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Canadian Moving to Belize – A Guide

Canadian Moving to Belize – A Guide

Canadian Moving to Belize – A Guide

If you are looking to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

Table of Contents

Introduction

If you are a Canadian moving to Belize, the following information regarding visas, residency, and citizenship based on data from authorities could be helpful to you. 

For comparison, it would take you roughly 4,330 Canadian dollars in Belize City, which is Belize’s largest city, to maintain the same level of living that you can achieve with 6,200 dollars in Canadian capital Ottawa (inclusive of rent), as per Numbeo.

Brief Economic Backdrop

As a result of the country’s colonial history, the government of Belize has made it a priority to protect the country’s abundant natural resources and stunning landscapes, all while fostering the growth of the tourism industry and the influx of new citizens who are self-sufficient.

Even though English is Belize’s official language, Spanish is also widely spoken throughout the country in a number of different communities. Even though tourism has become Belize’s most rapidly expanding source of revenue, English continues to be the most widely spoken language in the country. 

The exportation of items like sugar, bananas, and crude oil are the next largest sources of foreign exchange earnings in this little economy, following tourism as the primary source.

Now, let’s take a look at visas, residence permits, and citizenship in Belize based on the information provided by the immigration authorities there.

Canadian Moving to Belize: Do you need a visa to travel to Belize?

If you are in possession of a valid multiple entry visa or a Permanent Residence Card from Canada, you are exempt from the requirement to get a Belize Entry Visa for stays of up to 30 days within the country’s territory.

Visit an Immigration Office in order to secure a Belize Visitor’s Permit Extension and prolong your stay in Belize if it is going to be longer than 30 days.

Visa Requirements

The necessary paperwork that you must present

  • Completed application form 
  • Itinerary for Flight – If you plan to visit Belize, your itinerary for your flight must specify the day you are scheduled to arrive in Belize as well as the date you plan to depart to your home country. If you are going to transit via Belize, your flight itinerary needs to include the date you are expected to arrive in Belize as well as the date you are scheduled to leave for your final destination.

Additionally, if you are being sponsored, you will need the documentation listed below

  • Proof of family ties
  • Invitation and financial support letter
  • Job letter
  • Banking financials
  • Sponsor’s identification 

If Self Sponsored

  • Financial statements from banks
  • Letter of employment

Visa Types

Canadian Moving to Belize visa
Sample visa in Belize. Image from embassynvisa

Tourist Visa

If you are having a holiday or traveling; conducting any business, trade, or profession on a temporary basis; or studying the potential of settling in Belize, you are eligible to apply for a tourist visa.

Employment Visa

You are eligible to submit an application for a work visa if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have been formally hired in Belize
  • You are doing a consultation visit in Belize
  • You are a sales agent of a company abroad
  • You are a member of the foreign media
  • You’re a technical professional doing work in Belize

Student Visa

You are eligible to submit an application for a student visa if you are currently enrolled in an elementary, secondary, or tertiary educational establishment.

Canadian Moving to Belize: Residence

A valid passport for a minimum of three months from the date of arrival is required of all visitors to Belize. In addition, travelers must demonstrate that they have adequate funds to maintain themselves while in the country.

You do not need a visa to enter Belize if you are a Canadian or US citizen, and you can stay there for a month. If you wish to extend your stay, you will be required to go to the immigration office in order to obtain a renewed visitor’s permit or a tourist badge.

In recent years, Belize has seen an influx of applications from long-term foreign residents.

Permanent Residence and Temporary Residence are the two categories of legal status that can be attained in Belize in terms of residency.

Those who wish to make Belize their permanent home and anticipate being in the nation for extended periods of time are eligible to apply for permanent residency.

Temporary residence is granted to those who have made or are in the process of making a large business investment in Belize but who, owing to engagements outside of Belize, are unable to fulfill the conventional constraints placed on permanent residence.

Permanent Residence

What do you need to apply for permanent residence in Belize?

If you want to apply for permanent residence in Belize, you need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • You need to have been living in Belize legally for at least one year prior to filing your application.
  • During the course of this year, you have never been out of the nation for more than a total of 14 days.
  • You are required to present evidence to the Immigration Office that demonstrates that you have been and will be able to maintain financial stability.
  • You have not been found guilty of a criminal offense in any country by a court of competent jurisdiction for which you were liable to imprisonment of a year and up and has not received a free pardon in respect to the offense. 

Necessary Paperwork for Your Permanent Residence

Passport
  • You’ll need to provide a passport that’s still valid for travel.
  • The passport must reflect an arrival date to the country, bearing a stamp that must be at least a year old before the application.
  • If your latest passport does not contain the said stamp, your old passport(s) that reflect when you arrived in Belize must be submitted.
  • All dependents you take with you, including the spouse and any children, must adhere to the aforementioned condition as well.

It is necessary for you to produce the original documents in order to complete the application process for your residence. In the event that your application is successful, the immigration will send these materials back to you.

In addition to the original documents, a copy of each of them needs to be turned in.

