Expats in Belize can enjoy beautiful landscapes and a pleasant climate. This makes the country a target for foreigners from all over the world, no matter if they are workers, retirees, or investors.
But it can be difficult to figure out all the steps needed to become an expat in Belize.
If you want to make the process easier, you can take a look at this guide we put together for you.
Living in Belize as an Expat: Administrative Formalities
No visa is required to expatriate to Belize. To enter the country and settle down, you just need to present a passport valid for at least 3 months.
After 90 days of residence, it is sufficient to go to an immigration office each month and pay a fee equivalent to 50 euros to continue to reside there. This makes living in Belize as an expat very easy.
Obtaining permanent residence is not essential, but it gives the right to work. It can be requested after one year of residence in the country. This right is lost for any stay of 14 days or more abroad before obtaining the status.
Certain documents are required for this application:
- A copy of your criminal record
- Proof of income
- A medical certificate issued in Belize.
Obtaining permanent residency can take time. And you must continue to renew your right of residence during this period to remain in good standing.
You can apply for Belizean nationality after 5 years of living in the country with permanent residency.
Becoming a Retired Expat in Belize
Expatriation to Belize can be an interesting choice, especially for retirees looking for sunshine.
There is a specific program (“qualified retired persons”) set up for foreigners over 45 years old. It allows them to settle in Belize if they have sufficient income (about $2,000 per month).
This program does not allow to work in the country (except as a volunteer), but it allows investing in the country. This residence permit must be renewed every year.
Jobs in Belize for Expats
A legal residence permit and a work permit are required to work in Belize if you are a foreigner.
There are two types of permits:
- For employees
- For self-employed persons.
The application must be made on-site, upon presentation of supporting documents. These include notably copies of diplomas and other professional certifications.
For future employees, the procedures are simplified because the recruiter takes care of it in most cases.
Many large companies are present in the country. So it can be possible to find jobs in Belize for expats in the following sectors:
- Energy (oil, electricity).
- Information and communication technologies (ICT), which have been developing well for several years
These four professional fields are a good source of employment. And the salaries offered to international profiles are very interesting.
Expat Health Insurance in Belize
In Belize, the hot climate and mosquitoes are potential sources of health problems. They should not be overlooked.
In case of illness or accident, you should know that the offer and quality of care on site is very uneven.
If there are public health establishments in the country, it will be necessary in most cases to turn to the private sector. Otherwise, you won’t access a service that meets the standards known in Europe, both in terms of training of caregivers and equipment.
In case of illness or accident requiring special care, it will often be necessary to be evacuated to another country in the region. Or to be repatriated to your country of origin.
In any case, these operations have an important cost, and it is better to be covered with expat health insurance in Belize.
This is why it is strongly recommended to take out an international private policy before moving there. Either in the form of a 1st euro insurance. or by getting a supplementary Social Security policy if you have some kind of coverage with this entity.
This type of insurance will cover, at a minimum, routine care, hospitalization, and repatriation. And will provide easy access to English-speaking assistance.
To easily find the best contract according to your needs and situation, it is advisable to use an online insurance comparator.