its replacement with the Immigration Office in Belmopan.

The documents needed for the replacement of the residence card include the filled in replacement form and the applicant’s valid passport.

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Needed documents for the Belize permanent residency application in 2024

Original documents are presented when making an application for obtaining permanent residency. Our team lists these below:

  1. Passport: the passport is accompanies by copies of the pages that include the applicant’s information details and all visa pages;
  2. Medical certificate: this is filled in by a Belize licensed medical practitioner and a preliminary medical examination form is also submitted (stamped by the issuing medical center or hospital);
  3. Police record: this is a document that only has a 6-month validity date, issued by the Belize authorities;
  4. Proof of financial means: the applicant submits proof that he is employed by a business in Belize, is self-employed, retired, receiving income outside Belize or other situations;
  5. Other documents: two recent photographs (according to special specifications) as well as documentation for the spouse and children, if they accompany the applicant (conditions apply).

For more information on the legal requirements, as well as the legal implications of becoming a Belize permanent resident, as set forth by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration, please do not hesitate to reach out to our agents.

We can advise you on how to open a company in Belize and, at the same time, if you qualify for residency in Belize. In time, you can acquire Belize citizenship by investment.

You can watch the video below for more information on permanent residence:

Citizenship in Belize after permanent residency

The goal of many foreign nationals who remain in Belize for permanent residency purposes can be to ultimately apply for citizenship.

Citizenship for permanent residence holders is one of the ways in which a foreign national can apply.

Guatemalan nationals are not, however, eligible for Belizean citizenship through registration.

The following conditions apply for citizenship for permanent residents:

  • – have a permanent residence permit for at least 5 years;
  • – reside continuously in Belize; if outside of the country after obtaining permanent residency, this period cannot exceed 30 consecutive days or a total of 3 months in any 12-month period.

Foreign nationals who are married to a Belizean national need to have been married for at least 1 year, irrespective of how the Belizean spouse acquired his/her status (by birth in Belize or by naturalization prior to the marriage).

In some cases, foreign nationals who have remained in Belize for extended travel purposes can also be considered for citizenship.

The purpose of the extended travel in this case needs to be related to employment in Belize or health/medical reasons.

Like in many other countries, the other way in which a foreign national can acquire Belizean citizenship is through descent.

In order to become a citizen by descent, one must have been born outside of the country to a parent to is a Belizean citizen, or to a grandparent who is a Belizean citizen, of born outside of the country before 21 September 1981.

A woman can also become a citizen by descent if married before 21 September 1981 to a Belizean citizen.

The citizenship application process following Belize permanent residency also includes the submission of a set of mandatory documents, as well as the payment of a specific fee.

All applications for Belizean citizenship by naturalization (or registration) after the continuous period of permanent residency in the country are submitted in person at an Immigration Office in Belize City, San Pedro, Corozal and in other locations.

Individuals who wish to apply for refugee status must be in Belize at the time of their application and present, in person, to the Refugees Department in Belmopan, to an Immigration Office or to a police officer.

A refugee is an individual who has a justified fear of being persecuted in his own country or comes from a country that has been occupied or facing other external aggression is in place, prompting the refugee to seek this status in Belize in 2024.

Belizean population

The Statistical Institute of Belize offers us important details about the country’s total population. The data as per the 2022 estimates are briefly presented below by our team:

  • The 2022 estimated mid-year population was of 441,471 individuals;
  • Out of the total, it was estimated that 220,739 were men and 220,732 were women;
  • The largest population group was that of children aged 5 to 9 years;
  • Adults aged 30 to 34 years numbered 31,269 individuals and those aged 45 to 49  20,473 people; The senior population aged 75 to 79 had 3,508 individuals and people aged 80 to 84 numbered 4,291 individuals.

If you have questions about permanent residency applications, our Belizean lawyers specializing in Immigration Law can help you with personalized answers. We provide guidance on the application procedure, offer details about the current fees, and answer questions about remaining in the country permanently. We can help you prepare the documents you need and submit your application.

We specialize in advising local and foreign investors on company formation matters, however, we are also able to assist you if you are a foreign investor who has been living in the country temporarily and is now ready to become a personal resident.

Contact us if you are ready to apply for Belize permanent residency, followed by citizenship.