Medical Certification and Examinations

The medical certificate needed is the Residence Medical Examination Form which needs to be filled out by a Licensed Medical Practitioner from within Belize.

The applicant and any dependents that will be accompanying them, including spouses and children over the age of 16, must each complete their own individual Preliminary Medical Examination Form.

The examining physician is the one who needs to sign and stamp the medical assessment form. The stamp needs to be from the healthcare facility or medical center.

HIV, VDRL, and Tuberculosis Test Results

The applicant and any dependents who accompany them are required to present results of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL), and tuberculosis (TB) tests.

Police Record

You and any dependents that accompany you, including spouses and children older than 16 years of age, are required to present an individual police record from Belize.

Proof of Financial Security

In order to demonstrate to the Immigration Office in Belize that you are in a position to maintain your standard of living without assistance, you must fulfill one of the requirements for permanent residence. You are required to demonstrate that you have the financial means to care for yourself and any dependents you may have had at any time while you were living in Belize.

You could demonstrate such if you are:

  1. Working for a Belizean company
  2. Working for an individual in Belize 
  3. Working or earning a living somewhere other than Belize
  4. Self-Employed
  5. You are a Volunteer
  6. You are a member of a Missionary Organization
  7. A retiree
  8. If you are being sponsored, you are required to submit a copy of your most recent bank statement, which may be issued by a domestic or international banking institution.
  9. If you do not have a bank account, you are required to file a declaration that details how you will have access to monies while you are in Belize.
  10. If you are currently employed, you are required to give a letter of employment from your employer verifying the amount of time that you have been working form them, the position that you currently hold in the particular business, and your current income.
  11. You are required to give the Belize Social Security Board with a record of all of the Social Security contributions that have been made on your account by any and all of your employers.
  12. If you are the owner of a company, you are responsible for ensuring that it possesses all of the necessary licenses and registrations in order to conduct business legally. You must present a latest business tax assessment from the country’s tax service, reflecting the earnings of your venture within a reporting period. 
  13. If you are being sponsored, you are required to present evidence of financial assistance from someone whose relation to you can be validated and an individual who’s a legal status holder in Belize. 
Photographs 

You and all of your dependents are required to submit two photographs, each meeting the following criteria: 2 inches by 2 inches in size; shot within the previous six months; white backdrop; front facing; no sleeveless clothing allowed

Paperwork for the Spouse and the Children

Only a spouse who has been legally married is permitted to be listed on the same application; common-law partners are required to submit separate forms.

If your spouse is coming along with you

The following items are obligatory for submission:

  • Registered marriage certificate
  • Income Tax letter

 If your spouse does not have a job that pays them regularly, the application must include a letter stating how you will support them financially.

If your partner has a job that pays at least minimum wage, you are required to provide his or her Temporary Employment Permit, as well as any other relevant papers, plus your spouse’s Social Security card.

Should a youngster be going with you

The following items are obligatory for submission:

  • A letter of support on financial matters
  • A Certificate of Birth
  • A letter of authorization or consent from the parent who is not making the application, along with a copy of the parent’s identity document; or r a Notarized Authorization Letter and a Notarized Copy of That Parent’s Identification if the Parent Is Not Present in Belize.

Canadian Moving to Belize: Fees 

Canadian Moving to Belize currency
Belize dollars. Image from myguidebelize

How much does a Permanent Residence permit cost in Belize? 

The fees for permanent residency vary widely depending on the applicant’s country of origin.

You’ll need to shell out 3,000 Belizean dollars for countries in the Commonwealth, including Canada.

Canadian Moving to Belize: Temporary Residence

A status of Temporary Residence can only be granted for a duration of one year at a time, although it is renewable after the expiration of that time frame.

One of the requirements for those who wish to apply for Temporary Residence is to demonstrate that they have made investments in Belize that are worth at least half a million Belize dollars.

What paperwork do you need for a temporary residence in Belize?

If you are granted the status of Temporary Resident, you have the option of including your spouse and any children you have on the application that you submit.

You are required to present your latest passport that was issued from your country of origin, which in this case is Canada.

Police Record

You are required to present a report on criminal activity from the nation in which you most recently resided.

Letter to Director

You are required to include an explicit justification for your request for temporary residency in Belize in the form of a letter addressed to the Director of the Department of Nationality and Passports.

Proof of Residency in the Belizean Territory

You are required to submit proof that you have a residence in Belize, and the acceptable forms of evidence are a rental or lease contract and a utility bill; or a property title and a property tax evaluation by a municipal authority.

Proof of Investments in Belize

You are required to submit specifics and proof of investments in Belize that are worth at least 500,000 Belize dollars, as well as submit the following paperwork:

  • the ownership deed to a piece of real estate
  • bank statements, either business or personal
  • a company registration certificate or another documentation demonstrating your stake in a corporate entity, either as the owner of the organization or owner of a majority or controlling stake
  • trade license
  • a registration or card for social security
  • general sales tax returns
  • income tax returns

Canadian Moving to Belize: Fees

How much does a Temporary Residence permit cost in Belize? 

