Located in the Caribbean Sea, close to Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is one of the most appealing tourist destinations for American citizens. In the past few years, Belize has also caught the eye of other nationalities around the world, as flight connections make it easy to come here. Those interested in a golden visa program that would enable them to move here must know that there is no traditional Belize citizenship by investment, however, there are several other alternatives foreign citizens can rely on if they want to immigrate here.
Business investment option (YES/NO)
|Yes, the minimum amount to invest is USD500,000
Real estate investment option (YES/NO)
|Other investment options (if available)
Retirement, based on proof of minimum income of USD 2,000/month
|Living requirement in Belize (YES/NO)
|Residence or direct citizenship option
Temporary residency followed by permanent residence
|Direct immigration with family members (YES/NO)
No, residence permits are required for family members
|Family members allowed to join the program
No restrictions on family members allowed to move here
|Residence visa/citizenship processing time (approx.)
Temporary residency card is issued in approx. 30 days
|Additional financial requirements for family members (YES/NO)
|Timeframe for obtaining citizenship/residency by investment
Permanent residence can be obtained after one year of permanent residency, citizenship can be obtained after 5 years
|Dual citizenship permitted (YES/NO)
|Reasons to choose Belize
– possibility to run a business or work here,
– no minimum investment amount,
– quick processing time,
– large number of successful applications
|Personal income tax rate
|Visa free travel to other countries (approx. number of countries)
|Approx. 90 countries
Below, our local specialists explain how you can obtain Belize residency by investment. For obtaining a golden passport for Belize you should follow a legal procedure that can be explained by our lawyers.
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Types of residence permits available for investors in Belize
Even if Belize is not on the list of golden visa countries, it is one of the most appealing when it comes to investment opportunities foreign businesspersons can take advantage of. Also, even if one cannot move here based on citizenship by investment, there are several types of residence permits that enable them to naturalize.
Here are the available types of Belize residence permits:
- the long-term residence permit;
- the temporary residence permit issued for employment;
- the dependent residence permit.
These types of visas are issued to those intending to stay in Belize for more than 3 months.
Even if these are not investment-based residence visas, you can use them to get acquainted with the business environment for when you decide to relocate here as a company owner. If you want to know about other citizenship by investment countries, however, we have some interesting options you can choose from.
The Belize long-term residence visa
Anyone planning to stay in Belize for a maximum period of 6 months will need to apply for a long stay resident permit.
The following categories of applicants are accepted for this type of permit:
- nationals or residents of countries Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, or the European Union;
- people who are employed outside of Belize and have a minimum yearly income of USD 100,000 if they are applying with dependents or USD 75,000 if they are applying alone.
Persons who receive such a visa are allowed to enter and stay in Belize with their dependents for the specified amount of time, but not exceeding 6 months in a calendar year.
This is the equivalent of a digital nomad visa in other similar island states. However, if you are interested in citizenship by investment in Belize, we recommend choosing another program that leads to naturalization, as this is only available pathway for a Belize passport.
Is it possible to obtain a Belize passport by investment?
The short answer to this question is that there is no Belize investment visa at the level of 2024 through which foreign citizens can move here as in other Caribbean countries, such as Dominica, for example, however, they can apply for temporary residence permits that can be converted into permanent ones followed by citizenship by making certain investments. So even if obtained through investment, the Belize residence permit is considered a traditional one.
Even if there is no dedicated Belize citizenship by investment program, there are two options for those who want to move here:
- the first one targets businesspersons who can invest in local companies;
- retired people who must submit proof of a specific monthly income.
If you want to apply for a traditional golden visa/citizenship by investment scheme, there are several neighboring countries in which you can relocate and in which you can rely on our services. Among these, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia are two of them. If you want a golden passport for Belize in 2024, you can contact our lawyers who will offer legal assistance.
How to obtain Belize citizenship as an investor
If you are a foreign businessperson who wants to enjoy a good quality of life while running a company here, the easiest way to obtain Belize residency by investment is to apply for a temporary residence permit. All you need to do is submit proof of having at least 500,000 Belize dollars to invest. The permit obtained this way has a validity of one year and can be renewed.
If you want to apply for a Belize investment visa this way, all you need to do is get in touch with our local agents who can help you obtain your residence permit. We are also at your service if you want to enroll in another golden visa program available in another country. We can help you buy a passport for Belize in 2024 or another country, if you observe the local rules.
