Why Making the Move To Belize Is Easy

belize

Deciding to relocate is always a big decision; but particularly for those who are planning on moving to another country. The idea can be exciting; but the thought of what it may require can be extremely overwhelming.

For many people who have moved to Belize, they experience a culture like no other in the world. They find that the experience of living in Belize is well worth any process they had to go through to make it happen. Moving to Belize is not as difficult as it may appear. Actually, it is pretty easy for Americans and Europeans to make Belize their home.

Here are a few reasons why:

Belizeans Speak English

English is the official language of Belize, so you won’t need to worry about learning a new language. This can be very difficult for many adults. Many Belizeans also speak Spanish and other local dialects, but you can easily get by in Belize without knowing how to speak any of these.

Similar Laws and Government

It can be quite scary moving to another country, with everything we know and hear about their laws and government structure. The Belize government and laws will be familiar to Americans and citizens of the United Kingdom, as they are based on British Common Law, which is the foundation of American law.

No Visa Needed for Americans, and Many Other Global Citizens

It is pretty simple to travel in and out of Belize, especially for British and American citizens. No Visa is required to enter Belize for American and British citizens. If you are a resident of another country besides the U.S. and the U.K., it is simple to research whether or not you will need to obtain a Visa.

No Currency Adjustment for Americans

The Belizean dollar is $2 to 1 American dollar; and both currencies are used and exchanged freely throughout the country.

Friendly People and Amazing Culture

Belizeans are friendly and welcoming. They have an island attitude of enjoying life and not taking themselves too seriously. The culture is varied and extremely blended and interesting. You will be among proud people who love their little paradise on Earth.

 

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How to Become a Citizen of Belize

citizen of belize

Many Americans and Europeans are choosing Belize as their retirement home, or simply a place to relocate to a place where daily life moves quite a bit slower.  If you are planning on making Belize your home, and not just a vacation spot or real estate investment; here is a basic guide on how to stay in Belize and possibly obtain Belizean citizenship.

1. Staying in Belize Indefinitely:

Are you qualified to apply for citizenship in Belize?

If you are planning on living out your golden years in Belize, it is wise to do your research to determine if becoming a citizen is even an option for you. Future expats who are not children or grandchildren of Belize citizens (those born in Belize), need to know that citizenship requests will be denied to those whose parents are currently citizens of countries who may be at war with Belize or who have legal immunity in Belize.

If you are married to a citizen of Belize, citizenship can be granted.

As with many countries across the globe, if you marry a citizen of Belize, after a year of residency in Belize, citizenship can be granted; barring there are no other issues concerning your country of origin as stated in the previous step.

Move to Belize with the intention of making the country your home.

If you are seriously considering moving to Belize and making it your home; you can move there and automatically be granted a month Visa stamp in your passport. After a month, you can apply for an additional stamp monthly for up to 6 months for a $25 USD fee. You may continue to renew your Visa, but the fee increases to $50 USD per month after your first 6 months are granted.

Find out if you need a Visa to enter the country.

Many global citizens are not required to obtain a Visa to enter Belize. If you are a citizen of any of these countries, you can travel to Belize with a current legal passport.

  • Citizens of the European Union Member States (EU)
  • Citizens of the Caribbean Community Member States (CARICOM)
  • Citizens of the United States of America and dependent territories
  • Costa Rica
  • Chile
  • Guatemala
  • Iceland
  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • South Africa
  • Switzerland
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay
  • Citizens of the Commonwealth Realms & Monarchies

2. Applying For Citizenship:

After 6 months of residency in Belize, you may apply as a resident alien.

In order to apply as a resident alien of Belize, you must have financial proof that you can care for yourself and will not be a financial burden on the country. You must have at least $2000/mo for your living expenses. You must show proof of these finances when renewing your permit.

The Qualified Retirement Persons Program

The QRP (Qualified Retirement Persons Program) was created by the Belize Tourism Board to attract retirees to the country. Many find this a difficult process and hard to get approved; however, if you are approved, you are then exempt from any other residency requirements.