The Temporary Resident status can only be maintained over a one-year period. The status of temporary residency is one that can be renewed annually.

In this instance, the charge for temporary residence is equal to one-fifth of the fee for permanent residence, which comes to 600 Belize dollars.

Canadian Moving to Belize: Citizenship

Can you tell me about the requirements for citizenship in Belize?

By Registration

Citizenship for Holders of Permanent Residence
  1. You have been a resident of the country in which you currently reside for at least five years.
  2. You have maintained a continuous residence in Belize; this signifies that upon receipt of Permanent Residency, you have not lived outside of Belize for periods that have accumulated to a total of three months within a year or that have lasted longer than 30 days in a row.
What documents do you need to turn in for citizenship by registration?

Nationality Application Form

Completely filled up application form

Photographs

Four passport size and front-facing images with white backdrop must be included with your application. No sleeveless clothing is allowed in the photo.

Proof of Permanent Residence

You are required to provide proof of your status as a permanent resident in the form of either a Permanent Resident Card or a stamp in your passport indicating that you are a permanent resident.

Passport(s)

You are required to show any and all passports you have held since obtaining permanent resident status.

Police Record

Identifying Information Regarding Referees

You are required to name two native-born citizens of Belize who will act as references. They must have known you for at least five years. They also must present a valid form of identification, which can be either a Voter Identification Card, Belize Passport, or certificate of birth plus social security card

A Certificate of Birth

If any of the supporting documents include an error regarding your name, sex, birthdate, or birthplace, then you can be asked to provide a copy of your birth certificate.

Marriage Certificate

You are required to give a copy of your marriage certificate if your spouse is also seeking for citizenship.

Citizenship through the Union of Spouses

You have been married to a Belizean National for at least one year, regardless of whether or not the Belizean National spouse was born in Belize or had obtained Citizenship prior to the marriage.

What documents do you need to submit for application to citizenship by marriage?

You are to show the documents listed above, in addition to the following:

Evidence of the Marriage

If you were married in Belize, you are required to show the marriage certificate that was issued by the Vital Statistics Unit.

If you got married outside of Belize, the governing body that issued your marriage license will need to authenticate or apostille your certificate of marriage.

Documentation showing that the Spouse is a Belizean Citizen

You are required to produce a certificate as evidence that your spouse is a citizen of Belize.

  • Belizean passport
  • A birth certificate issued by Belize plus photo identification, such as a Voter’s Identification Card or Social Security Card
  • A Belize Nationality Certificate in addition to a photo identification, which can be either a Passport, Voter’s Identification Card, or Social Security Card

Letter of Financial Support

It is required of women who are financially dependent on their husbands to present a letter of financial assistance with the husband’s signature.

Citizenship through Descent or Ancestry

  • You are eligible to become a citizen of Belize since one of your parents was born in the country.
  • You were born outside of Belize before the day that Belize gained its independence on Sept. 21, 1981, and one of your grandparents was a citizen of Belize.
  • You are a female and you were married to a Belizean spouse prior to the 1981 Independence Day.
  • You are a female and you were married to a Belizean spouse prior to the 1981 Independence Day.
What documents do you need to gain citizenship by descent?

Nationality Application Form, Photographs, Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage Certificate, plus:

Evidence of Belizean Lineage

Belizean Parent

  • Parent’s Belizean Birth and Nationality Certificates and a Belizean Identification Card, such as a Voter’s Identification Card or Social Security Card 
  • Parent’s Belizean Passport 

Belizean Grandparent

  • Grandparent’s Belizean Birth and Nationality Certificates and a Belizean Identification Card, such as a Voter’s Identification Card or Social Security Card and
  • Grandparent’s Belizean Passport 
  • A copy of the parent’s birth certificate to demonstrate the grandchild’s tie to the grandparent

Belizean Spouse

  • Marriage Certificate

You are required to produce a certificate as evidence that your spouse is a citizen of Belize.

  1. Belizean passport
  2. Belizean birth and nationality certificates and a Belizean identity card

In order to legally alter your name, you are required to present a marriage certificate.

Canadian Moving to Belize: Citizenship Fees

How much money is required to submit an application for citizenship?

You must pay 300 Belize dollars upon approval of your application under Nationality attained through Registration. Meanwhile, you must pay 40 dollars once you submit your application under citizenship derived from one’s ancestry.

The replacement cost of a nationality certificate is 100 dollars.

Canadian Moving to Belize: What are the Best Places in Belize to Live as an Expat?

canadian moving to belize placencia
Beach in Placencia, Belize. Image from Natural World Safaris

Because of its low cost of living, its stunning beaches, and its abundance of activities for those who are looking for an adventure, Belize is quickly becoming a haven for Canadian expats and other foreign nationals. This indicates that expatriates are relocating to a variety of locations, each of which offers a slightly unique way of life and/or cost of living compared to the others.

Most of them are concentrated in the Corozal District, Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, Placencia, as well as Cayo District’s San Ignacio.

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 735.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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