How to move to Belize as a dependent of an investor
Foreign investors who move to Belize can also bring dependents who qualify for residence permits created specifically for them. The following relatives can obtain such residence permits:
- retired people who are at least 55 years old;
- disabled people;
- children with the age below 5 years.
A Belizean resident who is able to offer suitable housing for such a dependent must submit the application. Also, this type of residence permit is available for dependents who are direct family members.
If you are seeking countries that offer golden passports directly, our consultants can guide you.
The Qualified Retired Person Incentive Program in Belize
A Belize residency by investment scheme that resembles others organized by golden visa countries is the Qualified Retired Person Incentive Program (QRP) created by the Belize Tourism Board.
- is dedicated to persons aged 45 or above;
- implies having a minimum monthly income of 2,000 USD;
- required for a minimum of 24,000 USD to be deposited in a Belize bank account;
- also grants a residence permit with a validity period of one year.
The source of the money must be a foreign pension or annuity. Another important aspect related to this program is that successful candidates are not allowed to work in Belize, however, they can maintain their investment in the country of origin or other foreign states.
The following benefits are available to all participants in The Qualified Retirement Program under the Belize Retired Persons Incentives Act:
- issuance of a residence permit that will allow you to live in Belize and allow you to enter the nation many times as long as you remain a member of the QRP Program;
- exemptions from duties – during the first year of the retirement program, you, as a member of The Qualified Retirement Program, will be eligible to import personal and household goods duty- and tax-free;
- exemptions from taxes – you won’t have to pay any capital gains tax or other taxes or tariffs on any income that comes from sources outside of Belize. Low property taxes and taxes on land purchases will also be advantageous to you.
If you are interested in obtaining Belize residency by investment this way, you can contact our golden visa specialists who will help you draft the necessary documents and move here.
Here is also our infographic about this program:
The main ways to obtain Belize citizenship
There are two ways to become a citizen of Belize in 2024. Marriage-based citizenship is one of them. When a foreigner marries a Belizean, they are eligible to seek citizenship, which is typically approved within a year. Usually, this entails moving to Belize after obtaining the passport. Once you have been awarded citizenship, you are free to travel wherever you like.
For persons who have been lawful residents of Belize for 5 years, citizenship by naturalization, thus by investment, is an option. Citizenship confers the right to apply for a passport from Belize. Applicants must have lived in the country or have permanent residency status for a minimum of 5 years in order to become citizens. The application is typically processed in 6 months.
How long does it take to obtain citizenship?
When using the usual route to obtain a Belize passport by investment, temporary residency can be obtained in one year, and if the applicant provides proof of financial worthiness, the temporary residence permit can be converted into a permanent one, so it is safe to say that becoming a permanent resident of this country is not complicated.
Citizenship can be obtained after 5 years of permanent residency in Belize.
If you want to apply for a Belize investment visa, feel free to request our support. Buy a passport for Belize with the help of our experienced lawyers.
Documents required to obtain citizenship in Belize
Please note that when discussing Belize citizenship and the documents required to obtain it, we address naturalization and not investment. For this purpose, the following papers need to be drafted:
- original or certified copy of the birth certificate;
- original or certified copy of the marriage certificate, if applicable;
- police clearance in original;
- certified copy of a valid passport;
- proof of local income;
- health certificate;
- 4 recent photographs;
- bank reference letter, no more than 6 months old.
Feel free to get in touch with us for support in applying for citizenship in Belize.
Tax residency in Belize
You must spend more than half year in Belize to qualify as a tax resident. Both tax residents and non-residents must pay income tax on the income earned in Belize. Foreign-sourced income is exempt from taxes.
If you move here through real estate acquisition, you should note that Belize charges a real estate tax on occupied properties of 12.5% of the annual rental value, while for vacant properties the tax is 2% of the annual rental value. Also, the annual property tax does not exceed 2% of its market value. A 1% land tax is levied on land that is not properly taken care of.
Advantages of moving to Belize in 2024
Even if there is no specific Belize citizenship by investment scheme, obtaining permanent residency followed by citizenship is quite simple in this country. Apart from this, dual citizenship is recognized here, which means that you are not required to give up your current passport to obtain one in Belize.
Becoming a citizen of Belize comes with visa-free access to more than 90 countries and the possibility of acquiring land or property here without investing a specific amount of money.
Contact us for assistance in choosing the best option for you and obtaining all the benefits that arise from having a Belize passport.