Belize Retired Persons (Incentives) Program
About the Program
The Retirement Program in Belize was created especially for those people who wish to live in Belize and can prove a permanent and consistent income from investment (abroad or in Belize), pension or other retirement benefits. Click here to download Retired Persons Act
Who can qualify for this program?
Anyone forty-five years and older can qualify for the program. A person who qualifies can also include his or her dependants in the program. Dependants include spouses and children under the age of eighteen. It can also include children up to the age of twenty-three if enrolled in a university.
Some Benefits of retiring in Belize include:
Sub-tropical climate all year round
Easy access to land for development and construction of a retirement home
Close proximity to the United States and Mexico
Strong and stable currency
Abundance of Natural Resources
All persons who have been designated a Qualified Retired Person shall be entitled, on first entering Belize, to import his or her personal effects and an approved means fo transportation free of all import duties and taxes.
A Qualified Retired Person shall be exempt from the payment of all taxes and levies on al income or receipts which accrue to him or her from a source outside of Belize whether that income is generated from work performed or from an investment.
All privileges, exemptions and regulations herein included are governed by the Retired Persons (Incentives) Act, 1999, No. 11 of 1999 and the ACT will serve as the base for all purposes of interpretation.
Qualified Retired Persons under the program can qualify for duty and tax exemptions on new and used personal and household effects admitted as such by the Product Development Officer at the Belize Tourism Board in charge of the program. A list of all items with corresponding values that will be imported must be submitted with the application. All items must be imported in the country within 1 year after approval into the program.
Transportation (motor vehicles, boats, aircrafts)
Applicants are encouraged to import new motor vehicles under the program; however, motor-vehicles three years and under will be accepted. Qualified Retired Persons may procure vehicles in the country.
A Qualified Retired Person is entitled to import a light aircraft less than 17,000 kg. A Qualified Retired Person is required to have a valid Private Pilot license to fly in Belize. This license can be obtained by passing the requirements set by the Civil Aviation. However, if the participant has a valid pilot’s license, that license only has to be validated by the Civil Aviation Department of Belize.
Any vessel that is used for personal purposes and for pleasure will be accepted under this program.
Each application for the Retirement Program will be processed by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) in collaboration with the Ministry of National Security and the Department of Immigration.
Persons interested in the program must submit completed applications to the BTB with the following supporting documentation:
Birth Certificate – a copy of a certificate for the applicant and each dependant
Marriage Certificate (if married and spouse is a dependant)
Authentic Police Record – An authentic police record from the applicant’s last place of residency issued within one month prior to this application.
Passport – Copies of complete passport (including all blank pages) of the applicant and all dependants that have been certified by a Notary Public. The copies must have the passport number, name of principal, number of pages, and the seal or stamp of the notary public.
Proof of Income
An official statement from a bank or financial institution certifying that the applicant is the recipient of a pension or annuity of a minimum of Two Thousand United States Dollars (US$2000) per month.
A Financial Statement from a financial institution, bank, credit union or building society in Belize certifying that the applicant’s investment or deposit will generate the sum, of minimum of Two Thousand United States Dollars (US$2000) per month or the equivalent of Twenty Four Thousand United States Dollars (US$24,000) per year.
Medical Examination – Applicants should undergo a complete medical examination including and HIV/AIDS test. A copy of the medical certificate must be attached to the application.
Photos – Four front and four-side passport size photographs that have been taken recently of applicant and dependants.
Please note that it is also a requirement that all dependants submit all documents listed with exception of the proof of income.
Income from pension or other sources:
A Retired pensioner is that person who qualifies under the program and receives a monthly income of not less than US$2000 through a pension or annuity that has been generated outside of Belize.
i) The company that grants the pension has to prove that it has been in operation for at least 20 years by submitting proof of registration.
The company that grants the pension shall certify that the pension of no less than US$2000 per month will be forwarded to a reputable financial institution within Belize. This letter must be signed by the manager, president, or by a legal representative of the company.
Certification by a Certified Public Accountant independent of the company: Stating the date the company was established
Verifying the authenticity of the above mentioned letter
Certifying that the obligation signed in favor of the beneficiary is of no less than US $2000 per month
The applicant must present two (2) bank references from the company that is sending the pension.
The company granting the pension must present a document outlining its pension schem.
Requirement 2, 3, 4 could be omitted where the company sending the pension is considered to be a Fortune Five Hundred Company.
All applications are subject to a background check to be carried out by the Ministry of National Security.
Disposal of Duty Free Items
If for whatever reason a qualified retired person decides to sell, give away, lease, or otherwise dispose of the approved means of transportation or personal effect to any person or entity within Belize, all duties and taxes must be paid by that person or entity to the proper authorities.
Qualified Retired Persons must note that only after 3 years and upon proof that the transportation that was previously imported to Belize was adequately disposed off, will another concession be granted to import another mode of transportation.
Offenses and Penalties
Any person who knowingly makes any false declaration or entry in order to qualify for or retain any exemption or privilege granted under the Retired Persons Act 1999 commits and offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars.
A non-refundable application fee in the sum of US $102 payable to the BTB must be submitted with the application.
A program fee in the sum of US$504 payable to the BTB must be submitted upon acceptance into the program.
Upon acceptance into the program, a fee of US$102 must be paid to the Immigration Department for the issuance of the Qualified Retired Person Status.
A BZE $10 stamp must be attached to each application that is submitted to the BTB for processing.
Terms and Conditions
Qualified Retired Persons are not allowed to seek employment or work for pay while in this program or in Belize.
Qualified Retired Persons within this program must inform the BTB regarding any changes stated on the application form. Failure to do so may result in the revocation of applicant’s status.
Qualified Retired Persons must adhere to all existing laws of Belize, in addition to the Retired Persons (Incentives) Act.
All benefits provided by this program will be exclusively used by the Qualified Retired Persons and his or her dependants.
The BTB has the authority to carry out any investigation with respect to the validity of any document provided by the applicant under this program.
Participants within this program must inform the BTB prior to leaving the country indefinitely so that assets received under this program can be liquidated.
All documents presented to the BTB become the property of the board.
The applicant must not have any criminal matters with the law at the time of application.
Applicants must present a listing with all necessary information with regards to his or her dependants. If the applicant has dependants over eighteen and in school, he or she must present proof of enrollment from that institution.
Qualified Retired Persons must submit a yearly bank statement showing compliance with the financial requirements of the program