After one year of living in Belize, you can apply for permanent residency. After 5 years of living in Belize, you can apply for naturalization. Once you are a Belizean citizen or Resident, you are then allowed to work and start a business in Belize without a Work Permit.
 

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Why You Should Retire in Belize!

Belize Real Estate
 
There are a lot of things to consider once you are planning to retire, and you want to make sure that you’re happy once you do settle down! Here is a great list of reasons to retire in Belize.

 

1. The Economy. The Belize’s economy is extremely stable, and has one of the lowest inflation rates in the world.

 

2. The Language. English is the official language of Belize. This is the only Latin American country where this is true- but it suits Americans well.

 

3. The Distance. Belize is close by- you can get to it in two hours or less from Houston or other points along the coast. This means it will be easy to visit family members when you want to- and many of them will want to come visit you!

 

4. Similar Laws. The laws in Belize are based off that of the British. This makes them very similar to the ones that we are already used to in America. This makes it a very easy transition.

 

5. Real Estate. The real estate in Belize is very affordable compared to the real estate in America.

 

6. Taxes. Belize’s government doesn’t tax excessively. Depending on how you earn your income, you could possibly have a zero tax liability as a retired person in this country. Belize has many options, own an International Business Company and hold your foreign assets tax free, or own an International Free Zone company which can hold even your Belize assets with tax holidays for the rest of your retired life.

 

7. The perks.  If you are over 45, you can take full advantage of a retiree program which helps you establish legal residency in Belize, which will allow you to enjoy extra benefits and tax advantages!

 

8. The land. Belize itself is something you don’t want to miss out on. There is a barrier reef that is only second in size to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. With this along with all the other fascinating places to visit, it will be hard to get bored in Belize.

 

9. The feeling of community. Family life and the happiness that comes with it is a huge priority in Belize.

 

10. The Expatriate Community. Belize has been attracting retirees and expatriates for decades.

 

Belize is a beautiful, quirky country that should be on everyone’s bucket list to visit. For those who are of the mind to, they will even get to spend their golden years.

 
 

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For Part-Time Retirement, Belize Beats Florida

Retiring Part Time in BelizeIt used to be that most Americans who retired part-time had their eye on Florida. These days, Florida has become known more for traffic jams, pollution and too many people. What once was paradise has been paved over and turned into endless strip malls and fast food joints.

Belize offers a better alternative for Americans looking for a “part-time” retirement getaway.

Located in Central America, Belize is an ideal foreign country to spend half your year in, providing retirees with the same contrast in weather as Florida. We outlined the beautiful weather in a post last week. In Belize, temperatures in the 80s are the norm. But unlike in the United States, foreign countries like Belize offer the benefits of a beautiful climate without the stress and hassle of overcrowding and the development that comes with it.

Rather than making a full-time move to Belize, why not do as the Florida snowbirds do? From the Northeast United States, you’re only looking at a four to five hour flight each way. You can still enjoy time with your friends and family “at home” in America for many months each year, while you spend a couple months at your tropical getaway when you don’t want to shovel snow.

Ideally, you should make a trip to Belize first, and spend some time there to see what you think of the place. Consider renting a home or apartment and settling in as if the move is permanent. Belize is known for its mountains, rivers, rainforests, caves and ancient ruins. The opportunity to fish, snorkel and scuba dive off the coast can also give your life a renewed sense of adventure at your new “home away from home.”

If it suits you after an extended visit, consider investing in a part-time retirement home there. Real estate is quite affordable and property taxes are low in Belize. The country is safe, and there are many people from other countries—fellow retirees—who live there, as well, so it wouldn’t be like you’re the only Americans in town. Best of all, English is the official language.

Logistically, retiring in Belize makes as much, or more, sense than it does to retire in Florida. The real estate is cheaper, and you can rent out each of your homes while you’re away to cut costs even more. You only need to be 45 years old, and to be eligible for the Qualified Retired Persons program, which extends additional benefits to retirees, you need only to spend a total of 30 days in Belize each year.

Florida is passé for retirees. Belize is where it’s at! For more information on what makes Belize such a great place to live, retire, and invest, or to learn about available properties, stick to Belize Shores Realty.

 

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